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Updated: 2 hours 13 min ago

Culturally Mixed Messages in the Tomb of Payava: Is it Greek or Persian?

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:01

The Tomb of Payava is a decorative rectangular tomb that was transported in the 19th century from a site in Turkey to England is one of the most remarkable artifacts related to Lycian culture exhibited at the British Museum. The carvings which create a unique symbolic message from ancient times, is a key piece to the puzzle of the city of Xanthos and its ruler.

Read moreSection: ArtifactsOther ArtifactsNews

The Evolution of Human Birth: An Incredible Story a Million Years in the Making

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 17:00

A team of scientists claim that they have found a mask depicting an Australopithecus afarensis, a human ancestor that could have possibly given birth in a way that combines the childbirth practices of chimpanzees and human beings.

Read moreSection: NewsEvolution & Human Origins

Can Traditional Chinese Face Reading Provide Insight on Your Future, Health, and Character?

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 12:58

面相 (‘miàn xiàng’, or less accurately as ‘mien shiang’) is a type of Chinese divination that relies on the observation of a person’s facial features. Apart from divining an individual’s future, practitioners and advocates of Mian Xiang believe that this practice may be used to determine a person’s character. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

After 2000 Years of Harmony, the Maya May Soon Lose their Stingless Bee Pets

Thu, 04/27/2017 - 08:03

For several years now, reports have circulated about the worrisome decline of the population of bees. Periodically, newspaper headlines lament the bees’ disappearance as an irreversible tipping point toward environmental devastation. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

Did Ötzi the Iceman Actually Freeze to Death?

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 19:59

A new study suggests that Ötzi the Tyrolean Iceman died of exposure to freezing temperatures in the Italian Alps. Researchers claim that his body and head injuries were most likely made during some hard times for the famous Tyrolean Iceman, but those injuries weren’t the cause of his death.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

History Rewritten! Early Humans were in North America 130,000 Years Ago

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 17:17

An amazing find at an Ice Age site in San Diego, California may dramatically alter the accepted timeline for when early humans first reached North America. 130,000-year-old bones and teeth of a mastodon show evidence of modification by early humans.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Brazen Bull: Gruesome Ancient Greek Torture Device Turned Screams into ‘Music’

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 12:52

The Brazen Bull (known also as the ‘Bull of Phalaris’, the ‘Bronze Bull’ or the ‘Sicilian Bull’) was a type of ancient torture and execution device from ancient Greece.

Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient TechnologyNews

Unraveling Tutankhamun’s Final Secret: Cloak of Mysteries Reside in a Sepulchral Masterpiece–Part I

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 09:44

Are we poised to discover an Amarna royal in a hitherto unimagined location that will rewrite history — or will this be the final nail in the coffin for the ‘double burial’ theory? It is quite possible that the sarcophagus of the boy-king holds unrecognized secrets.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

Why Would You Cremate and Bury Your Home? A Bizarre Viking Ritual Explained

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 08:01

The Vikings had a very bizarre tradition that might be totally unique: they buried their own homes. From the Bronze Age until the Viking Age, historians have noted that burial mounds were placed on top of the remains of Viking longhouses. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 19:56

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and intermarry?

Read moreSection: NewsEvolution & Human OriginsHuman OriginsScience

Pre-human Species with Orange-Sized Brains May Have Used Teamwork and Buried Their Dead

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 16:55

Which came first in pre-human species’ communication and teamwork—larger brains or the folds and ridges of the brain that fostered language and empathy?

Read moreSection: NewsEvolution & Human Origins

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:53

The leprechaun is perhaps one of the best-known creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are popularly depicted as little men with beards dressed in green coats and tall green hats. Other well-known beliefs about leprechauns include the pot of gold that they are said to keep at the end of the rainbow, and their mischievous nature. Whilst many are familiar with this general depiction of the leprechaun, there are other aspects of these Irish creatures that are less well-known.  

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsEurope

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 07:58

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a global superpower, undertaking major sea expeditions before Christopher Columbus...

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient TraditionsFamous People

A Pearl of Prehistoric Spain in Danger of Disappearing: Can the 35,600-year-old Art of Altamira Cave be both Witnessed and Preserved?

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 19:43

The cave located at Altamira was inhabited thousands of years ago and contains remarkable examples of sophisticated art from Prehistory. The first paintings appeared there most probably around 35600 years ago. The exquisite site is often compared to the famous cave of Lascaux, but Altamira tells its own story about the first people of Cantabria.

The Cave’s Use

The cave itself is impressive, with corridors that are over 1000 meters (3280.84 ft.) long. It has a series of chambers and twisting passages, each one of them from two to six meters (6.56-19.69 ft.) high. Archaeological excavations have proven the existence of human settlement inside the cave about 18500 years ago. When did the first humans arrive there? It is unknown, but we can estimate that this place was well known to people for much longer than 35000 years.

Reproduction of the cave ceiling paintings at Altamira Museum. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The site would have been very attractive to the people in the Paleolithic and Old Stone Ages. Those people, whose lives remain mysterious to modern researchers, seemed to spend much of their time searching for food. However, at the same time, they needed a place to live where they were protected from the dangers of wild animals. The location of the Cave of Altamira provided both.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

Alexander the Great’s Capital Punishment? The Building of Persepolis and its Flaming Demise

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:58

Persepolis is an ancient city that once served as the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis is the Greek name for ‘Parsa’, and both these names mean ‘Persian City’ or ‘City of the Persians’. This city was founded by Darius I 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAsia

One of Jamestown’s Greatest Mysteries – Who Lies Beneath the Knight’s Tombstone?

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:49

A team of archaeologists at Historic Jamestown is attempting to solve one of the biggest mysteries of the first English settlements in America: a knight’s gravestone that has been embedded into the floor of a church for almost four hundred years...

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Ignoring Omens and Seeking Vengeance: The Greco-Persian ‘War of the Ages’ Was a Disaster for All

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 09:34

The Greco-Persian wars lasted for more than half a century in some respects. Some date the war as being from 499-448 BCE while others date the conflict from 492-448 BCE. Either or, the war itself was a disaster for both sides.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 08:00

St. Margaret of Antioch is a Christian saint venerated in both the Churches of the West and of the East. In the latter, she is known as Saint Marina the Great Martyr. Little is known for certain about St. Margaret’s life, and she was, at one point of time, even regarded in the West by some to be apocryphal. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous People

The Mysterious Stories of Castle Ponferrada: Knights Templar, the Camino de Santiago and the lost Sword of Jacques de Molay

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 17:04

Every pilgrim who is traveling along the French route of the Camino de Santiago, going to Santiago de Compostela, will pass through the Ponferrada in the Spanish section. Most of them have no idea that centuries ago along the same route passed the legendary Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Templar Order.

Did they travel in their famous armors? I don't think so. It is more likely that they wore comfortable clothes, similarly to other pilgrims of their times. Just imagine, the famous Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Templar Order, traveling from France to Santiago de Compostela, located in the northwestern part of Spain. The journey was long and perhaps took a few weeks depending on the physical condition of the pilgrim. However, at the end of the route was waiting the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The primary reason to make this pilgrimage was, and still is, to offer a prayer to the Apostle James the Elder.

St James the Great by Guido Reni, 1636 (Public Domain)

The Story of the Monumental Castle

Ponferrada is known due to Castillo de Los Templarios, the Castle of the Templars which is the impressive size of 16000 square meters. Its appearance brings to mind legendary stories about the Spanish knights. A visit to the castle might inspire one to learn about the remarkable Spanish medieval history but also can allow you to travel back through time to a long lost era.

Read moreSection: ArtifactsOther ArtifactsNewsMyths & LegendsEuropeAncient PlacesEurope

Tibet's Valley of the Kings: What Hidden Treasures Lie Within This Imperial Tibetan Graveyard?

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 13:09

Chongye Valley is known also as Tibet’s Valley of the Kings. This site adjoins the Yarlung Valley (about 180 km (111.85 miles)) to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. The Chongye Valley is famed for its burial mounds.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAsia