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Detail of the runic inscription found on one of the copies of the golden horns of Gallehus housed at the Moesgaard Museum.

Futhark: Mysterious Ancient Runic Alphabet of Northern Europe

Runes are the characters of the earliest written alphabet used by the Germanic peoples of Europe called Futhark. The runic alphabet was used within Germanic languages but primarily in Nordic...
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate

The Ancient History of Chocolate, Gift of the Gods

In today’s society, chocolate is a popular treat, and comes in many forms, including blocks, paste and powder. Several centuries ago, however, chocolate was considered a luxury item, and came only in...
Two hand-painted Mamluk playing cards and two Venetian playing cards.

Before They Were Divination Tools, Tarot Cards Were Playing Cards

In the English-speaking world, the word ‘tarot’ is most commonly associated with the occult and divination. It is one of the oldest forms of fortune telling, although its origins are somewhat obscure...
Goseck Circle

Goseck Circle: The Oldest Known Solar Observatory

In 1991, inspectors from the German government took aerial photographs of a small German town called Goseck and saw something strange. On the ground, there appeared to be a giant circular ridge...
A panoramic view of Spis Castle.

One of the Largest Castles in Europe Was Born to Resist the Mongol Invasion

13th century Europe was under attack by the Mongols and the Kingdom of Hungary was right in the sights of the invaders. Something had to be done, and the creation of great fortified castles was seen...

The Oldest Tree in Europe has been Discovered in Italy

In Italy, researchers have found what they believe to be the oldest living tree in Europe, having calculated its age to be approximately 1230 years old, according to a report from Discovery. The tree...
Normal liver on the left, liver with cirrhosis on the right.

Study Reveals Hepatitis Virus has been Killing Humans Since the Stone Age

An international team of scientists led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and the University of Kiel has successfully reconstructed genomes from Stone Age...
Reconstruction of a Beaker burial, (National Archaeological Museum of Spain, Madrid).

90% of the Neolithic British Gene Pool Was Replaced by Beaker Immigrants

Scientists once could reconstruct humanity's distant past only from the mute testimony of ancient settlements, bones, and artifacts. No longer. Now there's a powerful new approach for illuminating...
Pendant, Aurignacian culture, 31000-24000 BC

Did Prehistoric Middle Eastern Culture Visit Europe, Spawn Artistic Culture, and Leave?

A team of archaeologists investigating a cave in Israel, claims to have found evidence that prehistoric tools and artwork from Western Europe could possibly owe their existence to an earlier culture...
A Sheela na gig carving on a church in Kilpeck, England

Why Are There Carvings of Women Flashing Their Genitals on Churches Across Europe?

The last place one would expect to see an image of a woman flashing her genitals is a church wall, but across Europe, most notably Ireland and Britain, there are dozens of them. Most are old women...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
A reconstruction of ‘Lucy’ (public domain). Inset: One of the fossilized teeth discovered at Eppelsheim. Credit: The Museum of Natural History in Mainz

9.7 Million-Year-Old Teeth Found in Germany Belong to Hominin Only Known To Have Existed in Africa 4 Million Years Later

Archaeologists have made a discovery so sensational that they have waited 1 year to announce it as they had to be sure they had the dating correct. A set of teeth belonging to an early hominin...
Kukeri is a type of wild man in Bulgaria. Rituals with this ‘beast’ are believed to scare away evil spirits.

Beasts of the Pagan Wild Man Ritual Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The wild man is a creature found in various pagan traditions across Europe. Generally speaking, a wild man is a man dressed up in a beast-like costume for certain pagan rituals, which were normally...
The Battle of Rocroi, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War: Was it Worth it?

The Thirty Years’ War was a major European war that occurred during the 17 th century. Whilst the conflict took place mainly in the area of modern day Germany, it involved many of the great European...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
Vandalised site, showing fresh sand along the edges of the slab where it has been lifted and the holes left by the removal of two blocks in the centre. Babis Fassoulas, Author provided

Recently Discovered 6 Million-Year-Old Hominin Footprints Have Just Been Vandalized and Some Stolen

There has been a lot of interest in our discovery of nearly-6m-year-old footprints on Crete, first reported by the The Conversation – suggesting that human ancestors could have roamed Europe at the...

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