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Other Artifacts

Other Artifacts covers many items which have been recovered from the past and give us insights into ancient human worlds. From loaded Roman dice to the Shroud of Turin, these items help tell the stories of the varied culture and everyday lives of our ancestors. 

Strange Prehistoric Carved Stone Balls - Atom

Could the Strange Prehistoric Carved Stone Balls Represent Atoms?

Five carved stone balls are part of the collection at the Ashmolean Museum that were discovered in Scotland (Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire and Banff). The purpose of those objects is unknown and is...
The Venus of Brassempouy

Timeless Beauty of the 25,000-Year-Old Venus of Brassempouy

About 25,000 years ago an Upper Paleolithic artist took up a piece of ivory and lovingly carved the details of a woman’s coiffed hair or headdress, gracefully curved chin, intense eyes, and carefully...
Detail of the statuette of the Lady of Auxerre

The Lady of Auxerre: What is the Story Behind Her Archaic Smile?

Elegant and alluring, the Lady of Auxerre has drawn in archaeologists and art enthusiasts alike. Her origins, probably on ancient Crete, provide an added element of interest. Was the female form...
What the chryselephantine statue of Zeus at Olympia may have looked like.

Chryselephantine: Sculpting the Most Luxurious Greek Cult Statues

Gold and ivory – what could be a richer mix? The ancient Greeks saw this as one of the most luxurious combinations as well, which is why they reserved the chryselephantine sculpting technique for...
Paleolithic Venus figures

The Ideal Woman’s Body – a Gift of the Gods?

We all know what the perfect woman’s body looks like. Or do we? Is it Kim Kardashian, with her popular ‘internet-breaking’ big behind, or Marilyn Monroe with her voluptuous movie curves? Is it a...
The famous Omphalos considered to be the center of the Universe for ancient Greeks, Delphi, Greece.

The Sacred Omphalos Stone, Navel of the World and Communicator of the Gods

An omphalos is a powerful symbolic artifact made from stone. Considered the ‘navel of the world’, the central point from which terrestrial life originated, an omphalos was an object of Hellenic...
A close up view of the bronze of Kusunoki Masashige in full flight on his horse

The World’s Greatest Equestrian Statues: Artistic Masterpieces and Propaganda of Empires

An equestrian statue is a sculpture of a horse mounted by a rider. Such statues were often monumental works carved out of stone, or casted in metal. Apart from being works of art, such statues may...

Daily Prayers with Decomposing Corpses: Death Chairs at Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle is a castle built on top of a rocky islet next to Ischia, a small Italian island on the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. Whilst a stronghold is said to have already been built...
Using Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), this picture of the Antioch tablet was compiled. Source: Paula Artal-Isbrand, conservator at the Princeton Art Museums, with permission of Alexander Hollman

First Jewish Curse Found: Chariot Racer Hexed by Calling on Balaam’s Angel

Experts have made the remarkable discovery of a curse on a lead amulet from the Eastern Roman Empire. According to the Jerusalem Times, experts were shocked when they finally deciphered the message...
 Wall fragment with Two Women Roman 1-75 CE Plaster and pigment fresco.

Scientists Amazed to Discover 2,000-Year-Old Face Cream Still Containing Last Finger Imprints

When archaeologists came across a tin containing an unknown 2000-year-old ointment they were both pleased and bemused. It was not discovered in a home as one might think, but rather near an ancient...
A photo of the sacred cat rug.

Strange Tale of the 2,400-Year-Old Cursed Cat Fur Rug and the Mummified Appendage

A museum in St. Augustine, Florid has a rather unusual artifact – an ancient rug made completely out of cat fur. This rug is sometimes referred to as the ‘Sacred Cat Rug’ and has a claim on the title...
The charcoal drawings found at Chauvet show a high degree of detail. Copy of the Lions Panel of the Chauvet Cave.

How Our Ancestors with Autistic Traits Led a Revolution in Ice Age Art

The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art, according to researchers at the University of York. Around 30,000 years ago...
Cleopatra's Needle, NYC (CC BY-SA 3.0); Cleopatra's Needle Obelisk in the Hold of the Steamship Dessoug, 1880. (Public Domain); Bob Brier in Egypt. (Sharon Janet Hague)

Bob Brier and the Hunt for the New York Obelisk

Bob Brier is arguably the world's most famous Egyptologist. Professor at Long Island University in New York, where he has tenure, he teaches both philosophy and Egyptology. A popular host on Learning...
Jewelry found in a hoard in Galloway, Scotland in 2014. Clockwise from top left: A silver disk brooch decorated with intertwining snakes or serpents ( Historic Scotland ), a gold, bird-shaped object which may have been a decorative pin or a manuscript pointer ( Robert Clark, National Geographic / Historic Environment Scotland ), one of the many arm rings with a runic inscription ( Robert Clark, National Geographic / Historic Environment Scotland ), a large glass bead ( Santiago Arribas Pena )

Norse-Era Jewelry: Revealing an Intricate Cultural History of the Vikings

When you think of ancient Vikings, the first thing that pops into your mind is probably not jewelry, right? The picture that forms in the mind of most people is one of savages with long sharp spears...
Side view of the Saqqara bird

The Saqqara Bird: Did the Ancient Egyptians Know How to Fly?

The pride of flying too close to the sun was a costly endeavor for Icarus. Mythology says he fled Crete on wings of feathers and wax built by his father Daedalus, of King Minos’ labyrinth fame. His...
Roma: Piazza del Popolo by Hendrik Franz van Lint.

Rome’s Flaminian Obelisk: an epic journey from divine Egyptian symbol to Tourist Attraction

Nicky Nielson /The Conversation It’s a great place to sit in the shade and enjoy a gelato. The base of the Flaminian Obelisk in the Piazza del Popolo on the northern end of Rome’s ancient quarter...

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