cuneiform

Cuneiform tablet containing details about infertility. Credit: Istanbul Archaeology Museum

4,000-Year-Old Assyrian Tablet Makes First Known Infertility Diagnosis and Recommends Slave Surrogate

A 4,000-year-old Assyrian tablet discovered in central Kayseri province, Turkey, is an ancient marriage contract with the first known diagnosis of infertility. The clay record says that the wife...
60 of the almost 100 cuneiform clay tablets were found at the archaeological site of Bassetki in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq.

Almost 100 Cuneiform Clay Tablets Unearthed and Archaeologists Cannot Wait to Decipher Them

The discovery of ancient writing is always exciting for researchers. Documented events, letters, lists, literature – it is all helpful in reconstructing the story of our predecessors. Thus, the...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...
Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
An example of the Proto-Sinaitic script.

The A to Z of Alphabet Origins and the Most Ancient Written Languages

Writing is traditionally regarded as one of the requirements for a society to be considered as a civilization. Various writing systems have been invented by the great civilizations of the world, one...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
Trading in the Bronze Age: Living the High Life in the Great City of Ugarit

Trading in the Bronze Age: Living the High Life in the Great City of Ugarit

Ugarit is an ancient city located on the coast of Syria. The ruins of this site are in the form of a tell (or mound) known as Ras Shamra, and are situated 10 km (6.2 miles) to the north of Latakia,...
Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

The Instructions of Shuruppak are a set of 4,600-year-old Sumerian proverbs given by a king to his son, which essentially set out how he should behave. The ancient inscriptions were engraved in...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
A Sumerian king and an official

Where Sumerian Rulers Lie: The Royal Tombs of Ur

The Royal Tombs of Ur is a 4,800-year-old Sumerian burial site of around 2,000 graves located in the ancient city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia (in the south of modern day Iraq). Sixteen of the...
Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

Ashurbanipal: The Oldest Surviving Royal Library in the World with Over 30,000 Clay Tablets

The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal has sometimes been described as the ‘first library’ in the world, or the ‘oldest surviving royal library in the world’. The library was discovered by archaeologists...
This is the oldest known pay stub in the world, dating back 5,000 years to the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia. The wages were beer.

5,000-Year-Old Mesopotamian Pay Stub Reveals Workers Were Paid with Beer

An ancient cuneiform tablet dating back to 3,000 BC, which was discovered in the Mesopotamian city of Uruk, in modern day Iraq, reveals that the workers of the ancient city were paid with beer...
Intellectual, Code Breaker, Blasphemer: George Smith and the Ancient Chaldean Account of Genesis

Intellectual, Code Breaker, Blasphemer: George Smith and the Ancient Chaldean Account of Genesis

George Smith was born in 1840 in London to poor parents, and consequently left school at the tender age of fifteen to take up an apprenticeship with Messrs Bradburry and Evans, a firm of engravers...
The Loa Giants: Impressive and Enigmatic Geoglyphs in Northern Chile

The Loa Giants: Impressive and Enigmatic Geoglyphs in Northern Chile

Alberto Nadgar Rojas, researcher, visual artist, and photographer, defends the existence in northern Chile of an ancient civilization of giants as a hypothesis to explain what may be the biggest...
The Clay Tablet that reveals the Babylonians were using calculus to track the path of Jupiter.

Clay Tablet Reveals Ancient Babylonians Used Calculus to Track Jupiter 1,500 Years before Europeans

A new analysis of a set of ancient clay tablets has revealed that ancient astronomers of Babylonia used advanced geometrical methods to calculate the position of Jupiter – a conceptual leap that was...

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Ancient Places

: Ruins of the Haunted Eden Brown Estate Plantation Great House c. 1740 in 1993.
There is something very alluring and ideal about places named Eden. The Garden of Eden – one of the first known references to Eden – is depicted in the Bible as a place free from sin. It was allegedly a comforting place, a paradise for the first man and woman known as Adam and Eve. Along with the unlimited peace and pleasure of this place, came a paradox however; one in which its inhabitants could enjoy this lifestyle forever,

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.

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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.

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.

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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. 

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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)