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Archaeologists Uncover Pre-Medieval Celtic Ritual Lake Site in Poland!

Archaeologists Uncover Pre-Medieval Celtic Ritual Lake Site in Poland!

Archaeologists have uncovered the first-ever Celtic ritual lake site in Poland, a “revolutionary” discovery that dates back to the 3rd century BC. This find has been so termed as it has prompted a...
Stonehenge, Salisbury, England        Source:  jitchanamont/Adobe Stock

The Mysteries of Stonehenge Revealed (Video)

Stonehenge , an iconic Neolithic marvel, unveils a tapestry of enigmatic secrets beyond its towering stones. Amidst its grandeur lies a forgotten narrative of human settlement, as Stonehenge once...
New research has thrown into doubt long-held assumptions about the origin and the gender of horse sacrifices by the last European pagans. Source: Aljabakphoto / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Europe’s Pagans Imported Horses to Sacrifice… and They Got Them From Christians

Horse sacrifices were a mainstay of pagan rituals across the Baltic. The archaeology leaves no doubt: from the 1st to 13th centuries AD this pagan belief scarcely wavered in popularity: even the loss...
A limestone panel depicting two Maya Mesoamerican ballgame players. Usumacinta River area, Guatemala.  Source: Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund; Art Institute Chicago/CC BY 3.0

Hallucinogens Found In Ancient Yucatán Ball Courts Betray Maya Offerings

New research has shed light on the rituals surrounding the construction of a ballcourt in the ancient Maya city of Yaxnohcah. A collecting of botanicals, subjected to environmental DNA analysis, has...
Performing an offering ceremony to Pachamama in the Andes region of Peru. Source: Yuri - Supay / Adobe Stock

The Traditional Offering Ceremony of the Andes: How to Maintain Balance Between the Material and Spiritual Worlds

In traditional Andean cosmovision, the natural world and the divine are united, and offering ceremonies are seen as a part of the reciprocity system between the material and spiritual worlds...
Bringing an Italian Vampire Back to Life (With a Brick in Her Mouth!)

Bringing an Italian Vampire Back to Life (With a Brick in Her Mouth!)

A woman who lived in 16th century Italy was buried in a most unusual fashion. Originally excavated in a mass grave of medieval plague victims several years ago, the woman’s skull was found with a...
Excavations of the Neolthic burial mounds at Eulenberg have revealed wooden graves with multiple occupants. Source: LDA / Heritage Daily.

6,000 Year Old Neolithic Burial Mounds were Later Used for Ritual Sacrifice!

A complex Neolithic burial with two monumental mounds has been unearthed on the Eulenberg near Magdeburg, Germany. Dated to 6,000-years-ago, the year long excavation has yielded these two mounds at a...
Reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman, flanked by the tattoo experiment which is believed to replicate how the originals were created. Source: Deter-Wolf et al., Exarc, 2022; Mannivu / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Does Ötzi the Iceman Have History’s Oldest Hand-Poked Tattoos?

Over five millennia have passed since Ötzi the Iceman was struck down by an arrow from an unknown assailant in the frigid northern regions of the Alps. But still the ancient frozen body has secrets...
Over 100 objects have so far been recovered from the Neolithic cemetery which were apparently used for piercings. Source: Ergül Kodaş, Emma L Baysal & Kazım Özkan.

Early Neolithic Ceremonies in Turkey Found to Include Facial Piercings

Something unexpected from the early Neolithic has been found in Turkey. During excavations in an ancient cemetery, a team of archaeologists from several institutions unearthed more than 100 small...
Left; Stele of a standing dignitary, with likely tobacco leaves his hair. Right; El Baul, acropolis site Cotzumalhuapa, Guatemala. under excavation 2006 Inset; 3 of the vessel tested in the study 	Source: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos/Antiquity Publications Ltd

Proof Ancient Mesoamericans Drank Sacred Tobacco-Infused Liquids is Found

In a new chemical analysis performed on ceramic vases recovered during excavations at the ancient metropolis of Cotzumalhuapa in southwestern Guatemala, a team of researchers from Yale University and...
Arial photo of the Callacpuma plaza, with the stone circle at the center. Source: Toohey et al./Science Advances

4700-year-old Megalithic Circle Discovered in the High Andes of Peru

Archaeologists have discovered a prehistoric plaza high in the Andes, known as Callacpuma stone plaza, was built nearly 5,000 years ago by ancient nomadic groups. At an elevation exceeding 3,000...
The chamber under excavation. East side mould removed. The plastic tubes are samples for environmental DNA. Source: Karl-Göran Sjögren / University of Gothenburg

Missing Body Parts from 5000-Year-Old Dolmen in Sweden Poses Intriguing Questions

The first analysis results now confirm that the grave in Tiarp is one of the oldest stone burial chambers in Sweden . “It’s an early grave which dates to the Early Neolithic period, about 3500 BC,”...
The face of the bog body known as Grauballe man. Source: Public domain

Grauballe Man: Ritual Sacrifice? Justice Dealt? Or a 2,300-Year-Old Murder Mystery?

Of the many ancient remains found preserved in bogs and marshes, perhaps the most interesting is the Grauballe Man. Discovered in a peat bog in Jutland, Denmark in 1952, experts believe that the man...
Papier mache masks on sale for making effigies or “monigotes” to burn during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Ecuador. Source: Iryna / Adobe Stock

Ecuadorian Effigies Share Last Will and Testament on New Year's Eve

In Ecuador, New Year’s celebrations are steeped in unique traditions and peculiar rituals. One such eccentric custom is the creation and burning of Año Viejo effigies on the night of the 31st...
Lady parading with followers bearing torches, at the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, marking the beginning of summer.	Source: chrisdonia/CC BY NC SA 2.0

10 Ancient Festivals That Were Far From Innocent

Many ancient festivals had elements that were far from innocent, often involving rituals, practices, and customs that might seem strange or even disturbing by today's standards. From bloodletting, to...
Close up of Old Croghan Man’s nails (National Museum of Ireland)

Why Does This Ancient Corpse Have a Manicure? (Video)

In central Ireland, beneath the looming presence of Croghan Hill, lies a mystery shrouded in history. Known simply as the Old Croghan Man , his true name remains a riddle lost to time. Archaeologists...
Various cultures have created jewelry and other talismans to protect themselves from the negative effects of what has come to be known as the evil eye. Source: Dennis Skley / CC BY ND 2.0

Warding Off the Evil Eye: Ancient Rings and Phallic Talismans

For thousands of years, people have been plagued by the haunting belief that envious or disdainful gazes could bring them harm, injury, bad luck or even death. In response, various cultures have...
At Tlacaxipehualiztli, Aztec priests wore the skin of sacrifice victims. Source: de Art / Adobe Stock.

At this Aztec Festival, Priests Wore Capes of Human Skin from Sacrifice Victims

Few festivals of the ancient world are as strikingly eerie and gruesome as the Aztecs' Tlacaxipehualiztli. Held annually during the second month of the Aztec calendar, Tlacaxipehualiztli was a...
Hindi culture is rich in traditions of sacred dance. Source: mihail / Adobe Stock

Embracing the Divine: Eight Sacred Dances in Hindu Rituals

Sacred dance has always been an integral part of Hinduism, intricately woven into rituals and spiritual practices. The Vedas , the holy texts of Hinduism, intermingle performance arts with rituals,...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
Men visiting Okinoshima Island must be naked.  Source: Kapawtord / Adobe Stock.

Only Men Can Visit Okinoshima Island in Japan and They Must Strip Naked First

In the rich tapestry of the world’s ancient history, there stands a mysterious island steeped in ritual and reverence – Okinoshima. Nestled between the islands of Kyushu and Honshu in Japan,...
Dancer at a traditional Theyyam ceremony, India. Source: Dietmar Temps / Adobe Stock.

How Artists Are Keeping the Ancient Practice of Theyyam Alive (Video)

In Kerala , a state nestled in the southern part of India, the age-old tradition of Theyyam persists, defying the relentless march of time. This ritualistic form of worship, deeply ingrained in the...
Prehistoric Jomon dogu statue with large eyes and hips, Ebisuda Site in Tajiri, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.  1000–400 BC. Source: World Imaging/CC BY-SA 3.0

Ancient Dogu Figurines With Large Goggle-eyes Defy Scholarly Explanation

The Jomon Period is the earliest identifiable period in Japanese history and is broken into several categories—Incipient, Early, Middle, and Late. Comprised of a sedentary culture, the Jomon people...
Restoration work at Kulubà in Mexico, the Maya site where a sacrificial altar has now been uncovered. Source: Mauricio Marat / INAH

Chilling Maya Murder Tools Unearthed Near Kulubá Sacrificial Altar

Mexican archaeologists excavating in the central square of the ancient Maya city of Kulubá identified a curious cubic stone with all the hallmarks of having served as a sacrificial altar. Cementing...

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