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"The Black Man", an aspect of Nyarlathotep as described by H. P. Lovecraft in "The Dreams in the Witch House" (1932). (Jens Heimdahl/CC BY SA 4.0) A replica of necropants at The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik, Iceland. At the right of the pants is the magical symbol (nábrókarstafur) that is part of the ritual and at its feet are coins. The exhibit is behind glass and lit from above with a harsh yellow light. (Bernard McManus/CC BY 2.0)

Necropants: Did Icelandic Sorcerers Really Make Magic Pants Out Of Human Skin?

A museum in Iceland is home to the only known pair of necropants: pants made out of human skin. Legend has it that Icelandic sorcerers would tear the skin off of a dead friend’s body and clothe...
‘The Slave Market’ (1886) by Gustave Boulanger.

Skin Color Didn’t Matter to the Ancient Greeks and Romans

The term “racism” refers to a phenomenon of group hatred or bigotry based on ethnic and cultural prejudice. In the United States, the term is most often heard in conjunction with the descriptors “...
Ay as Sem Priest in tomb of King Tutankhamun. Note the leopard pelt – this is an example of the Imiut.

The Enigmatic Imiut: Magical Gear for Ancient Egyptian Priests

The Imiut is a peculiar artifact which has puzzled Egyptologists for a very long time. It was worshipped for its supposed magical powers, making it a fetish, but no one is entirely sure what it was...
Cro Magnon diorama showing a mammoth bone shelter.

Did Man and Mammoth Ever Live in Harmony? Not Quite…

Humans and mammoths coexisted in Europe for about 30,000 years. As a result, it makes sense that humans would have used mammoths and their remains for food and possibly for making clothing and even...
Ancient Egyptian Mummy Head Shows Woman Had Skin Condition Due to Beauty Practice

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Head Shows Woman Had Skin Condition Due to Beauty Practice

A 3,500-year-old mummified woman’s head shows signs of a skin condition from bleaching. The woman may have been prominent in Egyptian society and was 20 to 25 years old when she died, researchers...
Manuscript of the ‘Book of Hours’ produced in Florence in the late 15th century. It is on uterine vellum. Credit: Rauner Special Collections Library.

Getting under the skin of a medieval mystery

A simple PVC eraser has helped an international team of scientists led by bioarchaeologists at the University of York to resolve the mystery surrounding the tissue-thin parchment used by medieval...
Skull of Malapa hominid 1 (MH1) from South Africa, named "Karabo".

Preserved Tissue on 2-Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor May be Oldest Skin Ever Found

A team of scientists investigating early human species in an ancient cave near Johannesburg, South Africa, have revealed that preserved tissue found on a 2-million-year-old fossil may be the oldest...
Neanderthals Cooking Food

Neanderthals may have been the first to boil their food

A palaeontologist has claimed at a recent meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Texas that Neanderthals cooked stews using skin bags or birch bark trays, according to a National...
People

Why Judging a Person by Their Skin Colour Defies Logic

For centuries, mankind has been obsessed with the colour of skin. This obsession has resulted in people taking radical steps to alter their own skin colour, risking serious harm for the sake of ‘...