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Ancient Traditions

Ancient Origins brings you articles related to Ancient Traditions from all over the world. Find related articles in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends.

Deriv; Woman with veil and scarf and Khor Ash Sham, Musandam Peninsula, Oman.

Are the Reclusive Shihuh People of Musandam the Original Arabians?

Two hours’ drive from Dubai in the mountains of Musandam lives a reclusive tribe of people who appear culturally unrelated to any others in the Arabian Peninsula, yet who may well be its original...
Shiva carrying Sati on his trident. (1800s).

Manikarnika Ghat and the Role of Cremation in Traditional Indian Funerary Rites

India is renowned for having distinctive religious practices that coexist with one another. The numerous shrines and monuments allow one to contemplate the importance of faith for many. One of the...
Mid-Autumn Festival Decorations in Beijing, China.

The Mid-Autumn Festival: A Holiday of Mooncakes, Lanterns, Moon Worship, and Timeless Legends

The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated annually by Chinese and Vietnamese communities around the world. As the name of this festival suggests, the day of its celebration falls exactly in the middle of...
15th century the basement of a "market house" used as a prison

Prisons and Imprisonment in the Ancient World: Punishments Used to Maintain Public Order

One of the most well-known forms of punishment today is imprisonment. One could argue that for any society to function properly, public order has to be maintained. This is an important function of...
Artist’s depiction of a Viking King

From Olafir Thick-Legged to Ragnar Fur-Pants, Viking nicknames were colorful, descriptive and fascinating

An American scholar did both his master’s thesis and his doctoral dissertation on old Norse nicknames as recorded in medieval literature to reveal a world of people with monikers like Wise of Dreams...
The print depicts a samurai fighting snakes, which are conjured by a ghost as the ghosts of Heian court ladies watch. Japan, 1850.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART II

Many ancient civilizations had beliefs surrounding the hauntings of ghosts and malevolent spirits, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. Read Part I...
Ancient legends tell of ghost hauntings.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART I

Ghosts and malevolent spirits haunted the ancients, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. The concept of a spiritual afterlife connects cultures across...
Roman Key Ring made of iron and worn by the wife.

Why Do Couples Exchange Rings with Vows? The Elusive Ancient Origins of Wedding Rings

The image of a couple exchanging rings during a wedding ceremony is instantly recognizable, and is held as an ancient tradition. A ring on a certain finger indicates that the wearer is married, but...
Mosaic of the ‘bikini girls’ from the Villa Romana del Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily.

When it Came to Ancient Undergarments Less Was Often More

Undergarments are an essential part of today’s society. They can be readily purchased from departmental stores, come in all shapes and sizes, and serve a variety of functions. In the ancient world,...
“Krishna and Balarama Taking the Cattle to Graze” from a Bhagavata Purana Manuscript (1520-1540), Museum Rietberg, Zurich

The Past Teaching the Present: Ancient Sanskrit Texts Discuss the Importance of Environmental and Species Conservation

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century is the destruction of the natural environment. Researchers have found that environmental change over the last 60 years is happening...
Ancient Egyptian relief carving of a dog.

Ritual and Burial: The Strange and Elaborate Ways Humans Prepared Animals for the Afterlife

The practice of animal burial is one that dates back to prehistoric epochs. Many cultures around the globe have buried animals for various reasons: sentimentality, religious rituals, superstition,...
Funerary mask, Sican culture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, USA

Grave Goods and Human Sacrifices: Social Differentiation in Sican Culture Reflected in Unique Burials

The Sican culture, also known as the Lambayeque culture for the region they once inhabited, was one of the many cultures that existed in Peru prior to the coming of the Incas. The Sicans inhabited...
Reconstruction drawing of the communal latrines at Housesteads Roman fort (Vercovicium) on Hadrian's Wall. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).

Money Does Not Stink: The Urine Tax of Ancient Rome

The ancient Romans have passed many traditions on to modern day society, but they certainly had a different perspective on urine. It was seen as much more useful than today. They used it as a...
Sokushinbutsu - The ancient Japanese monks mummified to death

Sokushinbutsu and the ancient Japanese monks that mummified themselves to death

Over 1,000 years ago, a practice was pioneered by a Japanese priest named Kukai, which was intended to demonstrate the ultimate act of religious discipline and dedication – self-mummification. The...
Mongolia - Ancient Golden Eagle Hunting

New Future for the Ancient Art of Golden Eagle Hunting

Eagle hunting is an ancient art which has been in existence on the Central Asian Steppe, from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, for some 6,000 years. Societal and political changes have meant...
Brotherhood of the Snake

The Serpent Scion: Mythic Traditions and the Brotherhood of the Snake - Part 2

Brad Steiger, an author whose research into different varieties of strange phenomenon truly runs the gamut in terms of his interests and expertise, notes in his book Real Aliens, Space Beings, and...
Brotherhood of the Snake

The Serpent Scion: Mythic Traditions and the Brotherhood of the Snake - Part 1

That fabled moment when Eve, the first mythic wife of man and mother of all living, accepted fruit from the serpent will remain in infamy as the first great deceit of man by the snake. Of course,...

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