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. 

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...
Wallpainting in a Laotian temple, depicting the Bodhisattva Gautama (Buddha-to-be) undertaking extreme ascetic practices before his enlightenment. A god is overseeing his striving, and providing some spiritual protection. The five monks in the background are his future 'five first disciples'.

Wealth and Religion Tied through Time: Was Ancient Religious Morality Spurred by Affluence?

Religion has become associated with having a focus on morality. But that wasn’t always the case, researchers say. Academics have long suspected that the modern world’s major religions were born of...
This image shows a Yamnaya skull from the Samara region colored with red ochre.

When modern Eurasia was born: Genetics yield clues to origins of Eurasians

Was it a massive migration? Or was it rather a slow and persistent seeping of people, items and ideas that laid the foundation for the demographic map of Europe and Central Asia that we see today?...
Casts of the jaws of Australopithecus deyiremeda

Fossil Find Reveals New Species of Early Human - Origins of Modern Man Gets Crowded

Make room, Lucy! A fossil of a 3.4 million-year-old hominin has been found by researchers who say this could be an entirely new species of early human, previously unknown to history. This new and...
Bronze Age warriors on the lookout

Most European Men are Descended from just Three Bronze Age Warlords, New Study Reveals

The majority of European men are descended from just a handful of Bronze Age male ancestors, says a new genetic study in the journal Nature . The presence of genetic material from just a few men in...

3.3-million-year-old stone tools overturn archaeological record, predate early humans

Our human ancestors may not have been the first to spearhead new technologies millions of years ago. It would seem other hominins were crafting tools 700,000 years before previously thought. A paper...
Skull of Malapa hominid 1 (MH1) from South Africa, named "Karabo".

Preserved Tissue on 2-Million-Year-Old Human Ancestor May be Oldest Skin Ever Found

A team of scientists investigating early human species in an ancient cave near Johannesburg, South Africa, have revealed that preserved tissue found on a 2-million-year-old fossil may be the oldest...

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Top New Stories

The Achievement of the Grail.
Leah Tether works at the University of Bristol. She received funding for this research from Anglia Ruskin University, Ghent University, Somerville College, Oxford and the Stationers' Foundation. Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence.

Myths & Legends

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)