Asia

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.

Mystery of the Sphinx: An Ancient Message of Ethnic Diversity in Dynastic Egypt

In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx . The program centered on the research and writings of John...
A statue of a Kitchen God - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 with flames

Torn Apart & Together Again in Death: Tragic Legends of the Kitchen Gods

For many of us, the kitchen is very important place. Apart from its role as a place for family members to gather, the kitchen often represents the warmth, happiness and harmony within the family...
Representational image of a pharaoh from ‘Pharaoh Notes the Importance of the Jewish People,’ by James Jacques Joseph Tissot.

A King’s Seal? Was Pharaoh Apophis Originally King of the Mythical Kushites?

“A race divided, whom the sloping rays; the rising and the setting sun surveys…” Most researchers assume that the ancient assertion of Kushites ruling the Middle East from Phoenicia to Syria is pure...
Detail; Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox

Quick as a Fox, Powerful as a Demon: Legendary Foxes and Their Trickster/Temptress Ways

The fox plays a wide range of roles in 42 out of the 358 of Aesop’s fables. It is generally described as a quick, intelligent and adaptable animal which no doubt led to its importance as a symbol of...
Did Nomads and their Herds Carve Out the Silk Road?

Did Nomads and their Herds Carve Out the Silk Road?

Nearly 5,000 years ago, long before Marco Polo traversed the vast east-west trade routes of the Great Silk Road, nomads were carving the foundations for these trans-Asian interaction networks. “Our...
Finding Zen in the World’s Most Famous Rock Garden

Finding Zen in the World’s Most Famous Rock Garden

Ryōanji, translated as Peaceful Dragon Temple, is a Zen Temple located in the northwestern part of Kyoto, Japan. This well-known temple was built during the 15th century, and is today best known for...
How a Javanese King Defeated One of the Most Powerful Rulers of the Mongolian Empire

How a Javanese King Defeated One of the Most Powerful Rulers of the Mongolian Empire

Raden Wijaya (known also as Nararya Sangramawijaya) was the founder of the Majapahit Empire. Apart from being remembered as the man who established the Majapahit Empire, Raden Wijaya is also known...
Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes, the mysterious Scythian stepped onto the world stage. There is not a great deal of information about him, nor has his name turned up in any of the Assyrian tablets. Herodotus and Strabo are...
Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Would you have sex with a Homo sapiens neanderthalensis if they hadn’t gone extinct? Your ancestors may have. Scientists are testing cave dirt for the presence of Neanderthal DNA from disintegrated...
Yamashita's Gold: Enormous War Treasure Hoard Remains Elusive

Yamashita's Gold: Enormous War Treasure Hoard Remains Elusive

Yamashita’s Gold (known also as Yamashita’s Treasure) is the name given to the alleged war loot accumulated by the Japanese armed forces in Southeast Asia during the Second World War. This alleged...
Deriv; Marco Polo travels by camel caravan and a modern re-imagining of Marco Polo

Is Marco Polo a Fictional Character? Challenging the Historical Tale of the Merchant Traveler

Based upon historical analyses, it is unlikely that a person named Marco Polo who visited China in the 1200’s existed. Before presenting this argument, here is an analogy: if people do not know that...
Hanuman and Ravana in Tholu Bommalata, the shadow puppet tradition of Andhra Pradesh, India.

The Ancient Beginnings of the Art of Shadow Puppetry

In his Republic, Plato mentions a cave in India with an inscription from the second century BCE. The inscription refers to a shadow play performance where puppets of humans and animals were...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
Dragon Sculpture, China.

The Bird and the Serpent: From the Neolithic Goddesses to Ancient Chinese Symbols of Nobility and Benevolence

Victorian art critic, John Ruskin, in his book Proserpina , calls himself “the gentle and happy scholar of flowers”. A large part of his work is an attempt to connect nature, art and society. To...
Famous and Powerful Eunuchs of the Ancient World

Famous and Powerful Eunuchs of the Ancient World

A eunuch is a castrated man who was usually forced to undergo such a procedure without consent. This was done so that the person might perform a specific social role such as harem servant, guardian...
Eurasian Metals Discovered in Alaska from Centuries Before the Arrival of Europeans to the New World

Eurasian Metals Discovered in Alaska from Centuries Before the Arrival of Europeans to the New World

A new study of two bronze objects discovered in northwest Alaska shows that they provide the first known evidence of the presence of metals from Eurasia in prehistoric North America. The artifacts...

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Myths & Legends

The ride to Asgard" by Peter Nicolai Arbo. 1872.
In the beginning there were only native forests and wasteland. The Aesirs, one main group of Norse gods, cleared places to stay, both for themselves and the humans. They named the human’s home Midgard – because it is placed in the middle of the world. And in the middle of Midgard

Ancient Technology

The Ancient Invention of the Water Clock
Today, the ability to keep track of time seems to be taken for granted. One just simply needs to glance at a watch, clock, or mobile phone to know the exact time, even down to the nearest second...

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)