color

Detail of portrait from 1807 showing a young man in ‘sunglasses.’

Sunglasses: A History of Protective, Stylish, and Popular Eyewear

I never leave my house without a pair of sunglasses. Usually, there are also pairs in my purse, in my car, and in a coat that I keep in the trunk. In fact, I am both proud and ashamed to admit that I...
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...
A Jewish prayer shawl adorned with ritual tassels that contain tekhelet-dyed threads.

Piece of Ancient Fabric Revealed True Source of Biblical Blue Dye Lost for 1,300 Years

An ancient blue dye, known as tekhelet, once adorned the precious robes of kings, priests, and high-ranking Jews. But around two millennia ago, this highly-valued commodity became lost to the pages...
This statue was originally painted. Left: Painted replica of Augustus of Prima Porta statue with pigments reconstructed for the Tarraco Viva 2014 Festival

A More Colorful Ancient Greece: Pigment Proves Classical Statues Were Once Painted

Once upon a time, long before wars, natural disasters and erosion took hold of the ancient Greek statues, these ivory gems vibrated with color. Ancient Greek sculptors valued animated and pulsating...
Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Cleopatra’ (1963).

A Brief History of the Enduring Iconic Female Phenomenon of Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a modern-day symbol of sex appeal and an attribute of femininity. Many modern women may be surprised by the fact that our recent generations are not the ones which invented this...
Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Only the Roman Elite Could Wear Tyrian Purple to Keep the Peasants in Their Place

Throughout history, the rich and powerful have attempted to control access to items considered luxurious or status symbols. Today, this is done through marketing and price setting (a prominent...
Fermented Urine Dye Discovered in One of the Oldest Illuminated Manuscripts

Fermented Urine Dye Discovered in One of the Oldest Illuminated Manuscripts

A mixture of urine and weeds has been discovered in the dye used on the stunning 1,500-year-old Byzantine text known as the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis, one of the oldest surviving illuminated...
New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

New Research Shows that Some Ancient Egyptians Were Naturally Fair-Haired

According to Dr. Janet Davey from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Australia, some ancient Egyptians were naturally blonde or red haired. Her research has brought an answer to an...
Holi kele nanda lala

The Mythological Origins of Holi: Ancient and Colorful Festival of South Asia

Holi is an ancient festival celebrated on the day after the last full moon of Phalguna, the last month of the Hindu calendar (between late February and early March). Traditionally, this was a major...
People

Why Judging a Person by Their Skin Colour Defies Logic

For centuries, mankind has been obsessed with the colour of skin. This obsession has resulted in people taking radical steps to alter their own skin colour, risking serious harm for the sake of ‘...

Top New Stories

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Myths & Legends

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0
In the mountain rain forest of Chiapas, México, sits the ruins of Palenque, considered the most beautiful ancient Maya city. Silhouetted against a backdrop of natural hills and valleys, the elegant pyramids and palace offer fine Maya bas-relief carvings of high-grade limestone and stucco.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)