decipher

Some of the Mitla mosaics.

Mitla Mosaics: A Coded Language May Plaster the Walls of a Zapotec City of the Dead

Unique and curious designs plaster the walls of the most popular Zapotec archaeological site in Mexico. They are called the Mitla mosaics and are unrivalled in their precision and quality of...
Luwian Hieroglyphic inscription by the Great King of Mira, Kupanta-Kurunta, composed at about 1180 BC.

3,200-Year-Old Stone Inscription Narrates the Tales of Sea People and a Trojan Prince

A group of Swiss and Dutch archaeologists have announced the rediscovery of a 29-meter-long (95 ft) Luwian hieroglyphic inscription that supposedly narrates the tales of mysterious “Sea People” and a...
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...
The 5th century BC Amathus sarcophagus found in Amathus integrates Greek, Cypriot, and Oriental features. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of the Idalion Decree, a Bronze plaque engraved on both faces with a Cyprian inscription.

Exploring an Ancient and Undeciphered Language: Eteocypriot and the Amathus Bilingual Inscription

An English architect by profession and self-trained in the discipline and studies of linguistics and ancient history, Michael Ventris would be the first to identify the Mycenaean written Linear B...
Kingston Lacy and Egyptian Obelisk, discovered on an island in the Nile by William Bankes in 1815

The Philae Obelisk, Hieroglyphs and Understanding a Vanished Culture

Before the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphs, ancient Egypt was shadowy and mysterious with towering monuments, magical names, and an unknown antiquity, though most Western scholars believed that...
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...
A page from the mysterious Voynich manuscript, which is undeciphered to this day. The image on the right indicates a 24-month cycle with the seasons listed and the image to the left indicates the moon-cycles and planetary positions.

The Enigmatic and Undeciphered Voynich Manuscript Unlikely to be a Hoax

The Voynich manuscript is among the most perplexing texts ever discovered as it has never been decoded despite over 25 analyses conducted in an attempt to decipher its meaning. As a result, many have...
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...
Famous stone head of the Olmec civilization.

Is the Cascajal Tablet the Key to Understanding Giant Olmec Heads?

Bryan Hilliard’s “Does the Cascajal Block provide evidence of a written language of the Olmecs?” published by Ancient Origins, discussed the finding by many Mexican researchers that the symbols on...
The Tărtăria Tablets

Are the Tărtăria Tablets Actually Written in Hungarian?

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have found writing that dates back 5000 years. This writing, found inscribed in clay, is called the Tărtăria Tablets by M.R. Reese. Reese makes it clear for Ancient Origins...
Side B of the Enigmatic Phaistos Disc. Figurine of goddess Astarte with horned headdress

Enigmatic Phaistos Disc may be Ancient Hymn to Astarte, Goddess of Love

An enigmatic clay tablet pulled from the ruins of an ancient Minoan palace has been one of the most puzzling mysteries in archaeology. But now a linguist believes a goddess is the key to unlocking...
Madrid Codex. Maya Codex also known as Tro-Cortesianus. Origin unknown. Epoch: Late Postclassic.

Unravelling the Mysteries Trapped Within Mayan Hieroglyphs

For hundreds of years, linguists have been trying to decode the ancient hieroglyphic script of the Mayans, left behind on monument carvings, painted pottery, and drawn in handmade bark-paper books...
The world’s first-known abecedary in ancient Egyptian hieratic script has been deciphered by a Dutch Egyptologist.

Scholar deciphers oldest known alphabet primer, in ancient Egyptian

A Dutch Egyptologist recently deciphered the oldest known abecedary or alphabet-like primer on a 3,500-year-old shard of pottery from an Egyptian tomb excavated 20 years ago. The earliest alphabets...
A detail of the basalt Rosetta Stone

The father of Egyptology suffered a tragic death after deciphering the Rosetta Stone

A mystery surrounds the death of a 19 th century Frenchman who unraveled a great mystery—the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. Jean-Francois Champollion died young after deciphering the Rosetta Stone,...
A collection of tablets displaying Indus Valley script.

Decoding the mysterious ancient Indus Valley script will shed light on powerful ancient civilization

Linguists have cracked many tough scripts, from Mesopotamian cuneiform to Egyptian hieroglyphic to Central American Mayan glyphs, but there are a few ancient, mysterious scripts still in the field...
A view of Bedford County, Va., where the supposed treasure of “The Beale Papers” is said to be buried.

The Lost Treasure of the Beale Ciphers

By April Holloway | The Epoch Times More than a century ago, a small pamphlet was published titled “The Beale Papers,” which contained three cipher texts. The mysterious codes supposedly gave...

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Top New Stories

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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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. 

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)