Byzantine

‘A Player with a Hermit’ by Moritz von Schwind

Revealing the Recluse: The Sad and Secret Lives of Hermits

The word “hermit” often elicits thoughts of men with long, scraggly hair and beards, eyes lined with wrinkles and filled with wisdom, and clothes a bit torn and dirty but otherwise, no worse for wear...
The ancient Greek inscription mentioning the Byzantine emperor Justinian, Jerusalem Old City Damascus Gate, August 2017 (Credit: Assaf Peretz, Israel Antiquities Authority)

Extremely Rare Ancient Mosaic Bearing a Greek Inscription Discovered “Miraculously” in Jerusalem

A 1,500-year-old mosaic floor bearing Greek writing has been unearthed near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. Archaeologists describe the new find as a truly unique discovery of an ancient...
Rare Ivory icon found in Rusokastro Fortress, Burgas District, Bulgaria

Revealing Discoveries of Rare Ivory and Unique Gold Coin from Byzantine Bulgarian Fortress

An extremely rare find of an ivory icon has been made just a few days after a unique Byzantine gold coin dating back to Emperor Phocas' reign (602-610 AD) was uncovered during excavation works at...
The wine press in Ramat Negev is intermeshed with a building, as seen above, summer 2017.

Boutique Wine for Byzantines: 1,600-year-old Wine Press Discovered in the Negev Desert

The Times of Israel reports that a 1,600-year-old wine press has been discovered in a vast Byzantine building along the incense trade route in the southern Negev desert in Israel. Experts suggest...
In the Market Square is Helsinki’s oldest public monument, the Tsarina’s Stone, topped by a globe and a double-headed eagle, the emblem used by the Tsars of Russia

The Double-Headed Eagle: An Everlasting Symbol of Power

The double-headed eagle has been a popular symbol associated with the concept of a powerful Empire. Most contemporary uses of the symbol are exclusively associated with its use by the Byzantine...
The Byzantine coins found near Jerusalem have been dated to around the time of a 614 siege.

1,400-Year-Old Coins are the Forgotten Remnants of a Terrifying Siege on Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of a hoard of rare Byzantine bronze coins from a site dating back to 614 AD. The coins were discovered during excavations for the widening of the...
The Red Monastery: Will the Last Byzantine Monument in Egypt Survive Local Development?

The Red Monastery: Will the Last Byzantine Monument in Egypt Survive Local Development?

It has been claimed that the Red Monastery, more specifically, its principal church, is one of three surviving examples of Byzantine architecture from the early period of that empire’s history, the...
Legends, Mysteries, Light and Darkness: The Secret History of the Biblical Cave of the Patriarchs

Legends, Mysteries, Light and Darkness: The Secret History of the Biblical Cave of the Patriarchs

The Cave of the Patriarchs is a very famous site in the Middle East. Known as Ibrahim Mosque or the Sanctuary of Abraham today, it appears in the Bible, the Torah, and the Quran. Legends tell of a...
Surprising Carvings Depicting a Cross and a Menorah Found in an Undisclosed Ritual Cave

Surprising Carvings Depicting a Cross and a Menorah Found in an Undisclosed Ritual Cave

Three hikers discovered rare engravings of a menorah and a cross in an ancient water cistern in south-central Israel this past weekend. The religious symbols were found amongst other interesting...
From Papyrus to Parchment: The Imperial Library of Constantinople

From Papyrus to Parchment: The Imperial Library of Constantinople

Many years after the destruction of the great libraries of the ancient world, such as the libraries of Pergamum and Alexandria, the Imperial Library of Constantinople preserved precious Ancient Greek...
Rare Collection of Over 40 Shipwrecks Revealed in Mapping of Black Sea Landscape

Rare Collection of Over 40 Shipwrecks Revealed in Mapping of Black Sea Landscape

A maritime archaeology expedition launched to map the submerged ancient landscape of the Black Sea has found a rare collection of over 40 shipwrecks, including those from the Ottoman and Byzantine...
Scientists Revive Ancient Plague to Learn Clues About Epidemic that Wiped Out Half of Europe

Scientists Revive Ancient Plague to Learn Clues About Epidemic that Wiped Out Half of Europe

Scientists have taken molecular clues in recent days from ancient plague victims’ bones and determined that the same bacterial infection that caused the Black Death of the Middle Ages in Europe and...
Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (423–457) tells us that when little girls played games in forth-century Syria, they played monks and demons. One of the girls, dressed in rags, would reduce her little friends...
As the Bulldozers Continue, Will the Recently Discovered Ruins of a Byzantine Church Be Lost Forever?

As the Bulldozers Continue, Will the Recently Discovered Ruins of a Byzantine Church Be Lost Forever?

During the preparatory works to build a shopping center in Gaza (Palestine), a group of workers discovered ancient ruins. Archaeologists have identified them as possible parts of a Byzantine church...
A painting depicting women inspecting silk, early 12th century, ink and color on silk, by Emperor Huizong of Song.

The Legend of Leizu and the Origins of Luxurious Chinese Silk

Leizu (嫘祖), known also as Lady Hsi Ling Shih (西陵氏) is a legendary figure in Chinese history credited with the discovery of silk and the invention of the silk loom. Silk is undoubtedly one of the most...
Aerial view of the winery at the Schneller Compound in Jerusalem.

Ruins of Ancient Winery and Roman Bathhouse Unearthed in Jerusalem

Archaeologists excavating the site of the Schneller Orphanage, which operated in Jerusalem from 1860 until the Second World War, were surprised to find the remains of a winery and Roman bathhouse...

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Top New Stories

Statue of Roman Soldier (Public Domain), and Roman Cavalry Reenactment  (CodrinB/CC BY-SA 3.0); Deriv.
With the Amanus Pass secured, Roman general Publius Ventidius Bassus, on the mission given by Antony to retake Asia-Minor, pushed south into Syria. Prince Pacorus of Parthia of was done fighting, at least for now, and abandoned the province to the Romans in late 39 BCE. With the Parthians out of the way, Ventidius led his forces to the province of Judea.

Human Origins

Thinking Man? By Moncloa
Homo Sapiens represents the last of a long line of hominin races that once consisted of five different species spanning four continents. Today, we are the last humans, that is, the last of the genus Homo. Our closest living relatives are chimpanzees and gorillas. We, however, stand out in many ways from them. We have unparalleled capacities for abstract thought, language skills, and social cohesion.

Ancient Places

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

Opinion

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

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)