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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.

What the chryselephantine statue of Zeus at Olympia may have looked like.

Chryselephantine: Sculpting the Most Luxurious Greek Cult Statues

Gold and ivory – what could be a richer mix? The ancient Greeks saw this as one of the most luxurious combinations as well, which is why they reserved the chryselephantine sculpting technique for...
A Roman Swiss Army Knife? 200-300 AD.

The Original Swiss Army Knife: Check Out This Must Have Gadget for Guys on the Go

The modern Swiss Army Knife didn’t make its debut until the nineteenth century, revolutionizing convenient tools on the go. But, as with so many other things, the ancient Romans did it first! Meet...
Agastyar, Father and Chairman of first Tamil Sangams, Madurai, Pandiya Kingdom. (CC BY SA 2.5) Detail of ancient Tamil script found on the temple walls of the Tanjore Bragadeeshwara temple.

Sangam Literature: These Tantalizing Tales Offer a Window into Ancient Tamil Life

“In their antiquity and in their contemporaneity, there is not much else in any Indian literature equal to these quiet and dramatic Tamil poems. In their values and stances, they represent a mature...
Paleolithic Venus figures

The Ideal Woman’s Body – a Gift of the Gods?

We all know what the perfect woman’s body looks like. Or do we? Is it Kim Kardashian, with her popular ‘internet-breaking’ big behind, or Marilyn Monroe with her voluptuous movie curves? Is it a...
Agni, a deity which appears in the Atharva Veda. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of Codex Cashmiriensis folio 187a from Atharva-Veda Saṁhitā second half, by William Dwight Whitney and Charles Rockwell Lanman.

The Atharva Veda: Popular Religion, Charms, and Ancient Hindu Spells

Thou who art neither alive nor dead, the immortal child of the gods art thou, O Sleep! Varunânî is thy mother, Yama (death) thy father, Araru is thy name. We know, O Sleep, thy birth, thou art the...
Restored statue platform with standing moai on the south coast of Rapa Nui. Note that one of the moai is adorned with a red scoria pukao.

How the Easter Island Statues Received Their Hats: Final Report

How do you put a 13-ton hat on a giant statue? That's what a team of researchers is trying to figure out with their study of Easter Island statues and the red hats that sit atop some of them. "Lots...
The famous Omphalos considered to be the center of the Universe for ancient Greeks, Delphi, Greece.

The Sacred Omphalos Stone, Navel of the World and Communicator of the Gods

An omphalos is a powerful symbolic artifact made from stone. Considered the ‘navel of the world’, the central point from which terrestrial life originated, an omphalos was an object of Hellenic...
A romanticized 19th-century recreation of King John signing Magna Carta. (Deriv.) (Public Domain) Background: Detail of Cotton MS. Augustus II. 106, one of only four surviving exemplifications of the 1215 Magna Carta text.

The Magna Carta: Did a Tyrannical English King Really Set the Stage for Liberty?

The Magna Carta is often lauded as an important milestone in human history. It is said to have guaranteed individual rights, the right to justice, and the right to a fair trial, as well as...
Section of the Carta Marina, 1527-39

Magic Mountains and Sea Serpents: the Secrets of Early Arctic Maps

By Tom Harper / The Conversation What comes to mind when you think of the Arctic? Ice, I imagine, polar bears, a barren cold landscape. And most would assume that these associations have remained the...
A close up view of the bronze of Kusunoki Masashige in full flight on his horse

The World’s Greatest Equestrian Statues: Artistic Masterpieces and Propaganda of Empires

An equestrian statue is a sculpture of a horse mounted by a rider. Such statues were often monumental works carved out of stone, or casted in metal. Apart from being works of art, such statues may...
Mahabharata War.

The Mahabharata: Unforgettable Lessons in An Indian Epic of Family Fighting

Poets have told it before, poets are telling it now, other poets shall tell this history on earth in the future. - (The Book of the Beginning), Mahabharata The Mahabharata (which may be translated...
With a blade of Damascus steel (similar to Wootz steel), the blade makes this object a treasured piece.

Wootz Steel: The Mysterious Metal that Was Used in Deadly Damascus Blades

Wootz steel was amongst the finest in the world. It is the metal that was used to fashion weapons such as the famous Damascus blades of the Middle Ages. However, Wootz steel dates back much further...
2,000-Year-Old Scorched Scrolls of Herculaneum

Secrets in 2,000-Year-Old Scorched Scrolls of Herculaneum to be Revealed with New Tech

An enormous wealth of knowledge locked within hundreds of ancient papyrus scrolls scorched by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, may now be revealed thanks to new technology which may enable...

Daily Prayers with Decomposing Corpses: Death Chairs at Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle is a castle built on top of a rocky islet next to Ischia, a small Italian island on the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. Whilst a stronghold is said to have already been built...
Bronze Corinthian helmet found in 5thcentury BC burial mound in, Taman Peninsula, Russia.

First Corinthian Helmet North of the Black Sea Has Been Discovered in Russia

The Russian RIA news agency has reported a remarkable find of an ancient Greek Corinthian helmet. The discovery was made in the Taman Peninsula in the southwest of Russia. The helmet was unearthed...
The Roman Tantalus Bowl, a Pythagorean Cup. (Journal of Roman Archaeology) Background: ‘Aeneas and a Sibyl in the Underworld’ by Jan Brueghel the Elder.

More than a Sip and You Feel a Drip: A Morbid Motif for the Crafty Pythagoras Cup

The Pythagoras Cup (Pythagorean Cup) is the name given to a drinking cup attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher, Pythagoras of Samos. This cup is also known as the Greedy Cup and the Tantalus...

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