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...

Top New Stories

A modern Pagan Wiccan altar set up.
Magic is one of the aspects that can be found in many of the groups that are part of the movement known collectively as Modern Paganism. According to practitioners of magic within the movements of Modern Paganism, magic is something real, and not merely a figment of one’s imagination. Nevertheless, there is no ‘one size fits all’ definition of what magic is. Several different views of magic are available, and it is up to a practitioner to decide which of these best suits him / her.

Myths & Legends

An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.
In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh water and served as the patron deity of the city of Eridu (which the ancient Mesopotamians believe was the first city to have been established in the world). Over time, however, Enki’s influence grew and this deity was considered to have power over many other aspects of life, including trickery and mischief, magic, creation, fertility, and intelligence.

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

Representation of an ancient Egyptian chariot.
The wheel can be considered mankind’s most important invention, the utility of which is still applied in multiple spheres of our daily life. While most other inventions have been derived from nature itself, the wheel is 100% a product of human imagination. Even today, it would be difficult to imagine what it would be like without wheels, since movement as we know it would be undeniably impossible.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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)