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Neanderthals have been commonly found to suffer from ear problems. Source: Kovalenko I / Adobe Stock

Half of Neanderthal Population Suffered from Surfer’s Ear!

A new study suggests that Neanderthals commonly suffered from “swimmer's ear” or “surfer’s ear” - dense bony growths that protrude into the ear canal. This is usually caused by a habitual exposure to...
‘Ambroise Paré and the examination of a patient’ by James Bertrand. Source: Ji-Elle/ CC BY SA 3.0

9 Ancient Physicians and Legendary Healers that Changed Medicine Forever

Most people have heard of the eminent physician Hippocrates and his famous oath. But far fewer know of Shennong, Avicenna, and Andreas Vesalius – some of the lesser-known figures to have transformed...
Homemade fermented raw kombucha tea with different flavorings. Source: sveta_zarzamora / Adobe.

Kombucha: Revered For Millennia, But Is It Really A Life Saving Brew?

There have been hundreds of health food trends over the years – from green tea to coconut oil it can be overwhelming to know which of them really do have amazing health benefits . One health food...
Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum

Secrets Behind the Creepy Plague Doctor Mask and Costume

The plague doctor mask is one of the most recognizable symbols of the Black Death. Though the image is iconic the relationship may be a little anachronistic. While plague doctors have been plying...
Snake oil in Sapa.

Snake Oil Has Long Been Deemed A ‘Fake Medicine’, But It’s Not Guilty, It Really Does Cure!

In the late 19th century, microscopes enabled scientists to observe the microbial effectivity of medicines in the treatment of ailments and these new skills finally dislodged many traditional ‘...
Ancient Egyptian men undergoing circumcision.

The Cutting Truth about Circumcision: It Was All About Rites and Religion

When was circumcision first practiced? How did it evolve? Why was it practiced? The earliest literary evidence of the practice of circumcision goes back to ancient Egypt. There are many hypotheses...

Ancient Murder Victim Had A Very Heavy Heart!

In 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps near Similaun mountain on the border between Austria and Italy discovered a 5,300 year murder victim, now known as Ötzi, who is now housed at the South Tyrol...
(B) the child’s mummified body prior to the autopsy, (C) the pockmarked face and (D) this rash as evident on the arm.

Child Mummy Unlocks a Secret by Unravelling 450 Years of the Hepatitis B Virus

Scientists examining the mummy of a child who died in the 16th century have confirmed that the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been causing human health issues for centuries. Strangely enough, it seems...
A human skeleton in space.

Medical Astrology: Moon Fever and Diseases Sent from the Skies

For centuries, humans have believed that the celestial realm could influence everyday life. This is the basis of astrology. The rise and fall of kingdoms and the fortunes of individuals have all been...
A 17th century condom from Sweden.

Ancient Methods of Contraception – Even Tutankhamun Wore Protection

In today’s society, there are various forms of contraceptives available on the market. Some of these, like the combined oral contraceptive pill (often referred to just as ‘the pill’), for instance,...
A cross-shaped tattoo on Ötzi's knee.

Acupuncture for the Iceman: Did Ötzi Get Inked for Health?

Ötzi the iceman was discovered in the Oetz Valley, Austria, in 1991 by some German tourists. When this 5,300-year-old mummy was first found it was believed the frozen corpse belonged to a soldier who...
Oceanides, Gustave Dore (1860-1869).

The Secret of Long Life? It’s All in the Water: Sacred Springs & Holy Wells

The belief in sacred springs and holy waters goes far back into the earliest religious myths of humankind, and is ubiquitous across every continent. An ancient primordial connection between water and...
A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...

Evolution of Genetic Health Improvements in Humans Stall over Last Millennium

Had an arrow in his back not felled the legendary Iceman some 5,300 years ago, he would have likely dropped dead from a heart attack. Written in the DNA of his remains was a propensity for...
Main: A diver searches the Relitto del Pozzino shipwreck (Not Only Chemistry). Inset: One of the medicinal tablets. Image via PNAS/Giachi et. al.

Scientists Learn Ingredients of 2,000-Year-Old Roman Pills Found in Ancient Shipwreck

Discoveries of ancient shipwrecks are always exciting, but a small number of them are truly unique in the artifacts they yield, offering up items from the past that have been preserved for centuries...
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii.

Shave Your Armpits and Don’t Smell Like a Billy-Goat: Ovid’s Art of Love, Relationships and Adultery

Born a year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Ovid’s first works appeared in the early days of the Augustan principate. Ovid wrote various works throughout his long career, but none so...

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