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Artifacts

There are undoubtedly millions of ancient artifacts from the past that have served to shed light on the lives of our ancestors from many millennia ago. But some ancient mystical artifacts stand out for their uniqueness, their intrigue, or their ability to expand our knowledge about previously unknown aspects of our history. Here we feature many such ancient history artifacts, from amazing examples of ancient technology, to artistic masterpieces, unexplained objects, ancient texts, and mysterious artifacts that shed light on the daily lives of our ancestors.

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...
A supposed Victorian tear catcher. The real use of this type of glass vial is debatable.

Capturing Scents, Not Tears: Debunking the Myth of Tear Catchers

Victorians are often remembered for their obsession with death and mourning. It is not too surprising to discover that they had specific practices and even special objects created to further enhance...
Native American Tiny 'Elephant Stones', Mammoth Effigies, Carvings, Totems From Pennsylvania. Portable rock art such as this has been found globally.

Life Before the Clovis: Portable Rock Art as Evidence of Pre Ice Age Humans in North America

The worship of carved stone dates back to man’s earliest evolution. Portable rock art is human made markings on movable natural rock or stone. A global phenomenon, these Stone Age objects have been...
Japanese samurai warrior (brunogm / Fotolia)

Medieval Japanese Weapons Influenced Culture Long After the Middle Ages

Weapons are important instruments and are essential during wars. This was especially true regarding Japanese weapons used during the Medieval period. The wars that were fought, won, and lost impacted...
Square faced mummy, The Louvre

Mummy À La Mode: Elaborate Treatment of the Square-Faced Mummy with Intricate Décor

Everybody knows the traditional wrappings of a mummy; long strips of fabric are wrapped around the body from head to toe. But this mummy from the Louvre has an intricately woven square design on its...
King Midas's Feast in Honor of Bacchus and Silenus.

Would You Like to Try the King Midas Feast? Chemical Analysis Revealed it was a Slap-up Meal

King Midas was a legendary figure in Greek mythology who ruled over Phrygia in western Anatolia. He is best-known for his ‘golden touch’, i.e. that everything he touched turned to gold. Behind this...
European depiction of the Persian (Iranian) doctor Al-Razi, in Gerardus Cremonensis "Recueil des traités de médecine" 1250-1260. A surgeon (left) holds the matula, a vessel for collecting the urine. (Public Domain) Frankincense. (CC0) Past civilizations knew how to use frankincense in different ways for medical and ritual purposes.

Frankincense: How to Use Ancient Wonder Cure for Healing

Frankincense is famous for being one of the three gifts presented by the Magi to baby Jesus (the other two being gold and myrrh). Several thousand years ago, people knew how to use frankincense to...
Spikes embedded in the main door of Shaniwarwada was meant to deter the use of elephants by the enemy to ram the gates.

Ancient Trap Ideas to Protect Your Tomb or Catch Your Lunch

Take any good work of fiction with ancient ruins and the odds are it is booby trapped; whether its Dr. Jones running from a large boulder, Lara Croft leaping over a collapsing bridge floor or Fred in...
The original Great Domesday book and Little Domesday book of 1086, seen in the museum at the National Archives, Kew, England.

The Domesday Book: Don’t Worry, It’s Not the End of The World

Have you ever wondered how many people lived in England in the late 11th century? Well, William the Conqueror did, but mostly so that he could know how much land and money those people had. To figure...
Black Madonna of Częstochowa with crown.

Are the Black Madonnas found around the World intentionally so?

‘Black Madonna’ is a term used to describe depictions of the Virgin Mary (usually statues or paintings) that have dark-colored skin. In such images, the Virgin is often shown with the infant Jesus,...
Antique Japanese daishō, the traditional pairing of two Japanese weapons which were the symbol of the samurai, showing the traditional Japanese sword cases (koshirae) and the difference in size between the katana (bottom) and the smaller wakizashi (top).

Unknown Weapons of the Samurai: The Forgotten Warrior Arsenal from Feudal Japan

The Katana sword was considered as the Samurai soul. That is why some people treat Samurai and katana as synonymous words. It is true that a Samurai and his sword is inseparable, but believe it or...
This is an artist's copy of a mural at the Temple of the Murals at Bonampak, a Maya archaeological site showing examples of heavy jewelry.

New Discovery Suggests That Maya Elites Danced Wearing As Much As 25 Pounds of Jade Jewelry

A five-pound jade head pendant has been found at Ucanal, an archaeological site in what was once the Maya city of K’anwitznal. The massive jade pendant, the heaviest of its kind ever found, once hung...
Detail of the runic inscription found on one of the copies of the golden horns of Gallehus housed at the Moesgaard Museum.

Futhark: Mysterious Ancient Runic Alphabet of Northern Europe

Runes are the characters of the earliest written alphabet used by the Germanic peoples of Europe called Futhark. The runic alphabet was used within Germanic languages but primarily in Nordic...
Detail, the medieval Hereford Mappa Mundi, “Cloth of the World” in Hereford, England. Circa 1300.

Hereford Mappa Mundi: Legendary Cities, Monstrous Races, and Curious Beasts in a Single World Map

Secreted away beneath the floor of an English cathedral was a large calfskin canvas featuring what, at first glance, appeared to be a map of the world. Once recovered and repaired, the map now known...
Detail of ‘The warriors Kumagai Naozane and Taira no Atsumori.’ One of the warriors is brandishing a Japanese war fan called a Tessen.

Sensu and Tessen in Combat: A Japanese Fan Became a Deadly Weapon In the Right Hands

In Ancient Japan, the Samurai utilized a wide range of weaponry other than swords, bows, and spears. These weapons were used in places where swords were not allowed to be carried, for self-defense...
Montage of sphinx creature representations.

There Is More to the Sphinx Than You Find at Giza

The sphinx is a creature from mythology that is composed of a human head and a lion’s body. The most famous story about the sphinx is arguably the Greek myth involving Oedipus, the king of Thebes,...

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