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Ancient Writings

There are literally thousands of incredible texts that have survived from the ancient world, which are etched onto copper, beautifully inscribed on papyrus, chipped onto tablets, and even written using the ink of ground down gold and precious stones. Here we feature many ancient writings, which have served to open a window onto the daily lives of our ancestors and enhanced the knowledge we hold about our ancient past.

A photo of the Kushim Tablet.

Leaving A Mark in History: The Oldest Known Named Person

The oldest named person that we know belongs to an individual from Sumer, one of the earliest urban civilisations in southern Mesopotamia, in present day Iraq. A person’s name is an integral part of...
Detail; Byzantine Alexander Romance, Venice, 14th century.

Fact or Fiction? The Obscure Origins of the Greek Alexander Romance

The Greek Alexander Romance , often referred to as a ‘pseudo-Callisthenes’ production, is in one form or another one of the most influential and widely read books of all time; it has birthed a whole...
An artist’s representation of a pyramid with UFOs.

UFOs Over Ancient Egypt? Revealing the Mysterious Story of the Tulli Papyrus

The so called “Tulli Papyrus” is an enigmatic text that some describe as the first written account of a UFO sighting. This Egyptian text records an event which supposedly occurred during the 18th...
Bluetooth Before the Internet: What Ideas Are Transmitted by the Jelling Stones of Denmark?

Bluetooth Before the Internet: What Ideas Are Transmitted by the Jelling Stones of Denmark?

Harald Bluetooth survives history as among the most famous Viking chieftains, primarily because his personal rune stone has been repurposed for the Bluetooth software programmed into our phones, cars...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: The Crafty Story of Embroidery in Medieval Manuscripts

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: The Crafty Story of Embroidery in Medieval Manuscripts

Even though paper would eventually come to be more popular, parchment was the preferred material for book making, and eventually printing, throughout the middle ages. Parchment, used before the rise...

Secret Societies and Hidden Knowledge: The Explosive Star that Inspired the Modern World

A few weeks ago, astronomers announced that in 2022 something truly spectacular is to occur: a new star will appear in the heavens. It will be the first such event visible with the naked eye for over...
From the same 1429 Persian manuscript. Sañjīvaka/Schanzabeh.

What Pearls of Wisdom are Held in the Animal Tales of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra (which means the ‘Five Principles’ in Sanskrit) is a collection of interwoven short stories from India. The tales in the Panchatantra are told in both prose and poetry, and consist...
The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

In 1858, a farmer plowing a field near Kovel in the old administrative unit Volhynia (what is now Ukraine), discovered an iron spearhead with an intriguing inscription and lavish ornamentation. Soon...
What Really Lies Hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?

What Really Lies Hidden in the Vatican Secret Archives?

Mystery and intrigue are inherent to the Holy See. People will always wonder what religious authorities are conspiring to behind closed doors, what treasures lie within the vaults of the Vatican...
Is The Iconic Dendera Zodiac of Ancient Egypt The Oldest Horoscope in the World?

Is The Iconic Dendera Zodiac of Ancient Egypt The Oldest Horoscope in the World?

The Dendera Zodiac is the name given to an interesting bas-relief found on the ceiling of a chapel in the Temple of Hathor, which is part of the Dendera Temple complex in Upper Egypt. This famous bas...
The futhark on the Vadstena bracteate.

Unearthing Ancient Magic in The Runes –Messages with Hidden Symbols and Powerful Numbers

The etymology of the word “rune” means: “to carve, or to cut.” In Low German the word is “raunen.” As the runes were cut and carved into wood, metal or stone, the word “rune” was analogous to the...
Making Medieval Magic: Countering Infections and Poison with Nine Potent Herbs

Making Medieval Magic: Countering Infections and Poison with Nine Potent Herbs

Many old spells have been lost or forgotten over the years, but careful readers of medieval books can still recognize some of them tucked within old tomes. There is a spell from a 10th-century book...
2,000-Year-Old Carving and 16th Century Manuscript Reveal Some Maya Came from Across the Sea

2,000-Year-Old Carving and 16th Century Manuscript Reveal Some Maya Came from Across the Sea

The Popol Vuh, a corpus of mythological and historical narratives according to the Quiché-Maya people, and Izapa Stela 5, a carved stela found at the ancient Mesoamerican site of Izapa in Mexico,...
Curses and Cures: The Magic and Medicine Found on the Spectacular Metternich Stela

Curses and Cures: The Magic and Medicine Found on the Spectacular Metternich Stela

The Metternich stela is one of the most remarkable stelae related to magic and medicine in ancient Egypt. The text carved in the stone from the 30th dynasty is a fascinating source of forgotten...
Rest Like an Egyptian: Lifting the Lid on the Elaborate Phoenician Tabnit Sarcophagus

Rest Like an Egyptian: Lifting the Lid on the Elaborate Phoenician Tabnit Sarcophagus

There is a remarkable sarcophagus that many tourists mistake for an elaborate ancient Egyptian creation. The perception is understandable as this kind of burial is often related to the rulers who...

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