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Ötzi or Kelab as portrayed by Jürgen Vogel in Der Mann aus dem Eis (Iceman).

Ötzi the Iceman Becomes a Movie

Inspired by Ötzi’s fascinating story for survival, German filmmaker Felix Randau attempts to revive the life of the most famous natural mummy in history though a feature film. Der Mann aus dem Eis (...
Mummy of a 900-year-old Russian "polar princess"

Viruses Sleeping in Mummies—Could Ancient Corpses Lead to Modern Epidemics?

Mummies fascinate historians, archaeologists, and anyone with antiquarian leanings. Mummies allow scientists to learn more about the diets, clothing, appearance, genetics, and general lifestyle of...
Dried corpse hanging on the wall in the chapel at Évora

The Macabre Capela dos Ossos: Why was it Decorated with the Dead?

When one thinks about the interior design of a place of worship, one generally includes statues of religious icons, paintings of important religious events, perhaps the odd stained-glass window and...
The 4000-year-old brain tissue found in Seyitömer Höyük, Turkey.

Bronze Age Brain: 4000-Year-Old Human Cerebral Tissue Preserved by ‘Corpse Wax’

Tissue from a human Bronze Age brain has been preserved for 4000 years. Archaeologists hope that similar specimens can be found to discover more information on health conditions in the prehistoric...
No escape…Detail of a miniature of ‘Death Chopping Down a Tree’ - British Library, Royal 15 D V f. 36. Jehan Froissart. Chroniques. Netherlands, last quarter of the 15th century.

Medieval Villagers Were Ready to Mutilate Potential Zombies

For the first time, researchers have found evidence in a belief in the walking dead in medieval England, where they analyzed bones and skeletons that were decapitated, burned, and otherwise mutilated...
Le Couronnement d’Ines de Castro en 1361’ (The Coronation of Ines de Castro in 1361) by Pierre-Charles Comte (

Was a Portuguese Queen Really Exhumed for her Coronation?

According to legend, in the mid-14th century a heart-broken King Peter (Pedro) I of Portugal exhumed the corpse of his lover to have her posthumously crowned queen. The romantic scandals of European...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...
Padre Padilla, the Incorruptible: Body of Murdered Friar Remains Perfectly Preserved After Centuries

Padre Padilla, the Incorruptible: Body of Murdered Friar Remains Perfectly Preserved After Centuries

According to the Roman Catholic tradition, the corpses of certain venerable people never decompose or decay. They are “incorruptible”. It is believed that certain individuals and objects can escape...
The Living Dead: Chinese Hopping Vampires

The Living Dead: Chinese Hopping Vampires

The Hopping Vampires (jiang shi) are a type of undead creature found in Chinese folklore. Although its Chinese name is often translated as ‘Chinese hopping vampire / zombie / ghost), its literal...
Evicted from a Cemetery and into a Museum: The Multitude of Mummies of Guanajuato

Evicted from a Cemetery and into a Museum: The Multitude of Mummies of Guanajuato

The mummies of Guanajuato are a group of naturally preserved bodies that were found in Guanajuato, a city in central Mexico. The story of these mummies dates back to 1833, when the city was hit by an...
Detail from an illustration of a body in its coffin that starts to bleed in the presence of the murderer during a cruentation 1497.

The Bizarre Importance of Bleeding Bodies in Medieval Trials

The history of criminal justice and forensic science is really interesting because of all the absurd rituals and superstitions courts relied on to determine guilt or innocence right up until the 19th...
Close-up of human skulls that are part of the Chapel of Bones of the Church of San Francisco in Évora, Portugal.

The Story Behind a Frightening Chapel of Bones in Portugal

There is a Church of San Francisco found in the Portuguese city of Évora, 140 km (87 miles) from Lisbon. Inside this church, next to the cloister of the former Franciscan monastery, in the place...
Tierradentro Hypogea

The Mysterious Tierradentro Hypogea, Tombs and Corpses of the Pre-Colombians

Tierradentro is a national archeological park in Colombia, South America. Within the Tierradentro Park are structures known as hypogea. Hypogea are defined as any structure built underground, but...