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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Egyptian Figures

The Figures of Egypt take many forms – from living beings to legendary gods, and even hybrids of the two – pharaohs were treated as gods too. And as much history was written in stone, we have many records of who ruled, who was worshipped, and even who made the beer! Some of the famous figures still exist today, in the form of mummified remains. Here you can explore them all.

Curse of the Buried Pearl: Tomb Curses, Spirits and the Hunt for Ancient Treasures – Part I

Curse of the Buried Pearl: The Hunt for Ancient Treasures – Part I

In economics one hears talk of “the curse of oil” – and one might say wherever there is buried treasure there will be a curse, hyper-real or real. The most famous of all curses is of course that...
In a new breakthrough, scientists have digitally scanned the sarcophagus of pharaoh Amenhotep I to reveal a stunning image of his actual head and body.		Source: S. Saleem and Z. Hawass / Frontiers in Medicine

Digital Scan of Ancient Egyptian Mummy Amenhotep I Shows His True Face

The 3,500-year-old mummy of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep I had remained virtually unexamined since its discovery at Luxor, Egypt in 1881. As one of the few royal mummies from ancient Egypt yet to be...
Primaeval Temples Of Egypt: Hidden Gods In The Sand

Primaeval Temples Of Egypt: Hidden Gods In The Sand

Temples have always fascinated people. Although their structure, design and meaning, are sometimes taken for granted, they seem to be magical religion made manifest. It seems to be one of mankind’s...
Left, Hala Sultan Tekke, Larnca, Cyprus. Right; Assorted artifacts found at the Hala Sultan Tekke site.	Source: Left; Dickelbers, CC BY-SA 3.0. Right; Peter Fischer, Teresa Bürge / University of Gothenburg

Multicultural Ancient Treasure Hoard Discovered In Cyprus Tombs

Archaeologists in Cyprus have excavated two Bronze Age Tombs at one of the most important holy sites in the Islamic world. The treasures they discovered reveal the presence of a far-reaching trade...
Small female figurines left as votive offerings to the goddess Hathor. Source: M. Jawornicki / PAP

Trash Pile At Temple of Hatshepsut Yields A Heap Of Hathor Artifacts

Polish archaeologists in Egypt were supporting a tomb ceiling when they realized that beneath their feet lay an unknown treasure trove. They had inadvertently discovered an ancient temple dump and...
Deriv; Sculpture depicting the King Tutankhamun as a child, gold plate with Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun.

The Twin Tragedy of Tutankhamun: Death of a Dynasty

Tossed away callously in a dark corner of the lavish Treasury in the subterranean tomb of Tutankhamun was possibly the most poignant remnant of the boy king’s short life. Positioned next to the...
Anastasiia Stupko-Lubczynska documenting reliefs in the Chapel of Hatshepsut. Source: Agnieszka Makowska / Antiquity Publications Ltd

Chapel of Hatshepsut Reliefs Uncover Master-Apprentice Relationship

Scientists have published fascinating new research into the reliefs found within the Chapel of Hatshepsut, an ode to the 5th pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who ruled between 1479 and 1458. Each of these...
Pharaoh Akhenaten in the center and his family worshiping Aten personified as the rays of a solar disk; later such imagery was prohibited.		Source: Egyptian Museum / Public domain

Explaining the Weirdly Alien Looking Statues of Pharaoh Akhenaten

In the history of Ancient Egypt, Akhenaten occupies a very special place. Of all the pharaohs over the many centuries, he was by far the most controversial one. His radical policies, major religious...
Composite image of Osiris and his protective sisters Isis and Nephthys, overlain by Akhenaten’s face, all overlying the Ark and the winged cherubim, from Moses and Joshua Bowing before the Ark, gouache on board, by James Tissot, 1896-1902. Now in    the Jewish Museum, New York. Author created.

Was the Ark Of The Covenant A Coffin – Secret Link To Osiris God Of The Dead

Why does the Bible refer to the Ark of the Covenant as a coffin ? Was someone buried in it? Was it a symbolic coffin, or even God’s coffin? The Bible describes the Ark as a sacred chest of wood and...
The three reconstructed mummy faces taken from 3 ancient Egyptian mummies. Source: Parabon NanoLabs

Three 2000-year-old Egyptian Mummy Faces Reconstructed!

You can now see what three Egyptian men living more than 2000 years ago in the ancient Egyptian city of Abusir el-Meleq really looked like thanks to forensic DNA phenotyping and other advance...
Do Akhenaten’s Links with Yom Kippur Traditions Shed New Light on Moses?

Do Akhenaten’s Links with Yom Kippur Traditions Shed New Light on Moses?

The holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, means “Day of Atonement”. Marked by confession, repentance, and forgiveness, it takes place ten days after the Jewish New Year. Its origins remain to...
The Genesis Of Modern Religions In Ancient Egypt

The Genesis Of Modern Religions In Ancient Egypt

It is an irony of history that the three great religions of Europe and the Middle East, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, did not originate there but rather had their genesis, like the human species...
The Sun rising over the Mount of Olives and Jerusalem’s golden Dome of the Rock.	Source: Px Fuel / CC0

Secret Connections Between Yom Kippur and Pharaoh Akhenaten

As Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar approaches, this article delves into the religious traditions that are followed by millions at this time of year. But it goes further, noticing...
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's famous painting of The Banquet of Cleopatra (painted 1743–44) shows Cleopatra's pearl above the tall glass of vinegar as Mark Antony looks on.	Source: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo / Public domain

Roman Historian’s Cleopatra’s Pearl Story: Is It Fact or Fiction?

“Cleopatra’s Pearl” is a story told by the Roman author Pliny the Elder in his famous long-read book Natural History . According to this tale, the last Ptolemaic ruler of Egypt, Cleopatra VII, drank...
Limestone relief of Crown Prince Thutmose in the role of high priest. Saqqara. Neues Museum, Berlin. Design by Anand N. Balaji (Merja Attia); Deriv.

On The Trail Of The Mysterious Crown Prince Thutmose: Clues To A Sudden, Violent Death? – Part II

In addition to making Crown Prince Thutmose High Priest of Ptah, Amenhotep III prepared his intended successor in the ways of Aten worship too. This was a thread later picked up by Akhenaten , who as...
A small schist statuette shows Prince Thutmose as a miller grinding grain. Louvre Museum, Paris. Design by Anand N. Balaji (Public Domain); Deriv.

On The Trail Of The Mysterious Crown Prince Thutmose: The King Who Was Not To Be – Part I

Amenhotep IV, the youngest-known son of Pharaoh Nebmaatre Amenhotep III-heqa-Waset, ascended the throne at the height of Egypt’s golden age. The seeds for that efflorescent era of the Eighteenth...
King Sahure. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

King Sahure and His Beautiful Pyramid: A Rare Peaceful Pharaoh?

Sahure was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh who lived during the Old Kingdom period. He was a ruler of the 5th Dynasty, and his reign was marked by peace and prosperity. Amongst other things, Sahure...
Akhenaten pic compliments of Jo from her trip. Osiris is a bronze/gold statue of the god, Louvre (Rama / CC BY-SA 3.0) (author created).

Akhenaten Heretic Pharaoh: The New Osiris

Did Egypt’s Heretic Pharaoh outlaw the God of the Dead, or become him? Akhenaten has been called ancient Egypt’s ‘Heretic Pharaoh’. From 1354-1337 BC Akhenaten so drastically altered his country’s...
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...
King Akhenaten Offers Clues to Finding the Lost Ark of the Covenant

King Akhenaten Offers Clues to Finding the Lost Ark of the Covenant

The Ark of the Covenant is perhaps history’s most famous archeological relic. I have been fascinated with it ever since watching Raiders of the Lost Ark , the movie that kick-started so many...
“His Face Was Radiant”: Pulling Back The Veil On The Mystery Of Moses’ Shining Face

“His Face Was Radiant”: Pulling Back The Veil On The Mystery Of Moses’ Shining Face

One of the Bible’s most enduring exegetical enigmas has to be the strangely shining semblance of Moses . The Book of Exodus relates how after the great Hebrew lawgiver receives the Ten Commandments...
‘Mind-blowing’ Find in Egypt! Lost Golden City Discovered in Luxor

‘Mind-blowing’ Find in Egypt! Lost Golden City Discovered in Luxor

Thousands of years ago a fabulous settlement was buried under the sands. Now, an Egyptian mission led by Zahi Hawass has discovered the ruins of the so-called “Lost Golden City” that has been linked...
Revealing the Face and Identity of the Controversial Mummy KV55

Revealing the Face and Identity of the Controversial Mummy KV55

Ever since mummy KV55 was discovered in 1907, it has generated deep interest, debate, and controversy. The big issues have been identifying the KV55 mummy in ancient Egyptian history and combining...
Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

Killer Queens: 5 of Ancient History’s Most Outstanding Female Rulers

True leadership knows no gender and despite societal condemnation or restrictions of the gods, powerful women have risen to the challenge and stepped up to take the reins of governance firmly in...

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