Did the ancient Romans share their toilet sponge?

The ancient Romans did not use toilet paper as we know it today. Instead, it was for a long time supposed that they used a sponge on a stick called a "tersorium" or a “xylospongium”, provided to clean themselves after using the toilet. But that may not be true.

Shocking: Do we fail in evolution?

Ancient populations venerated the Mother Goddess, as they realized that only reproduction ensures survival. Has our today's society something to learn from the past? And are we about to loose in the game of evolution?

A tsunami destroyed the tomb of Alexander the Great

For at least 150 years, scientists have recognized that something unusual happened along western Crete and the surrounding shores of the Mediterranean. When Capt. Thomas Pratt mapped the Aegean Sea in the 1850s, he noticed an ancient Roman harbor on an island sitting high and dry, 6 meters above the sea.  Archaeologists found skeletons in collapsed buildings with coins... Continue Reading →

How did Cleopatra die?

As is well known, Cleopatra VII was Queen of Egypt and last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Still today the public is impressed with the story, how she used her charm and intelligence to seduce powerful men and secure her throne as pharaoh - in particular Julius Caesar and after him Mark Antony. The end... Continue Reading →

The location of Cleopatra’s Tomb

You certainly saw the recent headlines in the press about the possible upcoming discovery of Cleopatra’s tomb. A good moment to debate the true location of that tomb. Despite extensive search, the place of the tomb of the famed Cleopatra remained until today a mystery. But we have quite reliable hints. Yet, these do not point to the place, in which one might be looking for it in this moment…

The 11 most extreme body transformation practices in history

Humans have transformed their bodies in many strange ways throughout history. From body modifications such as tattoos, piercings, and scarification, to extreme bodybuilding, plastic surgery, and even the use of prosthetics, humans have found ways to alter their appearance and function in unique and sometimes unusual ways. While not everyone went as far as to remove the bridge of his nose, as Federico Montefeltro, many people modify their bodies for cultural or religious reasons, while others do it for personal expression or as a form of rebellion. here the most extreme...

Surprising mystery: Virgil, Klingsor and some very special witching powers

As most will know, Virgil (70-19 BCE) was a Roman poet reputed for his wonderful Bucolica, the enchanting Georgica and the Roman national epic, the Aeneid. While he is today only acknowledged as a singer of nature and heroes, in old times and especially in the Middle Ages he was above all considered a magician with a reputation for possessing a special knowledge of the mystical and the occult.

Sacred deformations: Caesar’s human-footed horse and the six-fingered saints

Sometimes nature plays strange tricks on its creations. Mutations, deformations, peculiarities are the material of which evolution is made. Often, however, the human being has attributed miraculous powers to these deformations. For instance, horses with cloven hooves were placed close to unicorns, and six-fingered humans had the makings of saints. The god Wotan even rode... Continue Reading →

Naples – Bizarre traditions venerating skulls

To this day thousands of years old rites and cults characterize Naples. They are of Greek, Roman and Christian origin, mixed with traditions and legends. One particularly bizarre ritual is that of venerating the souls in purgatory by tending to skulls - the cult of the Anime Pezentelle.While there has always been veneration of the... Continue Reading →

A sacrifice of Kings in Ancient Ireland?

In many ancient peoples it was customary to make sacrifices to the earth or the gods. Today we know that the ancient Germanic peoples offered sacrifices especially in lakes, crevices in the earth and bogs. Broken weapons, valuable musical objects and even human beings have been found. Especially in bogs, the low-oxygen environment and the... Continue Reading →

Walled in alive in Antigua Guatemala

In Antigua Guatemala, the former capital of Guatemala, there are the ruins of numerous Spanish colonial buildings. The magnificent churches in particular still attract visitors today. One of them is particularly fascinating, due to its peculiar structure and goosebump-inducing history: the church and convent of the Capuchin nuns. The convent was consecrated in 1736 and... Continue Reading →

The Great Antrum: A mysterious tunnel in the crater wall – path to Hades or heating of the emperors?

If you drive along the coast in the north of Naples, you will see it dominated by factories, sunny beaches and crowded streets. In between, however, there are ancient brick walls, you see grottos in the tuff on the beach and the outlines of sunken structures appear in the azure water. Involuntarily, you ask yourself:... Continue Reading →

Who burned the ships of Caligula? or: When Rome was almost displaced to Egypt

Despite their extraordinary importance, the great public hardly knows the Nemi ships and their history. The reason is obvious: they no longer exist. Their story, however, is fascinating. These two ancient parade boats were gigantic constructions that Emperor Caligula had built in honour of the goddess Diana during his term of office, which lasted only... Continue Reading →

The place to be

They exist, the bottlenecks of the world, the places where everyone passes through and which everyone knows. Today you would list Frankfurt Airport, Heathrow and Miami, in the past it was the Azores, Goree in Senegal, Madagascar or the Cape of Good Hope.

Of pirates and shallow reefs

There are strange places in the middle of the sea that lurk in front of the sailor like trapdoors in front of the wanderer. The Abrolohos Reef in Australia, the Goodwin Sands off England, the Skerki Banks off Tunis, the Bassa do Indias near Mozambique and Chinchorro Banks off Yucatan are just a few of... Continue Reading →

The begin of our globalized world

Increasingly globalized and interconnected world, it is interesting to ask the question - when did all this actually start? When did humanity first produce standardized consumer goods, created with standardized materials, ... When did we set out on the road to modernity?

A story of thirst

For humans and animals, the Yucatan context has always meant that they had to search for water underground or use broken Cenotes as wells.

A history of lead

Great events are known to cast their shadows, even if sometimes they cast them behind. Whether the Emperor Nero was really the one who burned Rome in 64 A.D. or whether it burned due to carelessness is difficult to determine today, but it is clear that this event had consequences. Among others it resulted in... Continue Reading →

Wandering in hidden places

In the middle of August last year, I stood in a grotto whose walls were grey with wetness and covered in stalactites. The light from the headlamps flickered eerily and my shoes slipped on the ancient steps of a sunken amphitheatre that the tuff had enclosed as tightly as hard stone. At one place a... Continue Reading →

El Dorado lies under water

In their quest for wealth, the European conquerors met with legends that made them penetrate ever further into the interior of the American continent. One of these legends was that of El Dorado, 'the Golden one'. While various cartoons and films today portray El Dorado as a mythical city, it was more likely a human being.

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