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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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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. 

Firewood was a gift brough to housewarming parties, literally to warm the house. Source: Adobe Stock Free

9 Crazy Things Ancient People Gave as Gifts

The holiday season is upon us, and gifts have been given to loved ones and friends. After a time of wracking your brains for the perfect gift, you may have wondered what types of items ancient people...
Coin sword made of an iron rod with Chinese cash coins of the 19th century tied to it with red and green string in the shape of a sword, with hanging ornaments. Source: British Museum / CC BY NC SA 4.0

Ancient Chinese Coin Swords: Demon Fighting Weapons of the East

One of the most fascinating discoveries from ancient China are coin swords. Coin swords, also known as cash swords, are an ancient type of feng shui talisman that has been around since the Qing...
Gold Inca mask. Source: Carlos Santa Maria / Adobe Stock

12 Absolutely Amazing Artifacts of the Inca

The Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. From their capital, Cuzco, in the central Peruvian Andes, the empire stretched over 2,400 miles (3860 kilometers) along the length of...
The Turkey-based project has brought the smells of ancient Mesopotamian perfume back to life. Source: Marc Da Matisse / Adobe Stock

Perfumers in Turkey Replicate a 3,200-Year-Old Mesopotamian Perfume

A group of perfumers have come together to recreate an ancient Mesopotamian perfume formula. Originally made 3,200 years ago, they have replicated a fragrance from what has come to be known as the...
Windsor Castle from the Long Walk at sunset.  Source: Diliff / CC BY SA 3.0

Windsor Castle Through the Ages: Embodiment of 1,000 Years of British History

Windsor Castle, located in Berkshire, England has always had close ties to the British royal family. Originally built in the 11th century AD, the castle has seen numerous renovations over the years...
The hoard of fifteen tetradrachm were found in a wooden container lined with sheepskin and cloth (Israel Antiquities Authority)

Coins Minted by Egyptian King Ptolemy VI Found in Desert Cave

Archaeologists in the Judean desert have unearthed a small wooden box lined with sheepskin and a purple cloth. Within it, they discovered fifteen rare coins minted by Egyptian King Ptolemy VI,...
Avian artwork reproduced in facsimile painting from the Green Room found at Amarna’s North Palace. Source: Public domain

Exquisite Avian Artwork Created Sensory Relaxation Chamber for Egyptian Queen

Back in the 1920s, archaeologists working at Amarna’s North Palace in Egypt uncovered a “masterpiece of ancient Egyptian art.” This was the palace of Meritaten, the daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten and...
Ring bearing hieroglyphs found at Tel el-Amarna excavation. Source: MOTA

Intriguing Collection of Gold Jewelry Found at Amarna Burial

An Egyptian-English mission excavating a necropolis at Tel el-Amarna in Egypt has uncovered the burial of a young woman wrapped in textile and plant fiber matting. She carried a full complement of...
Roman mosaic being excavated at the villa of Publius Vedius Pollio at Posillipo. Source: University of Naples "L'Orientale"

Roman Mosaic Unearthed in Ancient Slave Monster’s Villa

At a luxury seaside villa at Posillipo near Naples, researchers have unearthed an ancient Roman mosaic which once decorated the home of a horrific and horrendous Roman tyrant known as Publius Vedius...
St. Patrick’s Bell (left) is a simple design. The shrine (right) later designed to cover it is quite intricate. Source: National Museum of Ireland / CC BY SA 2.0

St. Patrick’s Bell: The Story of an Iconic Irish Artifact

Ireland is home to many iconic historical artifacts and objects, from the Book of Kells to the Tara Brooch. Many of these items are beautifully designed but shrouded in mystery. Others have a long...
Ornamented Skull. The shell and pyrite insets into the sockets must bring some life back into these skulls, but the blades pushed into the nasal cavity and mouth have been suggested to cut off the human's vital breath. The skull covered with stones was probably worn by a priest as a mask. (Denis Jarvis / CC by SA 2.0)

16 Creepy Masks Made from Real Human Skulls

How would you feel placing a mask on your face that was made from a real human skull? Would you feel differently if it were the skull of a family member, or perhaps an enemy? For many ancient people...
Ancient Bullet With ‘Victory’ Inscription Uncovered in Israel

Ancient Bullet With ‘Victory’ Inscription Uncovered in Israel

A lead sling bullet from the Hellenistic period with a Greek inscription proclaiming victory in battle, has been discovered in Israel. Dated to 2,200 years old, it was excavated in Yavne, and bears...
The Mary, Queen of Scots casket was purchased by the Scottish government in 2022 and is now on display.

The Beautiful Casket that Killed Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary I of Scotland, or Mary, Queen of Scots is one of the most iconic monarchs in British history. She had an incredible impact on both Scottish and English history, and her life was one of tragedy,...
The intricately carved Mughal Emerald is an impressive example of the skilled gem carvings of the time. Source: Museum of Islamic Art Twitter

The Mughal Emerald: The World’s Largest Engraved Emerald

Precious jewels have been symbols of wealth and status for thousands of years. From rubies to sapphires to emeralds, societies all across the world have desired these stones for their use in...
One of the long sides of the Hagia Triada Sarcophagus, showing Minoan burial practices  Source: Deyan Vasilev / CC BY SA 3.0

Magnificent Hagia Triada Sarcophagus Reflects Minoan Death Culture

One of the most fascinating of the many discoveries to come from the island of Crete is the Hagia Triada Sarcophagus. This beautiful ancient artifact was discovered in 1903 in a chamber tomb in Hagia...
Hair rings (top left), a pin (bottom left), necklaces (middle) and a choker (bottom right) were among a total of 26 gold objects from Poliochni on Lemnos examined by the international research team. Source: Christoph Schwall / ÖAI Wien

Treasure Melting Laser Reveals Legacy of Ancient Alchemists

After a handheld laser “melted” into a collection of ancient gold jewelry a team of scientists discovered microbic evidence of an early Bronze Age trade route extending from Anatolia as far as the...
Image of the 8th century Ardagh Chalice, part of a hoard recovered in County Limerick, Ireland.	Source: National Museum of Ireland / CC BY SA 2.0

Why the Ardagh Chalice Is An Irish National Treasure

Ireland has a long history and a beautiful culture that has brought many stunning pieces of artwork to the world. Often these beautiful works come from historical artifacts, such as the Book of Kells...
Composite image depicting the similitude between a replica of the Valencian slate owl plaque with inserted feathers (on the left) and the long-eared owl species which may have inspired numerous engraved owl plaques (on the right). Source: Juan J. Negro / CC BY 4.0

Enigmatic Copper Age Owl Plaques Were Made by Children, Study Claims

Decades of excavations in ancient burial pits in the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal) have unearthed more than 4,000 palm-sized slate owl plaques engraved with geometric images of...
Swastika symbol decoration of clay lamps (diya) in Varanasi, India on the festival of Dev Diwali. Source: ShishirKumar / Adobe Stock

History of the 12,000-Year-Old Swastika: Origin, Meaning and Symbolism

The swastika is a symbol that was used in the 20th century by of one of the most hated men ever to have lived, a symbol that now represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most...
The beautifully crafted golden brooch was discovered within a 7th century grave in Switzerland. Source: Philippe Saurbeck / Archäologische Bodenforschung Basel-Stadt

Due Diligence in Switzerland Reveals Gorgeous Medieval Gold Brooch

Archaeological excavations ahead of work to expand heating pipes in Kleinbasel, the Rhine port and industrial area of Basel in Switzerland, has uncovered fifteen graves dating back to the early...
The discovery of a cache of Aztec ritual offerings, including the remains of a Mexican wolf dressed as a warrior (seen here), has lead experts to believe they may have found the tomb of an Aztec king. Source: Mirsa Islas / INAH

Sacrificed Animals Dressed as Warriors Point to Tomb of Aztec King

Researchers conducting excavations in Mexico City found a series of boxes containing Aztec treasures. Inside they discovered a cache of Aztec ritual offerings, including child remains, precious...
Celtic gold coins stolen during museum heist in Germany from the Celtic Museum in Manching. Source: Alex / CC BY-SA 2.0

Disastrous German Museum Heist Scoops Gold Coins Worth Millions

In a museum heist that seems lifted straight from a movie screen, thieves made off with a collection of ancient Celtic gold coins from the Celtic and Roman Museum in the town of Manching in Bavaria...
Sonar imagery of the shipwreck discovered in Lake Mjøsa suggests it has a distinct bow and stern with a central rudder, which would make it a medieval boat dating to some time after the 1300s. Source: FFI / NTNU

Sonar Spots Up To 700-Year-Old Shipwreck Deep in Norwegian Lake

Marine archaeologists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have discovered the sunken remains of what looks like a medieval-era shipwreck 1,350 feet (410 m) below the...
The controversial Sponsian coin. Source: The Hunterian / University of Glasgow

‘Fake’ Gold Coins Prove Roman Emperor Sponsian Was Real

For many years, a hoard of Roman coins uncovered in Transylvania in 1713 were thought to be forgeries, with the ancient coinage displaying the name of an apparently “lost” emperor known as Sponsian...

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