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Castillo fortress at sunrise. Do trophy skulls help explain the collapse of the once great empire? Maya Source: soft_light / Adobe Stock

Trophy Skulls Provide New Clues In Explaining the Collapse of the Maya

Gabriel D. Wrobel / The Conversation Two trophy skulls , recently discovered by archaeologists in the jungles of Belize , may help shed light on the little-understood collapse of the once powerful...
Twelve of the fourteen rings made of clay are shown, as well as the charred organic cereal rings. Source: (B. Biederer / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Unique Cereal Rings Were Not Made To Eat, So What Are They?

Archaeologists often come across curious items and artifacts that are unusual. In Austria , a team of archaeologists has made a most uncommon discovery. While excavating a Bronze Age site they found...
The Odinov culture shamans graves that have been found in Western Russia. Source: Image: Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, The Siberian Times

Bronze Age Bird Beak Burials Found In Russia

By The Siberian Times Reporter The bizarre find of a skeleton with what seems to have been a collar or armor constructed from birds beaks has Russian archaeologists scratching their heads as to the...
The 3000 year old Scythian gold ritual vessel is on action. Source: Timeline / Fair Use.

Golden Vessel Used In Scythian Drug-Fueled Rituals Is Expected to Sell for $57K At Auction

A remarkable tiny golden vessel is going on auction in London. The item comes from the nomadic Scythian culture, who once dominated the Eurasian Steppe in classical times. It is valued at 45,000 GBP...
A black llama.

Moche Cauldron Contained Llama Face Death Stew, With A Mild Chili Crab Bisque!

An archaeologist excavating at a Moche culture site in northern Peru dating to between 600-850 AD discovered a cooking pot containing a selection of bizarre ingredients including part of a “llama's...
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...
The mass grave of 15 skeletons and grave goods at the Koszyce burial. Source: H Schroeder et al / PNAS.

5000-Year-Old Family Found In Mass Burial Was Brutally Murdered

New research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( PNAS ) entitled “Unravelling ancestry , kinship, and violence in a Late...
Psychoactive substances used by shaman have been found in Bolivia  Source: Ammit / Adobe Stock

Paraphernalia Discovered in Bolivian Cave Shows Ancient Ayahuasca Use

In 2001, American rapper Afroman released the sensational song “Because I Got High” in which he almost “cleaned his room” but got “high” instead. Now, it would appear that ancient cultures in South...
Huangmenyan cave, site of the squatting burial found in China.

Cave With 25,000 Years of Human History Now Delivers Headless Squatting Woman

In China , archaeologists have made an extraordinary discovery from over 13,000 years ago according to the State News Agency. During excavations in a cave, they have unearthed the headless remains of...
Beltane. Source: chrisdonia/CC BY NC SA 2.0

Beltane: Celtic Fire Festival Beckons with the Warmth of Summer

Celtic tribes celebrated Beltane to welcome the return of summer. Since at least the Iron Age, celebrations have included fire ceremonies, feasting, and fertility rites. Historically, the festival...
Golden eagle, majestic bird revered by Neanderthals who used eagle talons to make jewelry.

Ancient Raptor Captors Weren’t Thugs: Neanderthals Caught Eagles and Treasured Their Talons

The golden eagle has had a special place in many human societies for millennia. They have been hunted , used to hunt and also honored. But the Neanderthals also seem to have prized and revered these...
2500-year-old eggs found in China.

Tomb Raiders Discover 2,500-Year-Old Eggs From Ancient Chinese Death Ritual

A team of Chinese archaeologists from the Nanjing Archaeological Institute and the Liyang Museum have made a highly-unusual discovery inside a tomb in eastern China near the ancient capital city of...
A Wari figurine of a warrior with a spear and shield found at Pikillaqta.

Elaborate Wari Offerings Found At Pikillaqta Ritual Site [New Find]

Sometime around 1100 AD, Pikillaqta, a major feasting and ceremonial site located near Cusco, Peru , was abandoned by the Wari people. The reason behind their sudden departure is uncertain, but the...
Tibet Death Ritual is practiced by experienced lamas  not novice monks.

The Beauty of Death, Dying and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhist Rituals

In Tibet they have a lot of interesting beliefs and rituals regarding death and the world beyond. There is even a ritual exclamation which a lama who officiates makes near the body of the deceased in...
Kurdaitcha is a ritual executioner

How Does the Aboriginal Executioner ‘Kurdaitcha Man’ Avenge the Dead?

Kurdaitcha (known also as Kurdaitcha man) is a ritual ‘ executioner ’ in the culture of the Australian Aborigines , in particular the Arrernte people of Central Australia. The job of a Kurdaitcha was...
Representative image of a cloaked druid in a forest.

Stories of the Druids Abound, But What is the Hard Archaeological Evidence?

Druid comes from the Old Irish word druí meaning sorcerer. And that is how most people today think of the druids, as mysterious wizards enveloped in the world of magic and ritual. But there is much...

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