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.

Romano-British silver toothpick. (The British Museum) An ivory toothpick found in India. (The British Museum) A gold case with matching a tooth and earpicks.

The Strange History of the Toothpick: Neanderthal Tool, Deadly Weapon, and Luxury Possession

A toothpick – the go-to little tool you select after a meal of corn on the cob, an object you absentmindedly chew on while listening to an unremarkable conversation, the piece of wood you carelessly...
Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.

An Unbreakable Story: The Lost Roman Invention of Flexible Glass

Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a...
 Main: A scene of the Qing dynasty campaign against the Miao (Hunan) 1795 (public domain). Inset: Model of a Chinese South Pointing Chariot, an early navigational device using a differential gear.

The South-Pointing Chariot: This Ancient Chinese Invention Led Armies In a Unique and Impressive Way

The south-pointing chariot is a Chinese invention that functioned in a similar way to a compass. Instead of pointing north, however, this device could point south, or any other direction it was ‘...
Prehistoric hand axe found in Israel.

Half-a-million-year-old Feeding Ground for Homo Erectus Found Near Tel Aviv

Archaeologists from Israel have announced the discovery of hundreds of hand-axes, most likely used by prehistoric humans from five hundred thousand years ago at Jaljulia, north-east of Tel Aviv...
Reconstruction of the Myklebust Viking ship burial chamber c. year 870 AD, Norway, probably containing King Audbjorn of the Fjords. The king’s head is resting on pillows filled with bird feathers.

What Comforting Items Did Vikings Have That Are Still the Height of Luxury Today?

By ThorNews In the largest and most richly equipped Viking burial mounds discovered in Norway there are usually found beds and several types of bird feathers and down from pillows and duvets,...
Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...
Mount Ararat is located near the border between Armenia and Turkey. Insert: Image of Mount Ararat.

Does ‘New Evidence’ Prove Noah’s Ark Is Buried on a Turkish Mountain?

By Tom Ozimek , Epoch Times Conclusive evidence of the existence of Noah’s Ark has eluded ark hunters since time immemorial. The Bible says the vessel made landfall on the “mountains of Ararat” in...
Aerial view of an ancient irrigation system discovered in the foothills of Xinjiang, China.

Did Ancient Irrigation Technology Travel Silk Road?

Using satellite imaging and drone reconnaissance, archaeologists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered an ancient irrigation system that allowed a farming community in arid...
A large hand axe found in the Wadi Dadsa.

Ancient Stone Artifacts Could Tell the Story of When Early Humans Spread Out of Africa

A team of archaeologists has announced the discovery of over a thousand stone artifacts, with some of them being up to 1.76 million years old. The discovery took place at Wadi Dabsa, in southwest...
Medieval style bathing depicted in calligraphy of a book circa 1400.

Medieval Hygiene Might Have Been Better Than You Think

The Medieval period is usually perceived as a time in Europe during which the greater part of the continent was in decline. In many aspects of Medieval society, the quality of life was inferior as...
Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.

Why Are There 365 Days in a Year? Organizing Dates with an Ancient Egyptian Calendar

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...
The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes

Bronze Artifacts Found in 3,100-Year-Old Tomb Tell of Dynastic Take Over

Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which...
Romanian Postage stamp design 1989 with Conrad Hass, Austrian military engineer with an early rocket design.

Conrad Haas’ Flying Javelin: Yes, It Is 16th Century Rocket Science

Conrad Haas was a military engineer who lived during the 16 th century. Not much is known for certain about Haas’ life, in fact, he was largely forgotten by history. But this changed in 1961, when a...
Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an, China.

Terracotta Army Weapons Were Genuine, Military Grade and State of the Art

It was 1974, Xi’an, China and one of the most phenomenal archaeological discoveries ever occurred. It was the moment when more than 8000 full scale warriors cast of clay were reintroduced to the...
Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum

The Secrets Behind the Plague Doctor’s Terrifying Costume

The plague doctor is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures to have emerged from the Middle Ages. These were European physicians who specialised in treating victims of the plague, the best known...
Bologna, San Petronio: Meridian of Giandomenico Cassini

Synchronizing Science and Religion? Why We Find Solar Observatories and Astronomical Features in Churches

It is often assumed that science and faith are always at loggerheads with each other. This, however, is a common misconception, as there are numerous instances demonstrating the co-existence and co-...

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An ancient skull (public domain). Note: This image is representational only, and is not a photo of one of the skulls recently-discovered in Mayo, Ireland. Photos have not yet been released of the Neolithic Mayo bones.
The remains of at least ten adults, adolescents and children that were positioned in a 5,500-year-old cave-like structure over the course of 1,200 years during the Neolithic Period, have been found in Ireland. All of them show signs of having their heads smashed in after death, as part of a mysterious funerary ritual.

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

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)