plant

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...
Ancient Chinese Herbal Remedy

Ancient Chinese herbal remedy may be solution for chronic pain

A study published in January this year in the journal of Current Biology has provided evidence to support the efficacy of an ancient Chinese herbal remedy that has been used for centuries in the...
Gavdos - Ancient Plant used for Roman perfumes

Experts discover plant which is the mother of ancient Roman perfumes

Researchers have discovered a new plant growing on coastal areas in the eastern Mediterranean which is the maternal ancestor of Reseda odorata, a plant used in ancient Roman to make perfume and...

Pages

Top New Stories

Water for Camp, depicting the everyday life of Native American women, Charles M. Russell
According to Wired, scientists believe that ancient Native Americans living in California made their own plastic water bottles. However, they probably didn’t know how toxic the manufacturing process of these bottles may have been for their health. In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health a few days ago, scientists attempt to find out if bitumen, a material derived from petroleum, could have had a negative impact on the health of ancient Native Americans who lived in California.

Myths & Legends

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Ancient Technology

Water for Camp, depicting the everyday life of Native American women, Charles M. Russell
According to Wired, scientists believe that ancient Native Americans living in California made their own plastic water bottles. However, they probably didn’t know how toxic the manufacturing process of these bottles may have been for their health. In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health a few days ago, scientists attempt to find out if bitumen, a material derived from petroleum, could have had a negative impact on the health of ancient Native Americans who lived in California.

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)