funerary

Top image: Archaeologists looking at aerial photography found what they thought to be a hidden long barrow, or Neolithic burial chamber, hidden beneath a wheat field.

No Bones Provides a New Perspective for ‘House of the Dead’

This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated one of the most extraordinary sites we have ever had the pleasure of investigating. The site is an Early Neolithic long...
Famadihana reburial, ‘turning of the bones’ in Madagascar

Plague Epidemic in Madagascar May be Spread by Dancing with the Dead Ritual

The Malagasy people of Madagascar have built a way of life around death – during the dry winter months, famadihana ceremonies, known as “the turning of the bones” and “dancing with the dead”, take...
The Chavola of the Sorceress, Dolmen in Alava, Spain

Neolithic Bones Reveal Socio-economic and Cultural Differences are Nothing New For Spain

The researcher Teresa Fernández-Crespo, lead author of this study, had in a previous piece of work found demographic differences between the people buried in dolmens and those buried in caves: while...
David Tanami, an Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist, works his way into the narrow tomb opening to bring out a jar at a Canaanite burial site near Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo.

4,000-Year-Old Canaanite Burial Included a Jar of Decapitated Toads

Archaeologists discovered the peculiar inclusion of the remains of nine headless toads inside a well-preserved jar positioned carefully inside a 4,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem, Israel. Experts...
The five Roman tombs found at the Beir Al-Shaghala site in the Dakhla Oasis of Egypt's Western Desert.

Roman Era Tombs Discovered in Egypt Reveal Diverse Trends in Burial Architecture and Grave Goods

Not all Egyptian tombs are alike. Apart from the impact of social status, there is also a difference in architectural styles and burial preferences over the long history of their existence. This can...
Pharoah’s Little Helpers: The Shabti Funerary Statuettes of the Ancient Egyptians

Pharoah’s Little Helpers: The Shabti Funerary Statuettes of the Ancient Egyptians

A shabti [also known as ‘ushabti’ (statuettes made from the 21 st Dynasty onwards) or ‘shawabti’ (those from Thebes during the New Kingdom)] is a funerary figurine used by the ancient Egyptians...
A funerary garden discovered by CSIC's research team.

A First-Ever Find in Egypt: 4,000-Year-Old Funerary Garden at Tomb Entrance

The Djehuty Project, led by research professor, José Manuel Galán, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered a 4,000-year-old funerary garden- the first such garden ever to be...
2,000-Year-Old Meat Soup Found in Chinese Nobleman’s Tomb

2,000-Year-Old Meat Soup Found in Chinese Nobleman’s Tomb

Ancient remnants of oxen stew partially preserved in a cauldron, have been found in the tomb of a Chinese nobleman. The tomb, in Henan Province near the city of Xinyang, dates back about 2,000 years...
A group of Trinovantes at a graveside in Colchester by Peter Froste.

The So-Called Druid of Colchester: Physician, Mystical Man, or Both?

In 1996, a team of researchers unearthed a unique burial of a mysterious man. The odd remains and specific funerary equipment thrilled the archaeologists. Was the man who lived 2,000 years ago an...
Tower of silence, Yazd, Iran

Zoroastrian Towers of Silence: Where the Dead Are Left to the Vultures

A tower of silence (known also as a ‘dakhma’) is a type of structure used for funerary purposes by adherents of the Zoroastrian faith. This Zoroastrian practice for the disposal of the dead involves...
Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of complex and gruesome funeral rites found in the Lapa do Santo cave in Brazil have shocked researchers yet again. The researchers have discovered evidence of the mutilation of corpses,...
The Prehistoric Feast of the Cannibals of Gough’s Cave

The Prehistoric Feast of the Cannibals of Gough’s Cave

A new study that examined cut marks on bones in order to distinguish between cannibalism and ritualistic defleshing practices have determined that a very morbid feast took place 15,000 years ago in...
Rock-Cut Tombs in Turkey May be Part of Largest Necropolis in the World

Rock-Cut Tombs in Turkey May be Part of Largest Necropolis in the World

Large tombs cut into rock of the hill upon which sits Urfa Castle in Sanliurfa, Turkey, may have been meant for members of a royal family, archaeologists report. The tombs are in an area that Turkish...
Deriv; Silbury Hill, Avebury, UK. Inset, the humble earthworm

Was Neolithic Silbury Hill Designed as a Welcoming Home for Omnivorous, Upwardly-Mobile Earthworms?

Silbury Hill, said to be the largest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe, looms over the landscape. Yet so little is understood about this enigmatic British site. However, surprising as it may seem...
A set of skulls found buried in a stone cist inside a prehistoric house at Shkārat Msaied in Jordan.

9,000-Year-Old Skeletons Found in Jordan had been Dismembered, Sorted, and Buried in Homes

Archaeologists have made an unusual discovery in a prehistoric village in Jordan – the skeletal remains of more than 70 people that had been allowed to decay and then dismembered. After this, their...
A girl age 14 to 19 was buried with a sickle across her throat, a copper headband and a coin near her mouth; the authors of a new study said her community may have thought she had demonic tendencies.

17th Century Sickle Burials Reflect Belief that Demons Stalked War-Torn Poland

Poland during the 17th century was a nation torn by war, social upheaval, pestilence, famine and Catholic clerics inciting the populace with tales about the devil and witchcraft. The imaginations of...

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Top New Stories

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

Human Origins

Photo of Zecharia Sitchin (left)(CC0)Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki.(right)
In a previous 2-part article (1), the authors wrote about the faulty associations of the Sumerian deities known as the Anunnaki as they are portrayed in the books, television series, and other media, which promotes Ancient Astronaut Theory (hereafter “A.A.T.”).

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

Opinion

Hopewell mounds from the Mound City Group in Ohio. Representative image
During the Early Woodland Period (1000—200 BC), the Adena people constructed extensive burial mounds and earthworks throughout the Ohio Valley in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Many of the skeletal remains found in these mounds by early antiquarians and 20th-Century archaeologists were of powerfully-built individuals reaching between 6.5 and eight feet in height (198 cm – 244 cm).

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)