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The mystery of the death of a woman mummified 2600 years ago is revealed

If you are interested in the history of Ancient Egypt, instead of wasting time on pyramid tours, you better visit the Irish Museum of Ulster. It is there that today is stored one of the most mysterious mummies ever found by archaeologists.

She is known as the Takabuchi mummy and is the embalmed body of a woman who died about 2600 years ago. It is known that she came from a wealthy and respected family, and also had several deviations in the body structure. It is believed that the woman was famous for her extraordinary beauty. Until now, scientists have not been able to find out the cause of her death, but recently the answer to this question has finally been found.

The sarcophagus that houses the mummy of Takabuchi

Given by scientists from the English city of Manchester, the mummified body of an Egyptian got into the Ulster Museum in the 19th century. Historical documents state that the Irishman Thomas Greg bought it from archaeologists in 1834 and delivered it to the city of Belfast, where the ancient museum is located. According to an employee of the institution, Greer Ramsey, in recent years, the mummy underwent an X-ray, computed tomography and hair examination, during which scientists managed to reveal many details about the woman’s personality. In addition, they managed to find out the cause of her death.

The most mysterious mummy

Researchers found that during life, a woman’s height was about one and a half meters. Moreover, an extra vertebra was found in her body, which is a very rare occurrence found in only 2% of the population of our planet. But this is not the only deviation found in a woman, because in her oral cavity there found 33 teeth. This feature of the body is even less common, namely in 0.02% of all living people. During the embalming, the woman’s red hair was neatly styled, so the researchers concluded that she had exceptional beauty.

Takabuchi died at the age of 20-30

In general, the embalming of the girl was clearly carried out very carefully and with great respect. According to the researchers, the process of mummification clearly used pleasantly smelling impurities, resins, and linen dressings.

DNA analysis showed that Takabuti had more affinity with the Europeans than with the Egyptians. It is believed that her father was a priest in the temple of Amun-Ra, but researchers could not find information about her mother. But they have speculations that she was married and owned a large house. Perhaps an unusual origin, extraordinary beauty and wealth became the main cause of death for women. The fact is that during the study of her mummy, scientists found strong evidence that she was killed.

Thanks to embalming, the body of the Egyptian was well preserved

On the back of the embalmed woman, scientists found clear signs of stab wound. According to their calculations, the blow was delivered to the back of the left shoulder when the woman was from 20 to 30 years old. According to one of the authors of the study, Robert Loyns, the girl’s death occurred very quickly. Perhaps close people tried to save her, because at the site of the wound, the remains of the material that was used to close the wound were found.

Who exactly and for what reason killed the woman is not clear to scientists. Perhaps the answer to this question should be sought in ancient documents, but the event is hardly mentioned in the millennial writings. If the murder of Takabuchi was documented, it is not a fact in the scriptures survived to our times.

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Ancient

Researchers will determine the age of the ‘Giant of Cerne Abbas’ geoglyph

Phillip Toms of the University of Gloucestershire and his colleagues will study samples taken from the elbows and feet of the Giant of Cairn-Abbas, the famous geoglyph located in the English county of Dorset. Scientists want to clarify the age of this image.

The Giant was carved on a hillside near the present village of Cerne Abbas. Due to the removal of the surface soil layer, the Cretaceous rock was exposed, and as a result, an image of a naked man appeared. Its height is 55 meters, width – 51 meters (due to arms apart). In his right hand he holds a club with a length of 37 meters. Studies have shown that the giant had a cloak draped over his left hand.

The first mention of the Giant of Cerne Abbas in written sources dates back to November 4, 1694. In the “Reports of Church Ministers from St. Mary’s Church in Cerne Abbas” on this date it is indicated that three shillings were spent on the “restoration of the giant”. In 1734, the Giant was described by the Bishop of Bristol, who examined the local landmark during a visit to Cerne Abbas. Four years later, the giant was mentioned in a letter by the antique dealer Francis Wise, and in 1764 he was discussed at a meeting of the London Society of Antiquaries.

Scientists have not yet agreed on whether it appeared in the 16th century or was created earlier. There are currently three main theories. According to one of them, the Giant was carved in a hillside on the orders of the local Lord Denzil Holles and is a caricature of Oliver Cromwell. Halls and Cromwell, although both sided with parliament, were fierce political opponents, and Cromwell even put forward charges against Holz of clandestine ties with King Charles I, who was in besieged Oxford. The version of Halls’s connection with the Giant of Cerne Abbas is based on a report from the 18th century antiquary John Hutchins, who mentioned in a letter that the estate manager told him that “the figure was modern, carved in the time of Lord Hall”.

Proponents of another theory believe that the Giant dates back to Roman times. They note the similarity of the figure with the traditional images of Hercules , which became especially noticeable after the discovery of traces of the cloak (in this version the “cloak” is considered the skin of a Nemean lion). Finally, the third version connects the Giant of Cerne Abbas with Celtic culture. Its appearance is caused by the similarity of the Giant with the image of the Celtic god on the handle of the pan found in Hod Hill in Dorset, which dates from about 10-51 years of our era.

Current researchers intend to use optically stimulated luminescent dating, which allows us to establish how long ago sunlight was exposed to minerals for the last time. “It is likely that the tests will give us a range of dates, not a specific age, but we hope that they will help us better understand and take care of this famous landmark,” says archaeologist Martin Papworth.

Gordon Bishop, chairman of the historical society of Cerne Abbas, said that although some villagers “would prefer the age and origin of the Giant to remain a mystery,” most would like to know at least if he is ancient or only a few hundred years old.

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Ancient

The mystery of the Anasazi, the mystical “tree of life”

In the XII century BC, when the pharaohs and kings ruled the world, representatives of the Indian Anasazi culture lived on the territory of the American states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. 

They are known for having built the huge city of Pueblo Bonito, on the main square of which a 6-meter pine tree grew. Since there were no other trees growing near the settlement, it was believed that the giant pine tree was sacred to the Anasazi people and was used for religious purposes . However, this assumption was recently rejected because American scientists found that the tree originally grew in a completely different place.

Computer-recreated image of a pueblo bonito with a huge pine tree in the main square

The Tree of Life in the USA

About how scientists managed to dispel myths about the “tree of life” of the city of Pueblo Bonito, was described in the scientific journal ScienceAlert. A settlement of 8,000 square meters, consisting of more than 650 rooms, was first discovered in 1849 by Lieutenant of the American Army, James Simpson. The initial excavations were carried out from 1896 to 1900, during which archaeologists found rooms and other parts of the city. The remains of a tall tree of the species Oregon pine ( Pinus ponderosa ), which was given the name “tree of life”, were found only in 1924.

Photos from the excavation site of Pueblo Bonito

A pine tree was found under the topsoil, and scientists were surprised that the tree survived well even after several hundred years. The leader of the expedition, Neil Judd, shared that the tree had huge roots, so in those days, scientists were sure that the tree originally grew in its place. However, then the researchers came to the conclusion that they deal only with parts of the roots, and not with the entire root system. In addition, at the time of discovery, the tree lay on the ground, so it could be assumed that it had no sacred status and the ancient inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito dragged it from a completely different place.

This assumption was proved after scientists studied the tree rings inside the trunk and found evidence that the tree grew in the Chuska massif. It is located about 80 kilometers from Pueblo Bonito, so researchers can not even imagine how the ancient people managed to move a huge pine tree to such a great distance. Most likely, representatives of the ancient culture did not cut down the tree, but it fell by itself. It could be assumed that the trunk was subsequently dragged, but nearby archaeologists did not find any such traces. Also, they do not know in what position the tree was placed inside the city – it could stand like a pillar or lay along with other logs intended for construction.

Cross section of a sample taken from a tree found in Pueblo Bonito Square

Mysteries of Antiquity

Be that as it may, at the moment the myth of the sacredness of the tree inside the city of Pueblo Bonito can be considered dispelled. But not only the tree, but also the settlement itself was shrouded in riddles. The fact is that people in it clearly did not live on a permanent basis, because on the earth no objects were found that representatives of the Indian Anasazi culture used daily. It turns out that people visited this place only on special occasions and temporarily lived in hundreds of small “houses”, some of which were multi-levelled. Most likely, during mass gatherings, people shared sacred knowledge and performed rituals.

Sacred ceremonies could be held inside the city of Pueblo Bonito, but the tree clearly did not play any role in them.

In general, the city of Pueblo Bonito can be called as important a historical site as Stonehenge in the UK. But it was not preserved as well as it could, because it was built in a very dangerous place. Near the building was a 30-meter rock, part of which weighed more than 30 thousand tons and for many centuries risked collapse. That is why it was known as “threatening rock.” Ultimately, the collapse occurred in 1941 and a rock damaged one of the great walls of the city and some dwellings.

“Threatening rock” before and after the fall

In general, on our planet there are a huge number of historical objects surrounded by secrets. For example, on the island of Easter located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, there are more than 800 huge statues called moai. Locals still believe that they contain the supernatural power of their ancestors. But recently, scientists have found that they were used by ancient people for other purposes.

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Ancient

Druids of Scotland used lightning in their rites

Kallanish Stone Circle (Lewis Island, Scotland) (ss) Chmee28

A magnetic anomaly was discovered at the site of the ancient Druidic sanctuary in Callanish on Lewis Island in Scotland as reported by the scientific portal Heritage Daily on March 18.

Participants in the Callanish virtual reconstruction project, led by the University of St Andrews and the University of Bradford, have identified a potential connection between the ancient stone circles on Lewis Island and the forces of nature. In the place of the sanctuary, called Irig on Binna Big, also known as Callanish XI, so far there is only one standing stone – the last remaining from the stone circle.

The project team, based on geophysical data, stated that in the center of the sanctuary there was a strong magnetic anomaly with a diameter of about 20 meters. Researchers believe that the anomaly was the result of a powerful lightning strike or a series of strokes about 4,000 years ago. Project manager Dr. Richard Bates of the University of St Andrews said on this occasion:

“Such clear evidence of lightning strikes is extremely rare in the UK, and communication with this stone circle is unlikely to be accidental.”

Bates said it was not known what attracted lightning. It could be a tree or rock, which is no longer there, or the megaliths themselves. “However, this remarkable evidence suggests that the forces of nature could be closely related to the daily life and beliefs of the early farming communities on the island,” he added. The project team hopes to return to Lewis next year to conduct further research in Callanish both on land and in waters, where the old landscape was flooded with rising sea levels.

“The significant results of the Lewis study show that we must understand the landscapes surrounding these ritual monuments, and the role that nature and natural phenomena, including lightning, played in creating rituals and beliefs of people many thousands of years ago,” Professor Vincent Gaffney of Bradford University said.

Callanish on the Scottish island of Lewis, part of the Outer Hebrides archipelago, is an ancient cult site that is one of the most famous monuments of megalithic culture in the British Isles. Callanish includes 19 megalithic objects. The megalithic stones of the shrines were erected during the Neolithic period between 2900 and 2600 BC. e. for worship by Druid priests. Previously, other shrines also existed at this place.

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