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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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