Religious History

The remains of a teenage boy found near an altar dedicated to Zeus at Mt. Lykaion

Did the Ancient Greeks Engage in Human Sacrifice?

The remains uncovered at an altar to Zeus on Mount Lykaion may confirm legends about human sacrifice at the shrine

A cartoon from the magazine The Judge, where "Democracy" is portrayed as the devil overlooking Washington, D.C., and looks very much like Grover Cleveland.

Lucifer Has Long Had His Hands in Politics

Since the earliest days of Christianity, people have accused their political rivals of being in league with the Devil

The historical flag of Prague's Jewish community.

How Did the Six-Pointed Star Become Associated With Judaism?

The connection between the two goes back centuries

This 98-foot-long figure appears to represent an animal sticking out its tongue.

“New” 2,000-Year-Old Geoglyph Spotted in Peru

There’s always more to learn about the mysterious Nazca lines

A print of Lake Suwa from the series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

Japanese Priests Collected Almost Seven Centuries of Climate Data

Historic records from "citizen scientists" in Japan and Finland give researchers centuries of data on ice conditions

A statue of Julian of Norwich at Norwich Cathedra. She is one of the first-known women writers in the English language.

For the First Time, See Two Early Medieval Books Written By Women On Display Together

The manuscripts detail the authors' experiences

For the first time in hundreds of years, some seders might include rice and beans.

For the First Time in 800 Years, Rice and Beans Are Kosher for Passover

The Jewish Conservative movement relaxes a 13th-century ban on rice, corn and beans during Passover

Machine Learning May Help Determine When the Old Testament Was Written

Using computer algorithms to analyze handwriting, researchers discover citizens of ancient Judah were much more literate than previously thought

Geometric Shapes Inspire New, Stretchy Materials

Intricate designs drawn from Islamic art could help make materials that stretch in new ways

Mother Teresa stands with children at her Calcutta mission.

Mother Teresa Will Become an Official Saint

The champion of India's poorest has sprinted to sainthood since her 1997 death

Overlooking the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida was a day’s walk from Nazareth. When Jesus returned to his boyhood hometown to preach, the Gospels say he was rejected by a mob.

Unearthing the World of Jesus

Surprising archaeological finds are breaking new ground in our understanding of Jesus’s time—and the revolution he launched 2,000 years ago

How many curls can you count?

A Buddha in Japan Is Missing Half of Its Curls

What happened to the Buddha of Nara's famous 'do?

A page of the original King James Bible

The Origins of the King James Bible

A handwritten draft of the world's most famous bible has been discovered in England

A statue of Junipero Serra, Catholicism's newest saint, stands in front of San Gabriel Arcángel, the California mission he founded in 1771.

Why Are Native Groups Protesting Catholicism's Newest Saint?

Nearly 250 years after Junipero Serra founded California's first missions, questions linger about his legacy

New Proof That Ancient Egyptians Bred Birds of Prey

A recent 3-D scan of a mummified falcon shows it was force fed sparrows and mice

The fragments comprise two parchment leaves, written in Hijazi script on sheep or goat skin.

Carbon Dating Reveals One of the Oldest Known Copies of the Quran

Manuscript fragments found in U.K. library were written between 568 and 645

A Playmobil Figure of Martin Luther Has Become the Fastest-Selling of All Time

The first edition of 34,000 figurines sold out in 72 hours

In an eerie green hue, this upside-down Medusa head threatens to turn onlookers to stone. The color seems to come partly from a slick covering of algae.

Two Eerie Medusa Heads Watch Over Turkey’s Waterways

Why the Greek monster stares out from an ancient cistern in Istanbul

Sculptures in St. Anthony's Chapel in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Has a Huge Collection of Relics

St. Anthony’s Chapel contains the largest number of relics outside of the Vatican

The Science of the Red Sea's Parting

It is physically and scientifically possible for a body of water to part

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