Archaeological News

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Posts tagged "mummies"

Russian archaeologists have resumed excavations in a remote site near the Arctic Circle in the attempt to understand a perplexing find of medieval mummies clad in copper masks.

Roughly 1,000 years old, the mummies were found during a series of excavations that started in 1997 in a Siberian necropolis near the village of Zeleniy Yar, at the base of a peninsula local people called “the end of the Earth.”

The archaeologists found 34 shallow graves with seven male adults, three male infants, and one female child wearing a copper mask. Buried with a hoard of artifacts, most of the bodies had shattered or missing skulls, and smashed skeletons. Read more.

The study and popular perception of Egyptian antiquities focuses too much on the unwrapping of mummies and the use of technologies such as scanning, according to an academic from the University of East Anglia.

In a new book published today, Egyptologist and former museum curator Dr Christina Riggs challenges the scientific and medical approach that has become commonplace. Unwrapping Ancient Egypt sheds light on both the past and contemporary practices of collecting, displaying and presenting ancient Egypt – and especially Egyptian mummies – in museums and the media.

"Egyptian mummies may pull crowds, but focusing on them only as bodies means we overlook what was arguably much more important from an ancient Egyptian point of view: their wrappings," said Dr Riggs, a senior lecturer in the School of Art History and World Art Studies at UEA. Read more.

Our fascination with mummies never gets old. Now the British Museum is using the latest technology to unwrap their ancient mysteries.

Scientists at the museum have used CT scans and sophisticated imaging software to go beneath the bandages, revealing skin, bones, preserved internal organs—and in one case a brain-scooping rod left inside a skull by embalmers.

The findings go on display next month in an exhibition that sets eight of the museum’s mummies alongside detailed three-dimensional images of their insides and 3-D printed replicas of some of the items buried with them.

Bio-archaeologist Daniel Antoine said Wednesday that the goal is to present these long-dead individuals “not as mummies but as human beings.” Read more.

Hospital scans help British Museum discover the secrets Egyptians took to their grave, including one woman’s intimate tattoo

Wrapped in bandages and caricatured as figures of terror in Hollywood movies, Egypt’s mummies have long captivated and bewildered scientists and children alike.

Now a new exhibition at the British Museum will disclose the human side of the mummies of the Nile.

Eight have been – scientifically speaking – stripped bare revealing secrets taken to the grave thousands of years ago.

Subjecting the corpses to the most advanced scientific techniques, including sending the mummies to hospitals around London for CAT scans – the museum’s Egyptologists have been able to build up the most detailed picture yet of what lies beneath the sarcophagi and bandage-wrapped bodies. Read more.

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Vintage Gouda may be aged for five years, some cheddar for a decade. They’re both under-ripe youngsters compared with yellowish clumps – found on the necks and chests of Chinese mummies – now revealed to be the world’s oldest cheese.

The Chinese cheese dates back as early as 1615 BC, making it by far the most ancient ever discovered. Thanks to the quick decay of most dairy products, there isn’t even a runner-up. The world’s best-aged cheese seems to be a lactose-free variety that was quick and convenient to make and may have played a role in the spread of herding and dairying across Asia.

"We not only identified the product as the earliest known cheese, but we also have direct … evidence of ancient technology," Read more.

Beijing: Chinese archaeologists have carefully stripped the 2,200-year-old clothing from four mummies in order to prevent the delicate outfits from decaying with the dried corpses.

Three skulls and four mandible bones of different sizes have been uncovered so far, leading archaeologists to believe they belonged to one man, two women, and a little boy.

"It may be a family buried together, including a husband and two wives with one child," Xu Dongliang with the Academia Turfanica, who joined the undressing work that began on November 20, said.

Among the clothes were woollen pants, knitted mantles, fabric coats, silk scarves, and brightly-coloured sheepskin boots, which offer a glimpse into the delicate handicrafts of that time. Read more.

Care for some ribs? The royal mummies of ancient Egypt apparently did, as a new study finds that “meat mummies” left in Egyptian tombs as sustenance for the afterlife were treated with elaborate balms to preserve them.

Mummified cuts of meat are common finds in ancient Egyptian burials, with the oldest dating back to at least 3300 B.C. The tradition extended into the latest periods of mummification in the fourth century A.D. The famous pharaoh King Tutankhamun went to his final resting place accompanied by 48 cases of beef and poultry. Read more.

Two pre-Columbian mummies more than a thousand years old were found in a pre-Incan cemetery in a suburb of Lima, archeologists said Thursday.

"This is one of the most important finds in more than three decades of excavation, because both mummies are intact," Gladys Paz told AFP at the foot of the Huaca Pucllana tomb, an ancient religious complex in the Miraflores neighborhood.

The first signs of the tomb were found five days ago, but the process of unearthing the mummies of an adult and child took time.

The Pacific Ocean and Lima’s concrete buildings are visible from part of the huaca—a Quechua word for religious sites—that towers more than 20 meters (66 feet) high. Read more.