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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.

The authors at the stern of the wreck where the standing bottom logs and stern are seen sticking up from the seabed, seen from the starboard side. Source: Florian Huber/Stockholm University.

Medieval Weapons Chest Amongst Spoils in Sunken Warship

New insights into warship combat platforms and a unique late medieval weapon chest have been discovered in studies of the Danish flagship Gribshunden/Gripen which sank in the Blekinge archipelago in...
The lead coffin of the aristocratic Roman woman’s burial found in Yorkshire, Northern England. Source:  Leeds City Council

Previously Undetected Roman Remains Found in Lead Coffin

In an unexpected twist, archaeologists investigating a "truly unique and remarkable" lead coffin from Roman era Britain have identified a set of previously undocumented remains. Found in 2022,...
Pages of the Voynich manuscript. Source: Yale University Library/The Conversation

A Sexy Part of the Voynich Manuscript Is Deciphered

By Keagan Brewer /The Conversation The Voynich manuscript has long puzzled and fascinated historians and the public. This late-medieval document is covered in illustrations of stars and planets,...
left; the recently excavated Greek-Illyrian helmet, Right; archaeologists extracting the helmet at the site. Source: Dubrovnik Museums

2,500-Year-Old Greek-Illyrian Helmet Discovered in Croatia

Archaeologists in Croatia have recently made a significant discovery on the Pelješac Peninsula, unearthing a Greek-Illyrian helmet that dates back to the 6th century BC. This find is the second such...
The Joyeuse Sword of Charlemagne. Source: P.poschadel/CC BY-SA 3.0

Joyeuse: The Legendary Sword of Charlemagne

The sword of Joyeuse, which today sits in the Louvre Museum, is one of the most famous swords in history. Historical records link the sword to Charlemagne the Great, King of the Franks. If it did...
Representative image of Egyptian blue pigment. Source: Pattadis / Adobe Stock

Tracing the Legacy of Egyptian Blue: From Ancient Artifacts to Modern Insights

Egyptian blue, known in the scientific community as calcium copper silicate, has come to be recognized as a pioneering feat of human creativity. With origins speculated to precede 3000 BC, Egyptian...
Picture of St. Hildegard near Bingen at Rhine River. Source: Philipp/Adobe Stock

Exploring the Masters: 10 Influential Medieval Artists You Should Know

The Medieval period, spanning roughly from the 5th to the 15th centuries AD, was a time of profound artistic expression that laid the groundwork for the Renaissance to follow. Despite the challenges...
The skull of the man found in Poland from behind. On the left the absence of a hard palate can be clearly seen. The photograph on the right shows how the gold prosthesis was fitted. Source: Anna Spinek; © 2024 Elsevier Ltd / Live Science.

300 Year Old “Exceptional” Prosthesis made of Gold and Copper Discovered in Poland

Archaeologists in Poland working on the excavation of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Krakow have found something new, described as the first discovery of its kind in the country. The body of...
The Roman bronze plaque measures only 26-28 mm in diameter. Source: Museum Vestsjaelland

Roman Era Bronze Plaque Showing Alexander the Great Found in Denmark

During explorations on the Danish Island of Zealand, a pair of amateur archaeologists unearthed a small but remarkable artifact. While using metal detectors to search for coins or other items at a...
Roman Colosseum, Rome, Italy. Source: Sergey Yarochkin/Adobe Stock

Six Things That Made the Colosseum Unique (Video)

The Colosseum , an architectural marvel in Rome, is renowned for its unique features that set it apart from other ancient structures. Its oval design, accommodating over 50,000 spectators , ensured...
The relics humans have chosen to worship over the course of human history can often help us understand the extent of belief systems and the anatomies of faith. Source: Top: Village Preservation Blog Bottom: epic_images / Adobe Stock; Public domain; Golden Palace Events

Footprints, Fairies and even a Foreskin: 9 Bizarre Relics from History

From time immemorial, people had the need to venerate objects of great significance: religious relics, mythical symbols or depictions of holy figures. As if in answer to this need, the religious...
Helen and Paris fresco, indicated in a Greek inscription placed between the two figures with his other name ‘Alexandros’.                Source: Archaeological Park of Pompeii

Spectacular New Frescoes Uncovered in Pompeii

A spectacular banqueting room with elegant black walls, decorated with mythological characters and subjects inspired by the Trojan War, is one of the rooms recently brought to light during the...
The underside of the Etruscan lamp of Cortona. Source: Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca e della città di Cortona/DeGruyter, edited by R. Alburz

Bronze Lamp Revealed as Dionysus Cult Object in Cortona Italy

An interesting new study has challenged the previous estimations surrounding a beautiful bronze lamp unearthed in a ditch near Cortona, central Italy. Using literary sources and iconographic evidence...
Alan Baxter with his detecting equipment. Source: Alan Baxter

The Carrot Patch Hoard: A Detectorist's Dream Comes True

In a fortunate turn of events, a routine carrot harvest in Fife, Scotland, led to the remarkable discovery of a hoard of ancient coins dating back 500 years. Alan Baxter, a 44-year-old detectorist...
Geometric petroglyphs at Toro Muerto, Peru, possibly represent ancient songs and human figures dancing.	Source: A. Rozwadowski, Wołoszyn JZ. / Cambridge Archaeological Journal

Are Toro Muerto's Petroglyphs in Peru Hallucinogenic Visions in Stone?

A new study has offered a fresh perspective on the enigmatic petroglyphs discovered at Toro Muerto in the Peruvian coastal desert. The site contains intricate designs and petroglyphs, etched onto...
Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Source: Omar hoftun/CC BY-SA 3.0

The Unmatched 9,500-Year-Old Honeycomb City of Çatalhöyük

Overlooking the Konya Plain in Turkey lies the remarkable and unique ancient city of Çatalhöyük, the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. At a time when most of the world's people...
Left; Byzantine silverware, Right; Medieval silver coins from the study.	Source: Left; Johnbod/CC BY-SA 4.0, Right; Antiquity Publications Ltd

Medieval England’s Sudden Silver Currency Conversion Solved

After years of speculation, researchers have finally traced the origins of Europe's revolutionary adoption of silver coins in the mid-7th century, uncovering a tale of economic evolution and...
Huge 16th century statue known as the Apennine Colossus by Giambologna in the garden of the Villa Demidoff di Pratolino, Tuscany, Italy.  Source: Antonio Scaramuzzino/CC BY NC ND 2.0

Man Out of Mountain: The Striking Figure of the Apennine Colossus

At the feet of the Apennines, Aeneas and his men defeated the Latins in one of the first victories of the early Romans. Amid flying arrows and screaming men, the Latins laid down their weapons and...
Left: Liang Tebo burial features of the 29000-BC amputee of Borneo, Indonesia: a) A single adult inhumation (TB1); the skull is to the right of the scale bar; Middle: Artist ‘s impression of Tebo1, the oldest amputee on record; Right: Surgically amputated site of the left tibia and fibula showing the evidence of amputation.            Source: Maloney, et al. / Nature; Jose Garcia (Garciartist) and Griffith University / Nature; Maloney, et al. / Nature

Ancient Medicine: What Was the Earliest Surgery? (Video)

Around 30,000 years ago in Borneo, an ancient surgeon performed a groundbreaking operation on a child with a severe leg injury. Using rudimentary tools likely made of stone, they skillfully severed...
The blue stingray’s disc-like shape would have made it ideal for tracing.     Source: Kyle Smith/The Conversation

Stingray Sand ‘Sculpture’ on South Africa’s Coast May Be World’s Oldest

By Charles Helm & Alan Whitfield /The Conversation South Africa’s Cape south coast offers many hints about how our human ancestors lived some 35,000 to 400,000 years ago during the Pleistocene...
Reconstructed wall of Ain Dara Temple with cherubim relief in lower panel. Right, Giant or godly footprints at the gate. 	Source: Odilia/CC BY-SA 3.0, Right; homocosmicos/Adobe Stock

The Enigmatic Ain Dara Temple and the Giant Footsteps of the Gods

Ain Dara is a small village in the northwest of Aleppo, Syria, which, until 2018, boasted a remarkable structure – the Ain Dara Temple, located just west of the village. The temple was discovered in...
Fig.1 The experimental henge “Nesshenge” as it looked in 2008. Source: Dr John Hill

Nesshenge Revisited: How Does the Reproduction Neolithic Henge Look 15 Years On?

It is not every day that one gets the opportunity to build a replica Neolithic henge earthwork. Moreover, after 15 years of “weathering”, one is amazingly surprised to see that it not only survives...
Building materials piled up ready for installation at the Regio IX part of Pompeii.     Source: Pompeii Sites

Preserved Building Site at Pompeii Reveals Roman Construction Techniques

New information relating to Roman construction techniques is emerging from the ongoing excavations at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. In the rooms of the ancient domus in Region IX, insula 10...
Left: The tiny votive axes were probably utilized within an ancient ceremonial practice.  Right: Rolled up lead Roman curse tablets found at the site. Source: Red River Archaeology Group

Remarkable Roman Villa Unearthed from a Bronze Age Site in England

A Bronze Age site in England, housing a ‘richly decorated Roman villa’ from a later period, has revealed a bounty of artifacts and architectural evidence, which includes aisled buildings adorned with...

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