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Exploring significant or unusual cultural and religious practices around the world


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On the north wall of a 1,000-year-old tomb found recently in Datong City, in northern China, a mural shows shows a cat, dog and attendants in a bedroom with an empty bed. Exactly who occupied the tomb is a mystery -- no human remains were found.

1,000-Year-Old Tomb Reveals Murals, Stars & Poetry

Archaeologists in China have discovered a mausoleum, dating back over 2,100 years, that contains three main tombs, including the tomb of Liu Fei (shown at bottom), the ruler of the Jiangdu kingdom in China.

2,100-Year-Old King's Mausoleum Discovered in China

Gold diadem consisting of 8 lyre-shaped sections decorated with acanthus leaves, tendritis and palmettes and a known of Hercules at the center with a winged Eros; 320-330 BC. - Archaelogical Museum of Thessaloniki

Thracian jewellery stunning miracle. A newly discovered gold treasure near the village of Sveshtari sheds light on ancient rituals. The gold fil­i­greed tiara with lion motifs is the most impress­ive arte­fact of the Svesh­tari treas­ure.

Thracian jewellery stunning miracle

"Greek kitchen"Greece - Archaeological Museum of Delos | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Cuneiform inscription recording the erection of a staircase in the Palace of Darius by Artaxerxes III. 19th-century plaster cast taken from sculptures on the Palace of Darius at Persepolis.

This image shows the largest stone ship setting on Gotland. Archaeologists think these 3,000-year-old stone ships were used as symbolic vessels to carry the dead into the afterlife, since bones and urns are often unearthed from the sites. But one researcher believes Scandinavia's stone ships were also useful to the living, as ritual gathering spaces and possibly even teaching tools.

Ancient Stone Ships Reveal Life and Death in the Bronze Age

Thamudic (الثمودية in Arabic) is an Old North Arabian dialect known from pre-Islamic inscriptions scattered across the Arabian desert and the Sinai. Dating to between the 4th century BC and the 3rd or 4th century AD, they were incorrectly named after the Thamud people, with whom they are not directly associated.

Ancient Scripts: Thamudic

Bronze Ritual Vessel (Gong). China, Shang Dynasty, circa 1200 B.C.

Assyrian Treasures from the city of Kalhu(Nimrud) Find Gold ornaments in Queen tombs - Golden Earnings The Iraqi Museum - Baghdad

Clockwise from top left: a golden diadem found near the skulls of two women, a gold crown found on a child, armlets inlaid with semiprecious stones, and a gold necklace that once graced the neck of an Assyrian royal consort. (By kind permission of the State Organization of Antiquities and Heritage, Baghdad).

From Baghdad With Gold - Archaeology Magazine Archive

The Phoenician alphabet. Note that ’ and ‘ were originally full consonants in the Phoenician language (glottal stop and voiced pharyngeal respectively). Several of the letters were ambiguous (i.e. denoted more than one consonant phoneme) when the Phoenician alphabet was borrowed to write Old Aramaic and Biblical Hebrew, but there is no clear evidence of this for the Phoenician language itself.

File:Phoenician alphabet.svg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Smiting weather god or warrior with horned headgear Period: Late Bronze Age Date: ca. 14th–13th century B.C. Geography: Levant Culture: Canaanite Medium: Bronze

Sumerian Cuneiform Alphabet

The Silk Road gained momentum by 1st BCE with 4 contiguous empire systems: the Romans, Parthians, Kushans and the Han, along with the nomadic Xiongnu, developing century long connections. The relationship between the civilizations and nomadic societies is woven in the process of empire creation and destruction along the Silk Road, fluctuating in sustained connections, and changed societies and empire fortunes.

Maps - Age of Empires III Heaven

Gold comb with Scythians in battle, 5th-4th centuries BC. This comb recalls the facade of a Greek temple with a colonnade made up of its 12 teeth, a triangular fronton with three battling warriors, and a frieze of five reclining lions. Excavated in 1913 at Solokha Barrow, Ukraine.

The State Hermitage Museum: Virtual Tour

Mountain-shaped Censer from the tomb of Liu Shen at Lingshan, Mancheng, Hebei province Western Han dynasty, second half 2nd century BC. Bronze with gold inlay

Taoism and the Arts of China

Roman Bronze Statuette of Attis with a Cornucopia, 1st - 2nd Century AD

Origins of the pipa. The pear-shaped pipa was likely introduced to China from Gandhara. Pear-shaped lutes were depicted in Kusana sculptures from the 1st century AD. Another theory suggests a possible derivation from the Persian word "barbat". The theories are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Liu Xi stated that the instrument called "pipa", though written differently (枇杷 or "piba") in the earliest Han texts, originated from amongst the Hu, the foreigners or barbarians.

Pipa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Figures found in the Yangjiawan Tombs at Xianyang, Shaanxi Province China Western Han Dynasty mid-2nd century BC Earthenware.

Gold framed pendant, found at the biblical town of Nimrud .Nimrud was the capital of Ashurnasirpal II. an Assyrian king of the 9th century BC

The gold fish of Vettersfelde, Scythian, ca 500 BCE

Hittite language

Ancient Spade “Pu” Money. Chou Dynasty. Prior to 1200 BC farming equipment (spades, machetes or knives) were a medium of trade/ barter. About 1200 BC miniature spades and knives were made and traded in place of the larger objects. Location: China | Circa Date: 1122 - 255 B.C. | Dimensions: 2.5" x 1.5".

Ancient Spade “Pu” Money |

Stonehenge Plan

Stonehenge Map and Stonehenge Aerial view; by Mystic Realms