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History & Archaeology

We bring you all the latest historical news and archaeological discoveries relating to ancient human history. Read more history news from around the world here at Ancient Origins.

Illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy: The Inscription over Hell-Gate

Toxicity at Gateway to Hell Explains ‘Miracle’ in Ancient City of Hierapolis

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,” said William Shakespeare, and now, new scientific findings tells us how the devils got here! And it was through a “gateway to the underworld” located in...
Representational image of broken Roman statues. The statues here were found before the current discovery and are housed in the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum, Turkey.

Corporate Terrorists Strike Roman Temple in Turkey

A storm in the Black Sea has washed up ancient Roman pillars and artifacts in Turkey's Amasra district. According to Hurriyet Daily News “locals found the ruins lying among the rocks on the beach and...
View and colour rendered model of the hominin track P-01, belonging to the left foot of an adult

What ancient footprints can tell us about what it was like to be a child in prehistoric times

Western society has a rather specific view of what a good childhood should be like; protecting, sheltering and legislating to ensure compliance with it. However, perceptions of childhood vary greatly...
Isle of May monastery ruins (Peter Yeoman) top left; Skeletal remains on May (Peter Yeoman/ British Archaeology Magazine); The foot bones of a teenager with syphilis (left). An enlarged skull, possibly due to hydrocephaly (right). (Images: Marlo Willows/British Archaeology) bottom left.

Sick Children’s Skeletons Unearthed on Holy Healing Isle

The lost history of a sacred Scottish “healing island” has revealed its holy secrets in the skeletal dna of sick children, archaeologists in Edinburgh have announced. This string of majestical...
A cuirass known as a “tanko” and preserved in excellent condition, and a stone coffin, left, have been unearthed in Shibushi, Kagoshima Prefecture.

Workers Paving a Japanese Road Unearth Remarkable 1,500-Year-Old Armor and Sword

Could you imagine? You are tired after working for hours on fixing a roadway when you suddenly find a strange slab of stone. This gives you a jolt of energy and you call a coworker over. Together you...
Skulls from the Andean Paracas (top left). (CC BY-SA 3.0); Paracas skull at Ica Museum(right). (CC BY 2.0); Child head shaping methods (bottom left).

Elongated Skulls Increased Kudos in Ancient Peru

Archaeologists dig them up all over the ancient world from Egypt to Peru, and now, these curious elongated skulls are believed to have been “status symbols,” according to a recent paper in Current...
The skeletons and a depiction of what the grave may have originally looked like.

Mammoth Tears of Compassion Sealed A 34,000-Year-Old Children’s Grave

About 34,000 years ago, two physically challenged boys were buried head to head, with tens of thousands of animal bone offerings, according to a Cambridge Journal of Antiquity paper published last...
Detail of ‘Solitude’ (circa 1890) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton.

Alone Need Not Be Lonely: What Joyous Solitude of Early Hermits Can Teach Us

Kim Haines-Eitzen / The Conversation In today’s world, loneliness seems to have reached epidemic proportions. Countless studies have highlighted the serious and negative impact that loneliness has on...
Fragment of talisman used to exorcise the sick, Assyrian era.

Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons

Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft...
 Book of Kells, Folio 32v, Christ Enthroned. Scanned from Treasures of Irish Art, 1500 BC to 1500 AD, From the Collections of the National Museum of Ireland.

Priceless Medieval Sacred Text Reveals Its True Origins

Arguably the world’s most famous medieval manuscript, the wonderfully illustrated Book of Kells , was “created in 2 parts over 50 years,” Dr Bernard Meehan of Trinity College, Dublin, told reporters...
Skeletal remains from the pirate ship Whydah Gally inside a mass of hardened sand and stone.

Pirate’s Crossed Bones Rise from Ghost Ship – Are They the Remains of Notorious Pirate Samuel Bellamy?

Scientists in Massachusetts will soon know if bones discovered in a pirate shipwreck belong to one of the most notorious Pirates of the Caribbean that ever sailed the seven seas - Captain Samuel “...
Detail of the Berlin bust of Nefertiti; and the latest 3D sculpture of the queen based on the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji

Bust of Contention: Nefertiti’s sculpture raises issues of Race and Color—Part II

The recent attempt at reconstructing the face of the iconic beauty, Nefertiti, by basing her looks on the mummy of the Younger Lady found in KV35 has caused an enormous uproar among Egyptophiles all...
Limestone trial piece showing the head of Nefertiti; and detail of the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin and G. Elliot Smith); Deriv.

Bust of Contention: Controversy erupts as the Younger Lady is dubbed Nefertiti—Part I

Few ancient Egyptian royals are capable of garnering as much attention, generating frenzy, and stoking controversy globally as the legendary beauty Queen Nefertiti can. Despite having been a powerful...
The excavation site at Tell Edfu (with the temple of Horus and the modern town of Edfu in the background).

Archaeologists get a Glimpse of Everyday Life in an Ancient Egyptian Royal Outpost

Hieroglyphic sealings, mudbrick buildings, storage containers, and small pieces of copper provide archaeologists with a glimpse into life in a Nile Valley settlement during the Old Kingdom of ancient...
A concentration of bone and rock at the Cerutti Mastodon site in California, USA.

Criticisms Mount Against Claim of Hominins in the Americas Over 100,000 Years Ago

A startling claim was made almost a year ago: researchers said that they had evidence of hominins in the Americas at least 100,000 years before most people believed. They called for open-minded...
Marvel Hi-Res Black Panther Image Revealed.

Becoming Beast: Marvel’s New Black Panther Movie Has a Surprising Medieval Connection

Lydia Zeldenrust / The Conversation Black Panther looks to be another hit for Marvel . The film has been highly anticipated, not least because it is a milestone in cinema with a black lead superhero...

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