General

A fictional animal based on the glyptodon and a palaeoburrow (ichnofossil) found in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Scientists say that this mega-tunnel was created by a long extinct species.

What Giant Beasts Carved Out these South American Mega-Tunnels?

Immense tunnels found in the heart of the jungle in Brazil are thought to have been the den of a gruesome wild animal. Experts doubt that huge burrows were created by a natural geologic process and...
A photograph of the 14th Dalai Lama

Chinese Government Wants to Decide the Dalai Lama’s Next Reincarnation

The Chinese Government has said the Dalai Lama must reincarnate into someone that has their endorsement. The remarks were made during the Dalai Lama’s controversial visit to Tawang, an Indian border...
Cannibal feast on the Island of Tanna, New Hebrides by Charles E. Gordon Frazer (1863-1899).

Our Ancestors Were Cannibals – and Probably Not Because They Needed the Calories

James Cole / The Conversation In the recently released horror movie Raw , a lifelong vegetarian teenager arrives at a veterinary school and, after being forced to consume a rabbit kidney at a student...
Top News Stories

Missed This Week's Top News Stories? Read Our Quick Round-Up

Amid the rush of daily life, it’s easy to miss some interesting news stories. So to make it easy for you, we have compiled a round-up of the most important stories from the past week. Ancient Bones...
A painting of 14th century St. Roch shows the dracunculiasis worm exiting the upper part of his leg.

A Medieval Painting Depicts the Chilling Image of a Worm Eating Its Way Out of the Body of a French Saint

Imagine a 2- to 3-foot long (0.6- to 1-meter) worm slowly working its way out of your body… with the possibility of other worms doing so in the future. Such is the horror of the guinea worm, which...
Could Frozen Seeds Save the Future? Scientists Bring a 32,000-year-old Seed Back to Life

Could Frozen Seeds Save the Future? Scientists Bring a 32,000-year-old Seed Back to Life

Far away on the remote island of Spitsbergen in the Artic Svalbard archipelago lies humanity’s fail-safe storage of seeds. With the threat of natural and man-made disasters looming in the future, the...
Fairy circles in the Marienflusstal area in Namibia.

Secrets Behind the Namibian Fairy Circles May Finally Be Solved

Hundreds of strange circular patches of ground where nothing grows can be found amongst the thick grass of the vast Namib desert. These bald spots apparently exist, and sometimes grow, for years...
10 Strange, Unexpected, and Controversial Discoveries from 2016

10 Strange, Unexpected, and Controversial Discoveries from 2016

Anomalies have been documented for centuries, and while many odd events or unusual artifacts have been explained over the years, strange happenings continue to incite controversy and imagination...
Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

This year has provided an array of exciting, and sometimes puzzling, discoveries for archaeologists and ancient history enthusiasts. Looking back to our most ancient ancestors, a few of the...
How the 1,000-Year-Old Mystery of the Druze People’s Origin Was Solved

How the 1,000-Year-Old Mystery of the Druze People’s Origin Was Solved

For 1,000 years, the mysterious origin of the Druze people – who live almost exclusively in the mountains of Syria, Lebanon and Israel – has captivated linguists, historians, and sociologists. There...
The Secret Tunnels and Missing Manuscripts of Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey

The Secret Tunnels and Missing Manuscripts of Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey

The ancient monastery of Mont Sainte-Odile in the French region of Alsace is steeped in mystery. From secret tunnels to the strange disappearance of more than 1,000 ancient books, it has many a story...
The British Museum Distorts History and Denies its Racist Past

The British Museum Distorts History and Denies its Racist Past

Thomas Melin/ University of Gothenburg The British Museum in London is rewriting history to appear in a better light and defend itself against demands to return objects to their countries of origin...
Help Save Elfdalian, the Ancient Viking Forest Language of Sweden

Help Save Elfdalian, the Ancient Viking Forest Language of Sweden

The ancient Viking language of Elfdalian has been almost entirely wiped out, with only 3,000 people in a tiny forest community in Sweden currently keeping it alive. People having been fighting to...
Mary Rose: Tudor Painting and Tidal Analysis Offer Clues as to why it sank

Mary Rose: Tudor Painting and Tidal Analysis Offer Clues as to why it sank

Skulls, the ship’s figurehead and other artifacts from the wreck of a 1545 Tudor warship have been made available to peruse online in 3D reconstructions. But why did she sink? The answer is more...
Image credit © Dustin Naef “The Confluence”.

Breaking Sacred Ground: The Confluence, and Disruption of the Balance of Origin Sites

The Four Corners region of the United States is too mediocre a name to describe so vast an expanse of the Southwest, representing the corners of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The...
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...

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Myths & Legends

Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘
One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of the renowned Ragnar Lodbrok, "boneless" means precisely what it sounds like: a man lacking sturdy bones, but not power.

Human Origins

The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).
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 study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”

Ancient Places

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.

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)