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"Delphic Oracle" Painting by Heinrich Leutemann. Image source: art-prints-on-demand.com

Spells, Charms, Erotic Dolls: Love Magic in the Ancient Mediterranean

It was a well-kept secret among historians during the late 19th and early 20th centuries that the practice of magic was widespread in the ancient Mediterranean. Historians wanted to keep the activity...
Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), this picture of the Antioch tablet was compiled. Source: Paula Artal-Isbrand, conservator at the Princeton Art Museums, with permission of Alexander Hollman

First Jewish Curse Found: Chariot Racer Hexed by Calling on Balaam’s Angel

Experts have made the remarkable discovery of a curse on a lead amulet from the Eastern Roman Empire. According to the Jerusalem Times, experts were shocked when they finally deciphered the message...
A curse tablet wrapped around a chicken bone.

Ancient Sex Curse Revealed: May Your Penis Hurt When You Make Love!

Curse tablets in the ancient world are like Facebook posts today—they were everywhere, created by almost everyone, and can still be found in the strangest of places. They could be broadly vague or...
 The broken top and bottom sections of the Assyrian stele.

British Museum Decided Against Uniting a Cursed Assyrian Stele and Bad Luck Fell to the Police

“Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
The recently unearthed ‘licking dog’ statue.

Metal Detectorist’s Roman Hoard Linked to a Temple that Likely Inspired The Lord of the Rings

Two metal detecting enthusiasts made a “once in a lifetime” discovery when they unearthed a hoard of Roman bronze artifacts at an undisclosed location. The most exciting of the finds is an intact...
Collage:  design by Anand Balaji

Slew of Surreal Experiences tied to KV62. Carter and Tut: Masks, Mosquitoes, and Mania!

There were several exciting, strange and puzzling happenings in the run-up to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and later. While Howard Carter wasn’t sure of the words he had used to describe his...
The statue of a seated Zeus at Olympia.

Unleashing The Power of the Gods: Hexes and Black Magic in the Ancient Greek Olympics

When the ancient Olympics began, the greatest athletes in Greece gathered before a statue of Zeus Horkios, the god of oaths. Laid before its feet would be the freshly cut meat of a boar sacrificed by...
Margaret Murray Unwrapping the Khnum-Nakht Mummy

Margaret Murray - Mother of Egyptology, Grandmother of Wicca, or Fairy Godmother?

Margaret Murray is one of the most mysterious Egyptologists. Although many researchers criticize her research, the story behind her writings scares anyone who is wary of the powers of witchcraft...
Tutankhamun’s silver trumpet with wooden insert. Tutankhamun’s War Chest by Asaf Braverman

Instruments of Mass Destruction: Do Tutankhamun’s Trumpets Really Summon War?

In 1922, the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in Egypt by an expedition led by the archaeologist Howard Carter. The discoveries made in uncovering the largely untouched tomb provided a wealth of...
The Money Pit Mystery and Early Treasure Hunting on Oak Island

The Money Pit Mystery and Early Treasure Hunting on Oak Island

Oak Island is located off the coast of Nova Scotia near Halifax, in the eastern part of Canada. This 140 acre island is privately owned, and is best known for its supposed buried treasure, especially...
Illustration from book in a series of fairy tales. A warning to children. John Lambton fights the Wrym

A Monstrous and Venomous Serpent: Legendary Crusading Heroes and Wyrm-Slaying Symbolism – What Does it Mean?

Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, Aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story, Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, An aa'll tell ye ‘boot the wyrm. --(C.M. Leumane, 1867) Beasts that Scorch the Land There are more than...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Picture a group of the dead passing down the street next to your house. They sing out deathly stories and spread a creepy energy that makes you feel your skin crawl. You want to escape, but you can’t...
Explorers That Found Ancient Lost City of the Monkey God Almost Lose Their Faces to Flesh-Eating Parasite

Explorers That Found Ancient Lost City of the Monkey God Almost Lose Their Faces to Flesh-Eating Parasite

The group of explorers that discovered the remains of an ancient city in the jungle of Honduras while hunting for the legendary lost city of La Ciudad Blanca (‘White City’), otherwise known as City...
Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

The magical traditions of ancient Greece encompassed spells, curse tablets, drugs, potions, poisons, amulets, and talismans. For many cultures of the past, there was a very fine line between magic,...

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