mayan

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0

Temples of Palenque Reveal Story of Lady Cormorant and Her Three Sons, The Triad Gods

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...
The Mayan Red Queen Skull. Image: INAH

The Mystery of the Mayan Red Queen

An unexpected discovery of a royal burial inside a previously unknown substructure of Temple XIII in Palenque, Mexico, set off a decades-long archaeological mystery. In 1994, a young Mexican...
eft: Old Moon Goddess Destructive, Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI. Right: Old Moon Goddess, Beneficent Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI

Mayan Women and the Coiled Snake Headdress

The coiled snake headdress is a significant artifact connected with Mayan women, both ancient and modern. Images of ancient Mayan women wearing this distinctive headdress have been found carved on...
Mayan script is typically in the form of blocks, which can represent a sound, word, or sentence.

Linguists Are Finally Unravelling the Mysteries Trapped Within Mayan Hieroglyphs

Today, there are over six million people that speak a language that evolved out of the Maya civilization, which inhabited parts of what are now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador for...
Xochicalco: New Wave Mayan City That Was a Prime Target for Destruction

Xochicalco: New Wave Mayan City That Was a Prime Target for Destruction

After the collapse of Teotihuacan and other major centers of the Mesoamerican Classic Period (circa 250-750 AD) such as Monte Alban, Tikal, and Palenque, Mesoamerican civilization entered uncertain...
One of the first cultures to have books were the Maya codices written on doubled-over pages and covered by a layer of "stucco".

The Maya Codices: The Precious Remaining History of an Eradicated Civilization

The Maya were a powerful pre-Columbian civilization who thrived between AD 600 – AD 800. They were literate, had a complex language including pictograms, glyphs, and phonetic representations. They...
The Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) is a subspecies of Western honey bee.

After 2000 Years of Harmony, the Maya May Soon Lose their Stingless Bee Pets

For several years now, reports have circulated about the worrisome decline of the population of bees. Periodically, newspaper headlines lament the bees’ disappearance as an irreversible tipping point...
Modern day Pok-ta-pok players in action

3,000-Year-Old Ball Game Where Winners Lost Their Heads Is Revived in Mexico

In order to commemorate and honor Mexican heritage, teams from Mexico and Belize competed against each other in a three millennia-old game known as Ulama. The game took place in the ancient Mayan...
Entrance from above to the Loltun Cave complex

Guided by the Ancestors? Mayan Fanatic Saved by a 1000-Year-Old Priest

On the 3rd of January 1931, an article appeared in the Modesto News-Herald entitled ‘Mystery of the Loltun Cave hermit’. The article recounted the encounter between a man by the name of Robert Stacy-...
The newly-discovered jewel with 30 hieroglyphs on its back, a private message seen mostly by the king who wore it.

Impressively Large Jade Pendant with Unique Inscription Discovered in Belize

A group of archaeologists have discovered in Belize a large, carved jade pendant that once belonged to an ancient Maya king, inscribed with a historical text delineating its first owner. The newly...
Why Did Parents in the Chinookan tribe Perform Cranial Deformation on their Babies?

Why Did Parents in the Chinookan tribe Perform Cranial Deformation on their Babies?

Beauty is a fickle thing. Worse than that, it is (as often as not) one of the most painful goals in the realms of the wealthy and elite. In China, the binding of feet was once seen to create...
Archaeologists Uncover New Clues on the Collapse of the Maya Civilization

Archaeologists Uncover New Clues on the Collapse of the Maya Civilization

Using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single Maya site, archaeologists have developed a precise timeline that clarifies patterns leading up to two major collapses of the...
Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

The delightful hobby of playing games isn't a modern invention. While people in ancient times didn't have Pokemon Go to entertain themselves, they still spent hours of fun games both inside and...
Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

In my book, Olmec Language and Literature , I explain how I deciphered the Olmec language. One of the most important documents used in my research was a Bi-lingual Mayan-Olmec text inscribed on a...
Mayan calendar on parchment

Mayan Calendar Similar to Ancient Chinese: Early Contact?

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times Ancient Mayan and Chinese calendar systems share so many similarities, it is unlikely they developed independently, according to the late David H. Kelley, whose paper...

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Detail of a man depicted on an Uruk vase, Pergamon Museum. The Uruk civilization arose as it expertly adapted to the new climate.
Beginning around 90,000 years ago, during an interglacial period, Anatomically Modern Humans were able to take advantage of the favorable climatic conditions and migrate throughout Africa and into Asia. Soon thereafter, identifiable culture can be found in the archaeological record. As far as can be told, it was Homo Sapiens living in Africa that would make the first symbolic paintings, but Neanderthals soon did this as well.

Myths & Legends

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’.

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’.

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)