Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Detail of ‘The Love Potion’ (1903) by Evelyn de Morgan. Unlike the creation of this woman, Locusta of Gaul’s potions were made in hatred. Source: Public Domain

Mithridatism is An Ancient Method to Become Poison-Proof

Defying death one sip at a time, mithridatism is the audacious ancient art of self-immunizing against poisons . Named after its most famous proponent, King Mithridates VI of Pontus , this practice...
Egyptian painting of snakes near Anubis. Source: Vermeulen-Perdaen / Adobe Stock.

Scroll Reveals Ancient Egypt Had Many More Venomous Snakes Than Today

How much can the written records of ancient civilizations tell us about the animals they lived alongside? Our latest research , based on the venomous snakes described in an ancient Egyptian papyrus,...
Snake charming in India. Source: nilanewsom / Adobe Stock.

The Ancient Indian Art of Snake Charming (Video)

Snake charming , deeply rooted in India's rich history, is a practice that has evolved over centuries. Its origins can be traced back to ancient times when it was often associated with mysticism and...
snake venom Source: Mark Kostich / Adobe Stock

How Prehistoric Primates Survived Deadly Snake Venom

The story of human evolution is one peppered with the acquisition of a variety of adaptive traits that have been acquired over thousands of years. While we take many of these for granted today, each...
Apothecary vintage set of bottles, herbs and mortar Source: Kiryl Lis/ Adobe Stock

Mithridate, Universal Antidote or the Ultimate Hoax?

Mithridate was one of the most complex and highly sought-after preparations during the Middle Ages and Renaissance era. This somewhat mythical, ancient tonic which contained more than 60 ingredients...
Painting from the Ajanta Caves, India.

The Venomous Visha Kanyas Versus the Thugs: Which Would You Prefer Were Real?

Even a touch can kill. The Visha Kanyas were supposedly poisonous young women who operated as executioners in ancient India. Any contact with these toxic ladies would mean death. However, no one can...
The Death of Cleopatra by Reginald Arthur, 1892.

Cleopatra probably did not die of snakebite to her breast, Egyptologist claims

According to accepted historical accounts, Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of ancient Egypt, committed suicide by holding a snake to her breast and allowing it to bite her, killing her with its...
Death of Socrates

Poison: The Good, the Bad and the Deadly

For thousands of years poisons have been both a deadly threat and a protective tool used around the world. Poisons have played a dominant role in our history and legends, persisting both as evil...