Romans Used Powdered Mouse Brain and Human Urine in Their Toothpaste

Romans were particularly meticulous about their oral care, but their toothpaste recipes were anything but ordinary. A primary ingredient in Roman toothpaste was powdered charcoal, derived from various burned substances, including animal bones and oyster shells. This provided the abrasive quality necessary for cleaning teeth. Surprisingly, another ingredient in their dental concoction was crushed mouse […]

Lead White Was a Lethal Pigment That Painted a Deadly History

Lead white, a pigment as notorious as it is historic, has painted a perilous line through human history. For over two millennia, this deceptively vibrant hue has been a silent killer, lurking in the toolkits of artists and the vanities of the ancient elite. A Toxic Recipe from Antiquity The genesis of lead white is […]

El Colacho: The Spanish Festival Where Men Jump Over Newborn Babies

In the heart of Spain, the quaint village of Castrillo de Murcia becomes the epicenter of a centuries-old tradition known as El Colacho, where men vault over newborns to ward off evil—a spectacle as captivating as it is unconventional. A Centuries-Old Ceremony for Sin Cleansing El Colacho, which takes place during the festival of Corpus […]

India’s Mysterious Brihadeeswarar Temple Doesn’t Cast a Shadow

India’s history boasts numerous architectural masterpieces. Among them is the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Tamil Nadu, known for a very unique feature: its shadow seems to completely vanish at noon! An Engineering Feat from the Chola Dynasty Constructed during the reign of the Chola dynasty in 1010 AD by King Raja Raja Chola I, the Brihadeeswarar […]

Warding Off the Evil Eye: Ancient Rings and Phallic Talismans

For thousands of years, people have been plagued by the haunting belief that envious or disdainful gazes could bring them harm, injury, bad luck or even death. In response, various cultures have created jewelry and other talismans to protect themselves from the negative effects of what has come to be known as the evil eye. […]

At this Aztec Festival, Priests Wore Capes of Human Skin from Sacrifice Victims

Few festivals of the ancient world are as strikingly eerie and gruesome as the Aztecs’ Tlacaxipehualiztli. Held annually during the second month of the Aztec calendar, Tlacaxipehualiztli was a festival dedicated to Xipe Totec, the god of fertility, agriculture, and war. The god’s name, “our lord the flayed one,” provides a haunting clue about the […]

Astonishing 2,700-Year-Old Assyrian Winged Deity Unearthed in Iraq

In a landmark discovery, archaeologists have re-excavated a magnificent lamassu at the ancient city of Khursbad, Iraq. The monumental sculpture, an embodiment of an Assyrian protective deity , is generally depicted with a human-like head, wings like a bird, and a body resembling either a bull or lion. This intricate piece of Assyrian craftsmanship, which […]

Archaeologists Unearth a Medieval Skeleton with a Prosthetic Hand

In an extraordinary archaeological discovery in Freising, Germany, experts have unearthed a medieval skeleton equipped with an iron prosthetic hand. The burial, dated to the 15th century, offers compelling evidence of early prosthetic technology and medical innovation. This find was announced by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation during excavation works near the Church of St George. Carbon […]