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A medieval alchemical book reveals new secrets

Originally posted on British Museum blog:
Bink Hallum, Arabic Scientific Manuscripts Curator, British Library  Marcel Marée, Assistant Keeper, Department of Ancient Egypt & Sudan, British Museum A page from the 18th-century copy of al-‘Irāqī’s Book of the Seven Climes (British Library, Add. MS 25724, fol. 50v) Among the many intriguing objects on display in the…

Ukrainian Lessons

Originally posted on nationalismwatch:
Four things that are wrong with the conventional wisdom about the country’s politics. by Petra Stykow and Peter Rutland Transitions Online, 10 April 2014 The dramatic developments in Ukraine left Western media scrambling to explain a distant and complex country to an audience that could barely locate the places on a…

The evolution of walking (bipedalism)

Introduction We are seen as the only great ape to have stood upright and taken strides forward. Why this event took place is surrounded by a lot of hypotheses.  These include 1. savannah theory: leaving the trees to live on the ground (Dart, 1953) 2. brachiation hypothesis: it evolved from walking in trees from branch […]

Kissing the bride and the cult of Adonis

The ancient mystery cult of Adonis, was prevalent in the region of Byblos and the surrounding mountainous area of North Lebanon. So popular was the myth of Adonis, that the Greeks fully endorsed it and t became almost more synonymous with ancient Greece than its origins which were very much in Lebanon. Adonis was the […]

Cultural associations of the Boar in ancient Lebanon and Egypt

In the almost collective myth of gods of rebirth being dispatched by irate gods there are two that will be focused on; the death of Osiris by his brother Seth and the death of Adonis by the jealous God Ares. These two gods of rebirth were dispatched by a wild Boar. The strength, courage, and […]

The sarcophagus of King Ahiram of Byblos

The tomb of Ahiram was hailed as one of the most exciting finds by Semitic scholars, the tomb now in the national museum of Beirut, is widely accepted to be from around 1000 B.C. When the tomb was discovered by the French archaeologist Pierre Montet, it soon became apparent that it was an important link […]

The Real Cup of Christ?

The legend of the Holy Grail has captured our collective imagination for centuries. From the Da Vinci Code through Indiana Jones to the Arthurian Legends of old we have Grail-mania at the center of our culture. The Grail’s form has changed over the centuries with different versions of the story. Most recently Dan Brown and the authors […]

The Year of the Snake

Two days ago the Chinese culture celebrated the advent of the year of the black water snake. For the Chinese it represents a year commanded or influenced by the personality of the snake.The snake being a popular figure in mythology world wide, is the creator of the universe in ancient cultures from China, Africa, India […]

A Tyrian Odyssey

In Lebanon there is a heritage so rich in history and an influence that pervades through the ancient Mediterranean basin that makes specifics difficult to ascertain. The mysterious nature of this time makes myth and legend the ancient’s form ancient history. The mythological assimilation of ancient God’s and Goddess’s creates a weave compounded by time, […]