Chastity belts are items that titillate and fascinate in equal measure, inspiring the image of a medieval knight locking up his loved one’s private parts to ensure her abstinence during his absence. While exceptionally unhygienic, the belief that a padlock could protect a woman’s virtue has been ridiculed on countless occasions.
Artifacts & Tech
The Burney Relief is considered one of the most important works of art from the Ancient Near East but continues to be a subject of debate to this day.
In 1965, archaeologists were carrying out a survey in Hubei province, China, four miles from the ruins of Jinan, capital of the ancient Chu state, when they discovered 50 ancient tombs. Inside one of the tombs, sealed in a near air-tight wooden box next to a skeleton, they found a rare and perfectly preserved bronze sword with scabbard. When it was unsheathed, the blade did not have a single trace of rust, and it drew blood when an archeologist tested his finger on its edge; it was seemingly unaffected by the passage of time.
What do you think about when you are about to visit the Great Pyramid, one of the most iconic ancient monuments in the world? The answer, as you traverse the uneven bedrock towards its elevated location, is its extraordinary size. However big you imagined it to be, it is never enough to fully appreciate its enormous size.
In 1897, archaeologists uncovered a stunning artifact on a private estate at L'Alcúdia in Valencia, Spain. This find was a statue – a polychrome bust of a woman’s head. Believed to date back to the 4th Century BC, the bust features a woman wearing an elaborate headdress. Now seen as one of Spain’s most famous icons, the bust is known as the Lady of Elche.
The Tara Brooch is a sensational artifact that was discovered on a beach in Bettystown, County Meath, Ireland in 1850. Today, it is considered one of the greatest surviving masterpieces of Celtic metalwork.