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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Roman sculpture showing detachable head. Source: giorgio/ Adobe Stock

Romans Cleverly Used Interchangeable Heads on Their Statues

Museums are filled with the captivating spectacle of bodiless heads and headless bodies dating back to Roman times. “Headless, these statues invoke a sense of mystery and fragmentation, allowing us...
Detail of the Meroë head, now housed at the British Museum in London. Source: Paul Hudson / CC BY 2.0

Cracking the Mystery of the Decapitated Meroë Head

Sometimes, modern archaeology reveals something that simply baffles us. Whether it is an item with inexplicable origins, or an out of place artifact, archaeology and history combined often leave us...
Egyptian mummy head found in an attic in Ramsgate, England. Source: James Elliot / Paleoimaging

Egyptian Mummy’s Head Discovered In English Attic Scanned

Archaeologists and hospital staff in England have been working together. They’ve CT scanned an ancient Egyptian mummy’s head that was discovered in an English attic. In the 1820s a 2,700-year-old...
Whatever Happened to Blackbeard’s Silver-Plated Skull?

Whatever Happened to Blackbeard’s Silver-Plated Skull?

Blackbeard, an infamous pirate from the 1700s, was notoriously an excellent fighter and survivalist. He was so famous, in fact, that after his death his skull was rumored to have been plated in...
Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?

Is This Where John the Baptist Was Condemned to Death?

A courtyard uncovered among the ancient ruins at Machaerus, a fortified hilltop palace in Jordan , may have profound historical significance. According to one prominent academic, this courtyard is...
Sewage Construction Uncovers Head of Greek God Hermes in Athens

Sewage Construction Uncovers Head of Greek God Hermes in Athens

Construction workers have made a remarkable discovery in Athens . The Greek Ministry of Culture has announced that the ancient bust of the Greek god Hermes was unearthed in remarkably good condition...
A professor of archaeology has made a controversial claim that a 3,000-year-old clay head, found at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, is a Yahweh idol representing the Jewish god Yahweh. Source: Clara Amit / Israel Antiquities Authority

Professors Clash Over Controversial 3,000-Year-Old ‘Yahweh’ Idol

A professor of archaeology has claimed a 3,000-year-old clay head idol represents the Jewish god Yahweh. However, two other archaeologists have challenged this interpretation by pointing out why this...
The death mask found in Shestakovsky burial mound No 6.	Source: Vyacheslav Porosev, Instutute of Nuclear Physics, SB RAS

Mystery of 2,100-year-old Death Mask Found to Contain Ram’s Skull

By Anna Prokhozheva / The Siberia Times The discovery of the magnificent clay likeness of a young man in the Shestakovsky burial mound No 6 has long intrigued Russian archaeologists. Discovered among...
An ancient child skeleton. Representational only – not the skeleton found in Turkey.  Credit: Scott Haddow / Flickr

5,700-Year-Old Child Skeleton with Crushed Head Found in Turkey

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of a child who died in the Copper Age, 5,700 years ago, in Turkey. The skeleton, believed to be that of a 6- or 7-year-old, was found in the ruins of a...
The cemetery is about 1,000 years old and the skulls were studied in more detail in 2012. (Cristina García / INAH)

What Became of the Coneheads?

Throughout history, many cultures have artificially deformed the skulls of babies in order to achieve a flattened or elongated shape which was often associated with the ruling, or elite classes...
Left: The clay horse head from the Hellenistic period. Right: The Iron Age clay horse head

Riders On The Storm: Ancient Clay Horse Heads Emerge After Heavy Rain In Israel

Many important archaeological finds are a result of chance events and good fortune. In Israel, two clay horses’ heads which once were part of equine sculptures have been found by sheer luck. They...
The mummified head of Djehutynakht.

FBI Crime Team Solves Mystery of 4,000-Year-Old Decapitated Mummy

Just over a century ago, an American archaeologist found a hidden tomb buried 30 feet beneath boulders in an ancient Egyptian necropolis. He was met with one of the finest painted coffins ever found...
The Iron Age skull was deliberately severed from its body.

Iron Age Skull Suggests Sinister Story of Severed Heads Tossed into Wetlands

There is much to consider when a human skull is found. When the authorities reach the scene, they need to find out if it is the mark of a modern death or the remains from a person who lived in the...
Elephant-headed goddess Vinayaki is often mistaken for a female Ganesha. Statue of Ganesha

Goddess… or Demon? Hidden History of Vinayaki, the Mysterious Elephant-Headed Woman of Hindu Myth

In one of the shrines of the Thanumalayan temple in Kanyakumari district, India, is the stone sculpture of a four-armed deity sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana (“easy pose” - similar to sitting in a...
A 4,000-year-old wooden head uncovered in Egypt thought to be of the 6th Dynasty Queen Ankhnespepy II.

Uncovered in Egypt: 4,000-Year-Old Wooden Head Thought to be Queen Ankhnespepy II

By Holly Kellum Archaeologists in Egypt have uncovered a 4,000-year-old wooden head they believe is of Egypt’s 6th dynasty Queen, Ankhnespepy II. The head was uncovered in an area east of the queen’s...
Detail of a statue of Ganesha.

Ganesha: How He Lost… And Gained His Head

“Lord Ganesh of curved elephant trunk and huge body, Whose brilliance is equal to billions of suns in intensity, Always removes all obstacles from my endeavours truly...” ― Munindra Misra, Chants of...
Famous stone head of the Olmec civilization.

Is the Cascajal Tablet the Key to Understanding Giant Olmec Heads?

Bryan Hilliard’s “Does the Cascajal Block provide evidence of a written language of the Olmecs?” published by Ancient Origins, discussed the finding by many Mexican researchers that the symbols on...
Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens

Archaeologists Unearth Marble Head of Medusa at Roman Ruins in Turkey

Archaeologists in Turkey have unearthed a marble head of Medusa, the legendary gorgon from Greek mythology with snakes in place of hair who could turn any person to stone with just her gaze. The...
The Colossal Head of Decebalus, King of the Dacians

The Colossal Head of Decebalus, King of the Dacians

In the heart of Rome stands a 38m tall column built in the 2 nd century AD. Carved in low relief spiralling around the monument are over 2600 figures, representing the combatants of wars fought in a...
Gutemala Stone Head

The Stone Head of Guatemala that History Wants to Forget

Over half a century ago, deep in the jungles of Guatemala, a gigantic stone head was uncovered. The face had fine features, thin lips and large nose and its face was directed up at the sky. Unusually...
Tattooed Maori head

Tattooed Maori head returns to New Zealand from British Museum

It’s not every day that someone receives a tattooed mummified head as a gift, but this is exactly what happened when Maori elders and New Zealand officials met with officials from Guernsey museum in...