Aten

Collage of Egyptian art, design by Anand Balaji.

Amarna in 3 Acts: Defining Vignettes from an Incomparable Era

Three important aspects, in many ways, defined and shaped the Akhetaten years and the post-Amarna period. His detractors in the new disposition erased Pharaoh Akhenaten’s memory in great haste—an...
Dark forces conspired in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

Dark Forces Conspire to Destroy the Radiant One: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part II

Akhenaten’s religious experiment, which was launched in the imperial capital Thebes and later nurtured in the new city Akhetaten, resulted in dramatic changes. Not only did the king oust the panoply...
Was there a sinister plot to eliminate the Sun King? Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

A Sinister Plot to Eliminate the Sun King: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part I

The Pharaoh clearly had enough of life at Thebes (Waset). His determined attempts to introduce Atenism—a syncretism of the Memphis-Heliopolis solar philosophy, with a deification of kingship dating...
Main: Temple of Aton in Amarna (CC by SA 3.0). Inset eclipse (public domain)

Eclipse over Amarna: Beginning of the End for Akhenaten in his City of Light?

The ancient Egyptian civilization was wedded to the Sun, and yet, extant records only ever mention the solar aspect as the giver and sustainer of life that shines brightly for all eternity. Sterling...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Creativity Blossoms in the Desert—Part I

Never before had a pharaoh ushered daring, almost bizarre and inconceivable transformations in religion and statecraft as Akhenaten did. Not only did he oust the pantheon of traditional gods and...
Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

How plentiful it is, what you have made, Although they are hidden from view, Sole god, without another beside you; You created the earth as you wished, When you were by yourself, Mankind, all cattle...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Missing Skullcap of the Last Sun King–Part II

The oft-repeated phrase “the Amarna era is shrouded in mystery” could be a thing of the past if only closer scrutiny of key artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are permitted by the authorities...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Among the stupefying hoard of over five thousand objects that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), some sported distinct Atenist leanings. While the golden throne of the boy-king is...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Shadowy Sovereigns and Risky Reburials–Part IV

The German Egyptologist Walther Wolf was unsparing in his description of Akhenaten, calling him a man who epitomized “sick ugliness and nervous decadence”. The greatest irony of the entire Amarna...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Resurrecting the Rebel Ruler–Part III

Akhenaten’s short-lived capital, Amarna, was the epicenter of the unpalatable religious changes that pharaoh had unleashed on his country. The ensuing tumult which pervaded Egypt during this dark...
Collage of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Saga of a Botched Excavation–Part II

The entire Amarna epoch and those who strutted upon its stage have always presented a conundrum for Egyptologists. In early 1907, one of the most valuable finds – Tomb 55 – promised to finally lift...
Collage designed by Anand Balaji (photo credits: Dave Rudin, Heidi Kontkanen,);Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I

When Pharaoh Akhenaten abandoned the traditional capital Thebes (Waset) and headed to his dream city Akhetaten – built to glorify the solar deity, the Aten – he swore never to return. But, such...
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Pharaoh Akhenaten: A Different View of the Heretic King

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a...
An undisturbed skeleton of a man in the extended, supine posture typical at the cemetery; and the burial of a man with a common pattern of disturbance in which the upper torso has been jumbled by robbers and the skull removed.

Builders under Pharaoh Akhenaten worked so hard they broke their backs

When ancient Eygptian pharaoh Akhenaten ordered the construction of the new city of Amarna dedicated to the sun god Aten, more than 20,000 people moved there to do the back-breaking work. The work...
Depiction of punishment in ancient Egypt

Analysis of Skeletons Reveals Harsh Punishment in Ancient Egypt

Egyptian kings and pharaohs conquered entire nations, but if a person stole so much as an animal hide he could be whipped with 100 lashes and stabbed five times in the back… and then be sent back to...
Akhenaten depicted as a sphinx at Amarna, solar rays bathing him.

The Art of Amarna: Akhenaten and his life under the Sun

The Amarna period, roughly 1353-1336 BCE, introduced a new form of art that completely contradicted what was known and revered in the Egyptian culture. The pharaoh Amenhotep IV not only changed his...

Pages

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Human Origins

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead
The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout history.

Ancient Technology

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, 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 Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)