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afterlife

Anubis, Egyptian God of the Dead and the Underworld

As god of embalming and the dead, the afterlife and lost souls, Anubis is one of the most prominent and mystical gods of ancient Egypt. He was known since the earliest periods in the history of the...
2500-year-old eggs found in China.

Tomb Raiders Discover 2,500-Year-Old Eggs From Ancient Chinese Death Ritual

A team of Chinese archaeologists from the Nanjing Archaeological Institute and the Liyang Museum have made a highly-unusual discovery inside a tomb in eastern China near the ancient capital city of...
Limestone stela showing a man and woman standing next to each other, which shows signs of having been defaced.

Ancient Egyptian Carving of Couple Defaced in Revenge Attack to Deny Them a Happy Afterlife

Ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife shaped every aspect of their culture and society. A find in a 3,500-year-old shrine is throwing new light on the beliefs of provincial Egyptians. Experts...
Modern Icelandic horses are probably descendants from the horses that were buried by Viking.

Archaeologists Prove That Vikings Rode ‘Stallions’ Rather Than Mares, Especially into The Afterlife

More so than females, the male Norse explorers who took residence in Iceland more than 1,000 years were buried with their horses and new DNA evidence proves that the horses slaughtered to accompany...
The Funeral of a Viking - painting 1893.

What Really Happened at Viking Funerals? It’s Not What You Think!

Like many ancient societies, the Vikings believed in an afterlife, and these were based on the religious beliefs they held. The current understanding of Viking funerary practices has been discovered...
‘Yorinda and Yoringel’ by John Duncan (1909)

Once Upon A Time: Concepts of Afterlife and Altered Consciousness Concealed in Faerie Folklore

Once upon a Time, they all lived happily ever-after. In the 1891 publication The Science of Fairy Tales , the folklorist Edwin Sidney Hartland devoted three chapters to ponder over ‘The Supernatural...
 Illustration of Dante’s Paradise by Giovanni de Paulo.

What is Heaven?

Joanne M. Pierce / The Conversation When a family member or a friend passes away, we often find ourselves reflecting on the question “Where are they now?” As mortal beings, it is a question of...
A rendering of the ancient skull created from CT scans.

An Iron Age Guardian of the Dead? Unusual Position of Cancer-Marked Skull Has Scientists Wondering

2,500 years ago a woman in Sicily lost her battle with cancer. The scars of the disease left marks on her skull and may help researchers solve the mystery why she was buried in such a way that she...
The baby had been partially mummified and had green bones due to copper from a coin placed in its hand.

Green-Boned Baby Clasps A Copper Ticket to The Afterlife

500 graves dated to between the 12th and 16th centuries were found in a cemetery at Nyárlőrinc, a village in southern Hungary. They contained a unique set of bones. In 2005, Dr. János Balázs, a...
Valhalla

Denizens of Valhalla and the Transient Afterlife of Norse Myth

The ancient Norse were one of the few cultures to create a mythology that did not necessarily promise eternal life of any kind for the souls of the deceased. The world was believed to be heading...
Folkvangr.’

If Not Valhalla, Goddess Freyja Welcomed Viking Warriors to Folkvangr

Folkvangr (translated from Old Norse to mean ‘field of the people’, ‘field of the warriors’, or ‘field of the hosts’) is one of a few places where the dead could go to their afterlife in Norse...
Naughty ghost statue, in the ghost city Fengdu

Fengdu Ghost City: Testing Your Soul in the Domain of the Chinese King of Hell

Numerous shrines, temples and monasteries pepper Fengdu Ghost City. But all of them are dedicated to the afterlife. Legends link the site to the King of the Underworld. Would you dare to enter his...
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...
Busts of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

Why No Nose? The Ancient Breath of Life and Remarkably Powerful ‘Living Statues’

Why was is so important for bodies and images to remain intact after death in Ancient Egypt? And what was the power of ancient statues and reliefs – that they would be a danger to a Pharaoh? For the...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
Head and Partial Torso of a Horse' Jade figure China (Han dynasty 206 BC - AD 220) Victoria & Albert Museum (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Dubious Ancient Jade and Copper artifacts of the Ancient Chinese

You might call ancient Chinese royalty of the Han Dynasty jaded. Some aristocrats of around 2,000 years ago enjoyed a lusty sex life that included bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. And the presence...

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