Bacteria

Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

A pair of recently published studies point the finger at a deadly form of salmonella as the cause of millions of deaths in a 16th century Mexican epidemic outbreak. This cocoliztli (pestilence in...
The skeleton of a woman who died 800 years ago on the outskirts of the ancient city of Troy in modern Turkey.

800-Year-Old Skeleton Discovered in Troy Shows Signs of Death from a Fatal Infection

Eight hundred years ago, in a hardscrabble farming community on the outskirts of what was once one of the fabled cities of the ancient world, Troy, a 30-year-old woman was laid to rest in a stone-...
Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers

Neanderthals May have been Infected by Diseases carried out of Africa by Humans, say Researchers

A review of the latest genetic evidence suggests infectious diseases are tens of thousands of years older than previously thought, and that they could jump between species of ‘hominin’. Researchers...
Hannibal crossing the Alps on elephants.

How Ancient Horse-Dung Bacteria is Helping Locate Where Hannibal Crossed the Alps

Chris Allen / The Conversation Despite thousands of years of hard work by brilliant scholars, the great enigma of where Hannibal crossed the Alps to invade Italy remained unsolved. But now it looks...
Reconstruction of the Iceman. Prehistory Museum of Quinson, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France.

Stomach Troubles for the Iceman: How Otzi Continues to Provide Information About the Past

Ötzi, the Copper Age man, continues to tell tales of our homo sapien past. Now, an international team of scientists including paleopathologist Albert Zink and microbiologist Frank Maixner from the...
Bronze Age skeleton found at Stragglethorpe, during archaeological work on the Highways Agency scheme, England.

Bronze Age Britons Mummified the Dead: Smoked over Fires, Preserved in Bogs

Mummification may have been more common in Bronze Age Britain than previously believed, and the ancient Britons may have purposefully mummified their dead with unknown funerary rituals—but why and...
The flea caught in amber

Amber encases a flea infected 20 million years ago with bubonic plague-type bacteria

Closely related ancestors of the bacteria that cause the bubonic plague may be millions of years older than the 14 th century, when the disease devastated Asia and killed more than half of Europe’s...
Living bacteria found in Siberian permafrost

Russian scientists make progress on secret of eternal life

Scientists have decoded the DNA of a bacteria found thriving in ancient permafrost, and are now seeking to understand the genes which provide its extraordinary longevity. Work is also underway to...
La Peste (1695) wax sculpture, Gaetano Zumbo, Museum of Specola, Florence

The Black Death: the Plague that Sowed Terror and Death in Medieval Europe - Part 2

Read Part 1 Science had to wait until the nineteenth century to banish the idea of ​​a supposed supernatural origin of the plague. The fear of a pandemic on a global scale persisted for four...
This photo shows the mummy of Michael Orlovits in the Mummies of the World exhibition. Dry air preserved the decease people’s bodies and clothing.

Mummified 18th century bodies give scientists clues about spread of TB

Scientists recently examined tissue samples from tuberculosis-infected bodies that were naturally mummified in a church crypt in Vac, Hungary. Researchers found that the tuberculosis that killed them...
The written instructions for an onion and garlic eye salve from the Anglo-Saxon manuscript Bald's Leechbook. The remedy was found to kill MRSA bacteria.

Medieval Medicine: 1,000-year-old Onion and Garlic Salve Kills Modern Bacterial SuperBugs

To the surprise and excitement of researchers, a ninth century Anglo-Saxon treatment for eye infections has been used successfully to kill tenacious bacteria cultures. The ancient remedy consisting...
Otzi the Iceman

Otzi's non-human DNA: Opportunistic pathogen discovered in ancient Iceman

Ötzi the iceman, as he has come to be known, is a 5,300-year-old mummy who was discovered by some German tourists in the Alps in 1991. He was originally believed to be the frozen corpse of a...
Extraterrestrial Life Found in Earth’s Atmosphere

Scientists Reveal Extraterrestrial Life Found in Earth’s Atmosphere

British scientists have found evidence for a microscopic organism living 27 kilometres above Earth in the stratosphere and argue that it could not have been carried up into the atmosphere by storms...
Monks and Beer

Medieval Monks of Bicester Drank 10 Pints of Beer a Week

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient brew house which was visited daily by monks of the former Bicester Priory in England. The holy men drank beer daily to kill off bacteria and would have drunk...
Lake Vostok, Australia

The Mystery of Lake Vostok

Lake Vostok is located in Antarctica and is a subglacial lake hidden under the ice. It is the largest of all subglacial lakes in Antarctica and exists 4,000 meters under the surface of ice. Andrei...
Bacteria caused Justinian Plague

Justinian Plague probably caused by a bacteria - unknown how it appeared

Justinian was one of the most powerful emperors of Byzantine. His goal was to restore the power of the Roman Empire and for that reason started a series of military campaigns to reclaim land that was...

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Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Ancient Places

Illustration of the "Emmons mask", a Mississippian culture carved cedarwood human face shaped object once covered in copper and painted with galena and used as part of a headdress
The City of Moundsville is located along the Ohio River in Marshall County, West Virginia. From the time of European settlement in the 1770s, Moundsville was regarded by antiquarians as one of the most significant ancient sites in North America. For it was here that the Adena mound builders and their descendants constructed the largest ceremonial center in the Upper Ohio Valley

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)