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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. 

A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

The Claddagh ring design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland and enduring love. It is hugely popular as a fashion accessory and a symbolic gesture. While everyone...
‘I dreamed I went shopping in my maidenform bra.’ The history of bras goes back much further in time.

The Ancient History of Modern Bras: Fashionable and Functional Female Underwear for Over 600 Years!

Until recently it was thought the bra as we know it evolved in the 1900s as a garment known as a bust improver. But a surprising discovery was made that pushed back the existence of the bra 600 years...
Mudlarking on the exposed foreshore at low spring tide.

Mudlarking the Thames: How a Riverbed Became the World’s Biggest Archaeological Site

A mudlark is the name given to a person who scavenges in the foreshore of a river for objects that could be sold. This term applies specifically to those operating along the Thames River in London...
The Shroud of Turin: modern, digitally processed image of the face on the cloth [left] and the full body image as seen on the shroud [right].

The Shroud of Turin: Jesus' Bloodstained Burial Cloth or a Fascinating Forgery?

The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the bloodstained burial cloth Jesus of Nazareth was wrapped in after his crucifixion. But skeptics say it is a forgery, or at best only a religious...
"Ladies in Blue" fresco at Knossos Palace, Minoan archaeological site in Crete, Greece.

Controversy Over the Ladies in Blue: Is Most Famous Fresco of the Minoans Just a Modern Interpretation?

The Ladies in Blue is the name given to a fresco from the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete. This fresco (or rather, fragments of it) was discovered during the excavation of the site by the...
The Iron Maiden: This Medieval Torture Device Was Used as Recently as 2003!

The Iron Maiden: This Medieval Torture Device Was Used as Recently as 2003!

The iron maiden is a torture device widely believed to have been used in Europe during the Middle Ages. This notorious contraption is known by other names, such as the Virgin (a reference to the...
UNESCO World Heritage Obelisk of Axum.

The Axum Stelae: Multi-Story Buildings of Antiquity?

For those of you already familiar with the remarkable monoliths which stand in Axum, Ethiopia, you will no doubt be aware of their uncanny resemblance to modern tower block apartment buildings. Along...
Glastonbury Tor. Source: vlorzor / Adobe. Inset: Representational image of a skeleton.

The Glastonbury Giant: Who Did the Mystery Bones of A Nine Foot Skeleton Belong To?

When researching the reality of giants in the past, one story which has survived the ages is the apparent discovery of the ‘Glastonbury Giant’ which was allegedly unearthed in 1190, on orders of King...
The three Figurines – Cycladic Art

Pre-dating the Minoans: The Cycladic Civilization and Their Unusual ‘Modern’ Art

The Cycladic culture (known also as the Cycladic civilization) is an early Bronze Age culture located in the Cyclades. This culture thrived from around 3200 to 1100 BC, and predated two other major...
The bed could be a possible English National Treasure.

Bed Bought Online for £2200 May be 15th Century Bridal Bed of King Henry VII

A bed bought online by an antiques dealer in Britain for just £2200 (US$ 2500) may actually be the only surviving example of royal furniture from the Tudor Era. It is believed that the ornately...
Shiva lingam temple interior.

What is a Lingam and How Does It Represent Shiva?

The lingam (also spelled as linga) is a sacred object in Hinduism and is a symbol that represents Shiva. The lingam is often found in temples dedicated to Shiva and is the form in which this Hindu...
Spirit poles on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal, Russia.

Puzzling Prehistoric Posts: The Enigmatic Spirit Poles of Eurasia

Totem poles are often seen as quintessential features of the Northwest Coast of America. Simon Fraser University lists ten types of American totem pole, which indicate their diversity and how the...
Example of Anthropodermic bibliopegy – an 18-19th century notebook allegedly covered with human skin.

Books Bound in Human Skin – The Practice Isn’t As Rare As You Might Think!

Anthropodermic bibliopegy refers to the practice of binding books in human skin . According to folk legend, the binding of books (or more appropriately manuscripts, as they were hand-written) in...
The Starving of Saqqara sculpture.

Elongated Skulls and Indecipherable Language: What Does the Mysterious Starving of Saqqara Sculpture Mean?

The Starving of Saqqara is the name given to an ancient Egyptian sculpture believed to date to the Pre-Dynastic period. Little is known about the origins and provenance of this statue, which is today...
Soaba Stone pillars

The Saoba Stone Pillars of Taiwan Present A Peinan Culture Conundrum

Taiwan is a modern and dynamic country, but it also has a rich culture and history, which is often forgotten by the wider world. The island has been home to a variety of communities and cultures...
One of the Tring Tiles.

The Tring Tiles: Medieval Comics of Murder and Miracles in Jesus’ Childhood

The Tring Tiles are a set of earthenware tiles associated with the Tring Church in Hertfordshire, England. The tiles date to the Late Medieval period and depict scenes of Jesus’ childhood as recorded...

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