Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ Mobile


Mada'in Saleh (Al-Ḥijr & Hegra) archaeological site near Al Ula, Saudi Arabia. Source: hyserb/Adobe Stock

The Marvel of Mada’in Saleh and the Enigmatic Nabataean People

The archaeological site of Mada’in Saleh, previously known as Hegra, is the most famous ancient site in Saudi Arabia. It is also the first archaeological site of Saudi Arabia to be included in the...
Intricate incense clocks were developed in Qing Dynasty China.	Source: Science Museum Group / CC BY SA 4.0

Ancient Incense Clocks: A Timely Glow

Checking the time hasn’t always been as easy as glancing at your smartphone. In ancient times, humans would determine the time by using devices made of sand, stone, shadows, wheels, and more. One...
Top image: Iron age ceramic jar discovered in UAE. Source: Sharjah Museums Authority

Archaeologists Puzzle Over Huge Iron Age Ceramic Jar Found in UAE

The largest Iron Age ceramic jar ever discovered in the UAE dated to 3,000 years ago hints at a bustling trade scene from the 1st millennium BC. But the dimensions of this vessel really have...
An Egyptian woman wearing a mysterious wax head cone, which is morphing 2) into the benben stone, atop which sits 3) the bennu bird, symbol of resurrection, all set before 4) the Great Pyramid, the architectural climax of mound expressionism, behind which rises 5) the morning sun, called weben by the Egyptians. This rhymed with benben, and provided an important linkage between the rising of the primeval mound and the solar disc. (Image: Design by Jonathon Perrin)

Egyptian Head Cones: Mini Pyramids and Status Symbols

One of ancient Egypt’s most-enduring embalming enigmas has to be its cryptic head cones. These unusual objects can be seen in tomb paintings perched atop the heads of both mummies and living people...
Figurine head found at the Aztec altar site at Garibaldi Plaza, Mexico City, which is a representation of the Aztec goddess Cihuacóatl.		Source: Mauricio Marat / INAH

Post-Conquest Aztec Altar With A Burned Human Unearthed In Mexico City

Archaeologists in Mexico have excavated a 16th-century Aztec altar surrounded by sacred artifacts. While abstract trinkets and incense burners reflected the structure of the cosmos, a giant clay jar...
The amethyst seal found in a Jerusalem sewer may be the first artifact ever to depict the Biblical persimmon plant.     Source: Eliyahu Yanai / City of David

Unique Biblical “Persimmon” Amethyst Seal Discovered In Jerusalem Sewer

A rare lilac-colored amethyst seal has been discovered in an ancient sewer beneath Jerusalem. Depicting a bird holding a plant branch with five fruits with its feet, the engraved amethyst seal...
Smudging with white sage

The Ancient Art of Smudging: From Banishing Evil to Curing Ailments

The burning of plant materials to produce smoke with positive effects has been practiced since ancient times. One of the best-known examples is the use of incense in the ancient Near East. Another...
Arabian incense burner

Frankincense may infuse users with mild euphoria

A group of researchers using hard science put frankincense to the test: Does this ancient, fragrant smoke give feelings of exaltation to the practitioners of the many religions in whose rites it has...
Two cultic incense altars found in one of the rooms of the structure (Image: Michal Haber, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Drone Footage Helps Detect Rare 2,200-year-old Ruins in Military Zone

A unique Hellenistic period building, dating to the 3 rd century BC, built by the Idumeans has been unearthed in Israel’s Shephelah region. The impressive 2200-year-old structure, possibly an Idumean...
A copper bowl burning frankincense.

Why Did Ancient People Travel Thousands of Kilometers for Incense?

In ancient times, people would travel thousands of kilometers across land and sea, along a network of trading routes, to acquire the precious commodities of myrrh and frankincense. The ancient...
Photograph of some of Pre-Hispanic incense burners recently recovered in Mexico.

Sending Smoke Signals to the Gods: Pre-Hispanic Incense Burners Discovered in Mexico

About 30 Pre-Hispanic perfume or incense burners (sahumadores) have been discovered by archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) at the historic site of Cuautitlan...