Christianity

The mosque was found in the Bedouin town of Rahat in Israel’s Negev desert.

Cool Finds

In Israeli Desert, Archaeologists Find One of the Oldest Known Mosques

The seventh-century structure provides clues about a region in transition

Workers discovered the massive complex after coming across a hidden access point during restoration work on a historic house.

Cool Finds

This Huge Underground City May Have Been a Refuge for 70,000 Early Christians

The complex may have been used as a shelter during Roman rule in Turkey

On the island of Dejima, European traders could interact with the Japanese, but with a few (carefully escorted) exceptions, they were barred from continuing on to mainland Japan.

The Wild West Outpost of Japan's Isolationist Era

For two centuries, an extreme protectionist policy barred foreigners from setting foot in Japan—except for one tiny island

When access to the interior of the statue is permitted, visitiors will be able to take in the surrounding views from the glass-encased heart at Jesus' chest.

A New Statue of Jesus Is the World's Tallest—for Now

"Christ the Protector" is taller than Rio de Janeiro's most famous monument

Hieronymus Bosch, The Last Judgment, circa 1515

Inside Hieronymus Bosch's Surreal Visions of Heaven and Hell

A new exhibition in Budapest features almost 90 works by the Dutch artist and his peers

Pysanky have been a Ukrainian springtime tradition for generations. Creating the intricately decorated eggs requires patience and a steady hand.

Traditionally Dyed Eggs Spring Into Action for Ukraine

The colorful folk art is a centuries-long custom

In 51 B.C.E., Julius Caesar noted that people in Britain did not eat hares due to their religious significance.

The Ancient Origins of the Easter Bunny

A scholar traces the folk figure's history from the Neolithic era to today

Unlike St. Patrick, St. Brigid was actually born in Ireland.

Meet St. Brigid, Ireland's Only Woman Patron Saint

The fifth-century abbess is stepping out of the shadow of the better-known St. Patrick

The new Netflix series imagines what would have happened if Harald Hardrada (played by Leo Suter) were best buddies with Norse explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and the lover of Leif’s sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Vikings: Valhalla'

A spin-off of the long-running series "Vikings," the show follows a fictionalized version of Norwegian king Harald Hardrada

The Shakers, who reached the peak of their popularity in America between 1820 and 1860, loathed the institutions of marriage and family for the sinful “natural affections” that accompanied them.

The Sects That Rejected Sex in 19th-Century America

Why three religious groups traded monogamy for celibacy, polygamy and "complex marriage"

Melisende of Jerusalem (pictured at her coronation) and Zumurrud of Damascus represent two of the most powerful, best-documented ruling women of the medieval Middle East. 

The Women Rulers Whose Reigns Reshaped the Medieval Middle East

A new book details the lives of Melisende of Jerusalem, Zumurrud of Damascus and their powerful peers

The ring bears an image of a shepherd boy with a sheep or ram on his shoulders, symbolizing Jesus as the "Good Shepherd."

Cool Finds

Early Christian Ring Found in Third-Century Shipwreck Off of Israel

Researchers discovered jewelry and other artifacts from two sunken ships off the ancient port city of Caesarea

The newly discovered synagogue is the second found in the ancient community.

Cool Finds

Researchers Unearth 2,000-Year-Old Synagogue in Mary Magdalene's Supposed Hometown

The religious center is the second of its kind found in Migdal, an ancient community on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee

Attributed to Albrecht Dürer, The Virgin and Child With a Flower on a Grassy Bank, circa 1503

Cool Finds

Sketch Bought at Estate Sale for $30 May Be Dürer Drawing Worth $50 Million

Dated to around 1503, the depiction of the Virgin and Child bears the Renaissance master's monogram and watermark

The term “Crusade” has always been an anachronism—a way of looking back at complex, often disconnected movements with a wide array of motivations, membership, tactics and results and organizing them into a single coherent theology or identity. Pictured: A 19th-century painting of the 1177 Battle of Montgisard by Charles-Philippe Larivière

The Many Myths of the Term 'Crusader'

Conceptions of the medieval Crusades tend to lump disparate movements together, ignoring the complexity and diversity of these military campaigns

Houdini exposed fake Spiritualist practices by having himself photographed with the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln.

For Harry Houdini, Séances and Spiritualism Were Just an Illusion

The magician spent years campaigning against fraudulent psychics, even lobbying Congress to ban fortune-telling in D.C.

During the Middle Ages, dragons more often figured in accounts about the lives of saints and religious figures than stories of heists and adventures.

Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters

The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise

A diver discovered the 900-year-old sword in a natural cove off the coast of northern Israel.

Cool Finds

Diver Discovers 900-Year-Old Crusader Sword Off Israel's Coast

The four-foot-long weapon is encrusted in marine organisms but otherwise in "perfect condition"

The wine press dates to the Byzantine period.

Cool Finds

Byzantine-Era Wine Press, Gold Coin Found Near Tel Aviv

The 1,400-year-old currency shows Golgotha, identified as the site of Jesus's crucifixion, on one of its sides

The excavation site lies next to Holy Trinity Church in the English village of Cookham.

Cool Finds

Lost Monastery Run by Early Medieval Queen Discovered in England

Cynethryth ruled alongside her husband, King Offa of Mercia, during the seventh century C.E.

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