Rituals and Traditions

The First Americans Museum opened in Oklahoma City this month.

A Brand-New Museum in Oklahoma Honors Indigenous People at Every Turn

The team behind the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City incorporated the traditions and spiritual beliefs of 39 tribal nations into its design

Archaeologists hope the flowers will shed new light on rituals conducted by the ancient residents of Teotihuacán.

Cool Finds

1,800-Year-Old Flower Bouquets Found in Tunnel Beneath Teotihuacán Pyramid

The well-preserved plants were likely used in a ritual ceremony

The study's authors argue that the individual may have been highly regarded due to their nonbinary status or “because they already had a distinctive or secured position in the community for other reasons; for example, by belonging to a relatively wealthy and well-connected family.”

New Research

Mysterious Iron Age Burial May Hold Remains of Elite Nonbinary Person

The Finnish grave's occupant likely had Klinefelter syndrome, meaning they were born with an extra copy of the X chromosome

Just over 150 employees handcraft 12 million cigars a year from the historic J.C. Newman Cigar Company.

The Last Cigar Factory in Tampa

After a multi-million renovation, the J.C. Newman Cigar Company in Ybor City offers visitors a museum and tours of its working factory

The Cardboard Boat Museum tells the quirky history of a 28-year tradition.

A Small Town in Ohio Is Home to the World's Only Cardboard Boat Museum

For nearly 30 years, New Richmond has hosted the International Cardboard Boat Regatta, a high-spirited race on the Ohio River

Tollund Man was likely the victim of a human sacrifice.

What Did Tollund Man, One of Europe's Famed Bog Bodies, Eat Before He Died?

The enigmatic, 2,400-year-old mummy's last meal consisted of porridge and fish

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 say the incisors' removal may have served as an indicator of social status or membership in a specific group.

Why Are These Medieval-Era Skulls Found in Gabon Missing Their Front Teeth?

Intact, 500-year-old upper jaws discovered in an African cave bear evidence of deliberate facial modification

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

People who reopened graves might take items like swords and brooches but leave more valuable objects untouched.

Cool Finds

Why Did Early Medieval Europeans Reopen Graves?

Contrary to some assumptions, the removal of objects from burial sites was not typically motivated by greed

An individual buried in an amphora on the Croatian island of Hvar

Cool Finds

Ancient Necropolis Discovered in 17th-Century Croatian Palace's Garden

The fourth- or fifth-century cemetery contained the remains of several individuals buried in jars

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

A new analysis of a ceramic jar discovered in Athens suggest its owners placed the curse ahead of a lawsuit.

Ancient Athenians Used a Jar Filled With Chicken Bones to Curse Their Enemies

The object's owners inscribed the names of at least 55 intended victims on its surface

At the foot of North Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains sits Wallace, an incredibly resilient, Old West mining town.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021

From Alabama's music capital to the self-proclaimed 'center of the universe,' these American towns are calling your name

Artist’s reconstruction of historic structures at the site of Netherton Cross, a 10th- or 11th-century religious sculpture that has since been relocated

Cool Finds

Scottish Archaeologists Discover Only Surviving Traces of Razed Medieval Town

An 18th-century duke seeking to transform his estate into parkland ordered the village of Netherton's destruction

Pourang Mokhtari watches over the family's goats and sheep high in the Zagros Mountains.

Passage Through the Zagros

True to an ancient way of life, a family in Iran makes a treacherous seasonal migration across the mountains

The oddly shaped oil lamp is the first of its kind found in Jerusalem.

Cool Finds

This Grotesquely Shaped Lamp Brought Luck to Jerusalem's Ancient Residents

The 2,000-year-old artifact, which resembles a face cut in half, was buried in the foundations of a Roman building

A local man stumbled onto a cache of Bronze Age artifacts, from necklaces to needles, while walking through a Swedish forest.

Cool Finds

Swedish Man Discovers Trove of Bronze Age Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight

A high-status woman once adorned herself with these items, which a local found buried beneath the forest floor

The mustatils' monumental size and similarities are suggestive of "significant social organization and a common goal or belief," says lead author Hugh Thomas.

Cool Finds

Did a Neolithic Cattle Cult Build These Sprawling Structures in Saudi Arabia?

The roughly 7,000-year-old mustatils, or rectangular monuments, predate both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids

Elite Vikings constructed a huge stone boat for use in rituals at the Surtshellir cave.

Cool Finds

Did Vikings Host Rituals Designed to Stop Ragnarök in This Volcanic Cave?

New findings at a cavern in Iceland point to decades of elite ceremonial activity aimed at preventing the apocalypse

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