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Artifacts of the Ancient Past

Archeologists are able to learn a great deal about the ancient past from the artifacts that have been left behind thousands upon thousands of years ago. Some artifacts once served a purpose in everyday life, while others held religious significance. In this article, you will encounter information regarding artifacts, such as the Aztec Sun Stone.

Aztec Sun Stone

Weighing 24 tons, the Aztec Sun Stone is a sculpture that pays homage to sun god Tonatiuh. The artifact was discovered in 1790 , located in Mexico City. The god Tonatiuh is found in the center of the sculpture and is surrounded by previous sun gods. Other symbols associated with the sculpture include the 20 days of the Aztec calendar. Representing a look at the culture that dates back to the 15th century, the sculpture is rather large and has found a home at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico.

Fertility Goddesses

There are many ancient civilizations that worshipped gods and goddesses to increase their chances of conceiving a child. Artifacts centered on fertility deities include sculptures, paintings, jewelry, and ceremonial tools. An example of a fertility goddess artifact is the figurine depicting the Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl, which is kept at the Tate Gallery in London. The artifact shows the goddess during childbirth as a ‘mother goddess.’

Easter Island Sculptures

The dead volcano found at Easter Island is not the main attraction for the site. The huge statures (known as moai) decorate the island. Massive in size, the sculptures are thought the handiwork of Polynesians who may have colonized the South Pacific island around 800 years ago.

Siva Linga

Decorated with symbols of the god Shiva, the Siva Linga is an important feature at the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. The pillars are part of the worshipping traditions associated with the Hindu culture. Other examples of lingan can be found in other locations and are still in use. A common practice associated with worship at the temples is to give an offering of flowers.  

Terra Cotta Warriors

When China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, was buried, he was also joined by a collection of clay soldiers to protect him in the afterlife. The figures were created to mirror the size of a human and are more than 2,200 years old. The warriors were discovered with the excavation of the emperor’s burial complex , which is found close to the city of Xi’an in China’s Shaanxi Province. The tomb where the emperor was laid to rest is said to have been constructed by 700,000 workers, which eventually stretched across 22 square miles.

Anubis Mural

When archeologists explored the tomb of Sennedjem located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, they found an incredibly preserved mural in 1886. Sennedjem was a revered artist who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs. The mural shows the jackal-headed Anubis, who was the Egyptian god of the dead. He is shown tending to the casket of Sennedjem and is found in his burial chamber.