Religion

In this 2017 photo, employees set up scaffolding to remove stained-glass windows depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Washington National Cathedral.

National Cathedral to Replace Confederate-Themed Stained Glass With Art Dedicated to Racial Justice

Artist Kerry James Marshall will create two new windows for the historic Washington, D.C. church

Archaeologists have been excavating the palace, which served as the seat of power for the Silla dynasty, since 2014.

Remains of Likely Human Sacrifice Victim Found in Foundation of Korean Palace

The young woman died in her 20s during the fourth century C.E.

The Great Synagogue of Vilna was built in the 1630s.

Cool Finds

Remains of Lithuanian Synagogue Destroyed by Nazis and Soviets Unearthed

Excavations uncovered the Great Synagogue of Vilna's Torah ark, impressive staircases, a raised prayer platform and more

The Iron Age sculpture is one of only a dozen of its kind found in Ireland to date.

Cool Finds

Eight-Foot-Tall, 1,600-Year-Old Statue of Pagan Deity Found in Ireland

The well-preserved wooden sculpture may have been part of a ritual site where animal sacrifices were carried out

The choir performs at the ruins of a mill in Sweetwater Creek State Park in Douglas County, Georgia

Smithsonian Voices

Hear a Georgia Choral Group as They Rediscover the Art of Sacred Harp Singing

Students find lasting resonance in the words and simple notes of the 1869 hymn 'How Can I Keep from Singing?'

The elaborate construction of the pool, along with artifacts discovered inside of it, points to a ceremonial purpose.

Cool Finds

3,400-Year-Old Artificial Pool in Italy May Have Hosted Religious Rituals

New research dates the wooden basin's construction to a time of immense social change for Bronze Age people

Researchers analyzed the Sudanese landscape with a model originally created to analyze the spatial patterns of stars and galaxies.

These Medieval Islamic Tombs in Sudan Were Laid Out Like Galaxies

Some of the burials appear to be clustered around "parent" funerary mounds of seeming cultural significance

The church may be the largest ever found in Nubia.

Cool Finds

Ruins of Monumental Church Linked to Medieval Nubian Kingdom Found in Sudan

The building complex was likely the seat of Christian power for Makuria, which was once as large as France and Spain combined

The north-facing orientation of the grave suggests it was a pagan burial.

Cool Finds

2,000-Year-Old Sarcophagus Found in England Reveals Roman Burial Practices

A limestone coffin unearthed in Bath contains the remains of two individuals. Possible offerings to the gods were discovered nearby

A close-up image of the snake carving.

4,000-Year-Old 'Snake Staff' Discovered in Finland

A Stone Age shaman may have used the carving during special rituals

A memorial at Queen's Park in Toronto was set up to honor the 215 Indigenous children discovered in unmarked graves in British Columbia. Now, after the subsequent discovery of 751 such graves in Saskatchewan, the memorial continues to grow.

751 Unmarked Graves Discovered Near Former Indigenous School in Canada

Experts estimate 4,000 to 10,000 children may have died at the schools, often from a combination of poor living conditions and disease

Raşit Bağzıbağlı (b. London, 1985) for Modanisa (Turkey, est. 2011)

The Vibrant Fashion World in Muslim-Majority Countries Is a Billion-Dollar Business

These exquisite designs are a must-see at the Cooper Hewitt, but hurry, the show closes July 11

Many of the tombs in Japan are elaborately decorated. Nearby visitors can buy flowers, buckets. brooms and other gardening tools to tidy up the graves.

'Tree Burials' Are Gaining Popularity in Japan as Gravesite Space Decreases

In some cities, cemetery plots are the most expensive real estate per square foot

Complicated adventures await Loki, the "god of mischief," played by Tom Hiddleston in the new Disney+ series produced by Marvel Studios.

A Folklorist Explains Loki's Place in Mythology's Pantheon of Trickster Heroes

Smithsonian's James Deutsch says that behind the character in the new Marvel Studios series lies the oft-told story of "guile" outsmarting authority

The 2,000-year-old civic building is set to open to the public following an extensive restoration project.

Cool Finds

Enormous Roman Basilica Dated to King Herod's Reign Revealed in Israel

At its height, the public building boasted opulent marble columns and sculptures

Immaculate Heart College Art Department, c. 1955

Women Who Shaped History

Studio of 'Pop Art Nun' Corita Kent Saved From Becoming Parking Lot

The artist's brightly colored silkscreen works addressed civil rights and social justice issues

Ongoing excavations at the Haydarpaşa Railway Station (pictured here) in Istanbul revealed traces of a third- or fourth-century B.C. monument or mausoleum.

Cool Finds

Ruins of Millennia-Old Monument Unearthed in Turkish 'City of the Blind'

Archaeologists conducting excavations at an Istanbul train station found traces of an ancient apse, or semicircular recess

Rosary beads and Bible belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots, pictured at Arundel Castle in January 1968. Authorities recently announced the rosary's theft from the English stronghold.

Rosary Beads Owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, Stolen in Heist at English Castle

The Stuart monarch may have carried the golden beads—taken last Friday in a $1.4-million burglary—to her execution in 1587

At the library of St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Monastery in Jerusalem, Stewart and Abouna Shimon Can, a monk, view centuries-old Syriac manuscripts.

This American Monk Travels the World to Rescue Ancient Documents From Oblivion

Father Columba Stewart has visited sites from Kathmandu to Timbuktu in his mission to safeguard precious manuscripts that tell humanity's story

The gold bracteates served as a status symbol for sixth-century Scandinavian elites.

Cool Finds

Ancient Norse Elites Buried These Gold Pendants as Sacrifices to the Gods

The 1,500-year-old bracteates—found in a field in southeastern Norway—depict animal and human figures

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