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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.

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...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
Pyramid of Pepi II with smaller pyramids for the queens Neith, Iput II and Udjebten.

Documenting 6th Dynasty Pharaohs: The Significant Inscription on the South Saqqara Stone

The sands of Egypt still cover many secrets. One such example was unearthed in the desert in Saqqara, which is now a part of Cairo. The stories of the people who lived there more than 5000 years ago...
The Tărtăria Tablets

Are the Tărtăria Tablets Actually Written in Hungarian?

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have found writing that dates back 5000 years. This writing, found inscribed in clay, is called the Tărtăria Tablets by M.R. Reese. Reese makes it clear for Ancient Origins...
A photo of the Kushim Tablet.

Leaving A Mark in History: The Oldest Known Named Person

The oldest named person that we know belongs to an individual from Sumer, one of the earliest urban civilisations in southern Mesopotamia, in present day Iraq. A person’s name is an integral part of...
Detail; Byzantine Alexander Romance, Venice, 14th century.

Fact or Fiction? The Obscure Origins of the Greek Alexander Romance

The Greek Alexander Romance , often referred to as a ‘pseudo-Callisthenes’ production, is in one form or another one of the most influential and widely read books of all time; it has birthed a whole...
An artist’s representation of a pyramid with UFOs.

UFOs Over Ancient Egypt? Revealing the Mysterious Story of the Tulli Papyrus

The so called “Tulli Papyrus” is an enigmatic text that some describe as the first written account of a UFO sighting. This Egyptian text records an event which supposedly occurred during the 18th...
Bluetooth Before the Internet: What Ideas Are Transmitted by the Jelling Stones of Denmark?

Bluetooth Before the Internet: What Ideas Are Transmitted by the Jelling Stones of Denmark?

Harald Bluetooth survives history as among the most famous Viking chieftains, primarily because his personal rune stone has been repurposed for the Bluetooth software programmed into our phones, cars...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: The Crafty Story of Embroidery in Medieval Manuscripts

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: The Crafty Story of Embroidery in Medieval Manuscripts

Even though paper would eventually come to be more popular, parchment was the preferred material for book making, and eventually printing, throughout the middle ages. Parchment, used before the rise...

Secret Societies and Hidden Knowledge: The Explosive Star that Inspired the Modern World

A few weeks ago, astronomers announced that in 2022 something truly spectacular is to occur: a new star will appear in the heavens. It will be the first such event visible with the naked eye for over...
From the same 1429 Persian manuscript. Sañjīvaka/Schanzabeh.

What Pearls of Wisdom are Held in the Animal Tales of the Panchatantra?

The Panchatantra (which means the ‘Five Principles’ in Sanskrit) is a collection of interwoven short stories from India. The tales in the Panchatantra are told in both prose and poetry, and consist...
The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

The Exceptional Story of the Kovel Spearhead, Who Made it and Where is it Today?

In 1858, a farmer plowing a field near Kovel in the old administrative unit Volhynia (what is now Ukraine), discovered an iron spearhead with an intriguing inscription and lavish ornamentation. Soon...

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