China

Cataclysmic natural disasters frame indelible human stories.

No Smoke Without Fire: The Existence of Xia Dynasty and the Great Flood Legend

The Xia Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first dynasty of China. This dynasty is believed to have been founded by Yu the Great towards the end of the 3 rd millennium BC, and lasted until...
A well-preserved skeleton in one of the 18 tombs that had several types of grave goods in the Ruins of Yin, an area called the Chinese cradle of civilization.

Archaeologists Discover Undisturbed Tombs of Ancient Nomads in the Cradle of Chinese Civilization

Archaeologists in China’s Henan Province have excavated about 90 tombs, 18 of which contained golden earrings and turquoise artifacts, bronze and iron pots, and short swords. The 18 graves, of the...
This monster-like creature was found on the vaulted ceiling of the tomb's corridor.

1,400-Year-Old Tomb with Bizarre Images of a Blue Monster Found in China

Scientists have discovered a 1,400-year-old tomb in China which includes some of the most fascinating images ever found. Among others, a blue monster, a winged horse and a nude deity known as the...
‘Battle of Gaixia.’

The Impressive Battle of Gaixia: Chinese Reunification Emerges from Chaos

The Battle of Gaixia was an important battle that occurred in 202 BC. It was the last battle in the Chu-Han Contention, which lasted between 206 BC and 202 BC. This was the period between the end of...
Traditional architecture and modern shops in Pingyao, Shanxi Province, China.

Pingyao: What Gems of Architecture are Housed in this Traditional Imperial Chinese City?

The ancient city of Pingyao is a county-level city located in the center of China’s Shanxi Province. This ancient city has been described as an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional...
Chinese concubines

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a...
Stone Figures of Yandi and Huangdi, Yellow River Scenic Area, Zhengzhou, China

Mythical Ancient Emperors Who Fought Over the Birth of China - Who Started It?

One of the tallest statues in the world, standing 106 meters (347.77 ft.) tall, depicts two of the earliest Chinese emperors, Yandi, “The Flame Emperor” and Huangdi, “The Yellow Emperor.” The statues...
A photograph of the 14th Dalai Lama

Chinese Government Wants to Decide the Dalai Lama’s Next Reincarnation

The Chinese Government has said the Dalai Lama must reincarnate into someone that has their endorsement. The remarks were made during the Dalai Lama’s controversial visit to Tawang, an Indian border...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
Mount Huashan

Not for the Faint of Heart: 100 People Per Year Plummet to Their Deaths on The Ancient Huashan Trail

The Huashan Trail is considered by some to be one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. This trail is located on Huashan (or Mount Hua), a mountain situated near the city of Huayin in the...
Terra Cotta Soldiers (CC BY 2.0), and Qin Shi Huang in a 19th century portrait (Public Domain);Deriv.

The King Who Made War Illegal! Challenging the Official History of The Art of War and the Terra Cotta Army–Part II

Qin Shi Huang was the first emperor of a unified China. His remarkable success in ending 200 years of war and founding the empire through peaceful means had followed a methodology fully articulated...
Penglai, depiction of one of the mythical islands (Public Domain), and Qin Shi Huang in a 19th century portrait (Public Domain);Deriv.

The King Who Made War Illegal! Challenging the Official History of The Art of War and the First Emperor –Part I

There are two great mysteries about the life of Qin Shi Huang, First Emperor of China—and a grand conspiracy. And these tightly related events are of profound significance extending way beyond the...
Potala Palace in the winter.

Closer to Enlightenment? Potala Palace, the Highest in the World

Potala Palace is an ancient palace located in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. This palace once served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Tibetan seat of government. Additionally,...
Chinese concubines in a harem

20,000 Women and 100,000 Castrated Men to Serve the Emperor: The Imperial Harem of China

In Imperial China, one of the important tasks that the emperor needed to do was to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, which was achieved by the production of a male heir. For this purpose, the...
Pallasite (Fukang Meteorite

Space Rock Mystery: Where Did the Fukang Meteorite Come From?

The Fukang Meteorite is the name given to a meteorite that was discovered in China. The Fukang Meteorite belongs to a class of stony-iron meteorite known as Pallasite, which may be recognized by the...
Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture

Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture

Shennong, which means “God farmer” or “God peasant”, is a deity in Chinese religion. He is a mythical sage healer and ruler of prehistoric China. Shennong is also known as Wugushen “five grains,” or...

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Top New Stories

Theseus (center) invented wrestling
Today, bigger is widely regarded as better. But was this always the case? This article sheds some light on how the Western culture changed in its phallic preferences. Over the past few decades, pornography has played a role in the infatuation of inflated sizes. But in ancient times, men were intentionally portrayed with small genitals. Why was this the case? The story starts all the way back in ancient Greece…

Myths & Legends

Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘
One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of the renowned Ragnar Lodbrok, "boneless" means precisely what it sounds like: a man lacking sturdy bones, but not power.

Human Origins

The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).
A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. The new study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”

Ancient Places

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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)