genome

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...
Vindija Cave in Croatia where Neanderthal DNA was found in cave sediment

DNA Can Now be Extracted from Dirt! New Tech May Solve Many Mysteries of Human Origins

An amazing technological innovation in the study of DNA has been called a ‘game changer’ in the research into ancient humans and hominids. It may solve many of the mysteries that exist in relation to...
Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Would you have sex with a Homo sapiens neanderthalensis if they hadn’t gone extinct? Your ancestors may have. Scientists are testing cave dirt for the presence of Neanderthal DNA from disintegrated...
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...
Researchers Find Evidence for Deadly Malaria in Imperial Rome 2000 Years Ago

Researchers Find Evidence for Deadly Malaria in Imperial Rome 2000 Years Ago

Biologists and other academics have long debated whether there was malaria in ancient Rome, and recent analysis of teeth of human remains from the time has confirmed it, says a story just published...
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...
A model of the face of an adult female Homo erectus. Reconstruction by John Gurche, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Scientists Say A Mystery Species Bred with Ancient Humans in Distant Past

A new study of the genomes of Australasians has revealed sections of DNA that do not match any known hominin species. The dramatic findings mean that a mystery species bred with ancient humans in the...
A Paracas elongated skull and an artist’s impression based on a digital reconstruction.

New DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Elongated Paracas Skulls Changes Known History

The elongated skulls of Paracas in Peru caused a stir in 2014 when a geneticist that carried out preliminary DNA testing reported that they have mitochondrial DNA “with mutations unknown in any human...
An Illustration of ancient farmers. Copyright Nicholls (2008)

Ancient Skeletons Change History: Farming Invented Multiple Times Across the Globe

An international research team led by Mainz palaeogeneticists demonstrates that populations in the ancient Fertile Crescent are the ancestors of modern day South Asians but not of Europeans...
Inbred Neanderthals Left Humans with a Genetic Burden

Inbred Neanderthals Left Humans with a Genetic Burden

The Neanderthal genome included harmful mutations that made the hominids around 40% less reproductively fit than modern humans, according to estimates published in the latest issue of the journal...
Human DNA

An ancient retrovirus has been found in human DNA – and it might still be active

Striking evidence has emerged that an ancient virus previously known only from fossil evidence has persistently infected some humans at very low levels for hundreds of thousands or even millions of...
"The Last Days of Tenochtitlan, Conquest of Mexico by Cortez", a 19th-century painting by William de Leftwich Dodge.

Genes of 92 prehistoric Native Americans give further evidence of a terrible holocaust

The genocide of Native Americans is considered by many to be the worst of any in history—outstripping the later Jewish and Roma Holocaust by as much as an order of magnitude. Now a study of the...
Main: A DNA molecule (C. Bock/Wikimedia Commons). Inset: Two Melanesian girls

Ancient Denisovan DNA discovered in modern Pacific Islanders

The archaic Denisovan and Neanderthal DNA that persists in modern individuals from the Pacific islands of Melanesia could be a source of new information about early human history, according to a...
Denisova Cave, Russia. Inset: Denisovan molar discovered in Denisova Cave, Replica in Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium.

DNA from Ancient Denisovan Tooth Sheds Light on Mysterious Human Relative

The Denisovans are a mysterious hominid species that we only know about from two molar teeth and the bone of a pinky finger discovered in the remote Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia...
Photos of the child mummy that may have been sacrificed in a ritual of Capacocha. Above left, detail of the mummy’s dissected lung. A small sample of 350 milligrams (0.01 ounces) was used to extract DNA in the current study.

Genetic Analysis of a Frozen Andean Mummy Reveals a Previously Unknown Lineage

In 1985, a frozen and half buried mummy of a young boy was recovered from the mountain of Aconcagua in Argentina. Now, a team of scientists have managed to extract and sequence his mitochondrial DNA...
Deriv; A DNA molecule and replica of fossil skull of Homo ergaster

Vast Eurasian Migration Back to Africa Revealed by Bones of 4,500-year-old Ethiopian Man

An ancient African genome has been sequenced for the first time ever with the discovery of a 4,500-year-old skeleton in a cave in Ethiopia. DNA recovered from the bones suggest that a vast migration...

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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)