Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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An ancient Egyptian Bes vase once contained a potent hallucinogenic concoction. Source: Neuroshock / Adobe Stock /Overlay; Tanasi et. al / CC BY 4.0

Hallucinogenic Substances Detected in 2,200-Year-Old Egyptian ‘Bes’ Vase

An exciting new study has revealed long-hidden secrets contained within an ancient Bes vase dating back to Ptolemaic era Egypt. Researchers conducted exhaustive chemical analysis of the second...
Ancient Egyptian amulet seal discovered in Turkey. Source: AA Photo

Mystical Egyptian Amulet Depicting Protective Deity Found in Turkey

Archaeologists excavating a Roman-era ruin in the ancient city of Amastris in Turkey have recently made the curious discovery of a talismanic amulet seal. The pyramid-shaped Egyptian amulet has...
Tattoo on the left femur of a mummified Egyptian woman buried at Deir el-Medina. Source: Anne Austin/University of Missouri-St. Louis

Not A Tramp Stamp: Thigh and Hip Tattoos Found on Female Egyptian Mummies

Ancient burial sites in Egypt have yielded tattooed mummies, that are predominantly female rather than male. Over time, various debates have arisen about who these mummies were, in terms of their...
Egyptian limestone figures depicting stone pillows in the collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. 	Source: The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. / Glencairn Museum

Ancient Egyptians Slept on Pillows Made of Stone

Human beings have been enjoying the soft comfort of pillows for the last 2,000 years. But before this feather-filled luxury, people were accustomed to resting their heads on pillow-like headrests...
Little Human Subspecies: Where’s the Evidence?

Little Human Subspecies: Where’s the Evidence?

From the lush oases of Africa’s Ethiopia, across the planet to the sweltering jungles of Mexico, beyond the horizon to the primordial coasts of Hawaii, and back again to the gardens, olive groves,...
This dwarf-like, protective deity was very popular in ancient Egypt. Bes is represented with the nude body of a dwarf, grotesque facial features, and the ears and mane of a lion. He wears a tall feather-crown and usually rests his hands on his hips. Known from as early as the Middle Kingdom circa 2000 BC.

Think Egypt Think Magic: The Power of Heka in the Life of King and Commoner – Part I

Ancient Egypt was renowned and respected for her wisdom, art and architecture by all those who came into contact with her. What also caught the attention of these admirers was the practice of magic...
Ancient Khmer carving of childbirth.

Ancient Childbirth Beliefs and Rituals Thought to Protect Mother and Child

For much of human history, pregnancy and childbirth was an extremely dangerous period in a woman’s life. It was often believed that the expectant mother and her baby were vulnerable to malevolent...
Faience amulet of the head of Bes from the Late Period, 26th to 30th Dynasties. The deity was worshipped and invoked by ordinary Egyptians as a protector against malevolent forces; design by Anand Balaji ( Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Deriv)

Bes, The Protector Deity: Exuberant Harbinger of Health, Happiness and Vitality – Part II

Few gods achieved the fame that the lion-dwarf Bes managed to garner. He was not only a popular god among the elite in ancient Egypt, but in time was worshipped by people of every strata of society...
Detail from the richly decorated wooden chair or ‘throne’ of Sitamun, daughter and later wife of Amenhotep III, which was found in KV46. The image shows richly gilded images of Bes and two Tawaret figures; design by Anand Balaji

Bes, The Protector Deity: His Role and Significance as Defender of the Good – Part I

Few ancient cultures rivaled the Egyptian pantheon of gods and goddesses. Virtually every known creature was represented and venerated as they were believed to possess magical qualities of different...