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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. 

Goujian: The Ancient Chinese Sword

Goujian: The Ancient Chinese Sword that Defied Time

Fifty years ago, a rare and unusual sword was found in a tomb in China. Despite being well over 2,000 years old, the sword, known as the Goujian, did not have a single trace of rust. The blade drew...
Detail of the Wallace sword on display inside William Wallace monument.

The Wallace Sword: Was it Truly Wielded by the Famous Scottish ‘Braveheart’?

Many times, evidence of fantastic finds vanishes, leaving behind only legends (think the Tulli Papyrus or Robin Hood’s Hideout). However, sometimes, fabulous artifacts from history manage to survive...
Student looks at millennia old mummy at Sanna University Mudeum, Yemen.

Civil War in Yemen Threatens Millennia-Old Mummies and Other Cultural Treasures

It is estimated that the civil war in Yemen has caused the death of thousands of people and has pushed millions to the brink of famine during the past two years. Now it’s starting to damage the...
The reconstructed Bull’s Lyre.

A Bull-Headed Lyre: Reconstructing the Sound and Style of Ancient Mesopotamia

A musician may have strummed its strings all the way back in the 3rd millennium BC. This means that the Bull’s Lyre, aka the Golden Lyre of Ur, is one of the oldest string instruments in the world...
A reconstruction of the headdress and necklace of Puabi, the British Museum. (JMail/CC BY SA 3.0) A lion’s head found at the royal cemetery. (Sumerian Shakespeare) Bull's head of the Queen's lyre from Pu-abi's grave PG 800, the Royal Cemetery at Ur, Southern Mesopotamia, Iraq. The British Museum, London. (Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg)/CC BY SA 4.0)

Revealing the Secrets of Sumerian Riches: Treasures from the Royal Cemetery of Ur

The Royal Cemetery of Ur received its name because of the large quantity of treasures that were discovered there during the excavations headed by Sir Charles Leonard Woolley between 1922 and 1934...
Oldest Wooden Statue in the World: The 11,000-Year-Old Shigir Idol

Oldest Wooden Statue in the World: The 11,000-Year-Old Shigir Idol

The Shigir Idol is considered to be one of the most important and mysterious pieces of pre-historic art from ancient Europe. The ancient wooden carving, which today sits in a museum in Russia, has...
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...

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