Book

The library of the Abbey of St. Gall.

The Abbey Library of St. Gall: One of the Oldest Working Libraries in the World

Founded during the 8th century, the Abbey of St. Gall has served both the Church and scholars over the years. Its library has a particular draw because it is one of the oldest and most important...
 Book of Kells, Folio 32v, Christ Enthroned. Scanned from Treasures of Irish Art, 1500 BC to 1500 AD, From the Collections of the National Museum of Ireland.

Priceless Medieval Sacred Text Reveals Its True Origins

Arguably the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the wonderfully illustrated Book of Kells , was “created in 2 parts over 50 years,” Dr Bernard Meehan of Trinity College, Dublin, told reporters...
The notes in the Book of Deer are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and they hint at the location of the monastery where it was written

Search for Long-Lost Monastery Linked with the Medieval ‘Book of Deer’ May Be Over

The monastery where the significant Scottish text called the ‘Book of Deer’ was created disappeared from the pages of history about 1,000 years ago. After a decade of excavations looking for the site...
A fragment of paper discovered on Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge, compared with the book it was determined to be from. Credit: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Paper Fragment on Shipwreck Reveals Blackbeard’s Crew Enjoyed Reading Pirate Stories

Conservators from North Carolina have discovered paper fragments hidden inside a cannon chamber that was drawn up from the wreck of Queen Anne's Revenge, the flagship of the notorious 18th century...
A fitting, probably from a book. The style is typical of Celtic and Irish areas and dates from the 800s. Silver with traces of gilding. Image Credit: Åge Hojem, NTNU University Museum

Archaeologists in Search of Beer End Up Discovering Valuable Viking Trove

A team of archaeologists searching to find beer and other brewing materials, ended up discovering something way more valuable; a trove of amazing Viking artifacts, including an out of place Celtic...
Bust of Euripides. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from ca. 330 BC. Codex Hierosolymitanus Sancti Sepulcri 36, p. 539.

Overwriting Euripides: Hidden Classical Texts Were Washed Over in Medieval Times

The idea to reduce, re-use, and recycle is not a modern phenomenon. Over the last few years, there have been several instances in which scientists and historians have found ancient texts being...
The Gospel of Satan: Grand Grimoire is One of the Creepiest Medieval Manuscripts Out There!

The Gospel of Satan: Grand Grimoire is One of the Creepiest Medieval Manuscripts Out There!

The Grand Grimoire, sometimes referred to as the ‘Red Dragon’ or the ‘Gospel of Satan’, is a medieval grimoire believed to possess immense powers. According to legend, it was written by an apocryphal...
The Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS) provided an incredibly clear view of the medieval text.

6th Century Roman Law Text Discovered After Being Hidden for Centuries Inside Parchment Recycled as Medieval Bookbinding

The secrets within medieval manuscripts can be read once again, thanks to modern technology and new imaging techniques. Experts now suggest that computational imaging and signal processing advances...
A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day. The image on the right indicates a 24-month cycle with the seasons listed and the image to the left indicates the moon-cycles and planetary positions.

The Enigmatic and Undeciphered Voynich Manuscript Unlikely to be a Hoax

The Voynich manuscript is among the most perplexing texts ever discovered as it has never been decoded despite over 25 analyses conducted in an attempt to decipher its meaning. As a result, many have...
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...

Pages

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

The Lycurgus Cup.
A strange chalice made its way into the British Museum’s collection in the 1950s. It is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman artifact called the Lycurgus Cup. The image on the chalice is an iconic scene with King Lycurgus of Thrace...

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

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)