mummification

Ay as Sem Priest in tomb of King Tutankhamun. Note the leopard pelt – this is an example of the Imiut.

The Enigmatic Imiut: Magical Gear for Ancient Egyptian Priests

The Imiut is a peculiar artifact which has puzzled Egyptologists for a very long time. It was worshipped for its supposed magical powers, making it a fetish, but no one is entirely sure what it was...
Some of the remains of ancient Egyptian pets unearthed in Berenike.

2,000-Year-Old Ancient Egyptian Cemetery Containing Dozens of Pets Unearthed in Berenike

A team of archaeologists have discovered a nearly 2,000-year-old pet cemetery holding the remains of dogs, monkeys and scores of cats at the site of Berenike, an Egyptian town on the Red Sea that...
Egyptian sarcophagus containing mummified remains

The First Genome Data from Ancient Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Egyptians Were Most Closely Related to Ancient Populations from the Near East

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, successfully recovered and analyzed...
A worker on the Middle Kingdom Theban Project takes out an embalming jar he had just discovered among a cache of other embalming materials of the Vizier Ipi, who lived more than 4,000 years ago. (Photo courtesy of the Spanish Mission)

Egyptologists Find 4,000-year-old Dried Heart, 50 Embalming Jars and Mummification Materials of Ancient Vizier

A team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered a large cache of embalming materials for the Vizier Ipi of ancient Egypt’s 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom, including large urns, shrouds and...
Oldest Mummies in the World Are Turning into Black Slime

Oldest Mummies in the World Are Turning into Black Slime

The Chinchorro mummies of Chile, which have been preserved for at least 7,000 years, are turning into black slime due to rising humidity levels causing bacterial growth on the skin. More than one...
Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

A dead noble stands trembling in the Hall of Truth. Behind the noble, Horus, the half-falcon, half-man ruler of Earth, unleashes a piercing stare at the quivering man. Thoth, the sharp-beaked, ibis-...
An Egyptian Mummy

Did Egyptian Mummification Descend from a More Ancient and, Perhaps, Reversible Preservation Technique?

A central concept in the novel The Sphinx Scrolls is whether a mummification technology has ever existed that could preserve someone for long periods and retain the potential to bring them back to...
New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an...
Researchers Unlock the Mystery of the Mummified Lung of a Merovingian Queen

Researchers Unlock the Mystery of the Mummified Lung of a Merovingian Queen

In 1959, an inexplicably well-preserved lung was found in a stone sarcophagus in the Basilica of St. Denis, Paris, France. Since then, researchers have often wondered just how the lung of the 6th...
A three-dimensional volume rendering of the Tuli mummy.

Scans and DNA tests reveal the secrets of a rare African mummy

Natasha Joseph / The Conversation He lay alone in a shallow grave at the base of a cliff for hundreds of years. Then, in 2008, patrol staff at a game lodge stumbled across the man’s remains - and he...
Examples of Egyptian animal mummies in the British museum. The experts don’t know if the mummified animal found in Turkey is a cat, other animal, or a hoax.

Mysterious Mummified Predator Baffles Experts

Some people may not be aware, but animals have been mummified throughout history in various places, including Turkey in the Middle Ages. Niğde, Turkey is a site were researchers have recently found...
Bronze Age skeleton found at Stragglethorpe, during archaeological work on the Highways Agency scheme, England. Representational image only.  (CC BY 2.0)

Solved: the mystery of Britain’s Bronze Age mummies

Whenever mummies are mentioned, our imaginations stray to the dusty tombs and gilded relics of ancient Egyptian burial sites. With their eerily lifelike repose, the preserved bodies of ancient...
Bronze Age skeleton found at Stragglethorpe, during archaeological work on the Highways Agency scheme, England.

Bronze Age Britons Mummified the Dead: Smoked over Fires, Preserved in Bogs

Mummification may have been more common in Bronze Age Britain than previously believed, and the ancient Britons may have purposefully mummified their dead with unknown funerary rituals—but why and...
Top: The tail of an animal can be seen in the innards of this kestrel mummy in a CT scan. (Stellenbosch University photo). Bottom: The mummified kestrel

Discovery of mummified kestrel reveals evidence for falconry in ancient Egypt

Throughout the ages around the world, humans have associated gods of various religions with animals. Some individual animals in ancient Egypt were so sacred they were believed to have the spirits of...
Kha's head in X-ray with a rich gold collar, gold earrings and an opal plate, possibly an amulet. Note the shrunken brain.

Ancient Egyptian Couple Underwent Different Mummification Practice that Preserved their Organs

Medical researchers studying the ancient, mummified bodies of a rich Egyptian architect and his wife whose organs were not removed concluded they had been treated with anti-microbial and insecticide...
Ancient Egyptian child mummy, Hildesheim, Germany

Researchers Use Modern Technology to Uncover Secrets of Ancient Egyptian Child Mummies

At the St. Bernward hospital in Hildesheim, Germany, researchers are busy working on two Ancient Egyptian child mummies, investigating them with the help of CT scanning equipment. The project is...

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Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Our Mission

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.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

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. 

Ancient Image Galleries

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)