Ancient Writings

There are literally thousands of incredible texts that have survived from the ancient world, which are etched onto copper, beautifully inscribed on papyrus, chipped onto tablets, and even written using the ink of ground down gold and precious stones. Here we feature many ancient writings, which have served to open a window onto the daily lives of our ancestors and enhanced the knowledge we hold about our ancient past.

Kingston Lacy and Egyptian Obelisk, discovered on an island in the Nile by William Bankes in 1815

The Philae Obelisk, Hieroglyphs and Understanding a Vanished Culture

Before the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs, ancient Egypt was shadowy and mysterious with towering monuments, magical names, and an unknown antiquity, though most Western scholars believed that...
A mausoleum in the northern region of Mali.

Does a Mysterious Manuscript Describe a Forgotten Malian Mausoleum in Brazil?

Almost 300 years ago Brazilian bandits stumbled upon a ruined city. It was such an intriguing site that the city was eventually described in ink. This text became known as Manuscript 512 – a document...
A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day. The image on the right indicates a 24-month cycle with the seasons listed and the image to the left indicates the moon-cycles and planetary positions.

The Enigmatic and Undeciphered Voynich Manuscript Unlikely to be a Hoax

The Voynich manuscript is among the most perplexing texts ever discovered as it has never been decoded despite over 25 analyses conducted in an attempt to decipher its meaning. As a result, many have...
medicine, manuscript, Egypt, Hippocrates, Catherine, monastery, library, text, writing, palimpsest

Hippocratic Medical Recipe Lost in a Famous Egyptian Monastery Finally Comes to Light

The library at St. Catherine's Monastery is considered one of the most important for ancient texts. New research examining a manuscript from the 6th century shows that it is not just the visible...
Satyr Playing the Pipe (Jupiter's Childhood) (fragment) Jacob Jordaens 1639

War, Death and the Wrath of Gods: How Satyr Plays Helped Ancient Greeks Cope With Life

Before Shakespeare, there were the Greeks. The infamous "all the world's a stage" quote attributed to the Elizabethan writer in the 16th century far more accurately describes the world of ancient...
The statue of a seated Zeus at Olympia.

Unleashing The Power of the Gods: Hexes and Black Magic in the Ancient Greek Olympics

When the ancient Olympics began, the greatest athletes in Greece gathered before a statue of Zeus Horkios, the god of oaths. Laid before its feet would be the freshly cut meat of a boar sacrificed by...
Yamamoto Kansuke, named as author in the Sword Scroll text

Samurai Secrets Revealed: English Translation of the 500-year-old ‘Sword Scroll’ Provides Fighting Tactics Including ‘Egg Them’

A medieval samurai text recently translated into English gives many practical tips on fighting an enemy and advises all warriors to be ‘pure of heart and in balance in their spirit’. Although...
The Three Distinct Scripts of Knossos: An Unfinished Epic

The Three Distinct Scripts of Knossos: An Unfinished Epic

Linear A and Linear B are the names given to two sets of scripts from ancient Greece. A third known writing form of the time is Cretan Hieroglyphic. The Linear A script was used by the Minoan...
One of the first cultures to have books were the Maya codices written on doubled-over pages and covered by a layer of "stucco".

The Maya Codices: The Precious Remaining History of an Eradicated Civilization

The Maya were a powerful pre-Columbian civilization who thrived between AD 600 – AD 800. They were literate, had a complex language including pictograms, glyphs, and phonetic representations. They...
Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
Clay Tablet inscribed with Linear B script dated 1450-1375 BC, Knossos

Reading Between the Lines: Decrypting the Scripts of the Minoans and Mycenaeans

Pick up a book in a language you have never learned. Read the first couple pages. See if you can understand any aspect of the culture between its covers. It is difficult, isn't it? It remains so...
Petroglyphs in the Negev desert.

Similar Petroglyphs in Israel, America Reveal Ancient Global Language?

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times In Israel’s Negev desert and in the American Southwest similar petroglyphs have been found, according to archaeologist Dr. James Harris at Brigham Young University. It’...
The codex, opened to a page of Beowulf

A Literary Treasure: The Oldest Surviving English Poem - Beowulf and His Epic Battles

Perhaps the oldest surviving long poem in Old English, Beowulf is commonly seen as one of the most important works of Old English Literature. While the date of the poem’s composition is still debated...
Famous stone head of the Olmec civilization.

Is the Cascajal Tablet the Key to Understanding Giant Olmec Heads?

Bryan Hilliard’s “Does the Cascajal Block provide evidence of a written language of the Olmecs?” published by Ancient Origins, discussed the finding by many Mexican researchers that the symbols on...
Bible paper. Insert: Mesha stele.

This 2,800-Year-Old Stele Tells A Bible Story From A Different Point Of View

As soon as you fit the words “Bible” and “history” into the same sentence, people start reacting. Most people are in one of two camps: either every word of the Bible is completely, literally true, or...

The Exceptional Inscription on the Pokotia Monument – Evidence of Sumerian Script in Bolivia?

There is a very intriguing inscription on the back of the Pokotia Monolith. What makes it stand out is that it was written in linear Sumerian. Even more exciting is that it provides further evidence...

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Top New Stories

Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.
Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran until the 17th century. Founded in 518 BC by Darius I of the Persian Empire, Persepolis (called Parsa by the native Persians) lasted only a mere two hundred years despite the grandeur Darius and his followers abundantly heaped on its construction. Notwithstanding Persepolis’ tragic end, what remains of the Persian citadel is astounding.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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)