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.

 Detail of the Codex runicus, a vellum manuscript from c. 1300 containing one of the oldest and best preserved texts of the Scanian law (Skånske lov), written entirely in runes.

Runes of Power and Destruction: Reading the Cursed Runestones of Sweden

Runes are often associated with magic and sometimes curses too. For many centuries, they were used as magical symbols to guide people to the knowledge which they believed was created by their gods...
Interior of the synagogue and a Hebrew manuscript with Babylonian vocalization

The Hidden Treasures of the Cairo Geniza

The Cairo Geniza (spelt also as Genizah ) is the name given to a collection of Jewish manuscript fragments that was discovered in Cairo. It is estimated that there are over 350000 individual...
The Dunhuang Diamond Sutra.

The Diamond Sutra: The Oldest Known Printed Book in the World

The Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra has been translated from Sanskrit into English variously as the Diamond Sutra , the Diamond Cutter Sutra , the Vajra Sutra and the Vajra Cutter Sutra . This...
Ancient Book Teaches Amazing Mental Abilities

Ancient Book Teaches Amazing Mental Abilities

There have been many books over the eras that promise other worldly powers to those that read it. Many people could not read so the words on the paper were inherently mysterious. The knowledge gained...
The Turin Papyrus: The Oldest Topographical and Geological Egyptian Map

The Turin Papyrus: The Oldest Topographical and Geological Egyptian Map

The Turin Papyrus Map is an ancient Egyptian map that is generally considered to be the oldest surviving topographical and geological map of the ancient world - there are some older maps from outside...
Ancient Travels to the Americas or a Modern Forgery? Who Made the Bat Creek Inscription?

Ancient Travels to the Americas or a Modern Forgery? Who Made the Bat Creek Inscription?

The Bat Creek stone was discovered in a small mound near Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. The archaeologists who dug it up in 1889 discovered a small stone tablet engraved with several mysterious...
The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The existence of mystery schools in the Viking Age (800-1200 CE) is deduced from myth and folklore. The poems of the Edda display the structure and content of cultic texts used within the framework...
Witch of Endor by Nikolai Ge, 1857.

Ancient Witchcraft and the Spell of the Pella Curse Tablet

In the first half of the 4th century someone wrote a text in Doric Greek idiom. This text became known as the Pella curse tablet. Over the centuries, it became a key object in the argument supporting...
3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis

3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis

It is perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery of all time: Did the lost city of Atlantis actually exist? And if it did once exist, where was it located before its watery demise? Fortunately, the...
The Invitation of the Varangians.

Tracing the Paths of the Vikings Through Their Graffiti

One of the things that the Vikings are renowned for is their seafaring abilities. As a result of their expertise in this field, the Vikings were able to travel around Europe (and beyond) via various...
Deriv; Bust of Plato, map of Santorini, 1703, underwater ruin.

Atlantis: Examining the Legendary Tale of Plato

Around 360 BC, in his dialogues of Timaeus and Critias , the Greek philosopher Plato introduced an incredible story, a tale of an enigmatic island civilization which has since captivated the...
Page from Serat Babat Tanah Jawi, the Chronicle of Java, Inset: King Jayabaya

Jayabaya — The Seer King of Java who Predicted the Dutch and Japanese Occupation of Indonesia

Nostradamus (1503 – 1566) was best known as an author of prophesies. He is credited by some with predicting a number of events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the...
Oracle bone pit at Yinxu, Anyang

Reading Oracle Bones and Writing the Future in the Shang Dynasty

Oracle bones (known in Chinese as 甲骨, transliterated as ‘jiǎ gǔ’, and literally translated as ‘shells and bones’) are a type of artifact best known for its association with the Shang Dynasty (roughly...
A photo showing some stelae found with Arabic inscriptions.

Archaeologists Discover that Earliest Known Arabic Writing Was Penned by a Christian

The oldest known Arabic writing found in Saudi Arabia, from ca. 470 AD belong to a Christian context and predates the advent of Islam with 150 years. In December 2015, researchers from a French-Saudi...
Aerial Photograph (Photo Copyright South American Pictures 1978) and Illustration “Mysterious Holes of Peru”

Does Socos Pampa Geoglyph Reveal Nasca Lines Were Made Centuries Before Nasca Culture?

Ancient Origins Guest Writer, William James Veall, completes his Opinion Piece trilogy by cementing together two earlier articles concerning " The Mysterious Holes of Peru " and " Seafarers from the...
Solomon at his throne, painting by Andreas Brugger, 1777.

Grimoires by a Biblical King? The Magical Treatise of Solomon and the Key of Solomon

The Magical Treatise of Solomon and the Key of Solomon are two grimoires (handbooks of magic) commonly said to have been written by the biblical King Solomon. The latter grimoire has been described...

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Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

Ancient Technology

6 Advanced Ancient Inventions
We’ve lost the secret to making some of history’s most useful inventions, and for all of our ingenuity and discoveries, our ancestors of thousands of years ago are still able to baffle us with their ingenuity and discoveries. We have developed the modern equivalent of some of these inventions, but only very recently.

Ancient Places

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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)