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Traditional cremation ceremony in Bali. Source: Victoria Boroda / Adobe Stock

From India and Taiwan to Tibet, the Living Assist the Dead in their Passage

Many people see death as a rite of a passage : a journey to some new place, or a threshold between two kinds of being. Zoroastrians believe that there is a bridge of judgment that each person who...
19th-century painting depicting the act of Sati (Wellcome Images / CC by SA 4.0)

Shocking Things That Were Normal in Ancient India (Video)

Ancient India's history is marked by practices that, by today's standards, appear bewildering. One such practice was baby dropping, where infants under 2 years old were shaken and dropped from...
Ancient Roman funeral and mourning. Source: Erica Guilane-Nachez / Adobe Stock.

Watch the Reenactment of a Traditional Roman Funeral (Video)

The ancient Romans had a unique relationship with death and dying, and their burial practices were no exception. When someone passed away, their loved ones would gather around the dying person's bed...
Detail of a painting depiction the Sati of Ramabai, the wife of Madhavrao Peshwa the ninth Peshwa of the Maratha Empire who reigned from 1761 to 1772. Source: Public domain

Sati Widow-Burning: A Dark Chapter in Indian History

Sati, the practice of a widow self-immolating on her husband's funeral pyre, remains one of the most controversial and emotive issues in South Asian culture. While some view it as a sacred funerary...
 Vikings woman with horse, the Norse invaders brought their animals with them. Source: selenit / Adobe Stock

New Insights into the Viking Great Army: Cremation Site Unveils Surprising Details

The Viking warriors who invaded England in the late ninth century have long been a topic of fascination for historians and archaeologists alike. Now, a team of British and Belgian scientists have...
10,500-year-old cremated bog bones were found in northern Germany. Source: ALSH

10,500-year-old Bones Found in Bog are Germany’s Oldest Human Remains

Archaeologists digging at a Stone Age campsite in northern Germany have found 10,500-year-old cremated human bones. These Mesolithic era ‘bog bones’ are the oldest human remains found so far in...
Conceptual image of a large stone in the shape of a human brain.     Source: Orlando Florin Rosu / Adobe Stock

Searching for Genius: Einstein’s Stolen Brain

When you think of intelligent people, Albert Einstein may be the first name to come to mind. Known as one of history’s greatest geniuses, he fascinated the world with his many contributions to...
The Hellenistic cremation burial remains found in a 2,300-year-old tomb in the ancient city of Chalcedon that is now part of modern-day Istanbul, Turkey.		Source: Sebnem Coskun / Anadolu Agency

Rare Hellenistic Cremation Burial Found in Turkey in 2,300-Year-Old Tomb

A rare 2,300-year-old Hellenistic cremation burial has been discovered in Istanbul. Artifacts discovered in the Hellenistic-era burial tomb are revealing secrets about the city of ancient Chalcedon,...
The Golden Sun Bowl. Source: Copyright Andreas Rausche.

Archaeological El Dorado: Stunning Golden Sun Bowl Found in Austria

“A discovery of a lifetime” is what archaeologist Dr. Michal Sip termed the find: a golden sun bowl dated to 3,000 years ago, unearthed during ongoing excavations in a prehistoric settlement in...
2,000-Year-Old Punic-Era Tomb Accidentally Found in Malta

2,000-Year-Old Punic-Era Tomb Accidentally Found in Malta

The archipelago of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea in southern Europe, is a place of mystique and wonder. With a rich history that commences with human occupation in 5,900 BC, archaeologists have now...
The remains of what appears to have been a unique funeral ceremony and Greek burial have been discovered at the ancient colony of Gela in southern Sicily. Source: Superintendence of Caltanissetta

Evidence of Deceased Baby Burning Discovered in Sicily

The remains of what appears to have been a unique funeral ceremony and Greek burial have been discovered at the ancient colony of Gela in southern Sicily. Founded some time between 689 and 688 BC,...
From the archaeological site of the oldest known cremation in the Middle East found in Israel Source:

Oldest Known Cremation in The Near East, From 7000 BC

Archaeologists have unearthed parts of a nine thousand-year-old individual’s body in Israel who was burned or cremated in a ritualistic way. This discovery has established a new milestone for the...
Spearheads, helmets and other items found at the Germanic warriors burial site.       Source: Tempelburg Historical and Cultural Association and Kostrzyn Fortress Museum

2000-Year-Old Germanic Warrior Burials Unearthed In Poland

Archaeologists in Poland have discovered a 2,000-year-old burial site containing the remains of ancient Germanic warriors. In an effort to protect the archaeological dig site located near Kostrzyn (...
Skulls painted with names, colorful flowers, and crosses in the Charnel House in Hallstatt, Austria. Source: J. Ossorio Castillo / Adobe.

The Incredible World of Painted Skulls and Bone Houses

Overlooking the Alps, in the idyllic Austrian mountain town of Hallstatt , a few hundred grave markers indicate the resting place of former residents. But those who choose to be buried there know...
ANU Archaeologist Dr Catherine Frieman & co-director James Lewis with funerary pot in situ.

Cornish Barrow Dig Uncovers 4,000-year-old Human Burial

An archaeologist from The Australian National University (ANU) has hailed her excavation of a Bronze Age burial mound in south west England a huge success with the discovery of an intact 4,000 year...
Image during part of the funeral ceremony for Thailand’s deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Grand Funeral of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Intricate Buddhist Funerary Rites

For Thai Buddhists, funerals are extremely important moments, as they represent rebirth and the passage from one existence to another. The elaborate funeral rites recently held in honor of Thailand’s...
‘Light and Structure’ - Reconstruction of Viking Longhouse: Central Jutland, Denmark.

Why Would You Cremate and Bury Your Home? A Bizarre Viking Ritual Explained

The Vikings had a very bizarre tradition that might be totally unique: they buried their own homes. From the Bronze Age until the Viking Age, historians have noted that burial mounds were placed on...
A Polish Stonehenge? Discovery of New Burial Mounds May Rewrite History

A Polish Stonehenge? Discovery of New Burial Mounds May Rewrite History

A group of previously unknown burial mounds has been discovered near Czaplinek in north-western Poland. The most interesting feature found so far is a stone ring, which is shaped similar to the world...
Behind Ancient Gates: Revealing the Secrets of the Mausoleum of Augustus

Behind Ancient Gates: Revealing the Secrets of the Mausoleum of Augustus

There is a mausoleum in the heart of ancient Rome which saw the funerals of some of the most important people in the history of the Roman Empire. The mausoleum is known as the Mausoleum of Augustus,...
A European badger. Wrist guard and shaft straighteners found at the Netheravon burial.

Badger Uncovers Cremation and Grave Goods of Bronze Age Archer Near Stonehenge

A curious badger has inadvertently helped archaeologists to unearth remains of an archer or person who made archery equipment sometime between 2,200-2,000 BC in a burial mound at Netheravon,...
Stonehenge, located near Salisbury in the English county of Wiltshire.

Researchers Say Stonehenge had More Gender Equality than Commonly Believed

Analysis of remains from the famous megalithic site of Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England, have revealed the relics of 14 wmen. According to researchers, the women were very important to the society...
Volunteers carefully clean and store the abandoned bodies in the hopes relatives will retrieve them. If not, the bodies are eventually cremated.

Thai Buddhists observe an ancient tradition of honoring the unclaimed dead

A medieval Buddhist tradition started by a Buddhist monk centuries ago has people this month in Thailand exhuming and painstakingly cleaning the remains of 3,890 people who were buried without their...
Shiva carrying Sati on his trident. (1800s).

Manikarnika Ghat and the Role of Cremation in Traditional Indian Funerary Rites

India is renowned for having distinctive religious practices that coexist with one another. The numerous shrines and monuments allow one to contemplate the importance of faith for many. One of the...
The immolation of the hero twins, known from the Popul Vuh and other narratives, may have been re-enacted in the fifth-century AD Maya city of Tikal. The twins in this image were drawn from an ancient Maya ceramic piece.

Sacrifice of Maya boy and man may have reenacted birth of sun and moon

About 1,600 years ago in the Maya site of Tikal, a boy and a man were sacrificed in an elaborate ritual. A new study suggests they were sacrificed and burned to re-enact the legend of the twin heroes...

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