Caves of Atapuerca - Spain

Archaeologists Seek Answers to Human Origins in the Caves of Atapuerca, Spain

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Dozens of archaeologists are undertaking excavation work in the caves of Atapuerca in Spain to find remnants of our ancient ancestors dating back more than a million years.  It is hoped that the caves will reveal answers surrounding the prehistoric ancestors of Europeans, which could write a new chapter in the history of human evolution.

"The site covers a very long period of time, practically from when the first humans arrived in Europe, up to the present day," says Jose Maria Bermudez de Castro, one of the directors of the dig.

The site, which was classified as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2000, has already offered up a human finger and jawbone dating back 1.2 million years – considered the remains of the oldest European ever found.  Archaeologists, who have been working at the site since 1978, have also found skulls, bones and teeth belonging to Homo antecessor who lived between 850,000 and 950,000 years ago, and bits of Homo heidelbergensis, from around four hundred millenia ago. "It is the site that has yielded the most human remains in the world," says Juan Luis Arsuaga, another of the directors of the project.

However, the latest excavation project is focused on a search for human remains in the oldest parts of the site, one and a half million years old.  In particular, they are hoping to find evidence of more prehistoric humans such as Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon man, of which they have found tools but no human remains, leaving a gap of some hundred thousand years.

After the dig is completed at the end of this month, researchers will spend months sifting through all the fragments they have been uncovering with the aim of reconstructing details of our prehistoric ancestors and the stories of the first Europeans to have walked the planet.

By April Holloway

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Myths & Legends

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

Human Origins

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

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Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

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Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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)
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