Africa

Ancient places can be found all over Africa. Their fascinating histories and impressive artifacts open intriguing glimpses to times past, and open up a window on African history. Visiting such historical places in Africa can be an unforgettable experience.

Science is constantly discovering new archaeological places and uncovering more evidence into what we once thought we knew about our history, therefore offering new pieces to the ever changing puzzle of humanity’s past and altering how we interpret it. This section will present ancient African history articles, highlighting the most interesting archaeological sites all over Africa, as well as new discoveries of ancient places that are worth paying a visit.

St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt (Wikimedia Commons)

The Monastery of Saint Catherine: A Controversial Agreement Across Faiths

At the foot of Mount Sinai is Saint Catherine’s Monastery, described as ‘the oldest Christian monastery still in use for its initial function’. It is officially known as the Holy Monastery of the God...
Elmina Castle, Elmina, Ghana

Elmina Castle and its Dark History of Enslavement, Torture, and Death

Elmina Castle is a white-washed Medieval Castle on the coast of Ghana. It was the first – and for many centuries – the largest, European building constructed in tropical Africa. Yet its grandeur, as...
Ruins of the Church of the Granite columns, Old Dongola, Sudan

The rich history of the ancient Nubian Kingdom of Dongola

Following the collapse of the Kingdom of Kush during the 4 th century BC, a political vacuum was left in the region it controlled, now modern day Sudan and southern Egypt. This void was filled by the...
The Amphitheatre of El Djem

The Amphitheatre of El Djem: Gladiatorial Arena of Tunisia

The amphitheatre is one of the most iconic architectural contributions of ancient Rome. The most famous example of such a structure is the Colosseum in Rome, where brutal gladiatorial battles took...
The Royal Palace of Urkesh, built around 2250 B.C. by king Tupkish.

The Rediscovery of Urkesh: Forgotten City of the Hurrians

Ancient Urkesh was once a major hub of the ancient Near Eastern Hurrian civilization, known in mythology as the home of a primordial god. Little was known about Urkesh and the mysterious Hurrian...
The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon, painting by Edward Poynter, 1890, Art Gallery of New South Wales

The Ethiopian Gold Mine that may have supplied the Queen of Sheba with her riches

Ever wondered where the Queen of Sheba got her gold from? During a 2012 excavation in Ethiopia, a team of British archaeologists may very well have found the answer. The Queen of Sheba is famous in...
Sunk relief of personified provinces of Egypt bearing offerings for the temple god. Temple of Ramesses II at Abydos.

Foundation Rituals of Ancient Egypt: Elaborate Rites Conducted to Protect Great Monuments

In modern times, it is common to initiate a new building with what is known as a "ground-breaking" ceremony. This tradition symbolically marks the beginning of a new project in many cultures and is...
Tariq ibn Ziyad, Berber Muslim and Umayyad general who led the conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711. Painting by Theodor Hosemann.

The Rich Mythology and Megalithic Culture of the Ancient Berbers, Lords of the Desert

The Barbary Coast of North Africa was named after the Berbers, the nomadic people who inhabited the region west of the Nile Valley in north Africa. Called the Amazigh or Imazighen in antiquity (...
False Doors: The Gateways to the Egyptian Underworld

False Doors: The Gateways to the Egyptian Underworld

As the name would suggest, a false door is an imitation door usually found in mortuary temples and tombs across ancient Egypt. Facing west, these doors served as an imaginary passage between the...
Some of the many paintings inside the Laas Geel caves, near Hargeisa in Somaliland, Somalia.

Laas Geel Complex and The Magnificent Ancient Rock Art of Somalia

Thousands of years ago, humans from the Neolithic age, decorated the walls of rock shelters with paintings of animals and humans at a site called Laas Geel in present day Somalia. Their work would...
Adam’s Calendar

Adam’s Calendar: Oldest Megalithic Site in the World?

Adam’s Calendar is controversially suggested to be the oldest man-made structure in the world. Sometimes referred to as "African Stonehenge", it predates both Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza...
This artwork, realized in 1998 by the Veronese painter Davide Tonato, is an interpretation of the traditional attributes of Maat, Egyptian Goddess of the justice.

Maat: The Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of...
Egyptian relief of the invading Sea Peoples

The Battle of the Delta: Ramses III saves Egypt from the People of the Sea

The ancient Egyptian pharaohs often commemorated military victories over their enemies by having them depicted on the walls of great monuments. One of the most famous conflicts recorded on the walls...
Pyramids of Meroë - Sudan

Pyramids of Meroë stand as Last Remnants of a Powerful Civilization

The Great Pyramids of Giza are among the most recognizable structures in the world today. Yet just south of the Egyptian border is a set of equally impressive pyramids that stand beautifully...
Table Rocks in Nabta Playa

Religion, Sacrifice, and the Mystery of the Table Rocks in Nabta Playa

Read Part 1 Nabta Playa is a remarkable site composed of hundreds of prehistoric tumuli, stelae, and megalithic structures located in the Nubian Desert, approximately 100 kilometers west of Abu...
Nabta Playa and the Ancient Astronomers of the Nubian Desert

Nabta Playa and the Ancient Astronomers of the Nubian Desert

Nabta Playa is a remarkable site composed of hundreds of prehistoric tumuli, stelae, and megalithic structures located in the Nubian Desert, approximately 100 kilometers west of Abu Simbel in...

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Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)