Evolution & Human Origins

In this section we will examine latest news and discoveries relating to human origins and evolution.  It was once thought that that the origin and evolution of man could be explained and understood through a simple family tree. However, in the last decade, numerous findings across the world have revealed that the evolution of human beings is far from simple. The more fossils that are unearthed, the more researchers admit that there is much that is still unknown about the evolution of humans. 

A Homo Naledi Foot (a) Dorsal view (b) Distal view of the cuneiforms and the cuboid in which the reconstruction of the transverse arc is observed (c) Middle view showing the moderate longitudinal arch. Scale in centimeters.

The Feet and Hands of Homo Naledi were Similar to those of Modern Humans – Could this be the Evolutionary Link Paleontologists Were Waiting for?

Homo Naledi brings new surprises that could change the history of evolution for modern humans. Is this finally one of the missing links in human evolution that paleontologists have been waiting for?...
Virtual reconstruction of two-million-year-old ear.

Scientists unravel how ancient hominids heard the world

How did the world sound to our ancient human relatives two million years ago? While we obviously don’t have any sound recordings or written records from anywhere near that long ago, we do have one...
It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone fragment of 'X woman', a juvenile female.

New DNA tests on ancient Denisovan people shows them occupying Altai cave 170,000 years ago

It has been called the cave that holds the key to man's origins, and it keeps producing more surprises. It was here in the Deinsova Cave in 2008 that Siberian scientists discovered a finger bone...
: Deriv; Skull of a modern human (left) and a Neanderthal (right). Museum of Natural History in Cleveland.

Scientific Breakthrough: Oldest partial genome sequenced, reveals Neanderthals twice as old as thought

New research is challenging what we thought we knew about our prehistoric cousins, the now extinct Neanderthals. DNA from fossils from a cave in Spain show that Neanderthals are almost twice as old...
A reconstruction of Homo naledi’s head by paleoartist John Gurche, who spent some 700 hours recreating the head from bone scans.

Astonishing new species of ancient human ancestor found in burial chamber

A major discovery out of South Africa is set to change our whole understanding of ancient human ancestors and evolution claim scientists. The bones of new species of human relative have reportedly...
Deriv; Lake Turkana - Central Island - Flamingo Lake (CC BY-SA 3.0), aranthropus aethiopicus fossil hominid found at Lake Turkan

Online fossil hunters wanted: Citizen Science Project seeks help to discover prehistoric fossils

If you have ever wished to be a part of an adventurous archaeology team finding hidden treasures and long-lost fossils from our prehistoric past, now is your chance to get in on the action. A new “...
Basque women in Bayonne (1852)

Scientists Believe they Have Found the Origins of the Unique Basque Culture

The Basque people have been an enigma to anthropologists for years. With a unique language, traditions, and customs, Basque origins have long been a mystery. Researchers now believe they have finally...
Main: A cenote in Tulum, Mexico. Inset: Ancient skull found in Tulum cenote.

10,000-year-old human remains found in underwater cave in Mexico shed light on ancient migrations

In May last year, archaeologists made the exciting announcement that a complete Ice Age skeleton had been found in an underwater cave in Tulum, Mexico. Since then, more than eight well-preserved...
Left:  tooth which has had its genome sequenced, discovered in a Spanish cave. It belonged to a Neolithic farmer from 7400 years ago. Right: Cardium Pottery typical of the culture to which the Neolithic farmer is believed to have belonged.

4,700-Year-Old Tooth Provides Insight on the First Farmers of the Iberian Peninsula

Eight thousand years ago, the first farmer groups from the Middle East crossed the area currently known as Turkey and entered into Europe before branching out to follow two different routes: one...
Comparison between the skull of a modern human (left) and a Neanderthal (right).

Scientists from Atapuerca Revolutionizing Human Evolution

Once again, the findings of the now famous Pit of Bones , one of the most important sites in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain), seems to "force us to revolutionize" human evolution as we have...
The concave hole found in the Catalonia cave

Discoveries in Spanish cave suggest Neanderthals had hot water and bedrooms

Archaeologists in Spain have made a number of discoveries inside an ancient cave in Catalonia which suggest that Neanderthals had hot water and separate living quarters around 60,000 years ago. The...
Researchers said in 2010 these animal bones, found in sediment dated about 3.4 million years ago, had been deliberately cut, apparently by a creatures of a pre-human hominin species, Australopithecus.

Pre-human ancestors may have used tools to butcher animals 3.4 million years ago

Some animals, including chimpanzees, crows, elephants, sea otters and dolphins, are known to use tools to extract food from their environment and for other functions. But what really sets people...
The discoveries have led to palpable excitement among scientists in Siberia.

Discovery of ancient bones in Altai Mountains cave may be missing link in understanding human origins

Fragments of an early human skull and rib were found in Pleistocene era layers in Strashnaya Cave, it was announced by Professor Andrey Krivoshapkin, head of Archeology and Ethnography at Novosibirsk...
A DNA molecule that is methylated on both strands on the center cytosine. DNA methylation plays an important role for epigenetic gene regulation in development and cancer

Ancient Ancestors Had More DNA Than We Do Now: Have we Devolved?

Adding to the number of unsolved mysteries regarding the ancient origins of humanity and the biology of our species, scientists have discovered that we have less DNA now than our ancient ancestors...
The significance of the cave is immense, and the experts are convinced it has more secrets to give up on human origins.

First glimpse inside the Siberian cave that holds the key to origins of man

Exclusive pictures show the world famous Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains from which a series of stunning scientific discoveries on man's origins have been made in recent years. More are expected...
Many thousands of years ago, even before Homo sapiens evolved, humanoid people were using fire, according to Chinese scientists.

Use of fire by Peking Man goes back 600,000 years, Chinese scientists say

Chinese scientists are saying an early human ancestor, Peking Man, set up fireplaces and cooked food about 600,000 years ago—the earliest evidence for fire use by a human species yet. They found...

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Top New Stories

The interior of a private library in Chinguetti.
During the Middle Ages, Sahara outposts often found themselves filled with travelers, traders, and pilgrims passing through with their differing tasks. The pilgrims in particular interest us here, as they would sometimes meet and share religious scriptures amongst each other and with their hosts.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)