sacrifice

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...
Statue of the God Chac-Mool, located inside a chamber in the pyramid of Kukulcán in Chichén Itzá, Mexico

A Rogue Archaeologist, Atlantis, and the Chac-Mool

In the late 1890s, as America was developing into an industrial heavyweight, its scientists and explorers were rediscovering Earth’s ancient past and charting forgotten civilizations around our...
‘La Doncella’ (the Maiden), one of the mummified ‘Children of Llullaillaco’ in Salta province, Argentina.

Analysis Shows Children were Given Drugs and Alcohol before Ritual Sacrifice 500 Years Ago

The remarkably preserved mummified remains of three children were found on the summit of Volcan Llullaillaco in Argentina over a decade ago. The ‘Maiden’ was 13 years old when she met her demise and...
Skull in Actun Tunichil Muknal.

Would You Dare to Visit an Ancient Maya Cave of Human Sacrifice? If So, Head to Belize

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Natural Monument, or the “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” in Belize is where archaeologists have uncovered evidence of human sacrifice rituals dating back to 3rd century...
Alejandra Molina, an archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), works at a site where a sacrificed young wolf elaborately adorned with some of the finest Aztec gold has been discovered adjacent to the Templo Mayor, one of the main Aztec temples, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Sacrificial Young Wolf Adorned with Best Quality Aztec Gold Ever Found is Discovered in Mexico City

Archaeologists have discovered a sacrificial wolf carefully adorned with some of the best quality Aztec gold ever found. It is believed that the wolf was buried more than five centuries ago in the...
Section of skulls at the tzompantli found near the Templo Mayor, Mexico City

Gruesome Remains of Aztec Skull Tower Discovered in Mexico Include Women and Children

Archaeologists have uncovered a tower of human skulls beneath the heart of Mexico City. The new find has given birth to new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after numerous...
Ancient ruins in the rainforest

Was the Amazon Rainforest Once Home to A Massive Lost Civilization?

There is a hill in the Amazon rainforest that stretches out over two acres of land. It is called Montegrande and, to look at it, it seems like nothing more than another hill. A particularly steep one...
A reconstruction of a burial site from prehistoric China. In Yinxu, about 2,500 pits filled with remains of sacrificial victims have been found in addition to other cemeteries were elites and other locals were buried.

Thousands of War Captives Enslaved for Years Before Being Slain as Sacrifice in Prehistoric China

Some archaeologists in China have analyzed the makeup of elements in the bones in a prehistoric cemetery and say the people buried there were probably war captives who were forced into slavery before...
Drawing of what part of Tenochtitlan city (now Mexico City), location of the temple and ball court, may have looked like, based on the Spanish chronicles.

Aztec Temple, Ball Court and 32 Neck Bones Discovered in the Heart of Mexico City

Archaeologists announced on Wednesday that important remains of a significant Aztec temple and a ceremonial ball court have been discovered in downtown Mexico City. According to the experts, the...
The two skeletons that were recently found in Gyeongju, South Korea are believed to have been victims of human sacrifice.

Shocking Discovery Shows Ancient Koreans were Sacrificed for Building Project

Local authorities from South Korea announced recently that they have found proof of human sacrifice for the foundation of buildings for the first time at a Korean site. Experts suggest that the...

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: Ruins of the Haunted Eden Brown Estate Plantation Great House c. 1740 in 1993.
There is something very alluring and ideal about places named Eden. The Garden of Eden – one of the first known references to Eden – is depicted in the Bible as a place free from sin. It was allegedly a comforting place, a paradise for the first man and woman known as Adam and Eve. Along with the unlimited peace and pleasure of this place, came a paradox however; one in which its inhabitants could enjoy this lifestyle forever,

Ancient Places

: Ruins of the Haunted Eden Brown Estate Plantation Great House c. 1740 in 1993.
There is something very alluring and ideal about places named Eden. The Garden of Eden – one of the first known references to Eden – is depicted in the Bible as a place free from sin. It was allegedly a comforting place, a paradise for the first man and woman known as Adam and Eve. Along with the unlimited peace and pleasure of this place, came a paradox however; one in which its inhabitants could enjoy this lifestyle forever,

Opinion

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

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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.

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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)