books

One of the first cultures to have books were the Maya codices written on doubled-over pages and covered by a layer of "stucco".

The Maya Codices: The Precious Remaining History of an Eradicated Civilization

The Maya were a powerful pre-Columbian civilization who thrived between AD 600 – AD 800. They were literate, had a complex language including pictograms, glyphs, and phonetic representations. They...
The Library of Pergamum: A Contender for the Greatest Library of the Ancient World

The Library of Pergamum: A Contender for the Greatest Library of the Ancient World

Pergamum, Anatolia, now the modern Turkish town of Bergama, was one of the most important cities in the Hellenistic Greek age. It was culturally rich, with an extensive library at its heart. The city...
Drawing of the house of wisdom

The House of Wisdom: One of the Greatest Libraries in History

Adding to the list of names among the greatest libraries of the past, the Bayt al-Hikmah (translated as ‘The House of Wisdom’) was established in Baghdad, the capital of the Abbasid Empire, around...
Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Virgil, in his Aeneid , describes Deiphobe, better known as the Sibyl of Cumae, as coming from “a hundred perforations in the rock, a hundred mouths from which the many utterances rush” (43-5, 163)...
The Secret Tunnels and Missing Manuscripts of Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey

The Secret Tunnels and Missing Manuscripts of Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey

The ancient monastery of Mont Sainte-Odile in the French region of Alsace is steeped in mystery. From secret tunnels to the strange disappearance of more than 1,000 ancient books, it has many a story...
The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

Iceland’s strong love of literature is a source of amazement to many people. In an era of declining book sales around the world, this small North Atlantic island continues to publish and sell more...
Baroque library hall in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague. A collection of 13,000 occult and witchcraft books that were once part of Himmler’s “witch library” were found in the library.

Stash of Books from the Witch Library of Nazi Chief Himmler Found in Prague

A collection of 13,000 occult and witchcraft books has been found recently in the National Library of the Czech Republic in Prague. It belonged to Heinrich Himmler, a SS Nazi chief. The collection...
Deriv; Unidentified ancient manuscript

The Hidden Origins of Il Separatio: Manuscripts Deemed Dangerous and Banned

Throughout history a large number of books have been banned only because they contained various uncomfortable truths or tales. Such books have been systematically hunted down and destroyed by...
A five-volume treatise concerning medical matters, Dioscorides, De Materia Medica, Byzantium, 15th century.

Could ancient textbooks be the source of the next medical breakthrough?

The discovery that won the latest Nobel Prize for Medicine wouldn’t have been much of a revelation to doctors in ancient China. Pharmaceutical chemist Tu Youyou established that the compound...
Person holding an ancient grimoire

Magic of the Ancients: Five Incredible Texts of Spells, Curses, and Incantations

As long as humanity has had beliefs in a higher power, the use of magic, spells, curses, and incantations have featured widely across cultures. A number of influential texts or ‘grimoires’ (textbooks...
Mixtec Zouche-Nuttall Codex

Treasures of Mexico: The Mixtec, Aztec & Maya Codices that Survived the Conquistadors

When Europeans arrived in the New World, they did not only kill people with war, slavery and disease, they also attempted to destroy the cultures of the native peoples. Among so many cultural...
An unconscious naked man lying on a table being attacked by little demons armed with surgical instruments

Devils, Demons, and Dangerous Creatures of the Pseudomonarchia Daemonum

Pseudomonarchia Daemonum , also known as the False Hierarchy of Demons , is a great compendium from the 16 th century dictating the names of sixty-nine demons. The title itself indicates that the...
Statue of King Rene House of Valois-Anjou.

Rene of Anjou - the Littlefinger of the pre-Renaissance Game of Thrones

Ask someone of the most notable figures in the 15 th century and they may respond with: Jeanne d’Arc, Cosimo de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, or those involved in the War of the...
The Search for the Lost Library of Ivan the Terrible

The Search for the Lost Library of Ivan the Terrible

The thought of a lost library is a tantalizing one, as one can speculate and imagine the kind of knowledge it might provide to the person who finds it. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that there...
Ancient Inscription with magic and spells

The Ancient Art of Magic, Curses and Supernatural Spells

As long as humanity has had beliefs in deities, the supernatural, and the power of magic, the use of magic, spells, and curses have featured widely across cultures. Very much entwined with human...
Bian Que Medical Book

Ancient bamboo medical books uncovered in China belonged to legendary Bian Que

Last year, archaeologists unearthed 920 bamboo strips at a construction site in the south-western city of Chengdu in China, containing recipes for treating ailments that date back 2,000 years. The...

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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)