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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Representational image of hunter-gatherer in nature. Source: Fractal Pictures / Adobe Stock

Harmony with Nature Revealed at 10,500-year-old Hunter-Gatherer Site in Yorkshire

At a site near Scarborough in North Yorkshire , the exceptionally well-preserved remains of a small settlement dating back 10,500 years have been found which was once inhabited by a group of hunter-...
The concept of meditating in nature is based in beliefs in animism. Source: ittipol / Adobe Stock

The Meaning of Animism: Philosophy, Religion and Being Alive

In some cultures, life and sentience are believed to exist for only certain beings, such as humans, animals, and plants. In other belief systems, however, places and objects are also believed to have...
A photo of the Kummakivi Balancing Rock.

The Kummakivi Balancing Rock and its Unlikely Explanation in Finnish Folklore

The Kummakivi Balancing Rock is a natural feature found in a scenic forest region of Ruokolahti, a municipality in the region of South Karelia, in the southeastern part of Finland. This feature...
According to folklore and myths, certain Finnish trees hold spirits and deities and hugging them brings people in closer contact with these.  Source: leonovo / Adobe Stock

Greeting Old Friends: Sacred Trees in Finnish Folklore

Finland is known as a country with many forests. In fact, over 75% of Finland is covered in forests. Therefore, it is not surprising that Finnish folklore includes several myths and stories told...
Yacouba Sawadogo planting.

The Man Who Stopped a Desert Using Ancient Farming

Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A...
Though Egyptian hippos are now extinct in Egypt they still thrive in Africa. And these hippos are shown with lotus flowers, which often featured as decoration in Egyptian hippo figurines and paintings.                  Source: Faas / Adobe Stock

Egyptian Hippos: Ancient Symbol of Protection, Rebirth And Hunting

The ancient Egyptians had an undeniable and powerful connection to nature and the world around them. Almost every animal and plant had a specific meaning to their way of life, inspiring grand murals...
Representation of an open pit mine to show what the Adivasi tribe are trying to fight against in their home.    Source: Parilov / Adobe stock

Adivasi Tribe Fights to Save Indian Forest From Mining

In India , the land of an indigenous community is under threat from a mining company. A huge area of forest is going to be destroyed due to the proposed mine. This is despite the fact that the...
Fertility goddesses can be found in all cultures and times. Source: zolotareva_elina /Adobe Stock

Praying For Life – Top 10 Ancient Fertility Goddesses

Throughout the ancient history of the world, polytheism - commonly known as paganism or heathenism - was the defining aspect of all societies and civilizations. Our ancestors had complex and...
Everything is distinct in the shaman’s secret world. Source: Ammit /Adobe Stock

The Shaman’s Secret World: Living in Light and Darkness

Shamanism is described in Shamanism, Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy as a every ancient coherent system of esoteric beliefs and practices that attempt to organize and explain the interrelationship...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
A modern representation of Humbaba

Humbaba: A Monstrous Foe for Gilgamesh or a Misunderstood Guardian?

Humbaba (Huwawa) is a guardian creature found in the Epic of Gilgamesh , which is generally considered to be the earliest surviving great work of literature. Although Humbaba is traditionally...
Amazon jungle from above.

Lost Amazonian Tribes: Why the West Can’t Get Over Its Obsession with El Dorado

A number of ancient settlement sites were recently discovered in the Amazon’s Upper Tapajós Basin. This is no El Dorado – although you’d be forgiven for thinking so. The press coverage demonstrates a...
Artist’s representation of Vanaheimr.

Where is Vanaheimr, Land of the Norse Nature Gods?

In a realm of nine worlds, one might assume that the gods would be satisfied with one. One world where they could live away from humans and watch over their antics as one might watch a TV show. In...
The Valle dei Mulini.

The Ruins of Valle dei Mulini: Abandoned by Humans, Reclaimed by Nature

Ruins of old mills dot the landscape of the Valle dei Mulini (‘Valley of the Mills’). Their crumbled walls are the remains of abandoned structures which once filled the valley with human life. Now,...
‘End of the World’ artistic representation.

Ancient Fears to Keep You Up at Night - The End Really, Really is Nigh

Historians often declare that at least 3500 end of world prophecies have appeared over the same number of years. And those are only the written ones! Eschatology is theology concerned with the final...
Main: A giant wave (public domain) Inset: This is the skull of a person who lived in what's now Papua New Guinea, 6,000 years ago.

6,000-Year-Old Skull is Earliest Known Victim of a Tsunami

Tsunamis spell calamity. These giant waves, caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and underwater landslides, are some of the deadliest natural disasters known; the 2004 tsunami in the Indian...
Artist’s depiction of an Ancient Egyptian girl kneeling by the Nile River.

Volcanic Eruptions and Climate Change Incited Upheaval in Ancient Egypt - and Historians Warn of Repetition

The Nile river was the lifeblood of ancient Egypt. When the waterway flooded nearby lands things were good, but a lack of that precious water caused serious issues. Now, historians have found that...
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...
Priestess of Delphi (1891) by John Collier. (Public Domain) Drawing of the Tholos of Delphi, Greece.

Earthquake Faults May Have Shaken up the Cultural Practices of Ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred or treasured sites deliberately on land previously affected by earthquake activity, according to a new study by the University of Plymouth. Professor of...
Åsgårdsreien (The Wild Hunt) by Peter Nicolai Arbo (1872).

Omen of Odin: The Wild Hunt Thundered Across European Skies, Bringing Calamity and Doom

Ask anyone who has ever seen Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones —witnessing a Bolton "hunt" is rarely a good sign. So too is the case for the supernatural Wild Hunt of European myth. A phenomenon...
The Apennine Colossus by Giambologna.

Man out of Mountain: The Striking Figure of the Apennine Colossus

"… great father Apennine, lifting elate to heaven his snow-crowned head…" At the feet of the Apennines, Aeneas and his men defeated the Latins in one of the first victories of the early Romans. Amid...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
An aerial view of the aqueduct.

An Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery: The Living, Growing Aqueduct of Alicún de las Torres, Granada

Not far from the Moorish splendors of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and close to the troglodyte cave-dwellings of the residents of Guadix, is the spectacular, living, El Toril Aqueduct. It is...
The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

Amidst the rugged terrain of the badlands of southeastern Alberta, Canada is a geologic feature that, from the air, bears a striking resemblance to an indigenous Canadian wearing a headdress...

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