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rituals

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the birth of a son today. Source: CC BY 2.0

The Horrific History Of Birthing Royal Babies, And Why Meghan Markle Should Be Grateful

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry Instagrammed the world on Monday confirming the royal birth of a 7lbs-3oz baby boy who is seventh in line to the throne. When a royal baby is...
Vikings Heading for Land’ 1873 by Frank Dicksee (1853–1928).

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...
Carlisle Cursing Stone, carved in 2000 using a 16th century curse.

Cursing Stones of Ireland: When Christianity and Pagans Pooled Their Sacred Water

Ireland is a country famed for its spectacular scenery and landscapes. Known to many as the Emerald Isle, the land is characterized by lush and verdant greenery. But the landscape is more than just...
Maya artifacts found in Yucatan cave

Artifacts Found In Rediscovered Sacred Cave Could Change Our Understanding of the Maya

The National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico has announced a remarkable discovery that will provide new insights into the Maya . Experts found a sacred cave where rituals were...
9000 year-old mask that was recovered.

Stone Mask from the Dawning of Ancient Societies Found in Israel

The Israel Antiquities Authority has announced the recovery from looters of a very rare Neolithic mask made from stone. The item was originally discovered this year in Hebron, on the West Bank. This...
Ancient Khmer carving of childbirth.

Ancient Childbirth Beliefs and Rituals Thought to Protect Mother and Child

For much of human history, pregnancy and childbirth was an extremely dangerous period in a woman’s life. It was often believed that the expectant mother and her baby were vulnerable to malevolent...
Statue representative of courtship rituals.

Romantic Love: The Evolution of Courtship Rituals

Courtship rituals have existed as long as the concept of romantic love. Such rituals exist to allow couples to get to know each other, and to allow an intimate relationship to develop. In modern,...
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...
Life-size Dorset masks. (500-1000 AD) The masks were carved from driftwood and painted. They also once had fur moustaches and eyebrows attached with pegs. Scholars believe that the masks were probably used by shamans in rituals to cure illness, control the weather, or to aid in hunts.

Preserved in Legends and Ice: What Led to the Extinction of the Dorset Culture?

Before the Inuit’s ancestors conquered the Arctic region of what we now call Canada and Greenland, there is evidence of another remarkable Paleo-Eskimo culture– the Dorset. Soon after the arrival of...
Ancient human remains.

Nine Weird and Wonderful Facts about Death and Funeral Practices

It might not be something you want to think about very often, but it turns out that the way we treat our dead in the modern age is heavily influenced by the way our ancestors treated theirs. When you...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
A funerary garden discovered by CSIC's research team.

A First-Ever Find in Egypt: 4,000-Year-Old Funerary Garden at Tomb Entrance

The Djehuty Project, led by research professor, José Manuel Galán, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered a 4,000-year-old funerary garden- the first such garden ever to be...
All images courtesy of Ashley Cowie

Sex Symbols of the Ancient World: Top Ten Sexually Explicit Caves, Mountains, Temples and Artifacts

If you are sensitive about matters pertaining to sex and sexuality it's probably best that you press the back button now. For those with a more exploratory attitude, what I hope you take away from...
The birthday party of Lazaro Salsita, born 15 years ago, in the body of Lazaro Medina Hernandez, 35, Sculptor. Havana (La Habana), Cuba.

A Unique Mixture of Afro-Cuban Religious Rituals or Witchcraft? The True Story Behind Santeria

Some religious practices can be very surprising because they link aspects from different beliefs which may appear incompatible at first glance. In the case of Santeria, the connection between native...
Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Egeria was a young woman who decided to make the trip of a lifetime and go to the Holy Land. But what inspired her to make that journey and walk half of the world all alone? She was born in beautiful...
How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

Though it may seem as if Halloween is a modern con trick designed to get us spending our hard-earned cash on an American celebration, this is not the case. In fact, dressing up, knocking on neighbors...

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