Genetics

DNA Analysis Suggests Cats Chose to Be Domesticated

DNA Analysis Suggests Cats Chose to Be Domesticated

According to an extensive DNA analysis of cat genes the domestic cat is descended from wild cats that were tamed twice; once in the Near East and then in Egypt. The study suggests that cats lived for...
A Wa'a Kaulua (double canoe) of Hawaiian Nobility of the 18th Century. Polynesia was inhabited by skilled seafarers.

Where Did the Polynesians Really Come From?

Oceania was the last region to be settled by humans and the last part of Oceania to be settled by humans was Polynesia. Polynesians are famous for their voyages to remote islands in distant parts of...
Egyptian sarcophagus containing mummified remains

The First Genome Data from Ancient Egyptian Mummies: Ancient Egyptians Were Most Closely Related to Ancient Populations from the Near East

An international team of scientists, led by researchers from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, successfully recovered and analyzed...
Chaco Canyon Pueblo Bonito Ruin.

Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?

Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful...
Neanderthal

Ancient Human History More Complex Than Previously Thought, Researchers Say

Relationships between the ancestors of modern humans and other archaic populations such as Neanderthals and Denisovans were likely more complex than previously thought, involving interbreeding within...
DNA, land bridge, Beringia, Ice Age, Americas, genetics, South America, humans, Paleoamerican, Naia, Luzia, skeletons, archaeology

Did Paleoamericans Reach South America First?

In “ Textbook Story of How Humans Populated America is Biologically Unviable, Study Finds ” , recently published in Ancient Origins, it was noted that DNA studies indicate that people could not have...
Schizophrenia Emerged After Humans Diverged from Neanderthals

Schizophrenia Emerged After Humans Diverged from Neanderthals

Schizophrenia poses an evolutionary enigma. The disorder has existed throughout recorded human history and persists despite its severe effects on thought and behavior, and its reduced rates of...
Biggest Known Genetic Difference Between Humans and Neanderthals May Be Related to Autism

Biggest Known Genetic Difference Between Humans and Neanderthals May Be Related to Autism

A recent study says that a genetic change suddenly arose in the primate family tree about about 280,000 years ago. The researchers claim it is responsible for the largest genetic difference between...
The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

The Genetic History of Ice Age Europe

Analyses of ancient DNA from prehistoric humans paint a picture of dramatic population change in Europe from 45,000 to 7,000 years ago, according to a new study led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute...
Imaginative depiction of the Stone Age, by Viktor Vasnetsov.

Just a Few Men Controlled Reproduction in Prehistory and Dominate World Genetics Today

A new genetic study of male ancestry shows there were periods in human prehistory when just a few elite men controlled reproduction. For example, one man about 190,000 years ago was the ancestor of 1...
An artist’s depiction of a family of Neanderthals.

Humans and Neanderthals Branched off 600,000 years ago Due to an Incompatible Y Chromosome

Neanderthals and humans branched off about 600,000 years ago, possibly because of genetic incompatibility in the context of the Y chromosome, a team of researchers has announced. There was some...
A three-dimensional volume rendering of the Tuli mummy.

Scans and DNA tests reveal the secrets of a rare African mummy

Natasha Joseph / The Conversation He lay alone in a shallow grave at the base of a cliff for hundreds of years. Then, in 2008, patrol staff at a game lodge stumbled across the man’s remains - and he...
Painting ‘Stone Age: the feast.’ (1883) By Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

Is the Paleo Movement Genetically Out of Sync with Modern Humans?

The Paleo movement, which may include all or some of the following: A Paleo diet, Paleo sleeping, Paleo exercise, etc., is essentially an attempt to integrate as much of the Stone Age hunter-gatherer...
The new study says that Neanderthal DNA influences many physical traits in people of European and Asian heritage.

Study Casts New Light on Diseases We Inherited from Neanderthals

Feeling depressed? Can’t kick the tobacco habit? Sun causing skin lesions? Allergies bothering you? Some people of today may blame their Neanderthal ancestry in part for some of these health problems...
‘The Stone Age’ (1882-1885), detail of a painting by Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

Why Did Hunter-gatherer Group in Europe Unexpectedly Disappear After the Last Ice Age?

A recent study has shown that a group of hunter-gatherers had survived the last Ice Age while living in the modern location of Europe, only to unexpectedly disappear about 14,500 years ago. As the...
A family migrating to western US in 1886.

Here’s How Genetics Helped Crack the History of Human Migration

Over the past 25 years, scientists have supported the view that modern humans left Africa around 50,000 years ago, spreading to different parts of the world by replacing resident human species like...

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Top New Stories

The theory that Tsar Alexander I craved a holy life as a monk is based on him seeking forgiveness for coming to power after the murder of his father, Paul I. Source: Vesti Tomsk
Officially, Alexander I died of typhus aged 47 on December 1, 1825, but evidence suggests he faked his demise and lived as a holy man. Genetic analysis is soon to be used to determine whether Tsar Alexander I lived for almost four decades as a modest monk after his supposed - and unexpected - death in Taganrog on the Azov Sea, a senior Russian churchman has indicated.

Myths & Legends

Fossils were viewed very differently in the past; usually through wilder... more fantastical interpretations.
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 digs, or research laboratories. However, people have viewed fossils very differently in the past; usually through wilder... more phantasmic interpretations.

Ancient Technology

New Revelations When 3,000-Year-Old Prosthetic Toe is Examined with Cutting Edge Technology
Egyptologists from the University of Basel have discovered details of production techniques and usage of one of the oldest prosthetic devices in history after re-examining it with the help of other experts. The find is nearly 3,000 years old and was discovered in a female burial from the necropolis of Sheikh ´Abd el-Qurna close to Luxor, 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)