Han Dynasty

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Detail of the hand section of the jade burial suit of Liu Sui, Prince of Liang, of Western Han

Fit for a King: Royals of Ancient China Buried in Jade Ceremonial Suits

Perceptions of the afterlife have inspired thousands of weird ideas for burial rituals around the world. One example comes in form of the remarkably beautiful and fascinating ceremonial suits created...
Personal ‘hygiene sticks’ used in toilets on the Silk Road. Hui-Yuan Yeh. Reproduced from the Journal of Archaeological Science

2,000-Year-Old Feces from the Silk Road Reveal Spread of Infectious Diseases

Once travelled by famous historical figures such as Marco Polo and Genghis Khan, the Silk Road was a hugely important network of transport routes connecting eastern China with Central Asia, the...
The Legendary 1,000-ft White Pyramid of Xian

In Search of the Legendary 1,000-ft White Pyramid of Xian

Scattered across an isolated, flat plain in Shaanxi Province, near the ancient capital of Xi’an, lie dozens of spectacular pyramid mounds that are little known outside China. Mixed in with the...
Detail of a mural from an Eastern Han tomb with artificial pigment

Han Purple: A 2,800-year-old artificial pigment that quantum physicists are trying to understand

Han purple is an artificial pigment created by the Chinese over 2,500 years ago, which was used in wall paintings and to decorate the famous terracotta warriors, as well as ceramics, metal ware, and...
The Trung Sister freedom fighters

Hell hath no fury like the Trung Sister freedom fighters

Throughout history, Vietnamese women have been instrumental in resisting foreign domination. The most well-known of these heroines are the Trung sisters, who led the first national uprising against...
Ancient Chinese palace in Siberia

What was an ancient Chinese palace doing in the enemy territory of Siberia?

Located in the majestic Altai-Sayan Mountains in the south of Siberia, the city of Abakan has a long and rich history going back thousands of years. But in the 1940s, archaeologists found something...
Han Dynasty tombs in China

Archaeologists announce rare discovery of more than 100 Han Dynasty tombs in China

Chinese archaeologists have discovered more than one hundred tombs from the Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) in Jiangsu province, Eastern China. Such a large cluster of Han tombs are a rare discovery and...

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.

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)