We’ve shared what we thought the most impressive finds of the year, and now we will share those articles which really caught our readers interest this this year. Here we have the top 10 most popular articles Ancient Origins published in 2022.
1.10 Shocking Facts about the Ancient Romans
When studying ancient societies, it isn’t uncommon to experience some culture shock. Even after researching a society for years, you’ll come across something that will stop you straight in your tracks. Few ancient societies have had as big an impact on the modern world as that of the ancient Romans, and evidence of their culture, religion, and laws can still be felt in society today. This doesn’t mean however that everything the Romans did made sense. Here are ten shockingly strange facts about the ancient Romans, including the ban on wearing purple, prostitutes having to die their hair, fathers legally allowed to kill their family and gruesome modes of corporal punishment to name a few.
The Bronze Age gold artifact found in a beet field in the Czech Republic. Source: Muzeum Bruntál
2.“Supernatural” Bronze Age Gold Device Unearthed in Czech Republic
A beet farmer in the Czech Republic uprooted an ornate Bronze Age gold artifact. It was well preserved in mud and the anonymous farmer photographed the golden treasure then sent the images to archaeologists at the Silesian Regional Museum in Opava, a city in the Moravian-Silesian Region.
The wafer thin and crumpled sheet of gold is estimated to have been created around 2,500 years ago.
According to Live Science , museum conservator Tereza Alex Kilnar said that while nobody can be sure, the golden artifact was most likely “the front of a leather belt.” But this is no ordinary belt fastener either, because the archaeologists believe it was constructed with cosmological/supernatural concepts in mind.
King Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou in an illuminated miniature. Source: Public domain
3.Henry VI Needed a Helping Hand to Bed His Wife Margaret of Anjou
In her book The Shadow King: The Life and Death of Henry VI , historian Lauren Johnson claimed that the prudish 15th century king of England needed a helping hand to do the deed when it came to impregnating his wife. Remembered as an inordinately pious king, it appears that Henry was more interested in religion than his duties as a husband. So much so, that after his marriage it took eight years to produce an heir.
Understanding the Stonehenge calendar is easy if you follow Stephen Childs’ thinking in this article and in his book “Stone Circles Explained.” This image shows sunrise at this ancient site. Source: Gail Johnson / Adobe Stock
4.The Stonehenge Calendar: A Prehistoric Approach to Time’s Passing
Readers will probably know that Stonehenge’s design highlights the longest and shortest days of the year, but it is not always understood that its strange configuration was designed to enable every day and every month in the year to be counted and tracked by its resident timekeepers. The passage of time was very important to prehistoric people. Farmers needed to be able to identify propitious days for sowing, harvesting, trading and religious festivals. As the Old Testament said: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.” Located at the meeting point of ancient trackways, the Stonehenge calendar was as important to the time regulation of prehistoric England as Greenwich time is today.
There is a myriad of mythology surrounding mirrors. Source: MiaStendal / Adobe Stock
5.Haunted Mirrors, Bloody Mary and Superstitious Mirror Mythology
A particular genre of mythology has formed around mirrors, made up of traditions and superstitions within cultures throughout the world. Researchers have tried to get to the bottom of these legends, such as those relating to haunted mirrors. From Buddhists to the ancient Greeks, and right up into the present day, these superstitions and traditions have remained with us in many shapes and forms.
Haunted Mirrors, Bloody Mary and Superstition
Probably the most well-known superstition related to mirrors is the one which concerns Bloody Mary. Legend has it that a young girl who climbs the stairs backwards in the dark while holding a mirror and a candle will see her future husband in the moment when she reaches the top of the staircase. It is also said that the appearance of the image of Death as an entity in the mirror means that the girl is going to die before getting married.
An aerial photo of the giant China sinkhole or tiankeng at Leye-Fengshan Global Geopark, in south China’s Guangxi Province, which was huge and is home to an amazing primeval forest. Source: Zhou Hua / Xinhua
6.A Lost Primeval World Has Been Found in a Giant South China Sinkhole!
Chinese explorers have discovered a lost world in an exceptionally deep and large sinkhole in south China. And in this ancient subterranean space they expect to find flora and fauna unknown to science.
A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, caused by bedrock collapsing in karst terrain that exposes groundwater channels. When we read the word cenote it’s normally followed up with a story about Aztec or Maya bodies and artifacts. This is because Mexico and Central America virtually float on underground rivers with thousands of cenotes peppering the landscape. However, this sinkhole story is from China, where an enormous karst sinkhole has recently been discovered containing its own untouched primeval ecosystem.
One of the two more ships the underwater robot found while diving at the San Jose wreck site. Source: Presidency of the Republic of Colombia
7.Deep-Sea Robot Reveals Treasures of $20 Billion San Jose Wreck
Billions of dollars of gold, silver and emeralds encrust a tiny patch of the Caribbean Sea. In 1708, during the War of Spanish Succession (1701 to 1714), a British Navy warship sailing from Panama sank the 62-gun Spanish galleon known as the San José. This treasure-laden galleon has lain undisturbed off the coast of Cartagena, the fortified city on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, for the last three centuries.
When the wreck of the San José was discovered in 2015 it sparked an international uproar as several countries laid claim on her immensely valuable cargo, dubbed the Holy Grail of shipwrecks. Nevertheless, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque announced that the Colombian Navy (ARC) has sent a high tech robot to a depth of 944.88 meters (3,100 ft) with a high-resolution camera.
In this 17th-century depiction of Stonehenge from the Atlas van Loon one wonders where the Scotsman Stonehenge architect of Dr John Hill’s convincing theory is working and on what. Source: Blaeu, J / Public domain
8.The Scottish Stonehenge Architect and His Aberdeenshire Stone Circles
Sooner rather than later I hope that my fellow archaeologists will accept the fact that Stonehenge was designed by a very small number of exceptional Neolithic architects and one of those Stonehenge architects was a man who once lived in Aberdeen. Now, I need to use this article to clarify why I believe that such a Scottish Stonehenge architect played a vital role in the construction of this prehistoric structure.
I am an experimental archaeologist who has been reconstructing the architectural designs of numerous British Neolithic monuments for over 20 years. To do so, my experimental methods utilize measured lengths of ropes to set out on the ground the designs of these monuments. Significantly, Stonehenge has been the focus of my attention for most of this time and here is an example of my experimental work.
A pair of King Tut’s sandals. Source: © Merja Attia
9.King Tut Stepped on his Enemies: Learning from Tutankhamun’s Sandals
While Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw has entered popular imagination for her stunning array of shoes and fashion savvy, few know that the young King Tut also enjoyed a vast collection footwear. The stunning find of Tutankhamun’s tomb KV62 by Howard Carter , one of the most exciting discoveries ever made by Egyptologists, captured headlines around the world back in the 1920’s. While his golden death mask has become an iconic symbol of ancient Egypt, it was only in 2007 that experts undertook an in-depth study into the king’s footwear.
While the exact number of sandals is unclear, at least 80 samples were discovered in the virtually intact tomb of King Tut , included in order to accompany him into the afterlife. While some were discovered in surprisingly good condition, all that was left of others were small fragments of foot straps. The best preserved were the gold sandals discovered on the feet of King Tut’s mummy.
Mad monarchs usually battled themselves, but internal struggles often led to unforeseen encounters with other powerful forces like dragons! Source: Dusan Kostic / Adobe Stock
10. Mad Monarchs and Dragons: Is there Truth Behind the Fantasy World of George R. R. Martin?
There is a saying stating that books are written from other books. Keeping this in mind, new books draw on ideas, aspects and inspiration contained within the pages of other already existing books. In a way, this also applies to the fantasy realm created by George R. R. Martin which offered the world the highly successful TV series “ Game of Thrones ” and the upcoming prequel series “ House of the Dragon .” And in both of these works we have more than a few examples of mad monarchs, male and female, and dragons that serve the good or the bad.
Thinking about the vast fictional mythology present in George R. R. Martin’s fantasy world raises one major question: “Is there any real fact or actual truth behind it?” And if there is, then what is it? So, let the quest for truth begin!
So there we have it, the 10 articles that the most readers thought it was worth clicking on in 2022. We look forward to bringing you more of the same in 2023!
Top image: From the Old Colosseum, by Valdemar Irminger. Source: Public domain
By Ancient Origins