China

The Forbidden city of China

The Forgotten History of Beijing’s First Forbidden City

Jonathan Dugdale / The Conversation An ancient site rooted in the heart of modern Beijing, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous attractions. Completed in 1420, the city served as the...
Tang and Shakespeare’s dramas are being blended together in a series of adaptions.

From China with Love: Tang Xianzu Was the Shakespeare of the Orient

After 400 years, Shakespeare is still rightly celebrated as a great wordsmith and playwright. But he was not the only great master of dramatic writing to die in 1616, and he is certainly not the only...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
The tomb of Tang Xianzu was discovered in the city of Fuzhou. (CFP) Insert: Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), Ming poet and dramatist, author of Peony Pavilion.

A Dramatic Ending: Tomb of the Tang Xianzu, ‘Shakespeare of the Orient’, Has Finally Been Found

Tang Xianzu was a notable playwright in China during the Ming Dynasty. Sometimes called the “Shakespeare of the East,” he is best known for four plays, often called the “Four Dreams” and “ The Peony...
Part of the Shimao ruins in China.

Shimao City Ruins: This Massive Prehistoric Site Rewrites Chinese History

It took almost two years of surveying, exploring, and excavating, but it was worth it for archaeologists in China – the long days and months helped them confirm the discovery of the largest...
Battle between the Xiongnu (Hun) and the Han Dynasty

Victory Over the Hun: Famous Lost Account of Han Dynasty Triumph Found Carved onto Mongolian Mountain

Archaeologists claim to have rediscovered a triumphant account of China’s ancient military which had been inscribed in cliff face. According to the experts, the inscription narrates how the Han...
A Japanese samurai sword with Chinese script that reads "killed 107 people during the war in Nanjing, (China)" was used on Aug 18 by an attacker that slashed a military police guard at the Taiwan Presidential Palace.

Man Steals Samurai Sword From History Museum and Launches Attack Outside Taiwan Presidential Office

A Taiwanese man stole an antique samurai sword inscribed with the words “Nanjing battle, (this sword) killed 107 people” and used it to try to break into the Presidential Office, injuring a military...
Archaeologists excavate the Zheng State No. 3 pit in Xinzheng city, Central China's Henan province, on July 12. (Image credit: VCG)

2400-year-old Chariot Dubbed an Ancient Limousine Discovered in Central China

Archaeologists have recently discovered a "limousine" that once belonged to the Lord of Zheng State. The unusual find dates back 2,400 years and was uncovered by a team of archaeologists which has...
Undeciphered characters carved into an ancient tortoise shell.

China Offers $15,000 for Each Deciphered Character of Mystery Text on Ancient Oracle Bones

The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang is offering a huge reward to anyone able to crack an ancient code found cut into bones and shells dating back more than 3,000 years to the Shang...
Dramatic mask with tusks and feathers, Ninghai, Zhejiang, China

Ferocious Beast-Head Masks, Heavy Robes & Swirling Colors: What are the Unspoken Messages in Ancient Chinese Opera?

In “Civilization of China” (1911), Herbert Giles wrote that “for pleasure pure and simple, independent of gains and losses, the theater occupies the warmest place in every Chinaman's heart”. The fact...
Archaeologists Say They Have Unearthed A 5,000-Year-Old Graveyard of Giants in China

Archaeologists Say They Have Unearthed A 5,000-Year-Old Graveyard of Giants in China

Archaeologists working in eastern China have unearthed 205 graves of an unknown race of “unusually tall and strong” people. Labelled as ‘giants’ in comparison to the average height of other Chinese...
Han Dynasty granary between Dunhuang and the Jade Gate - an important supply center for the ancient Silk Routes.

3000-Year-Old Earthworks Confirmed as Sun Worship Altar on China’s Silk Road

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 3,000-year-old altar to the sun in North West China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Experts say that the altar resembles the heaven-worshipping...
A reconstruction of a burial site from prehistoric China. In Yinxu, about 2,500 pits filled with remains of sacrificial victims have been found in addition to other cemeteries were elites and other locals were buried.

Thousands of War Captives Enslaved for Years Before Being Slain as Sacrifice in Prehistoric China

Some archaeologists in China have analyzed the makeup of elements in the bones in a prehistoric cemetery and say the people buried there were probably war captives who were forced into slavery before...
Artist’s representation of Wei Zhongxian.

Wei Zhongxian: When China Yielded to the Terrifying Power of a Notorious Eunuch

Wei Zhongxian is often considered to be the most powerful and notorious eunuch in Chinese history. He had powers almost equivalent to that of the emperor’s and those who opposed him were ruthlessly...
Raft in the Stone Age.

Did Ancient Humans Acquire Nautical Knowledge by Sailing the Prehistoric Megalakes of Africa?

There is increasing evidence that anatomically modern humans (AMH) left Africa 100,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence indicates that AMH were in Arabia, China, Crete, and Brazil over 100,000...
Remains of the famous Fugan Temple that was recently discovered in Chengdu, China.

Buried for Almost a Millennium, Archaeologists Recover Over 1,500 Religious Artifacts at Lost Chinese Temple

A team of archaeologists has uncovered more than 1000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and over 500 pieces of stone sculpture, as well as glazed tiles with inscriptions, at the site of a...

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The two lozenges found at the Bronze Age burial site Bush Barrow
Stonehenge, the prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England is famous throughout the world and it remains today a place of extreme reverence. The monument is constructed from huge megalithic stones, some standing, some stacked upon one another and all many millennia old. The stones circle is world renown and it is an iconic image.

Myths & Legends

Golden Age By Juan Carlos Barquet
The myth and folklore of ancient cultures speak of a vast cycle of time with alternating dark and golden ages; Plato called it the Great Year. Most of us were taught that this cycle was just a myth and the golden age, just a fairytale. Giorgio de Santillana, former professor of the history of science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, tells us this idea of a cycle went far beyond Greece and India. In their landmark work, Hamlet’s Mill

Human Origins

Ancient Places

Odysseus at the court of Alcinous
The mythological Alcinous and his kingdom have remained one of the most mysterious and elusive topics of ancient Greek literature. Not much is known of this foreign monarch, or at least not much has survived the test of time. Details of the ruler and his kingdom survive only in the journeys of both Odysseus and Jason, but do those details reflect a now perverted form of reality?

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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.

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