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Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099, Emile Signol

Why the Crusades Were Not a ‘Clash of Civilizations’

Ask pretty much anyone – whether terrorists, politicians (of all camps), dinner party guests, or religious leaders – and the one thing that they will say with confidence about the Crusades is that...
A modern interpretation of King Solomon’s Temple.

The First Temple: Crowning Achievement of King Solomon and Home of the Legendary Ark of the Covenant

The Biblical figure King Solomon was the son of King David, was reputedly both wealthy and wise. He is recorded as a prophet in both Judaism’s Talmud and Islam’s Quran and one of his major legacies...
An artistic representation of Al-Muqanna, the Veiled Prophet.

Second Moon Uprising: How Science and Skullduggery Helped an 8th Century Prophet Raise a Revolt

“The 'Moon of Nakhshab' was an artificial moon which Hakim Ibn-e 'Ata, known as Muqanna' (the Veiled One), caused to arise from the Pit of Nakhshab. This moon had been prepared by means of [magical]...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its...
The Harem Dance, Giulio Rosati

The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire: More than Just Beautiful Women

The term “harem” brings to mind an image of a room full of beautiful women whose sole purpose in life was to please their captor sexually. This image may have been inspired by the 16 th and 17 th...
Can Different Religions Peacefully Share a Sacred Site? A Temple Mount Tragedy

Can Different Religions Peacefully Share a Sacred Site? A Temple Mount Tragedy

One of the major points of contention between Israel and the Arab/Moslem world is over the most sacred piece of real estate on the planet. At 37 acres, the Temple Mount is the focal point of prayer...
Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
A Question of Faith: Is the Tomb of the Legendary King David Really on Mount Zion?

A Question of Faith: Is the Tomb of the Legendary King David Really on Mount Zion?

There is a famous tomb located on Mount Zion in the ancient city of Jerusalem. A part of the Diaspora Yeshiva, this tomb receives thousands of visitors every year. Many of them go to the site with...
Introduction of Christianity in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1888–89, National Museum, Warsaw.

Faith or Economy? Why Pagan Religions Lost Their Position in Europe

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of followers of pagan religions, the old beliefs haven't survived enough to be included in the group of the five major religions of the world. Officially,...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
‘The Harem’ by Gustave Boulanger

In a Forbidden Place: Hidden Lives in a Harem

The term harem comes from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden place . This defines the sphere of women in a polygynous household and makes reference to their enclosed quarters being forbidden to men...
Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258.

Palms Over Baghdad: Riches and Fear during the Mongol Invasion – Part I

In 1253 CE, a breeze began to blow into Baghdad from the east. Unbeknownst to Al-Musta'sim, the Abbasid Caliph, this breeze would soon turn into a violent shamal (wind). This shamal was gaining...
A photo showing some stelae found with Arabic inscriptions.

Archaeologists Discover that Earliest Known Arabic Writing Was Penned by a Christian

The oldest known Arabic writing found in Saudi Arabia, from ca. 470 AD belong to a Christian context and predates the advent of Islam with 150 years. In December 2015, researchers from a French-Saudi...
3: The Perfect Number - Trinity Symbolism in World Religious Traditions

3: The Perfect Number - Trinity Symbolism in World Religious Traditions

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...” The concept of a Trinity or triadic nature of the divine has been a part of our psyche for thousands of years, and has appeared in creation...

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Top New Stories

(1) Knotted tanned hide bundle before extraction of contents; (2) & (4) gold dinars; (3) signet ring with intaglio; (5) contents of knotted tanned hide bundle.
In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex.

Human Origins

Deriv; Ancient Celtic dolmen from Poulnabrone, Ireland and carved Egyptian deity Thoth
When ancient Egypt and Ireland are spoken about in the same breath it usually results in the rolling of eyes, polite exits and the sound of murmurs citing pseudo-history and new age babble. At least...

Ancient Technology

Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.
Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show depictions of vast work forces hewing blocks of stone in the hot desert sun and carefully setting them into place.

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.

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)