Saturday, June 25, 2016

'Cone-headed' skull from ancient Silla culture discovered in Korea

'Cone-headed' skull from ancient Silla culture discovered in Korea | Daily Mail Online

The remains of a woman with a bizarre elongated skull, which is between 1,000 and 2,000 years old, have been unearthed in Korea.  The woman's head appears to be far longer than would normally be expected. Yet despite the strange appearance, researchers say it is unlikely that this woman had her head deliberately flattened and she may have been suffering from a medical condition.


Archaeologists believe the woman was part of the ancient Silla culture, which ruled much of the Korean peninsula for nearly a millennium.  The ancient Silla Kingdom reigned from 57 BC to AD 935, making it one of the longest-ruling royal dynasties. Many of Korea's modern-day cultural practices stem from this historic culture.
Read full article at Daily Mail Online: Why The Long Face

Researchers Unlock the Mystery of the Mummified Lung of a Merovingian Queen

Researchers Unlock the Mystery of the Mummified Lung of a Merovingian Queen | Ancient Origins

In 1959, an inexplicably well-preserved lung was found in a stone sarcophagus in the Basilica of St. Denis, Paris, France. Since then, researchers have often wondered just how the lung of the 6th century Merovingian Queen Arnegunde had withstood the passage of time so well. Now, an international team of researchers has found a somewhat surprising explanation.

The remains of Queen Arnegunde were found in 1959 by the archaeologist Michel Fleury. Along with the skeleton and preserved lung were a strand of hair, jewelry, and several fragments of textiles and leather. A gold signet ring, with the inscription "Arnegundis" showed that the remains belonged to the Merovingian Queen Arnegunde (c. 515/520-580) - one of the six wives of King Clotaire I (c. 497 – 29 November 561), and the mother of King Chilpéric I (c. 539 – September 584).
Read More at Ancient Origins

Monday, June 13, 2016

Silenced Women–Modern Lessons from an Ancient Murder

Silenced Women–Modern Lessons from an Ancient Murder
In the second century A.D., the pregnant wife of a prosperous Greek politician died from a vicious assault.
Appia Annia Regilla Atilia Caudicia Tertulla, or Regilla, was born into an affluent Roman family in 125 A.D.; she married the Greek politician Herodes Atticus, also from an affluent family, around 140 (when she was 15); and 20 years later, when she was 8-months pregnant with their 6th child, she died from a brutal beating which included a fatal kick to her stomach.
This is a case of domestic abuse that resulted in murder. A wife was beaten to death by the order of her husband. An unborn child, just weeks from birth, was killed by a father’s command.

Ancient Greek & Roman Women

Largely excluded from education, the women of Ancient Rome were forever subject to their fathers and husbands, to the point of having no legal rights over their own children. That’s not to say that they couldn’t become successful in business and politics, such as Eumachia of Pompeii, who was an extremely wealthy business magnate.
Aside from the wives and mothers of Roman emperors, who often held a significant amount of political power, the only official high-ranking job open to women was religious. The Vestal Virgins (who kept the sacred fire of Rome burning) were of particularly high status. As priestesses of Vesta – the goddess of the hearth, home and family – the six women would serve for 30 years and held significant power, including independence from their fathers’ rule and they could also manage their own property.

The analysis is based on a scene on a skyphos — a large ceramic cup used for the consumption of large quantities of wine — that represents a parodied depiction of the Judgment of Paris, a well-known incident from Homer’s The Iliad. 
The painted scene on the skyphos could also recall a dramatic presentation of the event, perhaps a short play staged in honor of the local deities. In this case, actors such as those portraying Aphrodite and Hermes on the cup would presumably have appeared as Africans, their affect aided by carved and painted theatrical masks.
The same inclusion of blackness holds true for several other types of scenes found on the Kabeirion skyphoi. One of the most remarkable of these presents a dramatic confrontation taken from Homer’s Odyssey, the epic that follows The Iliad.




Discovery of 4,500-year-old female mummy sheds light on ancient Peru

Discovery of 4,500-year-old female mummy sheds light on ancient Peru | World news | The Guardian

Archaeologists in Peru have discovered the 4,500-year-old mummy of a woman buried near one of the most ancient cities of the Americas.
Dr Ruth Shady Solís said the mummy was probably a noblewoman who died aged 40 to 50 years old and was buried in the coastal ruins of Aspero, about 14 miles away from Caral, a city with some of the most ancient pyramids in the Americas. Both sites stand about three hours north of the modern capital of Lima.
The mummy was buried with carved objects of monkeys and birds, which Shady Solís said suggested possible trade between the coastal town and Caral, a larger inland city. Shady Solís deduced the woman’s social status from the value and diverse origins of the objects around her: seashells, carved desert birds and designs of jungle monkeys.
The mummy was buried with carved objects of monkeys and birds, which Shady Solís said suggested possible trade between the coastal town and Caral, a larger inland city. Shady Solís deduced the woman’s social status from the value and diverse origins of the objects around her: seashells, carved desert birds and designs of jungle monkeys.
Shady Solís’s team has dated the mummy to about 2,500BC, around the same time that people of the region began building pyramids, but has not offered a theory as to the woman’s death.


Ancient mummy unearthed in Mongolia

Ancient mummy unearthed in Mongolia | Daily Mail Online

Archaeologists in Mongolia are slowly unwrapping the mummy of a suspected ancient woman found preserved in the Altai Mountains.  So far only one hand and her feet in modern-looking boots are visible, but experts believe the find dates to around 1,500 years ago. 
It also appears to be the first complete Turkic burial in Central Asia and the remains were found at an altitude of 9,200ft (2,803 metres).
A host of possessions were found in the grave, offering a unique insight into life in Mongolia in around the 6th century AD. These included a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of an entire horse, and ancient clothing.








The Cunning Female Demons and Ghosts of Ancient Japan

The Cunning Female Demons and Ghosts of Ancient Japan | Broadly


What seems to trap a woman between this life and the beyond is the anguish of being hurt by those closest to her.
Japanese folklore glitters with powerful female spirits and demons who terrorize the living. The common theme of their lives and deaths is transgression: philandering husbands, murdered children, or a family's shame.
These spirits often seek vengeance, typically from anything they encounter. While some have the ability to kill, others will simply watch the objects of their disaffection suffer and die. The curse of the vengeful ghost can become contagious like a disease, and can even infect an area after the ghost has left.
What seems to trap a woman between this life and the beyond is the anguish of being hurt by those closest to her.

Kiya - The Most Mysterious Woman of Amarna

Kiya - The Most Mysterious Woman of Amarna | Ancient Origins

The only thing we really know for certain about Kiya is her name, written in the forms kiya, kiw, kia, kaia, and that she was a wife of Akhenaten titled The Great Beloved Wife .  Much information about Kiya was lost over time and nowadays information about her is mixed with the biographies of Nefertiti and other women of Amarna, leading to an air of mystery about who Kiya really was.
The most fascinating part of the research about Kiya is connected with the mummy of the Younger Lady discovered in tomb KV35. It was the second ''cachette'', after DB320, found with royal mummies inside. The tomb, which was reopened in 1907, was the final resting place for two women known as the Younger Lady and the Elder Lady, who were found lying next to each other.
Dr Joann Fletcher, the famous Egyptologist from York University, announced in 2004 that the Younger Lady was the beautiful Queen Nefertiti. French researcher, Marc Gabolde, in his recently published theory, follows Fletcher's opinion.

Mummy Shows Ancient Egyptians Bleached Their Skin

Mummy Shows Ancient Egyptians Bleached Their Skin


Photo credit: Profesor Reverte Coma
Evidence that the ancient Egyptians plastered on killer cosmetics to whiten their skin has been found in a 3,500-year-old mummy head. Belonging to an anonymous woman age 20-25, the head shows tiny nodules under the cheeks and at the back of the neck that point to a possible skin disorder called exogenous ochronosis. "Such dermatosis is caused by the extensive use of skin bleaching cosmetics," ‎Despina Moissidou, an anthropologist at Nation Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, told Discovery News.