emperor

Top image: A woman in traditional Chinese dress. Source: CC0

When Concubines Fought Back: The Plot to Eliminate a Mad and Sadistic Emperor

The Renyin Plot was an assassination attempt carried out on the sadistically violent Jiajing Emperor, who was the ruler of China’s Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. The assassins almost succeeded...
Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.

An Unbreakable Story: The Lost Roman Invention of Flexible Glass

Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a...
Mosaic with the months of the year, starting with the Roman first month March.

Where do the names of our months come from?

Our lives run on Roman time. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and public holidays are regulated by Pope Gregory XIII’s Gregorian Calendar , which is itself a modification of Julius Caesar’s calendar...
The ruins at Yangshan [credit: Vmenkov]

The Unexplainable Ruins of Yanmen Shan Mountain

Along the side of Yanmen Shan mountain, located twenty kilometers to the east of Nanjing, China, the legendary Yangshan quarry can be found. Although it is believed to have been in use from at least...
Wooden Tablets Verify China's First Emperor’s Obsession with Immortality

Wooden Tablets Verify China's First Emperor’s Obsession with Immortality

New archaeological finds shed light on Qin Shi Huang’s (first Emperor of China) quest for eternal life. According to 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats, the Chinese Emperor did...
Six of the Roman Emperors:

A Succinct Timeline of Roman Emperors—400 Years of Power Condensed

To say that the Roman Empire had its ups and downs would be the understatement of all understatements. No “nation” was more abruptly destabilized or even more abruptly stabilized than that of ancient...
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Philosopher-King of Ancient Rome: Marcus Aurelius' Imperium

Marcus Aurelius is famed for various accomplishments—his title as the last of the Five Good Emperors; his extensive study of and literary accomplishments in the field of Stoicism; and, last but not...
Some Saxon Queens had killer reputations. (Public Domain);Deriv.

The Wicked Queen and Her Scandalous Daughter: How Murder & Mayhem Took a Saxon Princess from Palace to Poverty

While we might be gripped by the intrigues, the machinations, and the violence of the Lannisters and the Starks in the Game of Thrones television series and the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels...
The ancient marble mosaic, which has now been returned to the Italian government in New York.

Magnificent 2,000-Year-Old Marble Mosaic from Caligula's ‘Orgy Ship’ Ends up as Coffee Table in NYC Apartment

A valuable piece of mosaic flooring from one of Caligula’s ‘orgy ships’, so-called for the lavish sex parties he hosted on the boats, somehow found its way from the bottom of Lake Nemi to the Upper...
Charles Hanson of Hansons Auctioneers with the plate

Granny’s Ming Dynasty Style Plate Sold for Nearly a Quarter of a Million Pounds

An ancient Chinese plate dating back to the 1700s has been sold in the UK for almost a quarter of a million pounds. That’s about £100,000 more than experts predicted for the almost 300-year-old piece...
King Shapur of Persia Humiliating Emperor Valerian (Public Domain) Background: court of the emperor Valerian, painting circa 1450. (Public Domain); Deriv.  By Martini Fisher

What Really Happened to Valerian? Was the Roman Emperor Humiliated and Skinned at the Hands of the Enemy?

The death of Valerian is traditionally known as one of the most dramatic and unfortunate of all the deaths of the Roman emperors. The widely accepted story is that Valerian wanted to end the war with...
A section of Trajan’s column

Trajan's Column: An Unyielding Pillar of Imperial Strength

A pillar of Emperor Trajan's military victories, the Column of Trajan is as much a benchmark of Rome's strength as an empire as it is a monument to Trajan's success as a leader. Situated at the...
Rare Ivory icon found in Rusokastro Fortress, Burgas District, Bulgaria

Revealing Discoveries of Rare Ivory and Unique Gold Coin from Byzantine Bulgarian Fortress

An extremely rare find of an ivory icon has been made just a few days after a unique Byzantine gold coin dating back to Emperor Phocas' reign (602-610 AD) was uncovered during excavation works at...
A magician or wizard with a hidden face.

Mathematical Genius or Mesmerizing Magician? The Psychomagic of Scotland's Ancient Lost Wizard

"Scotland's First Scientist", "The Lost Genius", "The Scottish Wizard", "The White Wizard", or "The Wizard of the North" are some of the terms used to describe Michael Scot. And although this...
Detail of ‘The Battle of Pavia’ (1528-1531) by Bernard van Orley and William Dermoyen.

The Battle of Pavia: Paving the Political Roads of Rival Rulers with Blood

February 24, 1525. A day that is not marked in infamy but in the blood of France. On this date, the Battle of Pavia occurred – the decisive event in a longstanding war and rivalry, and the crushing...
Frederick Barbarossa awards the city of Haarlem with a sword for its shield or coat-of-arms. By Pieter de Greber, 1630.

Frederick I Barbarossa: A Megalomaniac Roman Emperor On a Crusade for Power

Some people believe they were born for greatness but fall short and some go on to exceed all expectations. Frederick I Barbarossa falls into the second category. His ambition for power was limitless...

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Human Origins

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

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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)