looting

The imposing mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Design by Anand Balaji.

Butehamun, Opener of the Gates to the Underworld: Dismantling Sacred Places of the Dead

At the very end of the Twentieth Dynasty and through to the beginning of the early Twenty-First Dynasty, one after another, the many royal dead in the Valley of the Kings were divested of their...
Remains of the house of scribe Butehamun at Medinet Habu, design by Anand Balaji.

The Hunt for Herihor: Butehamun and the Death of the Royal Necropolis–Part II

Sometime around Regnal Year 17 or 19 of Pharaoh Ramesses XI matters took a turn for the worse, due in no small measure to civil unrest and a failing economy. The northern and southern parts of the...
2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

2,800-Year-Old Cursed Assyrian Stele Brings Bad Luck for Police Commissioner

Whoever discards this image from the presence of Salmanu puts it into another place, whether he throws it into water or covers it with earth or brings and places it into a taboo house where it is...
Objects in the "Apadana" reliefs at Persepolis: armlets, bowls, and amphorae with griffin handles are given as tribute.

2,400-Year-Old Tomb in Iraq Holds 6 Skeletons and Bronze Goods – But It Was NOT Wealthy

A tomb in northern Iraq held a pile of skeletons of at least six people, including those who lived 2,400 years ago. Apart from the human remains, valuable objects where discovered in the tomb as well...
Unlucky Number for Museum Thief Who Was Caught After Putting 666 Artifacts on ebay

Unlucky Number for Museum Thief Who Was Caught After Putting 666 Artifacts on ebay

In modern popular culture, the number 666 has become one of the most widely recognized symbols for the devil and is thought to bring bad luck. For one French worker at the Orleans Museum of Natural...
Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

Curse of the Buried Pearl: Ancient Magick and the Many Hazards of Treasure Hunting – Part II

No English translation exists of The Buried Pearl , although it is a rather strange fact that in 1901, the French archaeological mission in Cairo made a regular French edition. Strange, because its...
A child carrying an artifact at the cemetery.

Silent Victims of Grave Robbers: Children and Mummies Suffer from Extensive Looting in Egypt

The ancient Egyptian civilization lasted for a few millennia. The people who created the unforgettable culture are now buried in the sands of the desert. The number of cemeteries they left behind is...
A view across the main plaza of Xunantunich to El Castillo

Tomb of a Possible Royal Found at Ancient Maya Site of Xunantunich in Belize

Much of the legacy and wealth of the ancient Maya city of Xunantunich in Belize was dispersed by a British medical officer who excavated (some would say looted) it in the 19 th century, but last week...
The ruins of Tanis.

King Solomon’s Mines Discovered: Ancient Treasures - Part II

Have King Solomon's Mines really been discovered? Yes, indeed. In fact, they have been known about for centuries, and modern archaeological work on them started way back in the early 19th century...
The treasure-hunters. Working with a metal detector.

History wars: archaeologists battle to save our heritage from the nighthawks

Like grave-robbers, they come at the dead of night, wearing camouflage and dark clothes to avoid detection. Armed with increasingly powerful metal detectors, they work their way across the fields,...
Easter Han tomb of Luoyang, Henan Province. Representational image only.

3 Men Suffocate, Die While Looting Ancient Tomb in China

Three men have died and others were incapacitated while grave robbing an ancient tomb in China. The three men died of suffocation in the airless gravesite. Two other men in the tomb called for help,...
Funerary Mask, from Malagana 200BC-200AD on exhibit with the exhibit "The Spirit of Ancient Columbian Gold".

The Malagana Treasure: Gold and Greed, A Lost Civilization Plundered

When a Colombian sugarcane plantation worker and his tractor plunged into a hole which had suddenly opened up in the earth, the spectacular discovery buried under the soil would lead to a large-scale...
The bodies of about 20 victims of the volcanic eruption of 79 AD are on display through September 27, 2015, in an ancient amphitheater.

Decaying and Looted Pompeii Gets a Big Infusion of Care from the Italian Government

Pompeii, the city frozen in time by a super-hot gas cloud and ash that erupted from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, has been placed under the protection of the Italian government from degradation by the...
Left: Tunnel dug by thieves. Right: Hua Pagoda

Modern-day tomb raiders caught red-handed tunneling into 1,400-year-old Chinese temple

A gang of modern-day tomb raiders have been caught after they rented a restaurant near the ancient Guanghui Temple in China and used it as a base to dig a 50 meter (165 ft) underground tunnel in an...
Tombs of ancient Egyptian priests

Archaeologists uncover 4,200-year-old Tombs of ancient Egyptian priests

Though the tombs of two ancient Egyptian priests excavated recently had been vandalized and their bones scattered across the burial chamber many centuries ago, beautiful paintings on the walls and...
Egyptian landscape through Satellite

New satellite images reveal rape and pillage of Egyptian landscape

Egypt has long been aware of its problem with looters trying to get their hands on a slice of the riches that lie buried beneath the Sahara sand. But just how severe the problem is, was not fully...

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Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Places

Illustration of the "Emmons mask", a Mississippian culture carved cedarwood human face shaped object once covered in copper and painted with galena and used as part of a headdress
The City of Moundsville is located along the Ohio River in Marshall County, West Virginia. From the time of European settlement in the 1770s, Moundsville was regarded by antiquarians as one of the most significant ancient sites in North America. For it was here that the Adena mound builders and their descendants constructed the largest ceremonial center in the Upper Ohio Valley

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)