Uncovering the Past: Shigir idol, Mayan city of Nixtun-Ch’ich, ancient drug use, and more

As some Pagans and Heathens attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up that challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. The Shigir idol
YEKATERINGBURG, Russia — In 1894, gold prospectors near Yekaterinburg, 880 miles east of Moscow, found a carved wooden statue 16 feet, 4.8 inches (5 meters) long. Images of human faces, human hands, and zig zag cover the statue; t also had a human head at its top.

Uncovering the Past: Cave Rings, Phoenician DNA, Egyptian Spellcraft and more!

As some Pagans attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up that challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Cave rings in Southern France Hint at Neanderthal religious rites

Archaeologists have reported on an “extraordinary discovery” in France after finding several man-made circular structures, or rings, that date back 170,000 years to the time Neanderthals lived in the area. The rings were constructed out of stalagmites from the Bruniquel Cave in France’s southern region, and excavators believe that they might have been used for some sort of ritual at the time of their creation.

Pagan Community Notes: Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and more

Pagan Community Notes is a series focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. Reinforcing the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. Our hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So let’s get started! 

For Americans, today is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday during which the country acknowledges and celebrates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Due to the current social and political climate, this year’s events have been or will be bigger, and far more poignant than in the past. Several Pagan and Heathen activists have indicated that they are participating in and even organizing public demonstrations, marches and vigils.

Environmental Activism at a Cost: Greenpeace and the Nazca Lines

LIMA, PERU –The environmental activist group Greenpeace has long stood for defending the Earth and all of its creatures, a mission which earth-centered Pagans are likely to support. The organization has been on the front lines of fights against whaling, the toppling of ancient trees, the single-minded pursuit of oil without regard for secondary damages, and has also lobbied for full nuclear disarmament, sought safer alternatives to toxic chemicals, and encouraged sustainable agriculture over genetically modified organisms.

On Dec. 8, however, a group of Greenpeace activists, seeking to attract the attention of United Nations delegates attending the climate talks in Lima, wound up attracting the world’s attention in a bad way. They placed a large message in support of renewable energy adjacent to one of the nearby Nacza Line drawings. While the words themselves were formed using large pieces of yellow cloth, the footprints left by the Greenpeace members irreparably damaged this UNESCO Heritage Site, according to Peruvian authorities.

Uncovering the Past: Nero’s Revolving Restaurant and more

As some Pagans attempt to revive ancient or indigenous religions they often rely on the work of historians, primary texts and archaeologists. For this reason, when something new pops up that challenges long held academic ideas on cultural or religious practice, we pay attention. Here are some of the new(er) finds making waves in archaeological circles. Previously unknown ancient culture found in Peru
Archaeologists working in the Atacama Desert in Peru discovered more than 150 burials belonging to a previously unknown farming culture dating to between the 4th-7th century CE. The graves didn’t have any stone structures or other ways to mark them, and experts think this may be why they were not looted by grave robbers or found by earlier explorers.