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rituals

9000 year-old mask that was recovered.

9,000-year-old Stone Mask from the Dawn of Ancient Societies Revealed

A rare 9,000-year-old stone mask from the Neolithic period has been unveiled by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. This remarkable artifact was recovered by the Anti-Robbery Unit of the Israel...
Seahenge timber enclosure with central inverted oak stump, thought to be used for rituals intended to influence the climate.

Seahenge Was Built To Combat Harsh Climate, Finds Study

With all the focus on the iconic Stonehenge and its relation to the Sun and the Moon, England’s east coast Seahenge perhaps receives less historical attention than it deserves. A brilliant new study...
AI image of a painting, showing a Pagan Christmas card of Holly King and Winter Goddess. Source: Kelly Cree/Adobe Stock

Modern Activities That Can Be Traced Back to Pagan Culture (Video)

A search for hidden pagan influence on our daily activities reveals a mix of modern traditions and customs deeply rooted in ancient belief systems. Emerging from the early Christian era, the term "...
Vikings had many rituals. Source: tiagozr / Adobe Stock

Viking Blots, Beserkers and Barbaric Blood Eagles

Famed for their ruthless fighting skills and brave exploring, little is written about Viking religion and their day-to-day ritual practices which were arguably a more central component in Norse...
Left; Carved pendant plaque of a human head from the burial. Right; Jade Mask in fragments. Source: C. Halperin/Antiquity

Ritual Burning of Royal Remains Marked Maya Regime Change

Researchers in Guatemala have unearthed fascinating evidence of a dramatic ritual burning of royal remains, pointing to a significant political shift in the ancient Maya city of Ucanal. This find not...
Cinnabar powder on human bones and beads in Valencina, site of Copper Age Mercury abuse.	Source: Álvaro Fernández Flores/ Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

Copper Age Settlement Shows Evidence of Accidental Ritual Mercury Abuse

Getting high off toxic solvents and chemicals to induce mind-altering effects is a public health concern today. But dial back 5,000 years, in the Iberian Peninsula, and groups of women adorned in...
Mercury figurine was discovered in Kent, England and dates back 2,000 years. Source:  © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Excavations in Kent Reveal Mercury Figurine and Roman Settlement

Excavations at Smallhythe Place in England’s Kent have revealed both a medieval shipbuilding site and an earlier Roman settlement. The latter yielded the unexpected find of the head of a figurine...
Archaeologists analyzing the remains from excavations at the Cova dels Xaragalls burial cave in Catalonia. Source: IPHES-CERCA

Prehistoric Catalonia Burial Cave Reveals Over 7,000 Human Remains

Archaeologists in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, have unearthed human and animal remains and ornamental objects spanning from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Cova dels Xaragalls cave, located in...
Left; Bronze metalwork deposited at Papowo Biskupie. Right; Hypothetical reconstruction of the necklace recovered from Papowo Biskupie worn by a model in traditional clothing. Source: A. Piasecka/ Antiquity Publications Ltd

Dried Lakebed Site Reveals Game Changing Bronze Age Jewelry of Chełmno Culture

Archaeologists in Poland have unearthed a trove of over 550 pieces of Bronze Age jewelry believed to have been part of an ancient burial ceremony. Discovered at the Papowo Biskupie site, which was...
Scene of cannibalism based on European accounts of expeditions to the Americas from America tertia pars by Theodor de Bry, circa 1592. Source: Public domain

8 Ancient Cultures Practicing Cannibalism Through the Ages

When we think of cannibalism today it usually conjures up images of characters like Hannibal Lecter. In reality, many cultures practiced cannibalism throughout history. Therefore, while it may be a...
Representational image of an aboriginal man playing a didgeridoo. Source: Mockup Station / Adobe Stock

The Aboriginal Didgeridoo Was a Tool for Healing and Peace

Never has it been more important to search for clues to finding healing and peace in the world. With that in mind, it appears that within ancient Aboriginal societies the didgeridoo is believed to...
Bride and groom, in Viking traditional outfits. Viking wedding rituals were necessary to earn the blessings of the gods and for continuing the Viking bloodline.  Source: MaxNadya/Adobe Stock

Strange Viking Wedding Rituals and Traditions (Video)

Viking weddings , known as brudkaup, were intricate transactions involving legal negotiations to determine bride price and dowry. Fridays, sacred to the Queen god Frigg , were preferred for...
Nestled within Koli National Park, the Pirunkirkko cave, known as the Devil's Church in English, has become renowned for its purported connection to the spirit realm. Source: University of Eastern Finland

Researchers Unpack Science Behind Unique Presence of Devil in Finnish Cave

Thousands of curious visitors venture to the Pirunkirkko or ‘Devil’s Church’ cave in eastern Finland, in the fervent hope of the contact with the spirit world, specifically, to ‘talk to the Devil’...
Evidence of animal sacrifice, many of them horses, at the courtyard of the Casas del Turuñuelo site in Spain. Source: Construyendo Tarteso / CC-BY 4.0

Lost Mass Animal Sacrifice Rituals Revealed at Tartessos Site in Spain

Archaeologists and other scientists affiliated with several institutions in Spain have revealed a startling fact about an Iron Age site known as Casas del Turuñuelo, which is located in southern...
Traditional cremation ceremony in Bali. Source: Victoria Boroda / Adobe Stock

From India and Taiwan to Tibet, the Living Assist the Dead in their Passage

Many people see death as a rite of a passage : a journey to some new place, or a threshold between two kinds of being. Zoroastrians believe that there is a bridge of judgment that each person who...
Human remains of bones and skulls at a traditional cannibal site.  Source: simanlaci / Adobe Stock.

Fiji’s Rampant Cannibalism for 2,500 Years Earned it the Name ‘Cannibal Isle’

Fiji , the idyllic paradise in the South Pacific, carries a dark historical secret. Long before it was renowned for its scenic beauty, early European explorers knew it as the foreboding 'Cannibal...
The natural cliff overhang provided protection from the elements, contributing to the remarkable preservation of the horn chamber.  Source: Royal Commission for AlUla

7,000-year-old Evidence of ‘World’s Earliest Pilgrimage’ Unearthed in Arabia

Recent excavations and ensuing studies conducted at the ancient stone monuments ‘mustatil’ (literally meaning rectangle) in northwest Arabia have revealed the presence of a cultic ritual that was...
Left, Clay rattle fragment and right, clay female figurine that were recovered from the Pilgrimage Road in 1990s, that has been reevaluated.  Source: Clara Amit/IAA

Artifacts Suggest Sorcerers Were At Work on the Pilgrimage Road to Mecca

Recent discoveries adjacent to the ancient Pilgrimage Road, known as Darb al-Hajj, have led researchers to suggest that Muslim pilgrims traveling from Cairo to Mecca around four centuries ago may...
Viking rituals. Source:  Rarity Asset Club / Adobe Stock.

Unusual Viking Rituals That Will Surprise You (Video)

Vikings , renowned as fierce warriors, possessed an intriguing blend of superstition and battle strategy. Their rituals , spanning from omens to magic, marked their distinct beliefs. Warriors etched...
Mexico’s 600-Year-Old Dance of the Flying Men (Video)

Mexico’s 600-Year-Old Dance of the Flying Men (Video)

For six centuries, the vibrant skies above Papantla, Mexico , have been graced by the enduring tradition of the Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers). This captivating spectacle unfolds as a...
Ancient Purification Rituals: Exploring Cleansing and Spiritual Renewal

Ancient Purification Rituals: Exploring Cleansing and Spiritual Renewal

Throughout history cultures from around the world have recognized the importance of purification rituals to cleanse and renew the body, mind, and spirit. These ancient practices were deeply embedded...
Egyptian Zar ritual (Asghar Besharati / CC by SA 4.0)

Rhythms of Possession: Egypt's Mysterious Zar Exorcism Tradition (Video)

The ancient 'zar' ritual of Egypt is a captivating and enigmatic cultural practice that dates back centuries. Rooted in ancient beliefs and folk traditions, the zar ceremony is performed to exorcise...
Ancient Egypt’s Book of the Dead. Source: Paolo Gallo / Adobe Stock.

Book of the Dead: Ancient Egypt’s Quest for Eternal Life (Video)

The Egyptian Book of the Dead , or "The Book of Coming Forth by Day," is an ancient religious text that played a significant role in Egyptian funerary practices around 1550 BC. It contains spells,...
Teotihuacan, Mexico. Source: ARTURO / Adobe Stock.

Teotihuacán: The Ancient City Designed to Track Time (Video)

The enigmatic people of Teotihuacán in Mexico inhabited a city that prioritized timekeeping . This abandoned city, spanning 20 kilometers, offers insights into their unique approach to tracking time...

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