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death

Anubis – The Jackal God and Guide into the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

Anubis - The Jackal God and Guide into the Egyptian Afterlife

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...
Picture of a Shinigami

Shinigami: The Grim Reaper and God of Death in Japanese Folklore

Shinigami are Japanese death gods or death spirits. They are akin to the Grim Reaper in many ways, however these supernatural beings may be somewhat less frightening and they arrived later on the...
Portrait of Adolf Frederick of Sweden

Adolf Frederick: The Swedish King Who Ate Himself to Death

Adolf Frederick was a Swedish king who lived during the 18 th century. Although Adolf Frederick ruled Sweden for almost 20 years, it was unremarkable and nothing of great note took place during his...
Detail of ‘Brawl between soldiers and peasants’ (1565-1570) by the Circle of Marten van Cleve. A new ‘murder map’ shows that Medieval London streets were the backdrop to many murders.

Beaten to Death for Littering with Eel Skins: ‘Murder Map’ Reveals Medieval London’s Meanest Streets

The first digital map of the murders recorded by the city's Coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held the highest risk of violent death for...
‘Hercules Fighting Death to Save Alcestis’ (1869-1871) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton. Many ancient death rituals seem very odd or macabre to modern minds.

Bizarre, Brutal, Macabre And Downright Weird Ancient Death Rituals

Any parent must agree that one of the greatest hardships experienced around the death of a family member is having to explain to children what happened and what happens next? Should you tell them the...
A supposed Victorian tear catcher. The real use of this type of glass vial is debatable.

Capturing Scents, Not Tears: Debunking the Myth of Tear Catchers

Victorians are often remembered for their obsession with death and mourning. It is not too surprising to discover that they had specific practices and even special objects created to further enhance...
A man marrying a deceased woman in China

Ghost Marriages: Love For the Living and the Deceased

The tradition of the ghost marriage is one that supposedly stretches back to the first imperial dynasty of China: the Qin Dynasty, dating from the years 221 BC – 206 BC. The most comprehensive early...
Ancient human remains.

Nine Weird and Wonderful Facts about Death and Funeral Practices

It might not be something you want to think about very often, but it turns out that the way we treat our dead in the modern age is heavily influenced by the way our ancestors treated theirs. When you...
 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...
Amiternum funerary procession relief.

Mimes, Paid Grievers, and Masks: The Insane Theatrics of Ancient Roman Funerals

Two thousand years ago, funerals weren’t the quiet, somber affairs we have today. They were loud, boisterous shows that started with a massive procession of people parading down the streets, pounding...
‘The Meeting of Antony and Cleopatra’, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

Searching for the Lost Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra

Mark Antony and Cleopatra are among the most famous pairs of lovers from the ancient world. Following their defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, their final refuge from the victorious Octavian...
The Mysterious Village of Dargavs, Russia

City of the Dead: The Mysterious Village of Dargavs, Russia

Often referred to as the City of the Dead , the village of Dargavs is considered to be one of the more mysterious sites in Russia. Hidden away in one of the five mountain ridges somewhere in the...
Henry Wallis – Poet Thomas Chatterton’s death by arsenic.

Death by Wallpaper: When Arsenic in the Walls Was Killing Children

Wallpaper isn’t as popular as it once was, and perhaps the reason for this falling out of fashion was its ability to kill! In 1778, a Swedish Chemist named Carl Scheele created a brilliant green...
Kamehameha the Great

Secret and Safe: Hawaiian Royal Burials and the Missing Bones of Kamehameha the Great

The magical properties associated with the bones of Hawaiian kings were valuable to the ancient Hawaiians, and were even seen potentially dangerous. Great rites and elaborate ceremonies were...

Daily Prayers with Decomposing Corpses: Death Chairs at Aragonese Castle

The Aragonese Castle is a castle built on top of a rocky islet next to Ischia, a small Italian island on the northern end of the Gulf of Naples. Whilst a stronghold is said to have already been built...
Ereshkigal.

Ereshkigal: The Mighty Mesopotamian Goddess of the Underworld

“Namtar made his voice heard and spake, addressed his words to Ereshkigal, "Send me to Anu your father, and let me arrest the god! Let me take him to you, that he may kiss you again!" - Excerpt from...

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