Science

The field of Science has much to contribute to our understanding of human origins.  Indeed it is Science which has enabled us to explore the fascinating findings related to the fossil and genetic records of our ancient ancestors. So to the fields of palaeontology, anthropology, molecular biology and archaeology have vastly increased our understanding of human beings and the way they lived many thousands of years ago.

Typically, the scientific answer to the question, ‘Where did human beings come from?’ is often met with explanations about evolution and natural selection. We are told that humans share a common ancestral heritage with apes and emerged from a primate past through a process of random genetic variations.  Nevertheless, there is a growing body of scientists who point to ever more reasons for doubting the standard evolutionary story and who provide cause to look in new directions. 

Representation of a group of Neanderthals.

Toolmaking Teachers? Surprising Skills Shared Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

50,000-year-old tools made from deer ribs suggest modern humans may have learned tool-making from Neanderthals. Found in the southwest of France, these artifacts add to a growing body of evidence...
A Wa'a Kaulua (double canoe) of Hawaiian Nobility of the 18th Century. Polynesia was inhabited by skilled seafarers.

Where Did the Polynesians Really Come From?

Oceania was the last region to be settled by humans and the last part of Oceania to be settled by humans was Polynesia. Polynesians are famous for their voyages to remote islands in distant parts of...
The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).

7.2 million-Year-Old Pre-Human Fossil Suggests Mankind Arose in Europe NOT Africa

A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. The new...
Oasis

Paradise Lost: Gulf Oasis Was Home to Earliest Humans that Existed Africa – But What Forced them Out?

Before the Persian Gulf existed, when the last ice age caused the ocean level to drop 90 meters (295 ft) below our current sea level, “100,000 km (62137 miles) of land in this part of the world was...
Two actors from the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and...
Depiction of what the ancient 'Herto Man' may have looked like. His skull dates to 160,000 years ago.

A Serendipitous Skull Discovery in Ethiopia: Is This the Oldest Known Modern Man?

The El Niño weather phenomenon of 1996-97 wrecked havoc on many parts of the world; however, it also enabled one team of scientists to make an incredible discovery. When the skies cleared and the...
Prehistoric Man.

Are Humans Just Self-Domesticated Apes?

One of the greatest mysteries is the origin of the human mind. Why are humans so different from other animals? Why do we have languages, religions, complex political and economic systems, and...
Did The Neanderthals of Shanidar Cave Really Bury their Dead?

Did The Neanderthals of Shanidar Cave Really Bury their Dead?

There has long been debate among scientists regarding how Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals compared in terms of their cognition and intelligence. Some anthropologists believe Neanderthals were just as...
The Comet that Changed Civilization – And May Do Again

The Comet that Changed Civilization – And May Do Again

On 30 September this year the first human spacecraft ever to orbit a comet was deliberately crashed onto its surface in order to get the closest possible pictures of the enigmatic celestial body...
Ancient Sacred Sites Triangularly Aligned by the Footsteps of the Gods

Ancient Sacred Sites Triangularly Aligned by the Footsteps of the Gods

Ancient architects not only placed temples sharing commonalities according to perfect triangles, they did so from the sky and across vast distances. The Hindu Trimurti is the eastern equivalent of...
A particularly fruitful moment for technological innovation?

Why does culture sometimes evolve via sudden bursts of innovation?

Human beings inherit many genetic traits directly from their parents. However, cultural traits – tools, beliefs and behaviors that are transmitted by learning – can be passed on not only by parents...
Drugs in Ancient Cultures: A History of Drug Use and Effects

Drugs in Ancient Cultures: A History of Drug Use and Effects

The battle against drugs and drug usage rages on today and for good reason. However, with the near constant limelight that the ‘drug war’ receives today, it can seem like the most common drugs have...
They’re Alive! Megalithic Sites Are More than Just Stone

They’re Alive! Megalithic Sites Are More than Just Stone

It doesn't take much to stimulate the human body's electro-magnetic circuitry, in fact a small change in the local environment is enough to create a change in awareness. People who visit ancient...
The Great Deluge, a global flood. (1869).

Evidence of The Great Flood – Real or a Myth? Part I

The story of a “Great Flood” sent by God (or gods according to much earlier testimony) to destroy humanity for its sins is a widespread account shared by many religions and cultures around the world...
Deriv; A brickwork lion on the ancient Babylonian Ishtar’s Gate and Pythagorean Proof

Ancient Babylonian use of the Pythagorean Theorem and its Three Dimensions

Very much like today, the Old Babylonians—20th to 16th centuries BC—had the need to understand and use what is now called the Pythagoras' (or Pythagorean) theorem. They applied it in very practical...
Traditional ceremonial dress at Mount Hagan, Papua New Guinea.

Why are humans unique? It’s the small things that count

Can there be any more important a question than, ‘How did we get here?’ Of course, I don’t mean those books we all gawked at as tweens desperate to understand our transforming pubescent bodies. I...

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A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of genitalia, the phallus in particular, were incredibly popular motifs across a wide range of media in ancient Greece and Rome.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)