Fossil

Partial upper jaw of Australopithecus anamensis, a primitive hominin, recovered from the bone bed excavated at the Allia Bay site.

When DNA is Missing, an Ancient Sugar Chain May Help Trace Human Evolution

Ancient DNA recovered from fossils is a valuable tool to study evolution and anthropology. Yet ancient fossil DNA from earlier geological ages has not been found yet in any part of Africa, where it's...
The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

The Badlands Guardian and Other Uncanny Products of Pareidolia

Amidst the rugged terrain of the badlands of southeastern Alberta, Canada is a geologic feature that, from the air, bears a striking resemblance to an indigenous Canadian wearing a headdress...
Fossil, dinosaur and dragon montage (Legendz Collective)

Unearthing Unexpected Fossil Usage in Ancient Medicine (Part 2): Dragon Pills to Gods' Horns

Of all fantastic creatures of legend, dragons are undisputedly the most iconic of the lot. One powerful reason for their fame may be found in the fact that dragonkind permeates across cultures...
Fossils were viewed very differently in the past; usually through wilder... more fantastical interpretations.

Unearthing Unexpected Fossil Usage in Ancient Medicine (Part 1): Ogre Balms to Dragon Tongues

Whenever a person thinks of fossils today, lively images of dinosaurs or other primordial beasts emerge within one's mind. Indeed, most people nowadays would connect fossils with museums, excavation...
The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).

7.2 million-Year-Old Pre-Human Fossil Suggests Mankind Arose in Europe NOT Africa

A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. The new...
The Stone Age remains of a mother cradling her baby.

Mother Found Still Cradling Baby After 4800 Years

Oftentimes, few people are interested in the findings of archeological digs – broken pots, scattered bones, it usually takes a sign of cannibalism or extraordinarily old carbon dating to draw the...
Depiction of what the ancient 'Herto Man' may have looked like. His skull dates to 160,000 years ago.

A Serendipitous Skull Discovery in Ethiopia: Is This the Oldest Known Modern Man?

The El Niño weather phenomenon of 1996-97 wrecked havoc on many parts of the world; however, it also enabled one team of scientists to make an incredible discovery. When the skies cleared and the...
The 130-million-year-old fossil.

The 130-Million-Year-Old Human Fossil Heist

In 2016, a telephone interview with an artefact collector led me to uncover a scientific conspiracy of Biblical proportions. Professors are the high priests of our technology driven society, but as...
Virtual reconstruction of the Aroeira 3 cranium in frontal (A), posterior (B), superior (C), and endocranial (D) views. The frontal sinus in D is exposed in a parasagittal section located 4 mm to the right of the sagittal plane.

At Nearly Half a Million-Years-Old, the Fossil of a Human Cranium Discovered in Portugal is a Shock Find

Archaeologists unearthed a 400,000-year-old skull of a mysterious human ancestor with Neanderthal traits in Portugal. It is considered to be the oldest fossil of a human ancestor discovered in the...
The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?

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...
Are you a Righty or Lefty? Ancient Teeth and Tools May Explain the Evolution of Handedness

Are you a Righty or Lefty? Ancient Teeth and Tools May Explain the Evolution of Handedness

Caroline Spry/ The Conversation Roughly 90% of humans are right-handed and this is one of the traits that separates us from most other primates who don’t really show any overall preference for left...
Mayan Depictions of Sea Monsters May Be First Representations of Ancient Sharks

Mayan Depictions of Sea Monsters May Be First Representations of Ancient Sharks

You can find numerous images of fearsome shark-like creatures in many major Maya cities throughout the regions of modern Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. This betrays the fascination the ancient Maya...
Image of specimen

First-Ever Fossilized Dinosaur Brain Tissue Discovered in Sussex, England

Researchers have identified the first known example of fossilized brain tissue in a dinosaur from Sussex. The tissues resemble those seen in modern crocodiles and birds. An unassuming brown pebble,...
Group portrait of the Piltdown skull being examined. Painted by John Cooke in 1915. Back row: (left to right) F. O. Barlow, G. Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Arthur Smith Woodward. Front row: A. S. Underwood, Arthur Keith, W. P. Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester. Note the painting of Charles Darwin on the wall as well.

New Piltdown Hoax Analysis Points to Work of 'Lone Forger'

The Piltdown Man scandal is arguably the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated in the UK, with fake fossils being claimed as evidence of our earliest ancestor. Published 100 years on from Dawson...
A view of the fossilized, 1.7-million-year-old hominin toe bone upon which the cancerous tumor was diagnosed.

Researchers Diagnose Earliest Known Cancer on 1.7-Million-Year-Old Hominin Fossil

Scientists have identified a particularly lethal form of cancer on the fossilized toe bone of an early human relative who lived about 1.7 million years ago in South Africa. The tumor is the oldest...
Koalas: Dreamtime Legends, Ancient Symbols, and their Dangerous Prehistoric Ancestors

Koalas: Dreamtime Legends, Ancient Symbols, and their Dangerous Prehistoric Ancestors

The koala is a major draw for Australian zoos and wildlife parks. They are featured heavily in Australia-related advertisements, cartoons, and soft toys. If one were to name the animal most closely...

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Top New Stories

Cherry of Zennor broke with ‘reality’ and reached something deeper
Faerie folklore is a type of mythology. The form has spent much time debased to the level of children's stories; tales pulled up from an archaic folkloric past that bear little relevance to a modern society saturated with every imaginable storytelling media, from IMAX to Xbox. But if we give the folklore a chance and scratch the surface a little, the stories begin to demonstrate something much deeper: meaning.

Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)