plant

Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist

The Cold Case of Alexander the Great: Have Toxicologists Finally Explained His Untimely Death?

It might be a surprise to learn that Alexander the Great was only 32 when he died in Babylon in June 323 BC. In a short period of 12 years as ruler he managed to create an empire stretching from...
Wisconsin Community Pharmacy supply of natural remedies

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Chinese Remedy Provides Effective Non-Addictive Pain Relief

With innovations appearing in our lives seemingly every day it seems that new breakthroughs in science are the only ones we trust. New is always considered better. With this prevalent thinking those...
Herbs to Kill or Heal? Was this 17th Century Faux-Book for a Poisoner or Apothecary?

Secret Stash of Lethal Poisons Hidden in 17th Century Book. Was This Really an Assassin's Cabinet?

When photos of the faux-book first began to circulate online it was considered a hoax. The image was featured on the ArtefactPorn subreddit and commenters quickly denounced it as a fake, a mere...
The Ancient ‘Plant of Immortality’ That Treats Over 50 Medical Conditions

The Ancient ‘Plant of Immortality’ That Treats Over 50 Medical Conditions

Known as “the plant of immortality” by the Ancient Egyptians, and treasured by numerous subsequent cultures, aloe vera it still known today for its many health benefits. For millennia it has been...
A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree

People In many countries around the world cannot imagine their cuisine without olive oil. Apart from gastronomy, the gift of oil from the magnificent olive tree is also used today for other purposes...
Archaeologists Are Surprised to Find a 2,500-Year-Old Cannabis Burial Shroud Found in China

Archaeologists Are Surprised to Find a 2,500-Year-Old Cannabis Burial Shroud Found in China

Thirteen cannabis plants were found covering the body of a man who was buried in Turpan, China, around 2,500 years ago. This is the first time archaeologists have discovered a quantity of well-...
An image of the god Soma and its representations.

The Secret Substance Soma: Bringing Human Beings Closer to the Gods

Soma is both the name of a god and a substance that is found in Hindu mythology. As a deity, Soma is one of the most important gods in the Rigveda . Soma is also considered to be a primeval being,...
The Blooming and Fragrant History of Roses

The Blooming and Fragrant History of Roses

Roses are one of the most popular flowers around the world. Over the centuries they have been a symbol of love but they also sometimes served as symbols in parts of royal coats of arms. The first...
An Elegant Party (detail), painting of a small Chinese banquet hosted by the emperor for scholar-officials from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Leaf Buds Discovered in Tomb of Early Chinese Emperor May Be the Oldest Example of Fine Tea

Archaeologists have identified the oldest known tea in the tomb of Jing Di, a Han Dynasty Chinese emperor who went into the afterlife well-provisioned with food, weapons, a ceramic-animal army and...
Main: Rowan tree, Glen Loyne, Inverness-shire (Geograph.co.uk, CC license). Inset: Celtic Rowan Tree fairy by Mickie Mueller

Woe of the Witches – The Elevated Flying Rowan Tree

Why were certain plants raised from mere utility to reverence in the collective consciousness of various populations from different cultures? This elevation from purely physical use to the realm of...
Men smoking pipes, Ottoman era, Turkey (Antiller / Flickr)

Medicinal Use of Narcotics Unearthed at Ottoman Archaeological Site in Turkey

A team of archaeologists carrying out excavations at Kaman-Kalehoyuk in Turkey found evidence of the medicinal use of henbane seeds. The seeds, which were found in an old hearth, have therapeutic...
Silphium - the ancient contraceptive herb

Silphium, the ancient contraceptive herb driven to extinction

As an institution of spiritual authority, the Catholic Church wields much influence over the attitudes and beliefs of millions of people around the globe. From scriptural doctrine to less refined...
The ancient origins of the ceremonial Kava drink of the Pacific

The ancient origins of the ceremonial Kava drink of the Pacific

The ancient origins of Kava drinking is known to trace back at least 3,000 years and is associated with both social and ceremonial function. It was, and is, highly valued for its medicinal uses as a...
Cork Tree

Pancreatic Cancer Treated With Ancient Chinese Medicine

Modern science has been paying increasing attention to the value and efficacy of ancient Chinese Medicine. A study earlier this year, for example, found that a Chinese herbal remedy involving the...
Bottle gourd

How the most important plant for Prehistoric Man migrated across the planet

The bottle gourd, otherwise known as the calabash plant, was prehistoric man’s most useful plant. It is believed to be the first cultivated plant in the world, and may have been domesticated even...
Alexander the Great

Who or what killed Alexander the Great?

In June 323 BC, Alexander the Great died in Babylon aged 32, having conquered an empire stretching from modern Albania to eastern Pakistan. The question of what, or who, killed the Macedonian king...

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Top New Stories

The Mayan Red Queen Skull. Image: INAH
An unexpected discovery of a royal burial inside a previously unknown substructure of Temple XIII in Palenque, Mexico, set off a decades-long archaeological mystery. In 1994, a young Mexican archaeologist named Fanny Lopez Jimenez was performing routine stabilization work on the temple stairs, when she noticed a small crack partly covered by weeds and masonry.

Myths & Legends

Lake Titicaca and Floating Island in Peru
Lake Titicaca has long been the center of various socio-political cultures in South America. The lake has seen many cultures along its shores, such as the Pucará (400BC-100AD) and the Tiwanaku (200BC-1000AD), and still remains a place of value and livelihood for the Uru peoples of the famed Floating Islands.

Human Origins

Lake Titicaca and Floating Island in Peru
Lake Titicaca has long been the center of various socio-political cultures in South America. The lake has seen many cultures along its shores, such as the Pucará (400BC-100AD) and the Tiwanaku (200BC-1000AD), and still remains a place of value and livelihood for the Uru peoples of the famed Floating Islands.

Ancient Technology

Five carved stone spheres from Scotland held at the Ashmolean Museum
The purpose of these, predominantly Scottish in origin, spheres is unknown, although simple theories range from projectiles to predictive devices and more. But the sophistication of their design and manufacture seems to point us to there being a more intelligent and scientific nature involved.

Ancient Places

The Sphinx and Great Pyramids of Egypt. (BigStockPhoto)
In Egypt, in the middle of 2013, I was on a very important job: the Giza Pyramids investigation through mathematical proportional applications. I focused all my attention on the three mysterious and majestic pyramids, without exception.

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)