Book

Detail of two ancient Egyptian 'gate spells'. On the top register, Ani and his wife face the ‘gates of the House of Osiris'. Below, they encounter the 'mysterious portals of the House of Osiris in the Field of Reeds'. All are guarded by unpleasant underworld protectors.

Through the Twelve Chambers of Hell: The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Death, the ancient Egyptians believed, was not the end of our struggles. They believed in an afterlife and that the worthy would go on to paradise, but their dead didn’t simply pass over to the other...
Doctors giving medicine.

Medieval Medical Books Could Hold the Recipe for New Antibiotics

For a long time, medieval medicine has been dismissed as irrelevant. This time period is popularly referred to as the “Dark Ages,” which erroneously suggests that it was unenlightened by science or...
Herbs to Kill or Heal? Was this 17th Century Faux-Book for a Poisoner or Apothecary?

Secret Stash of Lethal Poisons Hidden in 17th Century Book. Was This Really an Assassin's Cabinet?

When photos of the faux-book first began to circulate online it was considered a hoax. The image was featured on the ArtefactPorn subreddit and commenters quickly denounced it as a fake, a mere...
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...
Was Rama Based on a Real Historical Figure?

Was Rama Based on a Real Historical Figure?

Rama, one of the principle figures of the Hindu text, the Ramayana , is revered throughout India and the world. Many historians doubt that Rama was an actual person, however, many Hindus believe he...
Using Sacred Numbers to Make Money - Secret Kabbalist Practices for Conquering Chance

Using Sacred Numbers to Make Money - Secret Kabbalist Practices for Conquering Chance

An unusual pentagonal diagram with numbers and letters is found in some old texts. The oldest extant version is in a French book published in 1754, but the image and explanation that accompanies it...
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...
Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Grimoires are books containing magic spells and instructions for the making of amulets and talismans, but some of them also contained directions on how to summon and control demons. Grimoires have...
Illustration of a Witch.

Who Was the Mysterious Aradia - Italian Goddess or Wicked Witch?

The line between goddess and witch or witch and saint is very thin in ancient history. One example of this confusion is the legendary story of Aradia – a woman whose life has been explored in neo-...
Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna is a legendary book that was more terrifying than most of the black magic documents ever produced. It was so dark, that most people could not believe it was written by a Christian bishop...
The Birth of Arthashastra: Ancient Handbook of Science of Politics in India, and Those Who Wielded It

The Birth of Arthashastra: Ancient Handbook of Science of Politics in India, and Those Who Wielded It

In 1904, a copy of an ancient book which had been lost for more than 1400 years was discovered in India. A modest book written on palm leaves, its outward appearance was proven to be deceiving as the...
Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

No English translation exists of The Buried Pearl , although it is a rather strange fact that in 1901, the French archaeological mission in Cairo made a regular French edition. Strange, because its...
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...
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...
Deriv; Inside Temple Edfu and stars

Sky Religion in Ancient Egypt: Temples and Magick - Part I

“In the beginning Egypt was not” The Sky Religion in Egypt: Its Antiquity and Effects by G A Wainwright; published in 1938, is one of the classic enabling texts of Egyptology, and I am going to use...
Solomon at his throne, painting by Andreas Brugger, 1777.

Grimoires by a Biblical King? The Magical Treatise of Solomon and the Key of Solomon

The Magical Treatise of Solomon and the Key of Solomon are two grimoires (handbooks of magic) commonly said to have been written by the biblical King Solomon. The latter grimoire has been described...

Pages

Top New Stories

Water for Camp, depicting the everyday life of Native American women, Charles M. Russell
According to Wired, scientists believe that ancient Native Americans living in California made their own plastic water bottles. However, they probably didn’t know how toxic the manufacturing process of these bottles may have been for their health. In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health a few days ago, scientists attempt to find out if bitumen, a material derived from petroleum, could have had a negative impact on the health of ancient Native Americans who lived in California.

Myths & Legends

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Ancient Technology

Water for Camp, depicting the everyday life of Native American women, Charles M. Russell
According to Wired, scientists believe that ancient Native Americans living in California made their own plastic water bottles. However, they probably didn’t know how toxic the manufacturing process of these bottles may have been for their health. In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health a few days ago, scientists attempt to find out if bitumen, a material derived from petroleum, could have had a negative impact on the health of ancient Native Americans who lived in California.

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)