Catacomb saints are the lavishly decorated bodies of early Christians that were exhumed from the catacombs of Rome by the Vatican and placed in towns throughout Europe between the 16th and 19th century. The bodies were covered in gold and precious stones and acted as relics. Images: Neitram, Dalibri & Dbu (wikimedia commons)
A Hand of Glory is a severed, pickled hand of a hanged evildoer, either the left hand or the hand that did the evil dead. When combined with a candle made from the evildoer’s fat, it has the power to unlock doors and freeze people in place. The candle’s flame can only be put out with milk, and only shows to its holder. Photo of a Hand of Glory on display at Whitby Museum by Badobadop
Pendants like these, carved from ivory or bone, represent characters in proverbs from Bwami, an educational system that taught the values of the Lega people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They were owned by men and women of the highest ranks of Bwami, who were the intellectual, moral, and political elite. Source: National Museum of African Art, Late 18th Century
Masks of the Opata people, indigenous to Mexico. These masks may have been used in the Opatan spring procession rite known as the fariseo, which still occurs during Easter week in most towns and villages in Opata Country. Source: Museum of the American Indian
These masks, found in the southern Judean desert, are estimated to be over 9,000 years old, the oldest ever found. The first two were found in 1983 in a cave belonging to an ancestor cult among other artifacts, including a decorated human skull. Images: Elie Posner/Israel Museum
The Prognosticon, or The Divining Disc of Pergamon, is a bronze amulet, found in Asia Minor in 1899CE, that was used by ancient magicians of Pergamon to tell the future. The disc seems to use a combination of magic systems, bearing characters from King Solomon amulets, Greek letters, Egyptian hieroglyphs and planetary symbols.
While the Prognosticon’s divination system is unknown, one theory is that the user was meant to gaze into it’s design, in order to enter an altered state of consciousness for divination. Some believe, that by merely possessing an amulet with its symbol, your insight, intuition, and imagination will be enhanced, and replicas of the artifact have been made for consumers. Image: Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, CC-BY-NC-SA
The sarcophagus of Leopold I (1640 – 1705), Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia, found in the Kapuzinergruft Crypt in Vienna, Austria. Images by Jebulon and Dennis Jarvis from Wikimedia Commons.