petroglyph

Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
Main: Total eclipse of the sun taken on 9 March 1997 (CC by SA 3.0). Inset: The petroglyph in Chaco Canyon, which may represent a solar eclipse. Credit: University of Colorado

Peculiar Petroglyph in Chaco Canyon Could Depict a Total Solar Eclipse

Experts say an ancient petroglyph on a free-standing rock in Chaco Canyon could possibly portray the solar eclipse that occurred over New Mexico on July 11, 1097. The rare petroglyph shows a circle...
Hundreds of Tombs Found in Jordan Suggest Unexplained Cycle of Abandonment and Re-Habitation

Hundreds of Tombs Found in Jordan Suggest Unexplained Cycle of Abandonment and Re-Habitation

Hundreds of ancient tombs lay in the Jebel Qurma desert region of Jordan close to the border with Saudi Arabia. There are simple graves from the Early Bronze Age to more elaborate tower tombs and...
Researchers traced around the edges of the figures to reveal a hunter, a possible shaman (medicine man) and an ostrich, which are still hunted today by San people of Africa. If you look underneath the image, you can see some faint pecking in the rock that clearly show the prehistoric human and ostrich images.

Ancient Egyptian Ritual Image Predates the Rise of the Pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians built their first great monuments in stone beginning with the step pyramid of Djoser about 4,650 years ago. Well before that, around 6,000 years ago, a fine artist working in...
Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 4 – Investigating the Castle Crags Petroglyphs

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 4 – Investigating the Castle Crags Petroglyphs

In the previous articles about Mount Shasta's J.C. Brown mystery, we explored the prehistoric lore of the area, which at face-value could suggest that Brown's claim of discovering a cave containing...
Ancient Travelers or Local Artists? Who Made the Enigmatic Hemet Maze Stone?

Ancient Travelers or Local Artists? Who Made the Enigmatic Hemet Maze Stone?

Near the town of Hemet in the Reinhardt canyon of southern California there is a curious petroglyph known as the Hemet maze stone. It is a figure made of interconnected rectilinear shapes that form a...
New Rock Paintings Discovered in Machu Picchu

New Rock Paintings Discovered in Machu Picchu

More than 600 years ago the ancient Incas built a village in the Andes on the rocky outcrop that links the mountains Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu, at an altitude of 2,490 meters (8169.29 ft.) It is...
The ‘Elephant Slab’, (left) and sketched markings (right).

The Elephant Slabs of Flora Vista: Enigmatic Artifacts with Ancient African Origins

In Did West Africans live in the Four Corners Region of the United States from 12th Century ? , published in Ancient Origins, I discussed the Mande inscriptions found in the Four Corners region of...
Celestial Maps of Gegham Mountain: The Unique Rock Art of Armenia

Celestial Maps of Gegham Mountain: The Unique Rock Art of Armenia

In the volcanic Gegham and Vardenis Mountains of Armenia, architect Suren Petrosyan discovered unique and mysterious astrological rock art paintings. Experts have different opinions on the creation...
Giant rock structure in Monte Pindo.

Monte Pindo: A Legendary Celtic Olympus from Ancient Galicia

Monte Pindo is a mountain located on the Atlantic coast near Carnota, Galicia, in Spain. Every year, thousands of people visit this beautiful place looking to immerse themselves in pure nature and,...
(A) A map of the cave with prehistoric representations of volcanoes, including (B) and (C) the Chauvet-Pont d’Arc megaloceros and volcanic spray (Photo by D. Genty, drawing by V. Feruglio-D Baffier).

Stone age Rock Art in Famous Cave of Forgotten Dreams May Show Oldest Human Depiction of Volcanic Eruption

A team of researchers has theorized that rock carvings in the form of spray-like flourishes from a cone shape are the earliest known depictions of a volcanic eruption. The carvings and associated...
Top Ten Builds by the Ancients that Were Exposed in 2015

Top Ten Builds by the Ancients that Were Exposed in 2015: Stone Circles, Architecture, Petroglyphs, Fortresses and More

There is no doubt that our ancient ancestors were adept at creating beautiful and masterful structures. The features they managed to construct easily rival some of the most important works built...
An 1853 reversed image of Seth Eastman (known for documenting Native American life in the 1800s) on top of the boulder known as Dighton Rock.

Who Made the Petroglyphs on the Mysterious Dighton Rock?

Are the symbols on the Dighton Rock Native American? Norse? Phoenician? Chinese? Portuguese? Japanese? All or none of the above? There have been numerous theories about who carved the inscriptions...
Details of the limestone block on which the image of the Lady of Arlanpe is engraved. Figure 5 of the study published in the journal Oxford Journal of Archaeology.

The Lady of Arlanpe: First Paleolithic Venus of the Iberian Peninsula?

Excavations carried out between 2006 and 2011 in the Arlanpe cave located in the Biscay province of Spain have provided many details about the hominids who inhabited the area 17,000 years ago. Now,...
The line drawn around the painting makes it look like a flying creature.

Scientists debunk fundamentalists claim that humans lived at same time as dinosaurs

Researchers in Utah have used scientific imaging devices to verify that a centuries-old Native American rock painting in Utah depicts two people and some animals and not a pterodactyl. Some...
A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

A Window into the Traditional Sami Culture: Reindeer and a Worldview

The Sámi are an indigenous people with a rich cultural history. They have lived in northern Europe for thousands of years. The area they live in, Sápmi, includes the northern sectors of Norway,...

Pages

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

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 Technology

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)