Rituals and Traditions

This blue-pigmented figurine was found buried with the oldest child.

Four Aztec Burials Found in Mexico

Even after the fall of the Aztec Empire, new discoveries reveal that some traditions survived

Bronze sacrificial altar unearthed at the Sanxingdui archaeological site

Cool Finds

Trove of 13,000 Artifacts Sheds Light on Enigmatic Chinese Civilization

The Bronze Age Sanxingdui culture is known for its intricate masks and artworks

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

The Neolithic-Era henge was completely obscured by overgrown vegetation. 

Cool Finds

Volunteers Uncover Rare, 4,800-Year-Old Stone Circle in England

Ground scans at Castilly Henge revealed seven pits where ancient stones once stood

Early efforts to sow hibiscus on the mainland had mixed success. Today it grows in many states; in the South, hibiscus used in punch is known as “Florida Cranberry.”

Race in America

A Brief History of Red Drink

The obscure roots of a centuries-old beverage that’s now a Juneteenth fixture

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

Researchers dated the skulls to between 900 and 1200 C.E.

Skulls Thought to Belong to Modern Murder Victims Actually Date to the Pre-Hispanic Period

Found in a cave in Mexico in 2012, the 10th- through 13th-century bones may have been displayed in a ritual tower of craniums

Archeologists work in the ruins of the temple of Zeus Kasios, a deity that merges the Greek god and Mount Kasios. 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover Temple in Egypt Inspired by Greek God Zeus

The deity was honored throughout the ancient world

Members of the Portela samba school perform during Rio's Carnival parade.

Good News

Carnival Makes a Triumphant Return to Rio de Janeiro

Covid canceled the 2021 festival. Now, the Brazilian city is reclaiming its streets

Detail of a carpet of flowers and colored sawdust in Antigua, Guatemala

Good News

This Guatemalan City Rolls Out Colorful Sawdust Carpets for Holy Week

The longstanding tradition brings a dazzling display to the streets of Antigua each spring

The bowls were probably created in what is now Iraq between the fourth and eighth centuries C.E.

1,500-Year-Old 'Magic Bowls' Seized in Jerusalem Raid

Ancient Mesopotamians used the vessels, which were inscribed with incantations, to ward off demons, disease and other misfortune

Shoichi Yokoi fled to the jungles of Guam to avoid capture in the summer of 1944. He remained in hiding until January 1972.

The Japanese WWII Soldier Who Refused to Surrender for 27 Years

Unable to bear the shame of being captured as a prisoner of war, Shoichi Yokoi hid in the jungles of Guam until January 1972

Jørgen Botolfsen, pictured in 2020 outside Ballstad Fisk AS, where he helps process cod. “Bigger kids are stronger and faster,” he says.

In Norway, Kids Slice Out Cod Tongues for Serious Money

In the remote Lofoten Islands, youngsters are happy to embrace tradition by collecting the local delicacy and selling their wares

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

Indian buffets invite a range of eaters—from the timid to the adventurous—to explore and experiment without intimidation.

Searching for Curry and Enlightenment on the Indian Buffet Line

A return to trays of glistening tandoori and hand-rolled naan for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic is a return to normalcy

This 1925 painting depicts an idealized version of an early Thanksgiving celebration in Plymouth.

How to Tell the Thanksgiving Story on Its 400th Anniversary

Scholars are unraveling the myths surrounding the 1621 feast, which found the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag cementing a newly established alliance

To make true Roquefort cheese, the law requires that it must be produced from local ingredients and ripen for months in a cave in southern France. 

How Much Longer Will Roquefort Reign as the King of Cheese?

In France, makers of the odorous food are singing the blues

The ring could date back to as early as the third century C.E.

Cool Finds

Ancient Amethyst Ring Found in Israel May Have Been Worn to Ward Off Hangovers

Found near a Byzantine-era winery, the jewelry likely belonged to a wealthy, high-status individual

The tablet depicts a male ghost being led back to the afterlife, curator Irving Finkel says.

Cool Finds

3,500-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet May Contain Earliest Known Depiction of a Ghost

A curator at the British Museum details the spooky find in a new book

A plaster cast of a "ghost turnip" carving from Donegal, Ireland

When People Carved Turnips Instead of Pumpkins for Halloween

Revelers in Ireland transformed the root vegetables into lanterns designed to ward off dark spirits

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