Religious History

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

The Canton Synagogue, founded in 1531

Inside the Effort to Restore Synagogues in Venice's 500-Year-Old Jewish Ghetto

A new project focuses on three 16th-century synagogues in the Italian city, where the Jewish population has dropped to 450

Vassily Maximov, A Sorcerer Comes to a Peasant Wedding, circa 1875

In Early Modern Russia, the Majority of Accused 'Witches' Were Men

Orthodox Russians deployed magic for practical purposes, like inflicting illness, harming business competitors and attracting lovers

Johan Danckerts, The Wreck of the Gloucester Off Yarmouth, 6 May 1682, circa 1682

Cool Finds

Wreck of Long-Lost Royal Battleship Discovered Off English Coast

Divers discovered the H.M.S. "Gloucester" in 2007, but authorities kept the news buried for 15 years as they waited to secure the site

This Renaissance painting was found in a 90-year-old woman's bedroom. It recently fetched around $320,000 at a London auction.

Cool Finds

Renaissance Masterpiece Found Hanging in a 90-Year-Old Woman's London Bedroom

"The Depiction of the Madonna and Child," by a follower of Filippino Lippi, sold for around $320,000

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

Archaeologist Carol Anne Barsody scans the mummified ibis to create a 3-D model of it for an upcoming exhibition.

Mislabeled for a Century, Mysterious Mummy Reclassified as Sacred Ibis

Previously identified as a hawk, the bird was one of millions killed as offerings to the ancient Egyptian god Thoth

Archaeologists now think this is a devotional pool to an ancient god, not a harbor or ship repair area. 

Cool Finds

An Ancient 'Harbor' Was Actually a Sacred Pool Designed for Scanning the Stars

Archaeologists think the devotional zone was dedicated to the god Ba'al

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 the ancient Roman world, sexual pleasure was a cause for celebration rather than a source of shame.

Why Was Erotic Art So Popular in Ancient Pompeii?

A new exhibition spotlights 70 examples of sensual imagery discovered in the Roman city

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

The offering consisted of 164 starfish, chunks of coral, seashells, pufferfish, a resin figurine, animal bones and the skeleton of a female jaguar holding a spear in its claw.

Cool Finds

Trove of Starfish Deposited as Offering to Aztec War God Found in Mexico City

Researchers discovered 164 sea stars placed in the Templo Mayor around the turn of the 16th century

The anthropomorphic carvings represent one of the earliest examples of artistic expression in the Middle East.

Well-Preserved, 9,000-Year-Old Shrine Discovered in Jordan Desert

Researchers uncovered two standing stones featuring anthropomorphic carvings and a model of a "desert kite" used to trap wild gazelles

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

Ruins of a 2,000-year-old Buddhist temple, one of the oldest discovered in Pakistan's Gandhara region.

Cool Finds

2,000-Year-Old Buddhist Temple Unearthed in Pakistan

The structure is one of the oldest of its kind in the Gandhara region

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"

Activists in London hold signs urging the BBC to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Is China Committing Genocide Against the Uyghurs?

The Muslim minority group faces mass detention and sterilization—human rights abuses that sparked the U.S.' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

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

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