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On the Southern Part of the East Wall of Horemheb’s Saqqaran tomb, military scribes, magnificently represented, scrupulously record the details of long files of prisoners escorted by Egyptian soldiers (not in pic). This depiction is often speculated to represent women scribes.

Scribes in Ancient Egypt: Custodians of the Voice and Words of the Divine – Part I

The rich scribal tradition of ancient Egypt was one of the foremost pillars of the development of that culture. At a time when much of the world could not read or write; these resourceful and erudite...
Fry in Eleusis, painting by Henryk Siemiradzki (1889).

Baubo, Great Goddess and Demeter’s Female Fool in the Eleusinian Mysteries

In 1898, a group of German archaeologists working in the Demeter sanctuary at Priene unearthed a peculiar set of Hellenistic female figurines. The head of each of these figurines sits directly on her...
Halloween Haunted House

Hunting the Haunted: Ghosts, Ghouls and Geists of South Africa

In Quantum Physics, the First Law of Thermodynamics - The Law of Conservation - states says that: “Energy is never created, energy is never destroyed, energy can only ever be transferred or...
The Borneo elephants are about 70% smaller than the Asian elephant, with a long tail hanging down to the ground and a relative short trunk. Their faces are baby-like with a cute appearance. (Image © Willem Daffue)

The Enigma of the Origins of the Borneo Elephants

Through history, at least 32 elephant species have existed on planet earth, some became extinct as early as the Miocene epoch (23.03 to 5.333 million years ago), but most species were exterminated by...
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)

Of One Language: In Search of Our Mother Tongue

Mankind is familiar with the narrative surrounding the construction of the Tower of Babel, passed down through the generations and across multiple cultures. The most well-known version is chapter 11...
Diamonds and ruby.

King of the Ancient Gemstones: Ruby Trumps Diamond

Western culture has a relatively shallow relationship with gemstones. Most people place great value on diamonds as being symbolic of commitment and only a few know this entire ritual began in a 1947...
Sirens And The Night by William Edward Frost (1810–1877)

Identity Crises of the Sirens: Wise Women, Murderesses or Singing Prostitutes?

Ancient cultures around the world saw the sea as a dangerous place, filled with beings who preyed upon people - especially men. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, whose Natural History would serve...
“Goddess of Luck” Blind Fortuna by Tadeusz Kuntze (1754)

Pure Luck: The Role of Chance in History

Luck is a way of understanding or judging how chance events affect our lives. Chance may be a mixed bag of marshmallows and razor blades, a flowing river of good and bad experiences; positive,...
Top Image: Napoleon at the Battle of the Pyramids, 21 July 1798, oil on canvas, 1810. By Antoine-Jean Gros; design by Anand Balaji (Public Domain); Deriv.

The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: Hasty End of a Powerful Dream – Part II

Even though Napoleon Bonaparte had tasted a series of successes within weeks of setting foot in Egypt, including an important victory against the dreaded Mamluks, his plan to conquer the entire...
The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: The Path to Conquest and Glory

The Napoleonic Expedition to Egypt: The Path to Conquest and Glory – Part I

At the end of the 18th century, Great Britain and France were vying to dominate one another by colonizing several territories across the globe. The English were already ahead in this race – but only...
Nestled and sheltered by the mountain ranges, lies the hidden Hunza Valley, inspiration to the Shangri-La legend.

Was Alexander the Great Responsible for Creating Shangri-La in the Hunza Valley in Pakistan?

In his book Lost Horizon (1933) James Hilton created the legend of Shangri-La, a peaceful Himalayan valley of long-lived people. Where the northern border of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan...
Ancient Sorcery: Antique witch book, black candle and ritual objects.

From Sorcerer to Saint: The Arcane Life and Magickal Times of Saint Cyprian

Of all the saints of the Christian church, one of the most anomalous must surely be St Cyprian who, after his martyrdom in the early 4th century AD, became known as the patron saint of sorcerers...
Sacking of Rome in 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach (17th century) 14,000 mercenaries under George von Frundsberg joined the Duke of Bourbon and the Constable of France, Charles III, to lead them towards Rome.

Soldiers for Sale: Mercenaries from Ancient Times to Medieval Times

Mercenaries are soldiers who are paid for their martial services from the pocket of their employer and from the spoils obtained in war. Most mercenaries once fought in professional armies before...
Market in Ouidah, in Benin, selling ingredients for African magic.

From South to North, Africa is the Continent of Ancient Magic

The word ‘magic’ makes us think of sleight of hand, tricks and illusion, but historically African magic was a way to achieve goals by harnessing the creative powers of nature, which were regarded and...
Roman Goddess Anna Perenna

The Ides of March, Celebration of Roman Goddess Anna Perenna

The assassination of Julius Caesar on the 15th of March 44 BC was a turning point in Roman history. Centuries later, the expression ‘Beware the Ides of March’ was found in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar...
Napoleon Bonaparte before the Sphinx, (circa 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Hearst Castle.

Napoleon’s Amazing Foresight: Savants, Soldiers and Science

In 1798 the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, led an expedition to Egypt vowing to annex the country and halt the military and commercial march of the British. But a little over three years later,...
List of Musical Instruments in Sumerian Cuneiform

Translating Archaic Sumerian Cuneiform: Pinpointing Eden, or Kharsag, Garden of the Gods

Translating cuneiform as a historical source is still nowhere near an exact science, and what we find amongst so many specialists is a reliance on interpretations of the latest Akkadian versions of...
Roman citizens enjoyed many privileges. “The Consummation The Course of the Empire” by  Cole Thomas

In a World Without Technology, How Did a Roman Citizen Identify Himself?

In ancient Rome, ID-cards, passports and other modern forms of identification did not exist. How could a Roman citizen identify himself in a world without pictures, computers or biometrics? Ancient...
The Ba’Aka pygmies are on the brink of extinction.

Hidden in History, Exposed to Modern Epidemics, the Lost Tribe of Ba’Aka Pygmies May Face Extinction

Deep in the rain forests of darkest Africa close to the Equator, in the Central African Republic, the Ba’Aka tribe – formerly known as pygmies - have lived for more than 40,000 years. Elusive, hiding...
Rosslyn Chapel Founded in the early 15th century by Wm. St. Clair, Earl of Orkney

Unveiling the Secret Behind the Rosslyn Chapel’s and Dornoch Cathedral’s Green Men’s Missing Teeth

Scotland’s Rosslyn Chapel came under the world spotlight in 2003 after Dan Brown featured it in his bestseller, The Da Vinci Code . A hitherto unseen correspondence between this legendary chapel in...
Top Image: Painted limestone block from Amarna shows Akhenaten worshipping the Aten; while his daughter, Meritaten, shakes a sistrum; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum, New York); Deriv.

Was Meritaten the Ephemeral Ankhkheperure? Death of Nefertiti and Succession Games in the Royal Court – Part II

Given the virtual lack of royal males who were old enough to rule, disarray over who would assume the throne after Akhenaten’s death seems to have plagued the Amarna family. Having accorded...
Detail of a talatat block from Amarna supposedly shows Kiya with her unnamed daughter. It is also suggested that this is Nefertiti and Meritaten; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum, New York); Deriv.

Was Meritaten the Ephemeral Ankhkheperure? Discovering the True Identity of Amarna’s Female Pharaoh – Part I

During the final years of the Atenist heresy, an obscure ruler came to the throne of Egypt. No one is certain about the identity of this person - especially if it was a man or a woman. Akhenaten’s...
Courtyard, Al-Qarawiyyin University, Fes. Morocco

Who were the Colorful, Powerful, Influential, Educated Women of Ancient Islam?

The evolution of ‘higher education’ in the ancient world led to variations of standards in different cultures. In ancient Egypt, higher education originated from copying religious texts for use in...
Hell - Unknown Master - Portugal - 1st third of 16th century. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga

Where on Earth is Hell, Or Is It in Our Minds?

One of the most common fears shared by most humans at some time in their lives, is what will happen to them after they die? Many parents freeze when their children ask this question and avoiding the...

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