science
Ancient Egyptians Mastered Mummification Long Before the Time of Pharaohs

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. Read More >>

archaeology
Ötzi the Iceman’s Final Meal Was Surprisingly Hearty

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. Read More >>

archaeology
Final Days of Ötzi the Iceman Revealed Through New Analysis of His Tools

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. Read More >>

archaeology
Ancient Egyptian Mummified ‘Hawk’ Is Actually a Stillborn Human Baby

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. Read More >>

archaeology
Supposedly Empty Egyptian Coffin Actually Contains a Mummy

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 mummy—bandages and all. Read More >>

genetics
‘Alien’ Mummy Found in Atacama Desert Is Actually a Tiny, Mutated Human

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 variety of mutations. Read More >>

science
Scientists Discover 16th-Century Child Mummy Actually Had Hepatitis B, Not Smallpox 

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 still widespread, often fatal virus has evolved and plagued humanity over centuries. Read More >>

paleontology
Ötzi the Iceman Was Making Prosciutto Over 5,000 Years Ago

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. Read More >>

wtf
Siberian Miners Find Demon Baby Dinosaur Thing

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? Read More >>

science
Five Crazy Ways Humans Have Preserved Their Bodies Throughout History

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 travelling to a better future, people throughout history have gone to astounding lengths to preserve their mortal remains. Read More >>

history
Soviet Bombers and Scythian Mummies: The Archaeology Uncovered by Climate Change

In Poland, severe drought has revealed the remains of a Soviet fighter plane that went down in 1945. It’s far from the first (or last) archaeological site that climate change is revealing, in some cases for the first time in millennia. Read More >>

science
The World’s Oldest Mummies are Suddenly Turning Into Black Goo

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. Read More >>

science
New Mummy X-Rays Let You Peer Right Inside Ancient Egyptian Bodies

A new set of visualisation of x-ray data allow scientists—and the public—to undress ancient Egyptian mummies, peel back their skins and see (virtually) inside. The results looks as terrifying as you might expect. Read More >>