Mummies have been objects of horror and fascination in popular culture since the early 1800s at least — over a century before Boris Karloff portrayed an ancient Egyptian searching for his lost love in the 1932 film “The Mummy.”
Public “unwrappings” of mummified human remains performed by both showmen and scientists heightened the fascination, but also helped develop the growing science of Egyptology.
Dr. Kathleen Sheppard an historian from the Missouri University of Science and Technology argues this point in her latest article entitled “Between Spectacle and Science: Margaret Murray and the Tomb of the Two Brothers” in the December issue of the journal Science in Context.
While it is a painful truism that brutality and violence are at least as old as humanity, so, it seems, is caring for the sick and disabled. And some archaeologists are suggesting a closer, more systematic look at how prehistoric people — who may have left only their bones — treated illness,…
A giant cave that might have helped serve as the inspiration for the mythic ancient Greek underworld Hades once housed hundreds of people, potentially making it one of the oldest and most important prehistoric villages in Europe before it collapsed and killed everyone inside, researchers say.
The complex settlement seen in this cave suggests, along with other sites from about the same time, that early prehistoric Europe may have been more complex than previously thought.
The cave, located in southern Greece and discovered in 1958, is called Alepotrypa, which means “foxhole.”
“The legend is that in a village nearby, a guy was hunting for foxes with his dog, and the dog went into the hole and the man went after the dog and discovered the cave,” said researcher Michael Galaty, an archaeologist at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. “The story’s probably apocryphal — depending on who you ask in the village, they all claim it was their grandfather who found the cave.”
The largest ancient Egyptian sarcophagus has been identified in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, say archaeologists who are re-assembling the giant box that was reduced to fragments more than 3,000 years ago.
Made of red granite, the royal sarcophagus was built for Merneptah, an…
Viewed from the comfort of the deckchairs on the vast, palm-lined beaches overlooking the Atlantic, life in Gambia can seem as unblinkingly bright as the guaranteed winter sunshine.
For the 65,000 Britons who flock here each year, the former colony has become a West African Costa Brava, offering super-cheap package deals, few lager louts, and nothing more hazardous than over-eager street hawkers touting voodoo masks and talismans.
Absent from the hawkers’ sales patter, however, is any mention of the very real witchcraft cult that has blighted this tiny nation of 1 million in recent years.
The story of Gambia’s darker side begins on the other side of the sleepy capital, Banjul, where a few miles from the luxury beach resorts, there is the rather more spartan accommodation of the “Mile 2 Hotel”. The nickname for the notorious Mile 2 prison, its mosquito-plagued cells are a likely destination for critics of Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s eccentric faith healer-turned-president.