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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.

Amazonian Shaman Smoking

Kill or Cure: The Evolution of Addiction Treatment Through the Ages

As far back as history has been recorded, mankind has been using hallucinogens , opioids and stimulants for many varied purposes. Medical treatments, nutritional supplements, religious rituals, and...
The Funeral of a Viking - painting 1893.

What Really Happened at Viking Funerals? It’s Not What You Think!

Like many ancient societies, the Vikings believed in an afterlife, and these were based on the religious beliefs they held. The current understanding of Viking funerary practices has been discovered...
‘The Birth of the Milky Way’ (1636-1637) by Peter Paul Rubens.

Breastfeeding Beliefs: From Invincibility to Universal Creation

Breastfeeding is an infant feeding practice in which a child is fed breast milk directly from breast to mouth. Breastfeeding could be performed by the mother herself or by a wet nurse. Evidence of...
Male karate fighter

The Origins of the Top 5 Most Ancient Martial Arts that are Still Practiced Today

Movies, television shows, and cartoons are populated with dazzling martial artists ranging from the Kung-Fu antics of Hong Kong Phooey the crime fighting dog, to the mesmerizing Jeet Kune Do of Bruce...
: A hooded Inquisitor in a Medieval torture chamber. Source: diter /Adobe Stock

Medieval Torture: The Terrifying Threat of Twisting off Limbs and Burning Flesh

The Medieval period is often called (rightly or wrongly) one of the most brutal eras in European history. One of the most notorious features of the Middle Ages was the use of torture. Although...
Hubert Vos' painting of a young Manchu man. Manchu shaman were important cultural icons

The Heavenly Legacy of the Ancient Manchu Shaman

The Manchu people are an ethnic minority in China sometimes called "red-tasseled Manchus", a reference to the ornamentation on traditional Manchu shaman’ hats. Shamanism was the dominant religion of...
Ancient Khmer carving of childbirth.

Ancient Childbirth Beliefs and Rituals Thought to Protect Mother and Child

For much of human history, pregnancy and childbirth was an extremely dangerous period in a woman’s life. It was often believed that the expectant mother and her baby were vulnerable to malevolent...
Ancient Egyptian preparing food.

What Egyptians Ate: Did the Cuisine of Ancient Egypt Reflect the Tastes of Today?

The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a variety of foods, not unlike what we enjoy today. Nevertheless, compared to many other ancient civilizations, the ancient Egyptians had access to better foods. The...
Statue representative of courtship rituals.

Romantic Love: The Evolution of Courtship Rituals

Courtship rituals have existed as long as the concept of romantic love. Such rituals exist to allow couples to get to know each other, and to allow an intimate relationship to develop. In modern,...
A row of turf houses in Iceland.

Hidden in the Landscape: The Unique Architectural Heritage of Icelandic Turf Houses

Turf houses are a distinctive type of dwelling found in Iceland with origins dating back to the 9 th century AD, which are attributed to the country’s Nordic settlers. The development of turf houses...
Papua New Guinean. There has been an increase in recent years in attacks aimed against Papua New Guinea witchcraft.

Papua New Guinea Witchcraft: Ancient Spirits and Deadly Modern Witch Hunts Live On

Papua New Guinea is one of the few places in the world where literal witch hunts still take place on a regular basis. Witch hunts continue to be practiced, even though engaging in a witch hunt was...
The Dome of the Rock glistens in Jerusalem’s cityscape.

The Dome of the Rock: A Magnet Attracting Multiple Religions to a Single Sacred Spot

The Dome of the Rock (known also as Qubbat al-Sakhrah in Arabic) is an Islamic shrine located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This shrine dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest extant Islamic...
Ary Scheffer (French, 1795-1858): ‘The Souliot Women’, 1827, Oil on canvas, Paris, Musée du Louvre. Around the world, ancient laws tended to favor men over women, often with dire consequences. Unfortunately, many would argue the problem still exists

Ancient Laws and Women’s Rights: The 6000-Year-Old World War Continues

The term ‘legal rights of women’ refers to the social and human rights of women. There has never been a time in history where this subject has been more at the fore of politics. Social justice...
Ganesha (Niks Ads / Fotolia)

Deep Mining the Mythology of Ganesha and the Ancient Temple Well

According to Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987), the famed U.S. American Professor of Literature who wrote extensively about comparative mythology and religion: “Myths express characters and stories that...
Smudging with white sage

The Ancient Art of Smudging: From Banishing Evil to Curing Ailments

The burning of plant materials to produce smoke with positive effects has been practiced since ancient times. One of the best-known examples is the use of incense in the ancient Near East. Another...
‘Hercules Fighting Death to Save Alcestis’ (1869-1871) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton. Many ancient death rituals seem very odd or macabre to modern minds.

Bizarre, Brutal, Macabre And Downright Weird Ancient Death Rituals

Any parent must agree that one of the greatest hardships experienced around the death of a family member is having to explain to children what happened and what happens next? Should you tell them the...

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