Mesopotamia

View of Hasankeyf with the castle in left foreground, in southeastern Turkey.

Destruction of Hasankeyf Begins as Ancient Caves Are Collapsed With Explosives

The destruction of historical caves with the use of explosives in the ancient town of Hasankeyf by the Turkish government has drawn anger and disappointment to many people from all over the world...
Total eclipse of the Sun, June 8, 1918, Howard Russell Butler

The Life and Death Power of Eclipses in the Ancient World

On Monday, August 21, people living in the continental United States will be able to see a total solar eclipse. Humans have been alternatively amused, puzzled, bewildered and sometimes even terrified...
Clay accounting ball with calculi, counters, and evolution of cuneiform. Exhibit in the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Solution to the 5,500-year-old Mesopotamian Clay Ball Enigma

In late 2013, interesting fresh evidence dating back five and a half millennia was found, giving insights into the enigma of the Mesopotamian clay balls. Through use of CT scanning to peer into the...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.

The Powerful Enki: Epic Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian Deity

In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh...
The baked tablet that had been deciphered by Dr George. It is finely carved with a relief showing the king and tower and chiseled with text saying how people were gathered from all over to construct the ziggurat.

Ancient Babylonian Tablet Provides Compelling Evidence that the Tower of Babel DID Exist

Half the world seems to say the Bible is pure bunk, while the other half says it’s, well, the word of God. Now comes a professor who isn’t religious to say that a baked tablet from ancient Babylon...
Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Cleopatra’ (1963).

A Brief History of the Enduring Iconic Female Phenomenon of Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a modern-day symbol of sex appeal and an attribute of femininity. Many modern women may be surprised by the fact that our recent generations are not the ones which invented this...
Archaeologists haven’t even had time to write up their findings for a scholarly journal about this ancient Assyrian tomb found in Erbil, Iraq.

Skeletons and Sarcophagi: Was This Newly Discovered Tomb Made for a Family of Elite Ancient Assyrians?

Though the Islamic State group (Daesh) recently plundered and wrecked a few ancient Assyrian cities, fighters recently successfully defended Erbil in Iraq, known long ago as Arbela. In that city,...
Detail of The Adda Seal. The figures can be identified as gods by their pointed hats with multiple horns. The figure with streams of water and fish flowing from his shoulders is Ea (Sumerian Enki), god of subterranean waters and of wisdom. Behind him stands Usimu, his two-faced vizier (chief minister). At the centre of the scene is the sun-god, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), with rays rising from his shoulders. He is cutting his way through the mountains in order to rise at dawn. To his left is a winged goddess, I

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
Statue of Gudea, prince of Lagash (long after King Eannatum) neo-Sumerian period, 2120 BC (Public Domain) and a fragment of the Stele of the Vultures (CC BY-SA 3.0);Deriv.

King Destroys Those on his Hit List, One by One – Eannatum: The First Conqueror? Part I

Between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, lies a land known as Mesopotamia. It was here that men found suitable land, which they pierced, ripped, and seeded. Once the seeds took root, civilization was...
‘The Banquet Scene’ relief panel, 645BC-635BC.

Gazelle Stewed in Broth and Garlic: Would You Try These 3,700-Year-Old Recipes for the Babylonian Elite?

"A cuisine of striking richness, refinement, sophistication and artistry, which is surprising from such an early period,” is how French Assyriologist and gourmet chef Jean Bottero, who decoded three...
Searching for the Lost Footsteps of the Scorpion Kings

Searching for the Lost Footsteps of the Scorpion Kings

In the pre-dynastic period of ancient Egypt, there were two rulers by the name of ‘Scorpion’. They were long forgotten for most of the world until Dwayne Johnson played one of the rulers in the...
A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

People In many countries around the world cannot imagine their cuisine without olive oil. Apart from gastronomy, the gift of oil from the magnificent olive tree is also used today for other purposes...
Tell Brak, an ancient city in Syria

Ancient Syria: Another Cradle of Civilization?

Traditionally, it has been thought that civilization in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean began in two centers, Sumer in the east between the Tigris and Euphrates, and Egypt in the west...
Sumerians Looked to the Heavens as They Invented the System of Time… And We Still Use it Today

Sumerians Looked to the Heavens as They Invented the System of Time… And We Still Use it Today

One might find it curious that we divide the hours into 60 minutes and the days into 24 hours – why not a multiple of 10 or 12? Put quite simply, the answer is because the inventors of time did not...

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Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.
Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re-shaped transportation. In fact, this invention played an important role in some key historical events and empire building.

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)