Religious History

Johann Baptist Schmitt, The Hermit in Flottbeck, 1795

Ornamental Hermits Were 18th-Century England's Must-Have Garden Accessory

Wealthy landowners hired men who agreed to live in isolation on their estates for as long as seven years

The canoe was discovered in an underwater cave in 2021.

Maya Canoe Found in Underwater Cave May Have Been Used for Rituals

Archaeologists discovered the seven-foot-long vessel near Chichén Itzá two years ago

Forensic artist Hew Morrison created this rendering based on the skull of the girl.

Forensic Artist Reconstructs the Face of a Teenager Who Lived 1,300 Years Ago

Researchers have spent a decade unraveling the mysteries of the girl's unusual burial site

This icon featuring images of Saints Sergius and Bacchus is one of four encaustic paintings on display at the Louvre after being evacuated from Ukraine.

Secretly Evacuated From Ukraine, Rare Icons Now on View at the Louvre

Amid Russian attacks, Kyiv's Khanenko Museum sent 16 precious artworks to Paris for safekeeping

After more than 100 years, Germany returned two centuries-old masks to Colombia's Indigenous Kogi community.

Germany Returns Sacred Wooden Masks to Colombia

In Berlin, the centuries-old artifacts were treated with chemicals that could pose health hazards

Researchers uncovered the two-foot-tall Buddha statue in Berenike.

Archaeologists Unearth Buddha Statue in Ancient Egyptian Port City

The new find sheds light on the rich trade relationship between Rome and India

A group of French Carthusian monks are the only producers of Chartreuse—and despite high demand, they aren't planning to increase production.

French Monks Are Driving the Chartreuse Shortage

Dating back to 1605, the closely guarded recipe is becoming increasingly popular

Father Gabriel Amorth served in his role at the Vatican for 30 years.

Who Was the Real Pope's Exorcist?

A new film dramatizes the story of Father Gabriele Amorth, the chief exorcist of the Diocese of Rome

Archaeologists unearthed the foundation of the original 1818 church.

DNA Evidence Sheds Light on One of America's Oldest Black Churches

New research links human remains in Williamsburg, Virginia, to the first permanent building of the First Baptist Church

Rome's Pantheon was built around 27 B.C.E.

Rome's Pantheon Will Start Charging an Entrance Fee

The 2,000-year-old structure is Italy's most visited cultural site, attracting millions of tourists each year

Jews wearing yellow stars at the Kistarcsa concentration camp in Hungary in 1944

The Long History of Forcing Jews to Wear Anti-Semitic Badges

The practice was common in medieval Europe

An aerial view of the ongoing efforts to reconstruct Paris' Notre-Dame Cathedral, pictured in June 2021

The 2019 Notre-Dame Fire Revealed Iron Staples Holding the Cathedral Together

The Paris landmark is the first known Gothic cathedral to use iron in this way, researchers say

“Spirit in the Dark: Religion in Black Music, Activism and Popular Culture,” (above: Nina Simone by G. Marshall Wilson, 1959) is on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture through November 2023.

Movements Capturing the Spiritual Roots of Black Culture

A new exhibition of rarely seen images and artifacts chronicles the African American religious experience

Movements, Motions, Moments offers a visual journey from the early 1870s to the present, depicting the story of how African Americans take action in sacred worship, ministry or ceremony according to their beliefs.

These Photographs of Spirituality in America Will Speak to Your Soul

A new volume from the National Museum of the African American History and Culture explores religion in the Black community

Edward Brooke-Hitching's The Madman Gallery spotlights such artworks as John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X, a statue of Glycon and Franz Xaver Messerschmidt's Character Heads.

The Most Enigmatic Works in Art History

A new book highlights 100 artistic curiosities, from the nude "Mona Lisa" to portraits of a dog-headed saint

The Codex Sassoon, which measures 12 by 14 inches, dates to the late ninth or early tenth century.

World's Oldest Near-Complete Hebrew Bible Goes to Auction

The Codex Sassoon could break auction records, becoming the most valuable historical document ever sold

The animals were preserved in a different manner than most mummified crocodiles.

Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth 2,500-Year-Old Mummified Crocodiles

The remains include five reptile heads and five nearly intact specimens

The 800-year-old pendant is made of copper and plated in gold.

Neutron Imaging Reveals Tiny Bones Inside 800-Year-Old Pendant

The high-tech method allowed researchers to examine the artifact without opening it

Fascinating finds unveiled in 2022 ranged from a 2,000-year-old statue of a dog to colorful sarcophagi at Saqqara to a Qing dynasty vase.

Ninety-Six Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2022

The year's most exciting discoveries included hidden portraits by Cézanne and van Gogh, sarcophagi buried beneath Notre-Dame, and a medieval wedding ring

The cave once belonged to a wealthy Jewish family before becoming a Christian pilgrimage site

What's Within the Burial Cave Dedicated to Jesus' Midwife?

Archaeologists in Israel are excavating the site that was popular among pilgrims more than a millennium ago

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