desert

Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
The wine press in Ramat Negev is intermeshed with a building, as seen above, summer 2017.

Boutique Wine for Byzantines: 1,600-year-old Wine Press Discovered in the Negev Desert

The Times of Israel reports that a 1,600-year-old wine press has been discovered in a vast Byzantine building along the incense trade route in the southern Negev desert in Israel. Experts suggest...
Hundreds of Tombs Found in Jordan Suggest Unexplained Cycle of Abandonment and Re-Habitation

Hundreds of Tombs Found in Jordan Suggest Unexplained Cycle of Abandonment and Re-Habitation

Hundreds of ancient tombs lay in the Jebel Qurma desert region of Jordan close to the border with Saudi Arabia. There are simple graves from the Early Bronze Age to more elaborate tower tombs and...
Jaisalmer Fort.

Jaisalmer Fort: The Imposing Desert Fort With a Bone-Chilling Custom

Sitting in the desert with its towering golden-hued walls and imposing bastions, the 12th century Jaisalmer Fort certainly makes an impact. This fort has two important titles - the oldest desert fort...
A Racetrack Playa Sailing Stone.

Leave No Stone Unturned: What Propels the Racetrack Playa Moving Rocks?

Racetrack Playa is a dried-up lake located in Death Valley, California, USA. This dry lake is notable for its sailing stones, which are known also as sliding stones, rolling stones, or moving rocks...
Derawar Fort: What Remains from a Once Thriving Desert Civilization?

Derawar Fort: What Remains from a Once Thriving Desert Civilization?

Derawar Fort is a stronghold located in what is today Bahawalpur, in the Pakistani province of Punjab. The fort traces its history back to the 9th century AD, though it may be added that it only...
An imaginary depiction of the remains of a stranded Viking ship.

A Ship in the Desert? Searching for a Lost Viking Ship in California

Back in the days when much of the map was still blank, explorers would follow any waterway in the hopes of finding the next great passage. Yet some rivers can be deceiving, especially those in the...
Fairy circles in the Marienflusstal area in Namibia.

Secrets Behind the Namibian Fairy Circles May Finally Be Solved

Hundreds of strange circular patches of ground where nothing grows can be found amongst the thick grass of the vast Namib desert. These bald spots apparently exist, and sometimes grow, for years...
Oldest Mummies in the World Are Turning into Black Slime

Oldest Mummies in the World Are Turning into Black Slime

The Chinchorro mummies of Chile, which have been preserved for at least 7,000 years, are turning into black slime due to rising humidity levels causing bacterial growth on the skin. More than one...
Treasures of the Diamond Shipwreck to be Revealed for First Time

Treasures of the Diamond Shipwreck to be Revealed for First Time

The Bom Jesus, a ship which seemingly vanished without a trace, was unearthed in a surprising location in 2008. The ship, its crew, and its cargo of gold went missing in 1533. Known also as the ‘...
Archaeologists search for the last Dead Sea Scrolls in the Cave of the Skulls

Archaeologists search for the last Dead Sea Scrolls in the Cave of the Skulls

The Israel Antiquities Authority have initiated comprehensive archaeological excavations in the Judean Desert caves, in order to find the last Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the earliest texts...
Photo of modern Azalai salt caravan.

Hippalos: Hazardous Journeys by Camel and Caravan – Part II

(Read Part 1, Hippalos: Early Navigation of Deep Sea Routes Between India and Egypt ) Assuming the presence of military was a deterrent to the local pirates, the Greek ship loaded with trade goods...
A tiny hand, originally assumed to be of a very young child or infant was stenciled inside the outline of an adult hand on the wall of the Wadi Sura II rock shelter about 8,000 years ago. New research suggests that the prints were actually made by reptiles.

Anthropologist Suggests that Tiny Stone Age Cave ‘Handprints’ Are Not Actually Human Hands

The 6,000-8,000-year-old cave paintings at the Wadi Sura II site in Egypt have been a source of interest since they were discovered in 2002. Although there are thousands of paintings that include a...
Deriv; The sands of Rub’ al Khali in Saudi Arabia (CC BY-SA 3.0), and dwellings near the Liwa Oasis, UAE

Qidan, The Lost City of King Ad: Hoax or Reality?

In the middle of World War II a Royal Air Force (RAF) transport plane flying off course over the Arabian desert found a ‘lost city’ deep in the Empty Quarter. It was never seen again. Or was it? In...
Five Legendary Lost Cities that have Never Been Found

Five Legendary Lost Cities that have Never Been Found

The story of Atlantis is one of the most renowned and enduring tales of a lost city, said to have been swallowed up by the sea and lost forever. Yet, the story of Atlantis is not unique, as other...
A compilation of lost cities that have since been found.

Ten Legendary Lost Cities that Have Emerged from the Past

The story of Atlantis is one of the most renowned and enduring tales of a lost city, said to have been swallowed up by the sea and lost forever. Yet, the story of Atlantis is not unique, as other...

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Top New Stories

Cherry of Zennor broke with ‘reality’ and reached something deeper
Faerie folklore is a type of mythology. The form has spent much time debased to the level of children's stories; tales pulled up from an archaic folkloric past that bear little relevance to a modern society saturated with every imaginable storytelling media, from IMAX to Xbox. But if we give the folklore a chance and scratch the surface a little, the stories begin to demonstrate something much deeper: meaning.

Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

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

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

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)