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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 Valley of the Kings and the Hopi: Constellations Send Ancient Messages

The Valley of the Kings and the Hopi: Constellations Send Ancient Messages

The thread of the constellations was very important to the builders of the pyramid complex. They went to great lengths to create them; carve them into solid stone and place them in the roof of the...
Secrets of Ancient Scroll of En-Gedi are Digitally Unraveled

Secrets of Ancient Scroll of En-Gedi are Digitally Unraveled

University of Kentucky Professor Brent Seales and his team have further unlocked writings in the ancient En-Gedi scroll -- the first severely damaged, ink-based scroll to be unrolled and identified...
The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Vikings’ next step out into the Atlantic – the discovery and settlement of Iceland – is one of the best documented events of the Viking Age. Medieval Icelanders were fascinated by genealogy, not...
Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

The ancient Egyptian language is not just one set of symbols which people find on papyri bookmarks at museums. It's a complicated system of symbols which changed over time. Moreover, the words found...
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: The Largest Cache of Early Christian Manuscripts Discovered to Date

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: The Largest Cache of Early Christian Manuscripts Discovered to Date

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a group of texts that were discovered at Oxyrhynchus (known today as el-Bahnasa), a site located in Upper Egypt. This group of documents is seen as one of the most...
13th Century Maya Codex, Long Shrouded in Controversy, Proves Genuine

13th Century Maya Codex, Long Shrouded in Controversy, Proves Genuine

Brown University’s Stephen Houston and a team of leading researchers in anthropology and Maya archeology methodically verify the authenticity of the oldest known manuscript in ancient America...
The Controversial Dashka Stone: 120 Million-Year-Old Map?

The Controversial Dashka Stone: 120 Million-Year-Old Map?

The Dashka Stone is a controversial artifact that it is believed by some to be the guidelines used by the architect of the world. Known as the Map of the Creator, this stone tablet has baffled...
Surya Siddhanta: The Startlingly Accurate Astronomy Book of the 1st Millennium BC

Surya Siddhanta: The Startlingly Accurate Astronomy Book of the 1st Millennium BC

Many people know the deeds of Ravana, the captor of Sita in the Indian Epic the Ramayana; however, less well known are the incredible accomplishments of his father-in-law, King Maya. According to...
Translation of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Will Reveals Family Disputes Similar to Today

Translation of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Will Reveals Family Disputes Similar to Today

Unlike ancient Latin and Greek texts, Egyptian hieroglyphs have been mostly inaccessible for the average ancient history enthusiast. But this is beginning to change with a collection of texts that...
Angel and a page from the book of Raziel

Practical Magic: The Secret Teachings of the Book of Raziel the Angel

Within the varied teachings of the Jewish mystical tradition known as Kabbalah there is a minor tradition known as Practical Kabbalah (Kabbalah Ma’asit). This branch concerns itself with the use of...
Deriv; Left, Roman legionnaire reenactor in period gear. Right, Jabbaren rock painting (Via author)

The Giant of Algeria: Iconographic Evidence of Roman Expeditions in the Sahara

There are thousands of rock engravings at the dramatic rocky landscape of Jabbaren, Algeria. Jabbaren is an archaeological site in the Tassili N'ajjer National Park in Algeria with some of the most...
The book of deer

The Ancient Book of Deer, Oldest Known Gaelic Text in Existence

Currently housed at the University of Cambridge Library, the historic Book of Deer is said to have been discovered by the University's librarian, Henry Bradshaw, around 1860. It is said to be the...
Pages 11 and 10 of the rediscovered codex with a reconstruction below

Researchers Uncover Lost Mexican Codex Hidden Beneath Another Codex

A 500-year-old Mexican text dating to just before Hernan Cortez arrived in Mexico with his band of murderous, thieving conquistadors has been discovered written over, underneath another old Mexican...
Deriv; Hawaiian Tiki carvings and Easter Island statues with Rongorongo script

From Easter Island to Hawaii: Was there a Common Writing System used by Pacific Islanders?

Recently two tourists found engraved petroglyphs on a Hawaiian Beach. This was an important find because it suggested that the ancient Polynesians had a common writing system which was used from...
The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The largest private collection of manuscripts is remarkable not just for the number of items it possesses (over 20,000) but for the breadth and depth of human history it encompasses. The Schøyen...
Inga Stone.

Message from Outer Space? The Mysterious Indecipherable Script of the Inga Stone

Standing amidst the waters of the Inga River in Brazil, the mysterious Inga Stone of Paraíba, Brazil is an archeological treasure of much ongoing controversy. Covering most of its 150-foot length and...

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