Rituals and Traditions

A little rain doesn’t stop the show, and neither does a worldwide pandemic. Just months after Covid-19 gripped the globe, high school football players—and referees—were back on the field.

Are You Ready for Some Football? Prep for the Super Bowl With 15 Thrilling Photos of Americans Tossing the Pigskin

Celebrate the cherished American sport before the big game

An image of an archaeologist excavating the wooden funerary bed and a reconstruction of the artifact (top right)

Archaeologists Discover Rare Roman Funerary Bed Buried Beneath London

The wooden bed was likely dismantled IKEA-style before being buried alongside a high-status individual

Tang yuan fill the bowls of Asian households worldwide during Lunar New Year celebrations, the white, spherical desserts serving as edible representations of the moon shining overhead.
 

A Lunar New Year Staple, Tang Yuan Are a 'Dose of Luck and Sweetness'

The chewy rice balls ooze with indulgent filling and layers of symbolism

A 1,700-year-old mosaic jade mask and a carved femur bone found inside an ancient Maya tomb at Chochkitam, Guatemala

Archaeologists Discover 1,700-Year-Old Jade Mask Inside the Tomb of a Maya King

Located in Guatemala, the tomb also held rare mollusk shells, carvings and other funeral offerings

Ice worms spend most of the day burrowing their way through the cold, dark interior of the glacier, coming to the surface only in the afternoon to feed on algae and bacteria.

This Eight-Day Festival Celebrates One of Alaska's Weirdest Worms

Welcome to the Cordova Ice Worm Festival, a quirky local tradition honoring the mysterious creatures that live in glacial ice

The Glen Affric tartan, which dates to the 16th century, on top of the newly recreated pattern

You Can Now Wear a Recreation of Scotland's Oldest Tartan

Fashion designers have created a fabric inspired by the Glen Affric tartan, which was discovered in a peat bog and dates to between 1500 and 1600

Archaeologist and folklorist Billy Mag Fhloinn rediscovered the Altóir na Gréine, or the "Altar of the Sun," in Ireland.

Everyone Thought This 4,000-Year-Old Tomb Had Been Destroyed. Then, an Archaeologist Found It

Billy Mag Fhloinn located the Altóir na Gréine, thought to have vanished in the 19th century, in southwest Ireland

A Lötschental Valley resident dressed as a Tschägättä strolls around the village of Wiler, in Valais, Switzerland moments before the annual Carnival Parade begins.

Discover the Beasts of Switzerland’s Lötschental Valley

During Carnival, villagers wearing wooden masks and dressing like fearsome “tschäggättä” terrorize the streets

An excavation of the dry Papowo Biskupie lakebed unearthed over 550 bronze artifacts.

Bodies and Treasure Found in Polish Lake Could Be Connected to Ancient Water Ritual

New research suggests the Chelmno group followed their water burials with mass deposits of bronze jewelry and artifacts

One side of the silver medal depicts Zeus holding Nike in the palm of his hand, while the other side features the Acropolis in Athens.

Winners Got Silver Medals at the First Modern Olympic Games in 1896

A rare example of the nearly 130-year-old silver medal just sold at auction for $112,000

A more than four-foot-long medieval sword was found just to the left of the Swedish man's skeleton.

This Medieval Man Was Buried With a Four-Foot-Long Sword in Sweden

Researchers in Halmstad think he was a high-ranking member of the nobility before his death some 600 years ago

The artifact was found during a two-week dig by a volunteer group in the village of Norton Disney.

Another Mysterious Roman Dodecahedron Has Been Unearthed in England

More than 100 such ancient artifacts have been found throughout Europe, but nobody knows what they are

Many of the graves onsite were protected by tile or terracotta coverings.

Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Roman Cemetery Full of Jewelry, Coins and Clothing

Discovered north of Rome, the burial ground lies near what was once an upper-class villa

Workers discovered this Indigenous ossuary while digging in Toronto.

Construction Workers Discover Indigenous Burial Ground in Toronto

Researchers who investigated the site estimate that it's about 700 years old

A mask uncovered during recent excavations at Saqqara

Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Egyptian Tomb and Stunning Trove of Artifacts

Excavations at Saqqara revealed burials, colorful masks and statues of the goddess Isis

An aerial view of the temple walls unearthed north of Rome

Roman Imperial Cult Temple Unearthed Beneath a Parking Lot in Italy

The pagan temple sheds new light on the empire's gradual embrace of Christianity

Some skeletons found in the cemetery are lying flat on their backs, while others were buried in unusual positions.

Archaeologists Discover Early Medieval Cemetery in Wales

The site contains skeletons in unusual positions and evidence of feasting rituals

The object was found by metal detectorists in Norfolk, England.

This 1,200-Year-Old Artifact Is Stunning—but Nobody Knows What It Is

The intricately decorated silver object was likely created by a highly skilled craftsperson in England

Volunteers repairing and refreshing the 180-foot-tall giant in 2019

This Mysterious Hillside Carving Is Actually Hercules, Researchers Say

England's 180-foot-tall Cerne Abbas Giant may have served as a landmark for gathering troops

A kaleidoscope of Christmas lights creates a satisfying spectacle for the eyes.

All Is Bright With These 15 Cheery Christmas Photos

Celebrate the holiday season with festive shots from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

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