divination

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...
‘Woman With Brown Hair Near White Painted Wall’ and division of the face according to Mian Xiang

Can Traditional Chinese Face Reading Provide Insight on Your Future, Health, and Character?

面相 (‘miàn xiàng’, or less accurately as ‘mien shiang’) is a type of Chinese divination that relies on the observation of a person’s facial features. Apart from divining an individual’s future,...
Peering Through Time: Early Mirrors in Mesoamerica - Elite Item and Divination Tool

Peering Through Time: Early Mirrors in Mesoamerica - Elite Item and Divination Tool

Mirrors are known to have been used by human beings for thousands of years. The earliest examples of manufactured mirrors come from Anatolia (known today as Turkey). These were made from pieces of...
Numbers and Nobles: The Magical Tradition of Numerology in Spain

Numbers and Nobles: The Magical Tradition of Numerology in Spain

Spain has always been a country full of contrasts. It is often regarded as heavily Catholic and the place where the Inquisition began. At the same time, there have also been witches and individuals...
Carvings depicting the Chinese Zodiac on the ceiling of the gate to Kushida Shrine in Fukuoka, Japan.

The Whimsical Legend of How the Chinese Zodiac Animals were Chosen

According to Chinese culture, each year is related to an animal or 生肖 (‘Sheng Xiao’, which literally means ‘birth likeness’). There are 12 animals, and together, they make up the Chinese zodiac. The...
Sacrificed humans found in ancient Chinese tombs from the Qijia Culture

Sacrificed humans found in ancient Chinese tombs from the Qijia Culture

Archaeologists from Northwest University, China, investigating the ancient Qijia culture have discovered evidence of human sacrifice in tombs in North West China. The ancient cemetery, consisting of...
In a shrine in a hilltop fortress in ancient Armenia, seers may have tried for foresee of even change the future.

Despite possible efforts to alter the future, a greedy ancient polity went down in flames

It is unknown what words or rites seers in Armenia chanted 3,300 years ago to tell the rich ruling class what the future held, but the chambers they attempted to do their magic in contained a...
A piece of animal bone used for fortune-telling excavated at the Makimuku ruins in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture. It has three burn marks in the middle.

Ancient Japanese Queen Himiko may have burned animal bones to tell the future

Archaeologists believe that a burnt boar scapula found in the ruins of Makimuku in Japan may tie the ancient shaman Queen Himiko and leaders of the Yamataikoku ruling establishment with the practice...
Photo showing the pages of the 25th oracle

Ancient Coptic text revealed to be divination tool for predicting the future

An ancient Christian oracle book of mysterious origins has been recently translated and found to contain a collection of encouragements, warnings, and cryptic divinations. The 1,500-year-old tome,...
Binary code from Ancient Text

Creation of binary code inspired by 5,000-year-old text

The binary numeral system – where each position is written as a 0 or 1 – forms the foundation of all modern computing systems. In essence, binary code produces a representation of reality; it is...

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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.

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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)