ISIS

An Islamic State militant destroying artifacts in Iraq’s World Heritage city of Hatra

Erasing History: Why Islamic State is Blowing Up Ancient Artifacts

One of the many tragedies that have unfolded in the wake of the Islamic State (IS) is their smashing of statues and the destruction of ancient archaeological sites. Indeed, the rapid and terrifying...
The Arch of Triumph or Arch of Septimius Severus, Palmyra, Syria, 2005

Gone Forever? The History and Possible Future of the Recently Destroyed Monumental Arch of Palmyra

The story of this famous arch has painfully revealed the weakness of the world, lack of authority of UNESCO, and helpless hands of thousands of archaeologists around the world. The arch of Palmyra,...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: Guidebook to Conquering Dangerous Demons and Dark Waters in Duat – Part II

One of the pivots for the successful implementation of ‘heka’, the ancient Egyptian term for magic, was words – both spoken and written – and the latter was considered the most powerful form. Scores...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: In the Quest for Eternity, Death is Only the Beginning – Part I

The ancient Egyptians took great care to prepare for the Afterlife. In fact, they were so meticulous about getting every minute detail in order, that to us they come across as having been obsessed...
Shock Find! Assyrian Palace from 600 BC Discovered Under Demolished Shrine in Iraq

Shock Find! Assyrian Palace from 600 BC Discovered Under Demolished Shrine in Iraq

Archaeologists working at a demolished shrine in Mosul, Iraq have stumbled upon a discovery of a previously unknown palace from about 600 BC. It has been declared that the monumental find may provide...
Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

Astounding Ancient Assyria: The Grand Palace of Assurnasirpal

The grand palace of Assurnasirpal (Ashurnasirpal) II was one of the most incredible sites of ancient Assyria. Located in Nimrud, Iraq, the immense palace was richly decorated with sophisticated...
Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

A dead noble stands trembling in the Hall of Truth. Behind the noble, Horus, the half-falcon, half-man ruler of Earth, unleashes a piercing stare at the quivering man. Thoth, the sharp-beaked, ibis-...
Mural depicting Isis in the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings (KV17).

Isis, An Egyptian Goddess Who Spread Her Wings Across Europe

When the Romans entered Egypt they saw a land of magnificent temples, impressive and monumental statues, and symbolism they did not understand. The Greeks felt the same when they explored the country...
Photo of modern Azalai salt caravan.

Hippalos: Hazardous Journeys by Camel and Caravan – Part II

(Read Part 1, Hippalos: Early Navigation of Deep Sea Routes Between India and Egypt ) Assuming the presence of military was a deterrent to the local pirates, the Greek ship loaded with trade goods...
The Egyptian Goddess Isis, Found in India

The Egyptian Goddess Isis, Found in India

One of the great, largely untold adventure stories of late antiquity is the journey to the East, from Egypt’s Red Sea ports, across the open ocean for 40 days and 40 nights, to the legendary entrepôt...
Fortuna (1754) by Tadeusz Kuntze. National Museum in Warsaw.

The Goddess Tyche as Lady Luck

Throughout time, humanity has given great consideration to elements believed to bring good fortune our way. The more people believe that they can control unpredictable forces, the more they trust...
Human-headed winged bulls guarding a door in Dur-Sharrukin.

All is not lost in ISIS’s attempt to smash the past

Amy Gazin-Schwartz / The Conversation The archaeological and historical communities are deeply dismayed about ISIS destroying archaeological sites and materials in the last few weeks. We have seen...
The stele has hieroglyphic and demotic inscriptions and measures 41 inches

Rosetta-style engraving lauding Cleopatra I and two Ptolemaic Pharaohs unearthed in Egypt

A 2,200-year-old Rosetta-style limestone stele has been found at an ancient site near the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Alexandria in Egypt. Though archaeologists and Egyptologists haven’t...
One of the fifteen gateways of ancient Nineveh. A reconstruction was begun in the 1960s by Iraqis, but was not completed. The lower portions of the stone retaining wall are original.

Tragedy as militants bomb 2,700-year-old Nineveh Wall in Iraq

Militants of the Islamic State have destroyed a large portion of the ancient Nineveh wall in Mosul, which dates back some 2,700 years. The tragic loss adds to a series of archaeological, historical,...
The sacred and magical sistrum of ancient Egypt

The sacred and magical sistrum of ancient Egypt

The sistrum was one of the most sacred musical instruments in ancient Egypt and was believed to hold powerful magical properties. It was used in the worship of the goddess Hathor, mythological...
Hatra temples

Grave concerns for 2,000-year-old Hatra temples as ISIS take control of territory

The Hatra complex, a World Heritage site which features 200-ft high temples, now stands in territory claimed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) group, and UNESCO fears the precious...

Top New Stories

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Myths & Legends

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0
In the mountain rain forest of Chiapas, México, sits the ruins of Palenque, considered the most beautiful ancient Maya city. Silhouetted against a backdrop of natural hills and valleys, the elegant pyramids and palace offer fine Maya bas-relief carvings of high-grade limestone and stucco.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in 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)