17 Stories

Mummified Remains Found in Indiana

The head and torso could be 2K years old

(Newser) - Workers exploring the site of an intended quarry in rural Indiana stumbled upon a mummified body that experts say could be anywhere from 500 to 2,000 years old, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports. "They could distinguish a head and a torso," says a local sheriff. "... More »

Researchers Mummify a Leg With Ancient Instructions

Though the Egyptians got the job done much faster

(Newser) - It's one thing to say that ancient Egyptians had a masterful technique for turning corpses into mummies and another to prove it. But researchers in Switzerland appear to have accomplished just that by mummifying a human leg with those ancient methods. Researchers treated the leg (it came from a... More »

Scientists Find Proof of Pharaohs' Incest

They did so by measuring the height of 259 Egyptian mummies

(Newser) - A new study has found that "pharaohs varied less in height than men of the common population," as a researcher explains—a rather plain statement with some pretty gossipy implications. Swiss researcher Frank Rühli and his colleagues examined the height of 259 mummies—a group that included... More »

Many of Egypt's Animal Mummies Are Really ... Nothing

Study finds as many as a third are empty, but that doesn't mean it was a big con

(Newser) - Crocodiles, falcons, shrews: The ancient Egyptians are thought to have mummified as many as 70 million animals—and a scan of more than 800 of them reveals that in many cases, what's inside is ... nothing. The work done by radiographers and Egyptologists with the Manchester Museum and the University... More »

World's Oldest Mummies Are Turning to Jelly

Experts find rising humidity destructive to Chile's Chinchorro mummies

(Newser) - For millennia, Chile's man-made Chinchorro mummies, the oldest in the world, have remained in roughly the same stable condition—the result of a sophisticated mummification process that dates back 7,000 years. Now, they're turning to "black ooze," LiveScience reports. Researchers say that over the last... More »

Mummified Climbers Found on Mexico's Tallest Peak

Bodies on Pico de Orizaba could be those lost in avalanche half-century ago

(Newser) - A team of climbers trekked some 17,000 feet up Mexico's Pico de Orizaba in search of one set of frozen, mummified remains only to stumble upon a second set some 400 feet away, reports the Telegraph . "It was impossible to conduct the rescue this time," says... More »

Archaeologists' '1M Mummies' Claim Was Way Off: Egypt

Officials revoke researchers' digging licenses

(Newser) - When researchers claimed to have found a million burials at a dig site in Egypt, the supposed news was widely reported—including on this site . But officials in the country say the claim is false, and they've revoked the scientists' dig licenses in connection with it, io9 reports. Archaeologist... More »

Egypt Cemetery Holds 1M Mummies

Blonds, redheads buried together; one body is 7 ft. tall

(Newser) - For the past 30 years, scientists have been exploring a cemetery in Egypt whose origins are mysterious. One thing they have determined, however: "We are fairly certain we have over a million burials within this cemetery. It's large, and it's dense," says the project's director,... More »

World's Most Ancient Cheese Found in China

Mummies from 1615 BC were buried with cheese

(Newser) - The oldest cheese ever found was already stale nearly a thousand years before the earliest Greek philosophers were munching on feta. Researchers in China have discovered that the odd clumps of yellow matter found on the necks and chests of mummies from as early as 1615 BC are actually lumps... More »

Archaeologists Unearth Unknown Pharaoh in Egypt

Previously unknown Senebkay ruled about 1650BC

(Newser) - Scholars of ancient Egypt have a new pharaoh to study, thanks to archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Museum . Meet Woseribre Senebkay, who ruled from about 1650BC to 1600BC, reports LiveScience . The Penn researchers had to piece together his skeleton after eons of tomb robbers had their way... More »

Egyptian Mummies Got Meat Dishes for Eternity

Scientists look at 'meat mummies' for the first time

(Newser) - Those ancient Egyptian mummifiers thought of everything, it seems. Even eternal snacks. Scientists have for the first time analyzed what they call "meat mummies," reports LiveScience . Those would be the cuts of meat that have been found alongside mummies of yore, preserved for the ages. The trick? In... More »

Big Find in Peru's Capital: Mummies

And one may have been wrapped alive, archaeologists say

(Newser) - A site in Lima, Peru, that archaeologists have been excavating since 1981 has given up quite the find: an undisturbed tomb that's at least 1,000 years old—with two mummies inside. Dated to the Wari civilization of 600 to 1,000 AD, the bodies of one adult and... More »

In Chilean Desert, Mummies' Hair Reveals Their History

Nicotine use persisted much longer than thought: study

(Newser) - Chile's Atacama Desert is extreme: It's hot, dry, and comprised of salty soil. Those conditions may not sound favorable to you, but they were kind to 56 well-preserved mummies found there and analyzed by researchers—who have since announced an "unexpected" finding. LiveScience reports that 35 of... More »

Millions of Puppy Mummies Unearthed in Egypt

They likely came from ancient puppy mills

(Newser) - When Egypt's ancient Dog Catacombs were fully excavated for the first time in 2010, scientists found about 8 million animal mummies. They're now examining the 2,500-year-old remains, and new research shows that most of the mummies are dogs—many just hours old when mummified. They were likely the product... More »

Cancer Is Man-Made, Say Researchers

Study: It barely existed before industrialization

(Newser) - Cancer accounts for about 1 in 8 deaths today, but a controversial new study asserts that it was virtually nonexistent in the ancient world and appears to have vastly accelerated as we industrialized. In other words, it's a man-made phenomenon. In the study, hundreds of Egyptian mummies were examined and... More »

57 Ancient Tombs Found in Egypt

Many remarkably intact, include religious texts

(Newser) - Archeologists have discovered a cache of ancient tombs in Egypt, some of which are almost 5,000 years old. Most of the 57 tombs hold an ornately painted wooden sarcophagus that houses a mummy; the oldest among them dates back to the rule of Egypt's first and second dynasties. One... More »

Heart Disease: Pharaohs Had It, Too

'Part of the human condition,' so fast food not only culprit

(Newser) - In a finding that pokes holes in the thinking that our modern fast-food lifestyle is behind heart disease, scientists have discovered that Egypt’s mummies, too, had hardened arteries. “Atherosclerosis is not just a disease of modern times,” one researcher tells WebMD . “It’s part of the... More »

17 Stories