siege

Detail; The entry of Sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929)

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and...
Modern painting of Mehmed and the Ottoman Army approaching Constantinople with a giant bombard, by Fausto Zonaro

Orban: The Man Whose Cannon Brought Down the Walls of Constantinople – Part I

For 53 days, starting on Friday, 6 April, the forces of the Ottoman Empire shook what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire (known as Byzantium, or the Byzantine Empire) until they were able to breach...
The Byzantine coins found near Jerusalem have been dated to around the time of a 614 siege.

1,400-Year-Old Coins are the Forgotten Remnants of a Terrifying Siege on Jerusalem

Israeli archaeologists have announced the discovery of a hoard of rare Byzantine bronze coins from a site dating back to 614 AD. The coins were discovered during excavations for the widening of the...
Crusader Shipwreck Yields Coins and Other Artifacts from the Final Years of a Holy Land Fortress

Crusader Shipwreck Yields Coins and Other Artifacts from the Final Years of a Holy Land Fortress

Marine archaeologists have discovered some intriguing artifacts in the wreck of a ship belonging to the Crusaders in Acre, Israel. It dates to the time of the valiant last stand by the few remaining...
Thutmosis III statue and Ancient Egyptian military in battle

What Was in Store for the Citizens of the Besieged City? The Battle of Megiddo—Part II

Pharaoh Thutmose III pushed his 12,000-strong army towards the banks of the Orontes River. His scribe, Tjaneni, kept a daily journal in order to have the Pharaoh’s military exploits inscribed by his...
Archaeologists to Explore Mysterious Underground Structure at the Desert Fortress of Masada

Archaeologists to Explore Mysterious Underground Structure at the Desert Fortress of Masada

A team of archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have returned to Masada in Israel, after a 11-year hiatus, in order to excavate previously unexplored areas of the desert mountain fortress,...
Assyrian relief of a horseman from Nimrud, now in the British Museum

The Iron Army: Assyria - Deadly and Effective Siege Machine - Part II

Assyrian sappers (soldiers for building, demolitions, general construction) would approach the walls possibly under the cover of shield bears, the same type that protected the archers one could...
The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

The Iron Army: Assyria - Terrifying Military of the Ancient World - Part I

Before the famed Persian Empire, whose borders spanned from India to Thrace, there was another empire—the Assyrians. The Assyrian Empire, while much smaller than the future Persian Empire to come,...
The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian War Machine: The Immortals – Part II

The Persian war machine made empires beforehand look miniature. The Persians were able to take the best from all over the Near East and turn it into a force that could not be defeated for many...
The Persian War Machine: Organization and Command – Part I

The Persian War Machine: Organization and Command – Part I

The Persian war machine made empires beforehand look miniature. The Persians were able to take the best from all over the Near East and turn it into a force that could not be defeated for many...
Mural of siege warfare, Genghis Khan Exhibit in San Jose, California, US

Palms Over Baghdad: Tumbling to Dust during the Mongol Invasion – Part II

The Fall of Bagdad Hulegu sent messages to his commanders informing them to muster their forces and move on Baghdad. Baiju moved his forces from Rum via Mosul to cover the western side. Ked-Buka...
Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258.

Palms Over Baghdad: Riches and Fear during the Mongol Invasion – Part I

In 1253 CE, a breeze began to blow into Baghdad from the east. Unbeknownst to Al-Musta'sim, the Abbasid Caliph, this breeze would soon turn into a violent shamal (wind). This shamal was gaining...
A 17th century painting known as “Conquista de México por Cortés”.

The Fall of Tenochtitlan - Truly the End of the Aztec Empire?

The fall of Tenochtitlan is an important event in the history of the Americas as it marks the end of the Aztec Empire. This event took place on August 13, 1521 and was the result of a three-month...
Alaric entering Athens

King Alaric: His Famous Sacking of Rome and Secretive Burial

The Sack of Rome in 410 AD by the Visigoths is often regarded as an event that marked the beginning of the end of the Western Roman Empire. The man responsible for the second sacking of Rome (the...
One of the panels from the Lachish Reliefs depicting the Assyrian assault on Lachish.

The Siege of Lachish: History from Both the Victors and Defeated

The siege of Lachish was an event that happened in 701 BC. During this incident, the Israelite settlement of Lachish was besieged and conquered by the Assyrians. It is often said that “History is...
Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle

The Dramatic History of the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in Ukraine: From Castle to Prison

It has been claimed that Kamianets-Podilskyi is the city with the most places of architectural interest in Ukraine after Kyiv and Lviv. This city is located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine,...

Top New Stories

The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch’ (1892) by Paul Gauguin.
A belief in ghosts is held by many cultures (both modern and ancient) around the world. Some of these ghost beliefs are well-known, whilst others, such as those held by the Polynesians, are less so. In terms of geography, Polynesia covers a large area in the central and southern parts of the Pacific Ocean.

Myths & Legends

An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.
In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh water and served as the patron deity of the city of Eridu (which the ancient Mesopotamians believe was the first city to have been established in the world). Over time, however, Enki’s influence grew and this deity was considered to have power over many other aspects of life, including trickery and mischief, magic, creation, fertility, and intelligence.

Human Origins

Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.
Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of people that resist the status quo and insist, based on a particular literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew Bible

Ancient Technology

Representation of an ancient Egyptian chariot.
The wheel can be considered mankind’s most important invention, the utility of which is still applied in multiple spheres of our daily life. While most other inventions have been derived from nature itself, the wheel is 100% a product of human imagination. Even today, it would be difficult to imagine what it would be like without wheels, since movement as we know it would be undeniably impossible.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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.

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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)