Olmec

A depiction of Quetzalcoatl as a feathered serpent in Teotihuacan

The Rise of Quetzalcoatl: From Plumed Serpent to Creator God

Quetzalcoatl was one of the most important gods in the ancient Mesoamerican pantheon. Its iconic appearance is identified in the name of this god. Quetzalcoatl is a combination of two Nahuatl (the...
Mesoamerican ballgame latterly known as ‘Ulama’, using ‘Hipball’ rules

Playing Ball in Ancient Belize: 1,300-year-old Stone Panels Depicting Mayan Ballplayers Revealed

Archaeologists have deciphered two 1,300-year-old stone panels that depict ancient Mayans playing with large balls while carrying impressive fans. The panels were found at the archaeological site of...
The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First? Part 4

The Lost Knowledge of the Ancients: Were Humans the First?

Archaeologists and historians have produced a number of curious finds which still await a logical explanation. The story of man will appear in a different light if the answers are ever found. If the...
Famous stone head of the Olmec civilization.

Is the Cascajal Tablet the Key to Understanding Giant Olmec Heads?

Bryan Hilliard’s “Does the Cascajal Block provide evidence of a written language of the Olmecs?” published by Ancient Origins, discussed the finding by many Mexican researchers that the symbols on...
Examples of Olmec art.

What Makes the Olmec Culture So Unique and Alluring?

The Olmecs were the first true Mesoamerican civilization. There were small villages and groups of people in the area in which the Olmec developed but these societies are referred to as Pre-Olmec. The...
Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

In my book, Olmec Language and Literature , I explain how I deciphered the Olmec language. One of the most important documents used in my research was a Bi-lingual Mayan-Olmec text inscribed on a...
Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

The Bilingual-Mayan inscription of Comalcalco and decipherment of the La Venta celts and Olmec iconography allows one to understand much about the ancient Olmec religion and its cult associations...
Chinese Votive Sword Found in Georgia

Chinese Votive Sword Found in Georgia suggests Pre-Columbian Chinese travel to North America

In July 2014, an avocational surface collector chanced across a partially exposed Chinese votive sword behind roots in an eroded bank of a small stream in Georgia. The 30 cm artifact is possibly a...
Ulama, The Mesoamerican Ball Game

Ulama, The Mesoamerican Ball Game: Deadly Sport of the Ancient Americas

The Mesoamerican ball game is the oldest known team sport in the world. It was practiced by ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Central America and played almost a millennium before the establishment...
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate

The Ancient History of Chocolate, Gift of the Gods

In today’s society, chocolate is a commonly available food product, and comes in many forms, including blocks, paste and powder. Several centuries ago, however, chocolate was considered a luxury item...
The ancient Mexican Codex Borgia of the Aztecs, who came after the Olmecs but who also revered corn, shows Quetzalcóatl

Possible sacred maize object found in stream at Olmec site

Archaeologists have found an artifact made of jadeite at an Olmec site in Mexico that they think represents a cob of corn and that may have been offered to the gods. Corn was a vitally important crop...
San Augustin

European Dolmens in Colombia - The Mysterious Ruins of San Augustin

The San Augustin region is located in the upper Magdalena River valley and is framed by the Central and Eastern Cordilleras, raising to 2000m (6560ft) high (1). There are several sites to explore in...

Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

Ancient Places

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.

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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)