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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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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.

Head and Partial Torso of a Horse' Jade figure China (Han dynasty 206 BC - AD 220) Victoria & Albert Museum (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Dubious Ancient Jade and Copper artifacts of the Ancient Chinese

You might call ancient Chinese royalty of the Han Dynasty jaded. Some aristocrats of around 2,000 years ago enjoyed a lusty sex life that included bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. And the presence...
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...
Detail of the hand section of the jade burial suit of Liu Sui, Prince of Liang, of Western Han

Fit for a King: Royals of Ancient China Buried in Jade Ceremonial Suits

Perceptions of the afterlife have inspired thousands of weird ideas for burial rituals around the world. One example comes in form of the remarkably beautiful and fascinating ceremonial suits created...
The Chalice of Magdalene – Is this the Holy Grail?

The Chalice of Magdalene – Is this the Holy Grail?

On January 12th this year BBC News ran a story concerning Mary Magdalene, the woman depicted as a close companion of Jesus in the New Testament. The Vatican has elevated her status amongst the saints...
600-Year-Old Buddha Statue Temporarily Emerges from the Waters, Reminding Locals of a Forgotten Past

600-Year-Old Buddha Statue Temporarily Emerges from the Waters, Reminding Locals of a Forgotten Past

The head of a Buddha statue estimated to be 600 years old recently emerged from a Chinese reservoir in Nancheng County, when water levels receded during renovation of a hydropower gate. A temple at...
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,...
2000-Year-Old Bronze Toy Provides Clues on How the Best Roman Chariots were Constructed to Win Races

2000-Year-Old Bronze Toy Provides Clues on How the Best Roman Chariots were Constructed to Win Races

Toy models have fascinated kids since ancient times and the more realistic they look, the better. One rich kid in ancient Rome had a very special model toy chariot made of bronze. The model was found...
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...
Justice, Myths, and Biblical Evidence: The Wealth of Information Held in the Ebla Clay Tablets

Justice, Myths, and Biblical Evidence: The Wealth of Information Held in the Ebla Clay Tablets

The Ebla clay tablets have provided researchers with a wealth of information regarding cultural practices and myths, judicial affairs, ancient languages, business, and foreign and domestic policies...
Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

The Instructions of Shuruppak are a set of 4,600-year-old Sumerian proverbs given by a king to his son, which essentially set out how he should behave. The ancient inscriptions were engraved in...
The Kesh Temple Hymn: 5,600-Year-Old Sumerian Hymn Praises Enlil, Ruler of Gods

The Kesh Temple Hymn: 4,600-Year-Old Sumerian Hymn Praises Enlil, Ruler of Gods

Like many foundational inventions that we use every day, such as wheels and law codes, the Ancient Sumerians living in Ancient Mesopotamia, the so-called cradle of civilization, created the oldest...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
Making Peace in Ancient Syria: A Long-Awaited Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty

Making Peace in Ancient Syria: A Long-Awaited Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty

In 1259 BC two of the most powerful ancient armies met near the city of Kadesh in what is now Syria. The number of victims and descriptions of the epic battle are still the cause of scientific debate...
The British Museum - Room 6. Foreground: Assyrian Gateway Human Headed Winged Lions 'Lamassu' from the North West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud.

Make Way for the Powerful Assyrian Kings: The History of the Message-Laden Balawat Gates

Over the years, researchers uncovered some remarkable Assyrian gates which led to different areas in the ancient city of Imgur-Enlil, now called Balawat, in Iraq. The huge gates were built during the...
Scattered but Not Forgotten: The Amazing Ancient Persian Gold and Silver Oxus Treasure

Scattered but Not Forgotten: The Amazing Ancient Persian Gold and Silver Oxus Treasure

An incredible treasure discovered near the Oxus River is one of the most precious collections of ancient Persian artifacts. Only 180 pieces of jewelry, plaques, and statuettes, and about 200 coins...
The Immense Collection of Strange Acambaro Figurines: Evidence of Dinosaurs Living Among Us?

The Immense Collection of Strange Acambaro Figurines: Evidence of Dinosaurs Living Among Us?

Most mainstream paleontologists and geologists place dinosaurs on earth’s timeline at around 220 million and 65 million years ago, during the Mesozoic Era. Homo sapiens on the other hand, do not...
Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

The delightful hobby of playing games isn't a modern invention. While people in ancient times didn't have Pokemon Go to entertain themselves, they still spent hours of fun games both inside and...
Creatures of the Land, Sea and Heavens: Ancient Beliefs in Animal Counterparts

Creatures of the Land, Sea and Heavens: Ancient Beliefs in Animal Counterparts

Until the Age of Enlightenment, it was widely believed that every land creature had its counterpart in the sea (and perhaps even in the heavens). The classic example of this belief is the horse,...
The Legend of the Imperial Jade Seal of China, An Heirloom Lost in Time

The Legend of the Imperial Jade Seal of China, An Heirloom Lost in Time

Of the many renowned Chinese seals, none is more famous than the Heirloom Seal of the Realm. This artifact was carved out of the He Shi Bi jade - a stone which one man lost his feet for. The seal was...
Retaining Ancient Ways: Codex Runicus, How the Runic Script Survived in the Middle Ages

Retaining Ancient Ways: Codex Runicus, How the Runic Script Survived in the Middle Ages

Runic script was developed in Scandinavia between the 2nd and 8th centuries AD. It was originally used for short inscriptions. After the Viking Age, this famous form of writing was altered to compete...
Tabula Cortonensis: A 2,200-year-old Tablet with a Bronze Key to Understanding the Etruscan World

Tabula Cortonensis: A 2,200-year-old Tablet with a Bronze Key to Understanding the Etruscan World

2,200 years ago, a pair of skilled Etruscan hands crafted a tablet that became a key to the language of this remarkable civilization. This unique bronze artifact is known as the Tabula Cortonensis...
Mountain of God:  Where was the real Mount Sinai, and the Location of the Ark of the Covenant?

Mountain of God: Where was the real Mount Sinai, and the Location of the Ark of the Covenant?

In the late twelfth century, crusader knights of the Templar order, from the county of Warwickshire in central England, were rumored to have found the Ark of the Covenant while stationed at the...
2,500-Year-Old Celtic Chariot Proves Iron Age Links with Mainland Europe

2,500-Year-Old Celtic Chariot Proves Iron Age Links with Mainland Europe

The Newbridge Chariot is the name given to the remains of a Celtic chariot found in Edinburgh, Scotland. The burial is found to date to around the 5 th century B.C., hence placing it in the Iron Age...

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