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funerary practice

Top Image: Detail of study co-author Rita Peyroteo-Stjerna examining a Mesolithic skeleton. Source: José Paulo Ruas

Mesolithic Burials in Europe from 8,000 Years Ago Point to Earliest Evidence of Mummification

How old is the art of embalming the dead and where did it originate? This is one of those eternal archaeological questions that is constantly reinforced and altered with the arrival of new evidence...
Recreation of the oldest drinking straws, found at the Maikop burial, in use. Source: Kevin Wilson / Antiquity Publications Ltd

Maikop ‘Scepters’ Are Actually the World’s Oldest Drinking Straws

An exciting new study from Russia has reinterpreted an 1897 find of silver and gold tubes from a Bronze Age burial mound in Maikop in the northern Caucasus as being straws rather than scepters as...
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...
A beautifully decorated bent sword, 826-600 BC, part of the finds in a noble's grave at Oss in The Netherlands.

The Killing of Swords: A Destructive Funerary Rite To Release the Spirit of Weapons Into the Afterlife

The deliberate destruction of grave goods before burial is a funerary practice found in a number of different ancient cultures. The most notable grave goods that are ‘killed’ are weapons such as...
Selection of items from the Yorkshire Museum Collection including the mysterious Roman object.

Mysterious Roman Object Identified After 150 Years is One of Only 23 in the World

There are many curious and mysterious objects that have been unearthed by archaeologists down the years. Many of them have baffled experts for a long time. One of these enigmatic objects was a small...
Weighing of the heart scene from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer.

Death and Rebirth: Startling New Information Emerges About Ancient Egyptian Pot Burials

Ancient Egyptian funerary practices were not just about making mummies. Surprising new information reveals that pot burials were not just for poor children in ancient Egypt either. Instead, it seems...