Ancient Technology

Dating back thousands of years are numerous examples of ancient technology that leave us awe-struck at the knowledge and wisdom held by people of our past. They were the result of incredible advances in engineering and innovation as new, powerful civilizations emerged and came to dominate the ancient world. These advances stimulated societies to adopt new ways of living and governance, as well as new ways of understanding their world. However, many ancient technology mysteries were forgotten, lost to the pages of history, only to be re-invented millennia later. Here we feature ancient technology history and dozens of amazing artifacts that reflect the brilliance of ancient minds.

The Viking weaver’s sword found at the South Main Street dig in Cork

1,000-year-old Viking Sword in Extraordinary Condition Discovered in Ireland

A 1,000-year-old wooden Viking weaver’s sword has been unearthed by archaeologists at the historic site of the former Beamish and Crawford brewery in Cork city, Ireland. Experts describe the sword as...
A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.

Giddyap! How the Stirrup Revolutionized Horseback Riding and Helped Build Empires

Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re...
Tar collected in a birch bark container from the pit roll experiment, a technique which uses glowing embers placed over a roll of bark in a small pit.

How Neanderthals Made the Very First Glue 200,000-Years-Ago

The world's oldest known glue was made by Neanderthals. But how did they make it 200,000 years ago? Leiden archaeologists have discovered three possible ways and published their findings in...
Five carved stone spheres from Scotland held at the Ashmolean Museum

Geometric Stone Spheres of Scotland: Part 2 – Explanations From Platonic Solids to Sexual Healing

The purpose of these, predominantly Scottish in origin, spheres is unknown, although simple theories range from projectiles to predictive devices and more. But the sophistication of their design and...
Figure 1. Geometric stone spheres. (Photo Credit: Martin Morrison, taken at Hunterian Museum, Glasgow)

Geometric Stone Spheres of Scotland: Part 1 – More Than A Projectile - What Possible Purpose 5,000-years Ago?

“O nly in the period when Megalithic Man was setting out the sophisticated stone rings has a sufficiently high standard of mathematical knowledge and skill ever been reached before the fifteenth...
Detail of a rattle, 1100-1470 AD, Chimu, north coast Peru, gold or gold-plated silver - Art Institute of Chicago.

Golden Years: Metal Coating Techniques Used 2000 Years Ago Outshine Modern Methods

Ancient technology used by craftsmen 2000 years ago to apply thin films of metal onto their statues surpassed modern standards for producing DVDs, solar cells, and electronic devices. It makes you...
Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.

The Evidence is Cut in Stone: A Compelling Argument for Lost High Technology in Ancient Egypt

Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show...
The Medieval ring found in Kavarna, Bulgaria (Image: Kavarna Municipality)

Jewelry to Die For: 14th-Century Bulgarian Ring with a Killer Dose

When a medieval ring was uncovered by Bulgarian archaeologists excavating the remains of the medieval fortress on Cape Kaliakra, near the town of Kavarna on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, they were...
Photo of camping bed found in Tutankhamun tomb. By Harry Burton

Why did King Tut Have Possibly the First Three-Part Folding Camp Bed Ever Made?

Researchers have analyzed a model of King Tutankhamun's bed and they have concluded that this was the first ever three-part folding camp bed in history. Experts suggest that the bed provides an...
Representation of a group of Neanderthals.

Toolmaking Teachers? Surprising Skills Shared Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

50,000-year-old tools made from deer ribs suggest modern humans may have learned tool-making from Neanderthals. Found in the southwest of France, these artifacts add to a growing body of evidence...
All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise

The Vajra: An Ancient Weapon of War

The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable...
Could the Egyptian Ankh Symbol Be Spawned of the Viscera of Bulls?

Could the Egyptian Ankh Symbol Be Spawned of the Viscera of Bulls?

The ankh symbol has for centuries been a symbol of eternal life, the universe, the divine, and other religious and metaphysical ideas. It was originally used as a symbol in ancient Egypt to represent...
Clay accounting ball with calculi, counters, and evolution of cuneiform. Exhibit in the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Solution to the 5,500-year-old Mesopotamian Clay Ball Enigma

In late 2013, interesting fresh evidence dating back five and a half millennia was found, giving insights into the enigma of the Mesopotamian clay balls. Through use of CT scanning to peer into the...
Ötzi’s Ancient Axe is from Tuscany, Giving Firm Evidence of Neolithic Travel and Trade

Ötzi’s Ancient Axe is from Tuscany, Giving Firm Evidence of Neolithic Travel and Trade

Scientists have officially verified that copper used to make Otzi the Iceman’s axe blade did not come from the Alpine region as was initially suggested, but instead it came from southern Tuscany in...
The Flammarion engraving.

The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 3: Science in Antiquity

The achievements by modern science are phenomenal. But with our background of spaceships, skyscrapers, wonder drugs, and atomic reactors we are apt to minimize the scientific accomplishments of the...
Part of an ancient Egyptian statue

Boats, Bowling and Moldy Bread: Curious Achievements Ancient Egypt Shared With the World

Ancient Egypt is one on the oldest civilizations in the world and it was also home to many of the ancient world’s greatest achievements. Without their creativity and innovative approach to the world...

Pages

Myths & Legends

The ride to Asgard" by Peter Nicolai Arbo. 1872.
In the beginning there were only native forests and wasteland. The Aesirs, one main group of Norse gods, cleared places to stay, both for themselves and the humans. They named the human’s home Midgard – because it is placed in the middle of the world. And in the middle of Midgard

Ancient Technology

The Ancient Invention of the Water Clock
Today, the ability to keep track of time seems to be taken for granted. One just simply needs to glance at a watch, clock, or mobile phone to know the exact time, even down to the nearest second...

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)