We knew Universal Studios was rebooting the classic monster movies into a new cinematic universe. So who's writing them? The "Monster Men," a collective of writers inspired by both the Pixar "brain trust" and the traditional tv writer's room. Among the writers on board: screenwriter/director Alex Kurtzman (Star Trek, Fringe); longtime Fast & Furious writer Chris Morgan; the creator and writer of the Fargo tv series, Noah Hawley; Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski; and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Men In Black screenwriter Ed Solomon. [more inside]
Journal of Art in Society tells the story of the most unusual pigment: The life and death of Mummy Brown. [more inside]
I understand your great grandfather was a grave robber?
My family is Greek and they lived in Alexandria back when it was a Greek town. At that point there was a trade in mummy dust, which they called mummia, which was thought to be a cure all. Louis XIV actually used to carry mummia in a pouch and snort little bits of it. The problem was that by the late 19th century they didn’t have a bunch of old Egyptian mummies to dig up anymore. Instead, when criminals were executed, people would steal their bodies and take them to the middle of the Sahara and cover them in tar. They’d come back a year later, dig them up and sell them to apothecaries, where they’d get ground up. This was a burgeoning trade.A Q&A with author, photographer, and ossuary expert Paul Koudounaris.
"...scientists have discovered that two 3,000-year-old Scottish "bog bodies" are actually made from the remains of six people."
Ötzi the Iceman died around 3,300 B.C., yet his body was preserved frozen in the Alps until 1991. DNA sequencing of Neandertals (who died out about 35,000 years ago) suggests modern humans with ancestry outside of Africa carry a few percent of Neandertal genes due to interbreeding. Now (in a blog post knocking down a re-interpretation of the Neandertal DNA evidence) paleontologist John Hawks previews an upcoming publication of his examining Ötzi's DNA::
If we took as a baseline that Europeans have an average of 3.5 percent Neandertal, Ötzi would have around 5.5 percent (again, the actual percentage would be highly model-dependent). He has substantially greater sharing with Neandertals than any other recent person we have ever examined.Previously (Ötzi), Previously (Neandertals)
Atlas Obscura provides a Guide to Communist Mummies, and there's plenty more online. Visit Lenin's Mausoleum, where he has been kept since 1924, defying his wishes to be buried next to his mother in St. Petersburg. He wasn't alone forever, as Stalin's body was kept in the mausoleum after his death in 1953, until his body was quietly removed in October, 1961. Just under eight years later, Hồ Chí Minh died, and against his wishes to be cremated, a very large state funeral was held and Uncle Ho's embalmed remains were placed in a mausoleum. Chairman Mao Zedong made A Proposal that all Central Leaders be Cremated after Death in 1956, but his wishes were overlooked when he died in 1976, and he joined the growing ranks of the preserved communist leaders in his own crystal casket, housed in a grand mausoleum. [more inside]
Universal Horror: history of the early horror films made by Universal Studios such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, King Kong, The Mummy and many more. Directed by Kevin Brownlow. Narrated by Kenneth Branagh. 1 :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 5 :: 6 :: 7
"When  hundred years old *you* reach, look as good *you* will not, hmm? " Face of incredibly preserved 700-year-old mummy found by chance by Chinese road workers.
He's been dead for 5,300 years and exactly how he died is a matter of debate, but Otzi the Iceman has a new face, thanks to 2 Dutch artists, Alfons and Adrie Kennis.
Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward. National Geographic republished the photos (flash gallery) and the text of the 1923 account of the opening of the tomb of King Tutankhamun. [more inside]
A Hierarchy of Classic Horror Monsters: Regular vampires are shit. They can only beat Zombies, Witches, assorted Poltergeists, and Mr. Hyde. That is BARELY BETTER THAN A REGULAR PERSON. Shut the fuck up about vampires. [more inside]
Why do mummies scream? Are screaming mummies really testaments to horrific deaths? Or are they the result of natural processes, botched or ad hoc mummification jobs, or the depredations of tomb robbers? Archaeology Online examines the science and history behind the gape-mouthed "masks of agony" seen on some mummies, and explores their portrayal in entertainment and pop culture. The article includes lots of interesting and informative additional links.
The Western press is heralding the discovery of the "world's oldest marijuana stash" (789 grams) in the tomb of a 2,700-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed mummy in the Xinjiang region of China (photo). The mummy is believed to be a Nordic-featured Gushi shaman from the Tarim Basin. Scientists conjecture that the cannabis was being saved for use in the afterlife. In actuality, according to the Journal of Experimental Botany, the stash is the oldest pot to be tested for its properties. In 2006, the Chinese press reported that Chinese scientists had unearthed an older marijuana "baggy" in a 2,800-year-old Caucasian shaman's Xinjiang tomb.
Egyptian archaeologists have uncovered the "missing pyramid" of a pharaoh and a ceremonial procession road where high priests carried mummified remains of sacred bulls.
Meet Mojo, a runaway who was finally buried 80 years after his death. Visit with the Orviss family in their spacious mausoleum. Don’t mind the whispers; there’s no reason to be superstitious. It’s just Calvert, Texas.
A few days ago archaeologists discovered what is one of the most intact ancient Egyptian tombs ever found. If you would like to get in on the mummy fun from your own computer, there are several quaint things you may do on the internet; most satisfactorily, you can stick a hook up Seneb's nose and slice up his brain.
Modern Mummification. For yourself or your pets. The Summum organization, which incorporates a variety of religious and spiritual philosophies into its belief system, introduced modern mummification in 1975 as a means to "guide one's essence to a greater destination following the death of the body." They even have their own pyramid, in Utah of all places. There are several webpages for the kiddies, even very young ones. One presentation for kids explains that mummification is like "a caterpillar turning into a butterfly." Some people would like to expose the whole thing as a batshitinsane, money-making cult.
friday flash fun!
draw a line from the man to the flag and make him walk across it. watch out for the spikes!
draw a line from the man to the flag and make him walk across it. watch out for the spikes!
Scientists in Mongolia have found the mummy of a Scythian warrior. This article about the find contains an excellent photo gallery of what exactly they dug up. Other things people have dug up in the past include the famous Mr. Ötzi (only twice as old as the others) and Ms. Altai Princess, who has lately been causing some trouble.
You Wouldn't Want To Be ... an Eqyptian Mummy, a Slave in Ancient Greece, or even an Aztec Sacrifice ... would you? The "You Wouldn't Want To" series of children's educational books is written by various experts and viscerally illustrated by David Antram. Conveniently enough, "You Wouldn't" contributor and former Cambridge professor Fiona Macdonald has also written a series of "How To Be" books. (via JessicaHarbour)
"A 2,600-year-old corpse has been discovered in the moors of northern Germany. It's not the only one. Such finds are frequent, but have posed an increasingly large riddle: Why were so many of the bodies victims of violence and dismemberment?"
Long ago in the town of Palermo in Sicily some monks got together and decided that they wanted to start praying to one of their own after he had passed to the Great Beyond so they embalmed him. Four hundred years and 8,000 corpses later you can see the Capuchin Catacombs for yourself.
Zombie and Mummy are friends. They have many excellent adventures. via surfstation, quirky midi alert.
"Over 5000 years ago, a man climbed up to the icy heights of the Schnalstal glacier and died. He was found by accident in 1991, with his clothes and equipment, mummified and frozen: an archaeological sensation and a unique snapshot of a Copper Age man. For several years highly specialised research teams examined the mummy and the articles found with it. They have been on exhibit since March 1998 at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology." Apparently he suffered of arthritis and heart disease.
Strange creature found in Chile Article points to Babelfish translation. Original article here (in Spanish). Anyone have any idea what this is?
There's mummies coming from Afghanistan said yesterday's Horizon on the BBC. This is the story of a supposedly 2600 year old mummified Persian princess. It was put up for sale for $11 million, but turned out to be a fraud and possibly contains the remains of a woman murdered in 1996. The mummy was probably manufactured somewhere in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, well known these days....
A story that only gets stranger and sadder. A gold-masked mummy, whose sensational discovery last year sparked an ownership row between Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, has turned out not only to be a modern fake but also the apparent victim in a macabre murder mystery.
Last summer, lagado posted a link on some interesting mummies found in a Chinese desert. This is an article on the ensuing (and continuing) political problems they've caused.
So have you heard the one about the Golden Persian Princess Mummy? Discovered in October by Pakistani police during a murder investigation of an antiquities smuggler, this story has only gotten weirder. Said to be 2,600-years-old, the body of a young woman has been preserved using the Egyptian mummification process but bears cuneiform inscriptions in Old Persian: "I, daughter of Xerxes, the great king, I am Ruduamna". Since its discovery, the governments of Iran and Afghanistan have each claimed ownership of the mummy and all three countries are now engaged in a bitter war of claim and counter-claim. Now some experts are starting to say that the whole thing looks like it's just an elaborate hoax.