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sacrifice

Adult couple in embrace from Siberia.

Skeletons in Love: What is Behind the Loving Embrace in the Andronovo Burials?

There is something unique about the Bronze Age tombs in the Novosibirsk region of Siberia. The Andronovo burials, as they have been called, include dozens of skeletal remains of couples clutching...
Momia Juanita

Mummy Juanita: The Sacrifice of the Inca Ice Maiden

Momia Juanita (‘Mummy Juanita’) is the name given to the mummy of a 15th century Incan girl who was discovered in Peru in 1995. She is known also as the ‘Lady of Ampato’, and the ‘Inca Ice Maiden’,...
Excavating one of the Pre-Inca tombs.

Newly Unearthed Pre-Inca Tombs Show Ancient Chimú Practiced Child Sacrifice

12 children have been identified amongst the 50 individuals buried in 47 Pre-Inca tombs at a recently unearthed site in Peru. Archaeologists believe the children were sacrificial offerings. A wealth...
The skeletons and a depiction of what the grave may have originally looked like.

Mammoth Tears of Compassion Sealed A 34,000-Year-Old Children’s Grave

About 34,000 years ago, two physically challenged boys were buried head to head, with tens of thousands of animal bone offerings, according to a Cambridge Journal of Antiquity paper published last...
The Iron Age skull was deliberately severed from its body.

Iron Age Skull Suggests Sinister Story of Severed Heads Tossed into Wetlands

There is much to consider when a human skull is found. When the authorities reach the scene, they need to find out if it is the mark of a modern death or the remains from a person who lived in the...
Externsteine, north-eastern face, across Wiembecke pond.

Worship? Meditation? Sacrifice? What Ancient Ritual Activities Were Held at the Externsteine Sacred Stone Formation?

Externsteine is an unusual sandstone rock formation near Ostwestfalen-Lippe in the northwest of Germany. It is unique among other monolithic sites in Europe because it is a natural formation that has...
Artist's rendering of the hof, a pagan temple, in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Heathen Hof: Resurrecting a Germanic Pagan Temple

A heathen hof, also referred to as a Germanic pagan temple, is the name given to a place of worship in the Germanic religion. These were pre-Christian temples found in various parts of Northern...
Two views of the broken skull of a young girl who was a probable victim of human sacrifice

Dismembered Remains Tell Horrifying Tale of Ritual Human Sacrifice in Ancient Crete

In the distant past, earthquakes shook not only lands, but also the ancient perspective on how to interact with the world, the gods, and each other. During a recent lecture at the Archaeological...
Rice goddesses are found across cultures

Rice Goddesses - Earth Mothers who Influenced Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld

For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives becoming more difficult due to climate change, Bloomberg states...
Collection of Egyptian Busts and Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Nefertiti and the Perfect Serenity of Death: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun —Part II

Archeological records and a trove of recovered specimens inform us that shabtis (funerary figurines) produced from different materials were placed in the tombs of Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh...
Collection of Egyptian Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Deputies of the Dead from Amarna to Thebes: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun—Part I

Among the most important items that made it into the crypts of both kings and commoners alike were shabti figurines that served to ensure that the Afterlife was one long holiday for their masters...
Andromeda Chained to the Rock by the Nereids

Throwing Virgins into the Sea and Other Ways to Appease the Gods: The Ancient Reasons behind Virgin Sacrifice

When the going got tough, it was believed sacrificing a virgin to the gods—by throwing them into the sea, burying them alive, or leaving them for hungry monsters—was the best plan. Virgin sacrifice...
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...
Reconstructed heads of the children that may have been sacrificed for a double burial in Sunghir, Russia.

The Sunghir Burial Site: Were these Two Children Sacrificed in a Form of Prehistoric Scapegoating?

One of the clearest signs of behavioral modernity in the archaeological record is the appearance of art and religion. Once we see indications of creative and speculative minds at work trying to...
The Purusha or ‘cosmic man’, which has a thousand heads and permeates the earth and universe in all directions.

The Real Reason Ancient Indo-Europeans Carried Out Human Sacrifice

The ultimate aim of the original Indo-European sacrifices, modelled after the cosmic sacrifice of the Purusha [a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life] … must have been the...
Five of the sacrificed children were found in a multiple burial. (Flory Pinzón) Grave goods, including obsidian, were found in a burial of two more sacrificed children.

Mayan Child Sacrifices with ‘Divine’ Obsidian and Jade Discovered in Guatemala

The bodies of nine sacrificed children have been found at the Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala. Some of the children were buried with obsidian tools, a fact which research suggests shows the enhanced...

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