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The Hellenistic tomb of a woman found in the Kozani region of Greece. Source: Kozani Ephorate of Antiquities

Hellenistic Elite Found Buried on a Bronze Bed with Gold in Her Mouth

Ancient tombs are fascinating finds, especially when they’re intact. They can provide us with clues on how a person died, social status, burial styles, and funerary rites. The last of these is...
Death mask of Napolean Bonaparte

10 Sacred Masks for Hunting, Ritual, Shame and Death

Masks are one of the few things on the earth that connect all of humanity throughout time. We have created ritual masks since our very beginnings in order to disguise, protect, or entertain. They...
‘Hercules Fighting Death to Save Alcestis’ (1869-1871) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton. Many ancient death rituals seem very odd or macabre to modern minds.

Bizarre, Brutal, Macabre And Downright Weird Ancient Death Rituals

Any parent must agree that one of the greatest hardships experienced around the death of a family member is having to explain to children what happened and what happens next? Should you tell them the...
Artist’s reconstruction of the Young Prince found in Arene Candide cave, Liguria, Italy.

Arene Candide: Ice Age Cave Reveals Rituals to Say Goodbye to Our Dead 12,000 Years Ago

Broken stones buried 12,000 years ago have been found at Arene Candide, a cave that was used as a graveyard during the last Ice Age. In the Paleolithic era, Arene Candide was a sort of early...
Ancient Egyptian men undergoing circumcision.

The Cutting Truth about Circumcision: It Was All About Rites and Religion

When was circumcision first practiced? How did it evolve? Why was it practiced? The earliest literary evidence of the practice of circumcision goes back to ancient Egypt. There are many hypotheses...
Amiternum funerary procession relief.

Mimes, Paid Grievers, and Masks: The Insane Theatrics of Ancient Roman Funerals

Two thousand years ago, funerals weren’t the quiet, somber affairs we have today. They were loud, boisterous shows that started with a massive procession of people parading down the streets, pounding...
Sculptor’s Cave, Covesea, Lossiemouth

What Really Went on in the Sculptor’s Cave Where Hundreds of Bronze Age Child Remains Were Unearthed?

Pictish carvings grace its walls; crucibles, a swan’s neck pin, and bronze arm rings were scattered across its floor – Sculptor’s Cave has had an exciting and varied history stretching back to the...
Painting of Father General Saint Francis Borgia, SJ, performing an exorcism, by Goya.

Modern Possessions: What Evil is Behind the Resurgence in Demand for Exorcisms?

Less than five years ago, a new army of exorcists was created by the Roman Catholic Church. They were trained to deal with the “unprecedented rise” in requests for help in battling evil spirits. The...
Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of complex and gruesome funeral rites found in the Lapa do Santo cave in Brazil have shocked researchers yet again. The researchers have discovered evidence of the mutilation of corpses,...