The earliest mummies are typically associated with the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt, but as an intensive examination of a 5,600-year-old mummy confirms, the methods used for this iconic funeral practice date back to well before the age of pharaohs.
Earlier this year, scientists from Stanford University concluded that a strange skeleton known as the Atacama Mummy belonged to a human girl whose physical malformations were the result of several severe genetic mutations. A team of international experts is now questioning these findings, and accusing the scientists…
Since the discovery of his mummified body nearly 30 years ago, Ötzi the Iceman has provided scientists with heaps of information about Copper Age Europeans. An updated analysis of his stomach contents is providing a glimpse into the iceman’s final meal, which was remarkably high in fats.
Ötzi the Iceman is the gift that keeps on giving. Found embedded in a glacier in 1991, the 5,300-year-old mummy has offered unprecedented insights into Copper Age Europe. A new analysis of Ötzi’s equipment shows what he was up to in the hours before an archer drove an arrow straight into his back.
High-resolution micro-CT scanning has shown that an Egyptian mummy thought to be a bird is really a stillborn human baby, a surprising discovery that’s providing a rare glimpse into the complex cultural practices that existed some 2,100 years ago.
A study published a week ago about an enigmatic, six-inch-long skeleton found near the Atacama Desert is causing serious upset among Chile’s scientists and government officials, who are now claiming the specimen was illegally obtained by grave robbers.
For the past 150 years, the cedar coffin of an ancient Egyptian priestess has been on display at a museum in Australia. Records suggested the 2,500-year-old sarcophagus was empty, so no one bothered to look inside. Last year, museum curators finally opened the lid, and to their shock, the coffin contained an actual…
Back in 2003, a strange skeleton was discovered in a deserted Chilean town in the Atacama Desert. Featuring an elongated skull, sunken eye sockets, and an impossibly tiny body, some suggested it was of extraterrestrial origin. An updated genetic analysis confirms the skeleton as being human—but with an unprecedented…
It’s a microscopic case of mistaken identity. A new study published in PLOS Pathogens has found that a 16th-century mummified child may have actually been infected by an ancient strain of hepatitis B, not smallpox as scientists believed for decades. But the finding, if correct, adds even more mystery as to how this…
New research on Ötzi the Iceman, an exquisitely preserved 5,300-year-old human found in a European glacier, shows that he ate a form of dry-cured meat known as “speck”—a fatty, bacon-like snack that’s still found on charcuterie boards today.
Diamond miners in the remote Siberian town of Udachny received quite a shock this week, when instead of pulling shiny rocks from the sand they unearthed a bizarre mummified creature that looks more than a little like the escaped spawn of that three-jawed dog monster in The Thing. Is anything ever normal in Siberia?
Don’t let anyone tell you that the modern diet is significantly worse than the diets of ancient populations. Apparently, even the wealthiest of our ancestors could’ve been lazy and fat too.
Bubba Ho-Tep is about foul-mouthed ancient mummies, conspiracy theories, and the ultimate battle between good and evil. It’s also a surprisingly layered tale about growing old, regrets, and redemption. And it stars Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley. Is this the perfect B-movie? If not, it’s damn near close.
Nobody can cheat death, but for thousands of years, humans have tried to elude decomposition. Whether we’re saving our bodies for the afterlife or time traveling to a better future, peoples throughout history have gone to astounding lengths to preserve their mortal remains.
Elmer McCurdy lived his life with one foot in the grave. A schemer and heavy drinker, he saw himself as an outlaw. Problem was, he kept botching the job. A train robbery in 1911 went up in smoke after Elmer applied too much nitro to the safe—destroying the strongbox and the loot.
Everybody loves spooky creatures and weird apparitions—but a new book about a mummified cat, called appropriately Mummy Cat, is especially wonderful. Writer Marcus Ewert and artist Lisa Brown have created a lovely children’s book about a cat who comes back every 100 years.
For one obsessed suitor, death and decaying flesh couldn’t keep him from his one true sweetheart. America has long been the land of fulfilling one’s hopes and dreams. Or visions, as was the case of a German transplant by the name of Carl Tanzler.
Researchers in fields from epidemiology to genetics are studying mummies, using the latest imaging technology. Now we know more than ever before about what lies beneath the mummies’ wrappings — and these long-dead people are telling us a lot about ancient lives and cultures.
An extensive scanning project has revealed that about one-third of all ancient Egyptian animal mummies are devoid of animal remains, and are instead bundles of cloth filled with mud, sticks, and reeds.
Having survived 8,000 years, the Chinchorro mummies found in modern-day Chile and Peru have started decaying more quickly than ever before—in some cases even melting into gelatinous "black ooze." Scientists at Harvard think they've found the reason why.