Mesopotamia

From Giovanni Battista Belzoni: Egyptian race portrayed in the Book of Gates.

The ‘Dynastic Race’ and the Biblical ‘Japheth’ Part II: Ethnology and Influence

In Part I, the author pieced together the possible genealogy to be found in Mesopotamia and Egypt, taking as his starting point the Biblical account of human developments in the region after the...
Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot

The ‘Dynastic Race’ and the Biblical ‘Japheth’ – Part I: After the Deluge

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...
relief at the ancient Persian city of Persepolis (now in modern Iran), including inscriptions in cuneiform, the world’s oldest form of writing.

The Controversial Road to the Recovery of Cuneiform Texts

It is a little-known piece of history that Saddam Hussein was a great fan of ancient Mesopotamian literature. His enthusiasm for epics written in cuneiform – the world’s oldest known form of writing...
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...

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Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.
Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran until the 17th century. Founded in 518 BC by Darius I of the Persian Empire, Persepolis (called Parsa by the native Persians) lasted only a mere two hundred years despite the grandeur Darius and his followers abundantly heaped on its construction. Notwithstanding Persepolis’ tragic end, what remains of the Persian citadel is astounding.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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.

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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)