Evolution is part of human nature. And as a consequence, the mind also changes. We are curious and innovative – maybe not at the level of Einstein – but every human has thought of at least one idea and one innovation. Some thought about formal or religious occasions to celebrate a specific event.
Today, we turn to artifacts, or objects made by humans that relate to cultural or historical interest, to study the reasoning behind this and learn more about the way humans thought, behaved and changed over time. More interestingly, many of the artifacts relate back to ceremonies, giving us a glimpse and a chance to understand how cultures and societies revered these. Some artifacts are made of simple clay. Others have beautiful material woven into them, such as silk and gold.
Artifacts are not just limited to precious metals or expensive jewels encrusted with diamonds. These objects can be as lavish as they can be austere. For example, would you ever think of an umbrella as an artifact? Or a robe? What about a hat? There are many artifacts around the world, all of which are beautiful and interesting. Do you think you can name all of these artifacts on the list? Give it a try!
These are used as a symbol in Christianity. Churches across the world have crosses for followers who want to worship.
These statues were first seen in the first century. Many Buddhist practices require followers to visualize a particular Buddha in order to receive that Buddha’s blessings.
It is said Joseph of Arimathea later used the cup to collect Jesus’s blood at his crucifixion. Today, many Christian denominations utilize a similar object as a standing cup used to hold sacramental wine during the Eucharist.
This piece’s provenance is from Cyprus and it dates back to 600-480 B.C. Currently, this piece can be found in New York’s Met Museum.
This book describes the journey to the afterlife. It was used as a funerary text and it consists mainly of incantations that are believed to help a dead person’s journey to the underworld.
These statuettes were placed in sanctuaries as offerings. If a temple was to be rebuilt, they would be buried.
Sometimes it was used for animal sacrifices. The altar served for offerings made with wine, incense and grain meal mixed with oil.
The cylindrical wheel is on a spindle often made of metal, coarse cotton or other materials. It has the Om Manu Padme Hum mantra written around it.
These objects are used during a ceremony and are rung to request protection. The two objects mainly come together.
These are also known as Malas, the original Sanskrit word. They can be worn wrapped around wrists or left dangling from fingers.
The bowls are believed to clear the mind. They are used during meditation to invoke a state of relaxation when used to produce mellow musical tones.
Quipus are also called ‘talking knots.’ These were used as recording devices in the region of Andrean South America. It consisted of colored, spun threads or strings from llama or alpaca hair.
This cup was used for ritual washing. According to Jewish law, you must ritually wash your hands prior to eating bread and when waking up in the morning.
Ceremonial pipes were used by several Native American cultures. The pipes were smoked to offer prayers, as part of a ceremonial commitment or to seal a treaty.
A baptismal font holds holy water. During the baptismal ceremony, a priest blesses the candidate as part of the ceremony of Christian initiation.
It’s a vessel used to burn incense. The censer is swung on chains during religious ceremonies.
The tabernacle, usually locked, is where churches keep the Eucharist. In some churches, the Eucharist is kept in an ambry, a less visible container set into a wall.
The dikiron and trikirion are candlesticks used by the Eastern Orthodox and Easter Catholic churches. When translated, dikiron means “dual candle” and trikirion means “triple candle.”
The flabellum is made of different materials, including silk, parchment or feathers. These were used to protect consecrated Body and Blood of Christ, as well as the priest, from insects.
Maces originated in the ancient Near East. Today, several countries still use maces during ceremonies. For example, the UK’s House of Commons can only carry session lawfully once the mace is present at the table.
This piece was named after Edward the Confessor, one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the leading figure to place this crown on a monarch’s head during the crowning ceremony.
This sword is used during the coronation of British kings and queens. The sword is considered to be part of the UK’s Crown Jewels.
The Crown Jewels of the UK can be distinguished from others by their prominent piece, St. Edward’s Crown. These can be seen (under armed guard) in the Tower of London.
This cap is a symbol of the British sovereign and carried before the monarch during State Opening of Parliament. It is made of crimson velvet and lined with ermine.
This crown was used by the Russian monarchs until the abolition in 1917. Currently, the crown can be viewed on display in the Kremlin Armoury in Moscow.
Kusanagi was originally known as Ame-no-Murakumo-no-Tsurugi, which translates to “Heavenly Sword of Gathering Clouds.” The sword represents virtue and courage.
This robe is also known as the Robe of State. It is the first robe used during coronation. It must be worn on entry to Westminster Abbey and later at State Openings of Parliament.
This crown was manufactured in 1841, replacing the first crown made for the first Brazilian emperor. It weighs approximately 4 pounds and can currently be found in the Imperial Museum of Brazil.
This gown is to be worn during the anointing ceremony of the British Coronation. It is worn like a coat and can be fastened on the back.
Colobium Sindonis is shroud tunic in Latin. It is a white pleated dress worn during the British coronation symbolizing humility.
One of the most sacred and anciet regalia of Thailand, the Royal Nine-Tired Umbrella is made with white silk and trimmed with gold. The coronation rites must be completed in order for the new king to sit under the umbrella.
The Great Crown of Victory is part of the Thailand Regalia. It is 26 inches high and weighs 16 pounds.
The pallium is worn by the pope. By tradition, when a pope dies, he is buried with the last pallium he wore.
It is believed it used to be of Abbot Suger. The serpentine paten was once used during the coronation of queens.
The chasuble is primarily used in the Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran churches. It is the outermost vestment worn by the priest, over the alb and stole.
These cosmetic palettes were made mainly of siltstone. Later in time, the purpose of these turned more ceremonial and commemorative rather than what they were original made for.
Miters are worn usually by the priests in the Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican churches. The bishop piece in chess was designed after a Western miter.