art

Asokan pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India.

Beautiful Dynastic Artistry Shaped the Face of Modern India

Centuries removed from the prehistoric Indus Valley Region, the Mauryan and Kushan dynasties are among the most significant cultural and artistic regimes in Indian history. The prominence of the...
Theseus (center) invented wrestling

The Real Reason That Men in Classical Portrayals Were Given Small Manhoods

Today, bigger is widely regarded as better. But was this always the case? This article sheds some light on how the Western culture changed in its phallic preferences. Over the past few decades,...
Detail of a self-portrait of Raphael, aged approximately 23.

Raphael: A Renaissance Artist More Versatile than Michelangelo and More Prolific than Leonardo?

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (known more commonly as Raphael) was a painter and architect who lived in Italy between the late 15th and early 16th centuries, during a period known as the High...
Hollow bone tube made from the long bone of a bear cuscus, may have been used as an ‘air-brush’ to create human hand stencils on rock surfaces.

Hints of Ancient Symbolic Culture are Revealed in Indonesian Ice Age Art and Jewelry

Adam Brumm & Michelle Langley / The Conversation A cave dig in Indonesia has unearthed a unique collection of prehistoric ornaments and artworks that date back in some instances to at least 30,...
Researchers traced around the edges of the figures to reveal a hunter, a possible shaman (medicine man) and an ostrich, which are still hunted today by San people of Africa. If you look underneath the image, you can see some faint pecking in the rock that clearly show the prehistoric human and ostrich images.

Ancient Egyptian Ritual Image Predates the Rise of the Pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians built their first great monuments in stone beginning with the step pyramid of Djoser about 4,650 years ago. Well before that, around 6,000 years ago, a fine artist working in...
Art Relics Shed Light on Mysterious Ancient Civilization

Art Relics Shed Light on Mysterious Ancient Civilization

A society still silent and secreted beneath the earth of the Himalayas, the earliest civilization associated with Hindu/Indian art history is the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). This society is...
No Average Artists: Who Was Deemed Good Enough to Create Sculptures of Alexander the Great?

No Average Artists: Who Was Deemed Good Enough to Create Sculptures of Alexander the Great?

If Alexander the Great was alive now, he would probably be the most often photographed leader in the world. However, in his time, photography didn't exist. During the 4th century BC, a remarkable...
The rock engravings, found at Qubbet el-Hawa, Egypt and dating to around 6000 years ago, can hardly be seen today.

Where an Ostrich, Dancer, and Hunter Meet: How Common Were Ritual Images in Neolithic Egyptian Rock Art?

Egyptologists at the University of Bonn, Germany have discovered rock art from the 4th millennium BC during an excavation at a necropolis near Aswan in Egypt. The images were carved into the rock in...
Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Experts from a wide array of organizations are examining an intricately carved skull discovered in an antique shop in Vienna in 2011. The skull, believed to be 300 years old, is completely covered...
How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

How Were They Made? Unlocking the 500-Year-Old Secret to Gothic Miniature Boxwood Carvings

A mystery that lasted for nearly five centuries was finally solved with the assistance of modern technology. The magnificent 16th century miniature boxwood carvings that had been puzzling viewers and...
Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

A deity with as many attributes as arms, Saraswati (or Sarasvati) is the Hindu goddess of aesthetics. These include music, the arts, wisdom and learning. She can be compared, in many ways, to the...
The Red Monastery: Will the Last Byzantine Monument in Egypt Survive Local Development?

The Red Monastery: Will the Last Byzantine Monument in Egypt Survive Local Development?

It has been claimed that the Red Monastery, more specifically, its principal church, is one of three surviving examples of Byzantine architecture from the early period of that empire’s history, the...
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...
Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne the Thespian was a famed courtesan of Athens, better known for the court case she won by baring her breasts. Her actual name was Mnesarete but people referred to her as Phryne (“toad”) because...
With Iberian, Hittite, and Syrian Elements, Who Built the Magnificent Mausoleum of Pozo Moro?

With Iberian, Hittite, and Syrian Elements, Who Built the Magnificent Mausoleum of Pozo Moro?

Spain is a country with a multicultural history, where even the best-qualified archaeologists may discover sites, artifacts, and stories that change all previous knowledge about a given topic. When...
Rav ki vav stepwell, India

The Forgotten Stepwells: Thousands of Masterpieces in Engineering, Architecture and Craftsmanship Provide a Window into India’s Past

Stepwells are magnificent architectural structures found in India that tapped into underground water tables, providing a year-round water supply. Thousands of the engineering masterpieces are dotted...

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Top New Stories

The Maiden Tower is the most recognized structure in the Old City of Baku, Azerbaijan.
“At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, there was raised an 8-storied towered temple (Maiden’s Tower) devoted to seven gods, grandiose for those day… [possessing] seven sacred levels, [and] wall-recessed altars with seven-colored fires burning in honor of the pantheon of gods of Ahura Mazda or Mithra”. - Professor Davud Akhundov.

Human Origins

Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.
Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of people that resist the status quo and insist, based on a particular literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew Bible

Ancient Technology

Representation of an ancient Egyptian chariot.
The wheel can be considered mankind’s most important invention, the utility of which is still applied in multiple spheres of our daily life. While most other inventions have been derived from nature itself, the wheel is 100% a product of human imagination. Even today, it would be difficult to imagine what it would be like without wheels, since movement as we know it would be undeniably impossible.

Ancient Places

The Maiden Tower is the most recognized structure in the Old City of Baku, Azerbaijan.
“At the beginning of the 1st millennium BC, there was raised an 8-storied towered temple (Maiden’s Tower) devoted to seven gods, grandiose for those day… [possessing] seven sacred levels, [and] wall-recessed altars with seven-colored fires burning in honor of the pantheon of gods of Ahura Mazda or Mithra”. - Professor Davud Akhundov.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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)