Ancient (pre BCE)

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh

    In the Epic of Gilgamesh, despite clear division between them, Humanity, the Wild, and the Divine are inextricably linked in a synergetic relationship. Throughout the text, a significant emphasis is made on the differences between this triad. However the events of the story itself only prove their strong inter-connectivity. In the text, Humbaba was a monster tasked to guard the home of the gods, incidentally a massive Cedar Forest where Enkidu grew up. So the environment, or the Wild as it is often referred to in the text, houses and protects the Divine from the prying eyes of Humanity. Humbaba, implicitly the avatar of the gods and from a certain…

  • Cemeteries

    We previously looked at the earliest known death rituals of the first settled communities at the end of the last glacial period in areas such as the Levant, Catalhoyuk and so on. We are also fully aware of the astonishing impact of the Egyptian Pyramids and surrounding tombs. Britain’s earliest known cemeteries were arguably Bronze Age and Iron Age Barrows, stone built cairns, and cists, fragmentary burials in famous sites such as Stone Henge, and sacrificial “bog-bodies”. In the 18th Century, allegedly there was found the oldest British example of a dedicated cemetery in a narrow gorge in Somerset, locally known as Aveline’s Hole, where up to 100 neatly aligned…

  • Ancient Ghost Stories

    Anyone familiar with Greek myth knows that any hero worth his salt had to make a visit to the underworld.  However, the afterlife was not an unfamiliar concept to any of the cultures of the ancient world.  In fact, ancient peoples were probably more sure that the soul survived bodily death than some in the modern world.  The details of the afterlife differed from culture to culture, but there are consistent themes.  The afterlife was a place ruled by specific laws and souls could only roam the earth if given specific permission from the gods for special circumstances.  These usually included murder, where the murderer went unpunished, improper funeral rites…

  • Yonaguni Monument- Japan’s Atlantis or Myth

    Yonaguni Jima is an island that lies near the southern tip of Japan’s Ryukyu archipelago, about 75 miles off the eastern coast of Taiwan. It is a popular place to dive as it is home to a large population of hammerhead sharks during the winter. During a dive in 1987, Dive Tour operator Kihachiro Aratake found a series of strange rock formations on the seabed, which resembled man-made buildings. He reported his find, and a group of scientists directed by Masaaki Kimura of the University of the Ryukyus began surveying the area. What they found was a series of ten structures, which resemble a castle, temples and a huge stadium.…

  • The Etruscans

    Before the Romans, there was another advanced civilization living in central Italy- the Etruscans. Not much is known about them, and what we do know comes from the Romans, who threw off their rule to become independent. Therefore, most of our view of them are colored by Roman attitudes, which were less than favorable. Who were the Etruscans really? The Etruscans lived in central Italy in an area including Tuscany, western Umbria and northern Lazio. Some theories say the Etruscans were descendents of the “Sea Peoples”. This would have made them a mix of peoples including the biblical Canaanites or Phoenicians. Hellanicaus of Lesbos wrote in the 5th century BCE…