By Jenny Kane
The Scottish islands that inspired cult pagan film The Wicker Man have lost their last permanent residents.
Tanera Mor in the Summer Isles was the last inhabited island in the group until the owners recent move to the mainland.
The group of 17 islands, set amid the breathtaking, rugged beauty of Scotland’s . . . → Read More: Last Residents Leave “The Wicker Man” Islands
By Darragh Murphy
Down towards Gougán Barra, where the remote wilds of west Cork meet the gentle slopes of the Lee valley, Ted Cook’s home seems like a relic from a forgotten era.
A pheasant keeps sentry out front, unperturbed by visitors. Behind the gate, the grassy driveway looks like it hasn’t seen a car . . . → Read More: Ancient Irish Trees Brought Back to Life
By Stephanie Pappas
A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.
The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, . . . → Read More: Ancient Slab May Be Sundial-Moondial
By Owen Jarus
A massive cult complex, dating back about 3,300 years, has been discovered at the site of Tel Burna in Israel.
While archaeologists have not fully excavated the cult complex, they can tell it was quite large, as the courtyard alone was 52 by 52 feet (16 by 16 meters). Inside the complex, . . . → Read More: Ancient Cult Complex Discovered in Israel
By Jake Wallis Simons
On the vast plains of the Altiplano plateau in South America live people who believe in magic.
Many of the Aymara — an ancient, indigenous race found in Bolivia, Peru and Chile — suppose that on Tuesdays and Fridays, ordinary people become vulnerable to harmful spirits and the evil eye.
That’s . . . → Read More: The ‘Catholic Witchdoctors’ of Bolivia
MIT anthropologist finds that after Soviet domination, a rebirth of shamanism helped Mongolia rewrite its own history
By Peter Dizikes
In 1990, as the Soviet Union was disintegrating, Mongolia, long a satellite of the U.S.S.R., regained its independence. Socialism was out and free markets returned. Religion — in the form of Buddhism, shamanism, and other . . . → Read More: The Surprising Story of Mongolian Shamanism
Agence France-Presse in Shimla
A court in remote northern India has banned a long tradition of sacrificing animals for religious reasons, deeming the practice cruel and barbaric.
The high court in Himachal Pradesh has asked police and other officials to enforce its ban on the slaughter, mainly of goats in Hindu temples throughout the . . . → Read More: Indian Court Bans Animal Sacrifice
By John Lichfield
French archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare example of a neolithic “earth mother” figurine on the banks of the river Somme.
The 6,000-year-old statuette is 8in high, with imposing buttocks and hips but stubby arms and a cone-like head. Similar figures have been found before in Europe but rarely so far north . . . → Read More: The Earth Mother of All Neolithic Discoveries
A groundbreaking survey of the site has turned up tantalizing new clues to what really went on there
By Ed Caesar
We walked the Avenue, the ancient route along which the stones were first dragged from the River Avon. For centuries, this was the formal path to the great henge, but now the only . . . → Read More: What Lies Beneath Stonehenge?
By Carolyn Emerick
The islands of Orkney are a beautiful archipelago located between the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, to the Northeast of Scotland. Like the rest of the British Isles, Orkney is an amalgam of influences. The ancients left standing stones and neolithic settlements as prehistoric monuments to their culture.
The next known . . . → Read More: Orkney Islands’ Neolithic and Viking Heritage