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Modern-day view of Kallanai dam in India. Source: Elamaran Elaaa / Adobe Stock

2,000-year-old Kallanai Dam: Timeless Engineering Marvel of the Chola Dynasty

Sometimes, ancient marvels of architecture simply defy all forms of logic. And even after many centuries pass, and the world enters the modern age, we are amazed to see these ancient jewels still...
Top image:  Moche pottery depicting copulation.  Museo Larco – Lima, Perú

Sexuality and Nudity in Ancient Mesoamerica

The ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica left behind a rich artistic legacy that continues to captivate and intrigue modern scholars and enthusiasts. Among the myriad of themes that Mesoamerican art...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
The god Khnum, accompanied by Heqet, in a relief from the mammisi (birth temple) at Dendera Temple complex. Source: Roland Unger/CC BY-SA 3.0

Beyond Fertility: Goddess Heqet’s Extensive Influence on Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, the goddess Heqet reigned supreme as a symbol of fertility and childbirth. Heqet’s following spanned the ages, from the Old Kingdom to the Ptolemaic period, due to her impact on...
Famous phalluses in history. Source: Hannes Wiedmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, saiko3p / AdobeStock, Dorset Council / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, Vindolanda Charitable Trust, Árbore Arqueoloxía S.Coop.Galega, David Perez / CC BY 4.0

8 Famous Phalluses from History and What They Represent

When it comes to phalluses, a lot of people think it’s the size that matters. Others think it’s how the phallus is used. But any archaeologist or historian worth their salt knows the truth, it’s the...
Representational image of man with slingshot. Source: emerald_media / Adobe Stock

Andean Pucara Was a Deadly Slingshot Contest to Ensure Fruitful Harvest

Southern Ecuador was once home to a fascinating indigenous game which was a literal battle for survival. Deeply rooted in the cultural traditions of the provinces of Azuay and Cañar, Pucara , also...
Left; Female figurine found at Battifratta Cave. Right; archaeologists investigating at the cave. Source: Sapienza University of Rome

Enigmatic 7,000-year-old Figurine Found In Italian Cave Shocks Archaeologists

When archaeologists in Italy were exploring the spectacular Battifratta Cave, they did not expect to unearth “a rare” clay female figurine. And neither were they ready for the dating of the piece,...
Left; May Queen at Beltane Fire Festival 2010 – Edinburgh. Right; Walpurgisnacht (Walpurgis Night) by Falero.  Source: Left; Martin Robertson/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Right; Public Domain

What Are the Similarities and Differences Between Beltane and Walpurgis Night?

Beltane and Walpurgis Night are festivities with deep histories that occur in the springtime, and the two are being celebrated in various European lands this weekend. With fire being a main feature...
Various photos of the statue of a man holding a large phallus. Source: Noonans

For Sale In Britain: A Small Ancient Man With A Colossal Penis

While metal detecting in a field, a British couple thought they found an ancient cart wheel piece, but it turned out to be a small human figure with a large bronze, hinged penis. Noonans auction...
Nursing Madonna (Madonna Lactans) by anonymous master from the School of Bruges. At the Chapel of the Milk Grotto in Bethlehem, Virgin Mary milk powder is sold as a cure for infertility. Source: Public domain

Even Today, Virgin Mary Milk Powder is Used as a Cure for Infertility

The Virgin Mary’s breast milk has been the subject of veneration for centuries and even today couples battling infertility often imbue it with miraculous powers. This is especially true at the Chapel...
Headless Life-size Maya Statue Uncovered in Oxkintok

Headless Life-size Maya Statue Uncovered in Oxkintok

Archaeologists in Mexico’s ancient Maya city of Oxkintok have unearthed a striking headless statue. Measuring approximately 5 feet 5 inches (1.68 meters), the life-size limestone statue was uncovered...
Left: Standing nearly 9 feet tall, this Coatlicue statue is one of the Aztec Empire's largest surviving sculptures. As was typical of Aztec sculptures, all sides of the statue were decorated.    Right: A modern reimagining of Coatlicue. Source: Left: Luidger / CC BY SA 3.0; Center: Public Domain), Right: Public Domain

Coatlicue: Fearsome Fertility Goddess of the Aztecs

Coatlicue was one of the most important gods in the Aztec pantheon. Not only was she the goddess of fertility, but she also gave birth to Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war and the sun. Her high...
A modern depiction of the Aztec fertility goddess Tlaltecuhtli. Source: Public Domain

Tlaltecuhtli: Fearsome Fertility Goddess of the Aztecs

Tlaltecuhtli was a Mesoamerican earth goddess predominantly worshiped by the Aztec people. In most religions, fertility goddesses are depicted as the culture's epitome of beauty, like Aphrodite of...
Painting of Freja by John Bauer. Source: Public domain

The Story, Symbols and Powers of Freya, the Norse Goddess of Love

Freya is old Norse for “lady” and was the name given to the Norse goddess of love. Whilst she certainly sought out passion and pleasure, she was a complex character. In fact, to the Vikings she was a...
The latest find of a 7,800-year-old female figurine in Ulucak Mound, Turkey. Source: Anadolu Agency

7,800-year-old Female Figurine Found at Anatolia’s Ulucak Mound

One of the most prominent and oldest Neolithic sites found in what is now Turkey has yielded yet another interesting find – a clay statuette of a female figurine has been unearthed in Izmir, dated to...
“Forbidden fruit” was written in the Bible in reference to the ‘apple’ of Eden that led to Adam and Eve being banished from paradise for tasting of the Tree of Knowledge. But was the forbidden fruit really an apple or some other fruit? Source: funstarts33 / Adobe Stock

Was the “Forbidden Fruit” in the Garden of Eden Actually an Apple?

The forbidden fruit reference in the Bible and the story of how Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden is well known and used in all kinds of modern contexts. But was the forbidden fruit...
El Tepozteco temple in Mexico. Source: Tolo / Adobe Stock

El Tepozteco – The Aztec Temple Dedicated to the Drunken Rabbit God

On a lonely peak of the Sierra de Tepoztelan in the state of Morelos in Mexico stands the Aztec temple of El Tepozteco. The temple is dedicated to an unusual deity, Ometochtli - Tepoztecatl, one of...
Although a creator god, Coniraya dressed like a beggar. Source: fresnel6 / Adobe Stock

Coniraya: The Inca Fertility God Who Dressed Like a Bum

If you thought the Greek gods had a monopoly on selfishness, rape, deception and other shady derring-do, you were wrong. Take, for instance, the Inca god Coniraya (also Cuniraya), who might have fit...
The diagnostic methods and treatments in the Trotula are based on the theories of Claudius Galen and Hippocrates, shown in this 12th century mural from Anagni in Italy.

Medieval Attitudes to Women’s Medical Conditions Found in The Trotula

The Trotula is a very well-known 12 th century text, originally written for male medical practitioners treating gynecological or obstetrical issues, which reveals a great deal about how people...
Hundreds of Ancient Rock-Cut Tombs have been Discovered in Egypt

Hundreds of Ancient Rock-Cut Tombs have been Discovered in Egypt

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have announced the discovery of a distinctive collection of hundreds of ancient tombs. The 250 rock-cut tombs were found in various levels of a...
Unravelling the Roots of Hera, the Wrathful Goddess of Marriage

Unravelling the Roots of Hera, the Wrathful Goddess of Marriage

Hera, also known by her Latin title as Juno, is best known in Western culture as the wife of Zeus, king of the gods. While technically subordinate to him, Hera is never a submissive figure, in fact...
The knife-wielding spider god mural was discovered at a 3,200-year-old ceremonial site in Peru.

Knife-Wielding Spider God Mural Found at Shrine in Peru

Archaeologists have identified a 3,200-year-old ceremonial center in Peru’s northern Virú province. The site has been partially destroyed and is still waiting full excavations, but they’ve already...
Nabu: Ancient Mesopotamian God of Scribes and Wisdom

Nabu: Ancient Mesopotamian God of Scribes and Wisdom

Nestled in the fertile region around the River Tigris and Euphrates, the historical region of ancient Mesopotamia has long been regarded as one of the earliest cradles of civilization. Home to...
Mexican Farmers Unearth Ancient Statue of Elite Mesoamerican Woman

Mexican Farmers Unearth Ancient Statue of Elite Mesoamerican Woman

Farmers tilling the soil in a citrus grove in the Huasteca region along Mexico ’s Gulf Coast unearthed something ancient and unusual. Hitting a hard object they assumed was a rock, the farmers dug...

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