Ancient Egypt

Hundreds of sarcophagi have been excavated from the Saqqara archaeological site thus far.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Uncover Hundreds of Colorful Sarcophagi at Saqqara—and They're Not Done Yet

The 2,500-year-old coffins are the latest in the site’s seemingly endless parade of ancient treasures

The ceiling was once so filthy, these depictions of Egyptian goddesses could not be seen.

Temple Restoration Reveals Vibrant Art of Vulture-Like Egyptian Goddesses

Millennia of grime, soot and bird poop had covered up—and preserved—the archaeological treasure

Researchers want to recreate the smells of civilizations like ancient Egypt. 

Scientists Recreate Cleopatra's Favorite Perfume

Reconstructing the scentscapes of bygone civilizations is anything but simple

Artisans hired by Mehtjetju only made rough drafts of the carvings planned for the entrance to his tomb.

 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth 4,300-Year-Old Tomb of Man Who Handled His Pharaoh’s ‘Secret Documents’

Artisans likely didn’t get a chance to finish decorating Mehtjetju’s final resting place, researchers say

British archaeologist Howard Carter and a crew of 60 Egyptian men and children discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922.

Remembering the Unsung Egyptians Who Helped Discover King Tut's Tomb

A exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the archaeological find by spotlighting the overlooked workers who made it possible

Archaeologist Carol Anne Barsody scans the mummified ibis to create a 3-D model of it for an upcoming exhibition.

Mislabeled for a Century, Mysterious Mummy Reclassified as Sacred Ibis

Previously identified as a hawk, the bird was one of millions killed as offerings to the ancient Egyptian god Thoth

A gold Achaemenid plaque featuring a winged lion-griffin, dated to between 500 and 330 B.C.E.

In the Classical World, Persia's Powers Rivaled Greece and Rome

An exhibition at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles shows how ancient Iran held its own against its better-known contemporaries

Archeologists work in the ruins of the temple of Zeus Kasios, a deity that merges the Greek god and Mount Kasios. 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover Temple in Egypt Inspired by Greek God Zeus

The deity was honored throughout the ancient world

Votive offering found at the Sikait site

Did Ancient Nomads Seize Control of a Roman Emerald Mine in Egypt?

Recent excavations suggest the Blemmyes assumed power of the Sikait mining site between the fourth and sixth centuries C.E.

The largest cache of embalming vessels discovered in Egypt included pots containing resins, oils and myrrh.

These Ancient Egyptian Artifacts Reveal New Details on the Mummification Process

Archaeologists discover a large cache of ceramic pots from the sixth century B.C.E. containing resins, oils and myrrh used for embalming

Christie accompanied her second husband, Max Mallowan, on digs in Egypt and Syria. During these expeditions, she helped catalog, illustrate and restore artifacts, in addition to managing everyday operations.

Based on a True Story

How Agatha Christie's Love of Archaeology Influenced 'Death on the Nile'

In the 1930s, the mystery writer accompanied her archaeologist husband on annual digs in the Middle East

Archaeologist discovered a large number of ostraca, or inscribed fragments of pottery, at the ancient Egyptian temple of Athribis.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Uncover 18,000 Ancient Egyptian 'Notepads'

Known as "ostraca," the inscribed pottery shards document everyday life in the city of Athribis

Scientists examine the first-known pregnant Egyptian mummy.

New Research

What Preserved This Pregnant Egyptian Mummy's Fetus for Millennia?

The combined effects of decomposition and embalming basically "pickled" the fetus, sealing it in its mother's womb

The head of one of the large sphinxes discovered in the funerary complex for Amenhotep III.

Cool Finds

Two Sphinxes Depicting King Tut's Grandfather Discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists are restoring the huge stone statues found half-submerged in water at the burial site of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III

Ancient meets ultramodern in “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs,” now on view in Houston.

An Immersive Celebration of Ramses II Transports Visitors to Ancient Egypt

Historic artifacts meet 21st-century technology in a blockbuster touring exhibition centered on the 19th-Dynasty pharaoh

Centuries after Amenhotep's death, 21st-Dynasty priests reburied his mummy to protect it from grave robbers.

Innovation for Good

Researchers Digitally Unwrap Egyptian Pharaoh's 3,500-Year-Old Mummy

Scanning technology revealed new insights on Amenhotep I's life

Finds unveiled in 2021 included a wooden falcon that originally belonged to doomed queen Anne Boleyn, an intact ancient chicken egg and a dress worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz.

Cool Finds

Ninety-Nine Fascinating Finds Revealed in 2021

The year's most exciting discoveries include a Viking "piggy bank," a lost Native American settlement and a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf

Smithsonian's most-read stories of 2021 included an explainer on crocodile evolution, a profile of a teen inventor and a feature on Viking explorer Gudrid the Far Traveler.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2021

From archaeological finds to an invasive weed to Roman bathrooms, these were our most-read articles of the year

Sandro Botticelli's La nascita di Venere, or Venus' Birth was painted on canvas with tempera paints.

Art Meets Science

Egg Yolk Gives Tempera Paint Its Enhanced Coverage and Spreadable Properties

The paint has been used throughout human history and is featured in iconic art pieces, like Michelangelo's 'Manchester Madonna'

The sealed tomb held about 400 funerary figurines.

Cool Finds

Mummies With Gold Tongues Found Inside 2,500-Year-Old Tombs in Egypt

The rare discovery of a sealed tomb yielded well-preserved grave goods including 400 funerary figures

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