Music

Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
The Mysterious Lithophones of Vietnam: Descendants of the First Musical Instruments?

The Mysterious Lithophones of Vietnam: Descendants of the First Musical Instruments?

The word ‘lithophone’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘lithos’ and ‘phone’. The first can be translated as ‘stone’, whilst the second means ‘sound’. Therefore, a lithophone may be said to be a ‘...
Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

A deity with as many attributes as arms, Saraswati (or Sarasvati) is the Hindu goddess of aesthetics. These include music, the arts, wisdom and learning. She can be compared, in many ways, to the...
1st century BC marble statue of Cybele from Formia, Lazio

Mothers, Madness and Music: A Study of the Parallels of Cybele and Dionysus

Though she was one of the most renowned goddesses in her day, the motherly, wise Cybele has long been over-shadowed in the mythology of ancient Greece by the later pre-Olympian goddesses, Rhea, Gaia...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
Looking to Elders to Discover the Amazing Burial Mounds and Forgotten Woodland Traditions of Canada

Looking to Elders to Discover the Amazing Burial Mounds and Forgotten Woodland Traditions of Canada

While the burial mounds and earthworks of the Adena and Hopewell Cultures are usually associated with the Ohio River Valley, there are lesser-known—but equally as fantastic—manifestations of these...
The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not normally attend a choir concert or church service throughout the year might happily...
Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

It is unknown which culture was the first to create music, but a set of beautiful Sumerian instruments from the city of Ur provide us with some insight into the world of ancient music. They are known...
A Feast for the Eyes and Ears: The World’s Most Beautiful and Majestic Library

A Feast for the Eyes and Ears: The World’s Most Beautiful and Majestic Library

The Clementinum is a complex of historical buildings founded by Jesuits in Prague, Czech Republic, and is famous for its stunning Baroque-style library which houses more than 20,000 historically rare...

Song of Seikilos: Oldest Known Musical Composition Lay Hidden on a Flower Stand in Turkish Garden

The Song of Seikilos is the oldest complete surviving music composition in the world engraved in a marble stele that served as a flower stand. The beautiful composition, also known as the ‘Seikilos...
Guido of Arezzo.

Musical Monk: Guido of Arezzo and His Impact on the History of Music

Guido of Arezzo was a monk who lived during the Middle Ages, and may be considered as one of the most influential figures in the history of modern music. During the Middle Ages, the monastery was one...
Carnyx from the recently discovered Tintignac group.

The Carnyx: Ancient Trumpet Leading Celtic Warriors to Battle

The carnyx is an ancient musical instrument that best-known to have been used by the Celts during the Iron Age. Between 300 BC and 200 AD, the carnyx was used in many parts of Europe. In the ancient...
Ancient Irish Musical History Found in Modern India

Ancient Irish Musical History Found in Modern India

An archaeologist studying musical horns from iron-age Ireland has found musical traditions, thought to be long dead, are alive and well in south India. The realization that modern Indian horns are...
The Mystical Pentatonic Scale and Ancient Instruments, Part I: Bone Flutes

The Mystical Pentatonic Scale and Ancient Instruments, Part I: Bone Flutes

One of the ancient technologies that is often overlooked is the creation of musical instruments. The purpose, development and in some cases the techniques used to develop music remains a mystery...
The new performance has music set to the poetic portions of Roman philosopher Boethius' magnum opus The Consolation of Philosophy.

1,000-Year-Old Lost Music Reconstructed from Ancient Manuscript

Exactly what music sounded like in the early Middle Ages is unknown, but some scholar-musicians from England performed a piece today that they reconstructed from an 11 th century manuscript. A page...
Hathor, the Turquoise Goddess Near the Nile

Hathor, the Turquoise Goddess Near the Nile

The shadow of Hathor is still present in many places related to the monumental history of ancient Egypt. She was one of the most important goddesses near the Nile, and remains one of the best-known...

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Myths & Legends

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

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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.

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.

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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)