papyri

The Only Library Ever Recovered from Antiquity: The 1800 Scrolls of Herculaneum

The Only Library Ever Recovered from Antiquity: The 1800 Scrolls of Herculaneum

The Villa of the Papyri is the name given to a private house that was uncovered in the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum. This city, along with nearby Pompeii, is perhaps best remembered for its...
Aerial view of Thebes' Ramesseum, showing pylons and secondary buildings and the Medical Papyri.

Revealing the Ramesseum Medical Papyri and Other Remarkable Finds from the Temple of Ramesses II

The mortuary temple of Ramesses II is one of the most magnificent temples in the Theban necropolis in Upper Egypt. It was discovered by Jean-Francois Champollion, the same man who deciphered the...
Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Grimoires are books containing magic spells and instructions for the making of amulets and talismans, but some of them also contained directions on how to summon and control demons. Grimoires have...
The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: The Largest Cache of Early Christian Manuscripts Discovered to Date

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: The Largest Cache of Early Christian Manuscripts Discovered to Date

The Oxyrhynchus Papyri are a group of texts that were discovered at Oxyrhynchus (known today as el-Bahnasa), a site located in Upper Egypt. This group of documents is seen as one of the most...
The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The largest private collection of manuscripts is remarkable not just for the number of items it possesses (over 20,000) but for the breadth and depth of human history it encompasses. The Schøyen...
Newly translated Egyptian papyrus reveals evil spells of coercion, love incantations and healing recipes

Newly Translated Egyptian Papyrus Reveals Evil Spells of Coercion, Love Incantations and Healing Recipes

Some ancient Egyptian papyri have recently been translated and were found to be magic incantations intended to cast love spells, treat disease and force people to do the bidding of the person casting...
A papyrus fragment believed to contain lines from the Gospel of John, dating from A.D. 250 to A.D. 350.

Priceless Ancient Papyrus with Gospel of John Extract Found on eBay for $99

A scholar of early Christianity at the University of Texas has announced his discovery earlier this year of a priceless fragment of the New Testament written in ancient Greek – for sale on eBay with...
Scan of the Dinner Invitation

Rediscovered Papyri Fragments Provide Charming Insight into Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt

The papyrus fragments rediscovered at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library include a reminder for an invitation to dinner and a letter to a young man’s mother. The invitation calls guests...
2,000-Year-Old Scorched Scrolls of Herculaneum

Secrets in 2,000-Year-Old Scorched Scrolls of Herculaneum to be Revealed with New Tech

An enormous wealth of knowledge locked within hundreds of ancient papyrus scrolls scorched by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, may now be revealed thanks to new technology which may enable...
Extracting papyri from a Greco-Roman mummy mask, in hopes that early Biblical texts might be found.

Researchers extract Papyrus Text from Mummy Mask, revealing what might be the oldest known Gospel

A team of scientists claim to have recovered the oldest known copy of a gospel, dating back to the 1 st century AD, which they extracted from papyri used to create an Egyptian mummy mask, Live...
The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

Alexandria, one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, was founded by Alexander the Great after his conquest of Egypt in 332 BC. After the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 BC, Egypt fell to...

Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)