monks

Dried corpse hanging on the wall in the chapel at Évora

The Macabre Capela dos Ossos: Why was it Decorated with the Dead?

When one thinks about the interior design of a place of worship, one generally includes statues of religious icons, paintings of important religious events, perhaps the odd stained-glass window and...
Himmerod Abbey and Church building

900-Year-Old German Monastery Forced to Shut Down Because of Monk Shortage

Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the...
The Phugtal Monastery, India

An 8-Hour Walk to Get Groceries: This Monastery is so Remote That Almost No One Has Heard About It

The Phugtal Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located in the Ladakh region of the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This monastery was constructed inside a natural cave, and is considered...
Bodies of Ancient Monks Found in Sudan Were Stripped of Their Flesh Before Burial

Bodies of Ancient Monks Found in Sudan Were Stripped of Their Flesh Before Burial

More than 100 sets of ancient human remains have been excavated from four cemeteries near the ruins of a medieval Christian monastery in Sudan. Researchers were surprised to find that many of the...
Massive Cemeteries with Strange Burials Excavated at Medieval Monastery in Sudan

Massive Cemeteries with Strange Burials Excavated at Medieval Monastery in Sudan

Archaeologists have officially announced that four large cemeteries were unearthed near the remains of a medieval Christian monastery in Sudan. At least 123 individuals have been excavated so far,...
The French Brews Brothers: Benedictine Monks Bring a Traditional Brewing Practice Back to Life

The French Brews Brothers: Benedictine Monks Bring a Traditional Brewing Practice Back to Life

Between prayer, Gregorian chants, and spiritual contemplation, Benedictine monks of Saint-Wandrille monastery in northern France are now dedicating their spare time to producing France's only...
Earliest Remains of Monks, Who May Have Known King Arthur, Unearthed in England

Earliest Remains of Monks, Who May Have Known King Arthur, Unearthed in England

It is conceivable that 5 th or early 6 th century humans, whose remains were recently excavated at Glastonbury in England, may have known King Arthur or St. Bridget—two towering figures of early...
Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (423–457) tells us that when little girls played games in forth-century Syria, they played monks and demons. One of the girls, dressed in rags, would reduce her little friends...
As the Bulldozers Continue, Will the Recently Discovered Ruins of a Byzantine Church Be Lost Forever?

As the Bulldozers Continue, Will the Recently Discovered Ruins of a Byzantine Church Be Lost Forever?

During the preparatory works to build a shopping center in Gaza (Palestine), a group of workers discovered ancient ruins. Archaeologists have identified them as possible parts of a Byzantine church...
A painting depicting women inspecting silk, early 12th century, ink and color on silk, by Emperor Huizong of Song.

The Legend of Leizu and the Origins of Luxurious Chinese Silk

Leizu (嫘祖), known also as Lady Hsi Ling Shih (西陵氏) is a legendary figure in Chinese history credited with the discovery of silk and the invention of the silk loom. Silk is undoubtedly one of the most...
Kanheri Caves, Mumbai

Shelters from the Storm: More Ancient Buddhist Caves Found in Mumbai

Seven caves that served as shelters from monsoons for Buddhist monks more than 2,000 years ago (and even into the 1990s) have been discovered in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in...
Piwo pijacy mnisi (Beer Drinking Monks), Olaf Simony Jensen

Ancient Monastery Recreates Beer Based on Historic Recipe by British Soldiers

The Strahov Monastery in Prague, Czech Republic, has created a popular new beer based on a historic recipe. The Times of India report that they call it the Sv Norbert India Pale Ale and it is based...
Illustration of a monk tending to a sick patient.

The Incredible Medical Interventions of the Monks of Soutra Aisle

Soutra Aisle refers to a set of ruins in Scotland that were once part of a larger complex comprising a hospital and a friar. Excavations at Soutra Aisle have provided an extraordinary window into the...
Sokushinbutsu - The ancient Japanese monks mummified to death

Sokushinbutsu and the ancient Japanese monks that mummified themselves to death

Over 1,000 years ago, a practice was pioneered by a Japanese priest named Kukai, which was intended to demonstrate the ultimate act of religious discipline and dedication – self-mummification. The...
Ancient Wine Press and Monastery

Ancient industrial-scale wine press and monastery discovered

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient compound in Ramat Bet Shemesh near Jerusalem, where monks engaged in oil and wine production, according to a report in Live Science . The extent of the...
The Maijishan Grottoes

The Ancient Treasure of the Maijishan Grottoes

Just a few miles south of the Silk Road in Gansu Province, lies one of the most spectacular artistic treasure of China’s past – the Maijishan Grottoes, a series of 194 caves cut into the side of a...

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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 Technology

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)