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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. 

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...
Astrolabe tile fragments recovered at Lambsar castle. Source: ILNA / Tehran Times

Astrolabe Tile Fragments Recovered from the Lambsar Castle of the Hashshasins

Lambsar Castle, representing the gargantuan castle in the popular ‘Assassin’s Creed’ franchise, has yielded stunning astrolabe tile fragments during excavations. Located in the Central Alburz...
Two of the creepily preserved Venzone mummies. With normal decomposition, teeth tend to fall out several weeks after death. Source: Left; Joadl / CC BY SA 3.0 Right; Joadl / CC BY SA 3.0

What Caused the Natural Mummification of the Mummies of Venzone?

Italy is famous for many things, but did you know it’s also famous for mummies? The Venzone mummies are a collection of over forty mummies found in Venzone, Italy in the 17th century. Although these...
Metal detectorists have unearthed a hoard of medieval coins, like this Edward I penny. Source: Public domain

Scottish Detectorists Swoop Over 8,000 Medieval Coins

Metal detectorists in Scotland have unearthed thousands of 13th and 14th century coins. Dubbed the Dunscore hoard, this amazing find is the largest hoard of medieval coins to have been discovered in...
Left: front view of the Helmet of Coțofenești Right: Side view of the mythological creatures on the helmet.      Source: Left: National Museum of Romanian History, GFDL Right: © Radu Oltean / Wikimedia Commons

Demystifying the Famous, Fierce, Golden Helmet of Coțofenești

In 1929, a small child discovered an intricate golden helmet in the Poiana Coțofenești village of Romania. Archaeologists determined that it was a stray find from a group of Thracian tribes that...
Striking the Right Note - Rare Bone Flute Unearthed in Kent

Striking the Right Note - Rare Bone Flute Unearthed in Kent

A pre-development dig by Cotswold Archeology at Herne Bay in Kent, England, has uncovered evidence of settlement from the Bronze Age to the Roman period and again in the medieval period. One of the...
These terracotta figurines were unearthed by archaeologists from the Datong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology from a tomb dating to the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) in Datong, Shanxi province. Source: China Daily

Wei Dynasty Terracotta Figurines Enrich Our Knowledge of Ancient China

Datong, Shanxi province has now yielded a large number of terracotta figurines, dated 1,500-years-old in the latest round of archaeological finds - all from the tombs of the upper class. Due to where...
Left; Pillar Hall at Buto Temple, Right; Engraved ivory found at the site.  Source: Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities

Pillars from 7th-Century BC Temple Discovered Under the ‘Mound of the Pharaohs’

A temple room including the remains of three standing pillars and many curious artifacts that date back to the seventh century BC have been uncovered from under a mound at the Tel al-Faraeen...

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