Ming

A full-size model of a "middle-sized treasure boat" (63.25 m long) of the Zheng He fleet at the Treasure Boat Shipyard site in Nanjing built ca. 2005.

Could Clues From the Ocean Floor Finally Lead to Zheng He’s Lost Treasure Ship?

A recent investigation off the coast of Sri Lanka is offering hope that the lost treasure ship of Zheng He, one of the most famous admirals in Chinese history, may finally be found. This ship sank...
Charles Hanson of Hansons Auctioneers with the plate

Granny’s Ming Dynasty Style Plate Sold for Nearly a Quarter of a Million Pounds

An ancient Chinese plate dating back to the 1700s has been sold in the UK for almost a quarter of a million pounds. That’s about £100,000 more than experts predicted for the almost 300-year-old piece...
The tomb of Tang Xianzu was discovered in the city of Fuzhou. (CFP) Insert: Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), Ming poet and dramatist, author of Peony Pavilion.

A Dramatic Ending: Tomb of the Tang Xianzu, ‘Shakespeare of the Orient’, Has Finally Been Found

Tang Xianzu was a notable playwright in China during the Ming Dynasty. Sometimes called the “Shakespeare of the East,” he is best known for four plays, often called the “Four Dreams” and “ The Peony...
Artist’s representation of Wei Zhongxian.

Wei Zhongxian: When China Yielded to the Terrifying Power of a Notorious Eunuch

Wei Zhongxian is often considered to be the most powerful and notorious eunuch in Chinese history. He had powers almost equivalent to that of the emperor’s and those who opposed him were ruthlessly...
Traditional architecture and modern shops in Pingyao, Shanxi Province, China.

Pingyao: What Gems of Architecture are Housed in this Traditional Imperial Chinese City?

The ancient city of Pingyao is a county-level city located in the center of China’s Shanxi Province. This ancient city has been described as an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional...
Chinese concubines

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a...
600-Year-Old Buddha Statue Temporarily Emerges from the Waters, Reminding Locals of a Forgotten Past

600-Year-Old Buddha Statue Temporarily Emerges from the Waters, Reminding Locals of a Forgotten Past

The head of a Buddha statue estimated to be 600 years old recently emerged from a Chinese reservoir in Nancheng County, when water levels receded during renovation of a hydropower gate. A temple at...
The Legend of the Imperial Jade Seal of China, An Heirloom Lost in Time

The Legend of the Imperial Jade Seal of China, An Heirloom Lost in Time

Of the many renowned Chinese seals, none is more famous than the Heirloom Seal of the Realm. This artifact was carved out of the He Shi Bi jade - a stone which one man lost his feet for. The seal was...
Rare Ming Dynasty Banknote Found Hidden Inside a Chinese Sculpture

Rare Ming Dynasty Banknote Found Hidden Inside a Chinese Sculpture

A team of specialists working at the Australian auction house Mossgreen have discovered a rare Ming Dynasty banknote hidden within a Chinese wooden sculpture. The discovery happened unexpectedly as...
Zheng He: Famous Chinese Explorer

Zheng He: Famous Chinese Explorer Who Added Wealth and Power to the Ming Dynasty

Zheng He (also known as Cheng Ho) is one of the most famous admirals in Chinese history, and is best known for his treasure voyages. These voyages served to project the power and the wealth of the...
Murals uncovered in Ming Dynasty tomb

Stunning murals uncovered in Ming Dynasty tomb

Archaeologists in China have unearthed a Ming Dynasty tomb decorated with spectacular and finely-detailed paintings, according to a report in China.org.cn . Scientists are excited by the finding as...
The hand of the Ming Dynasty Mummy

The Accidental Mummy: the discovery of an impeccably preserved woman from the Ming Dynasty

When most people think of mummies, they picture the Egyptian culture, and sophisticated mummification procedures intended to create a bridge between life and death, resulting in preservation of the...

Top New Stories

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

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.

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)