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Hatun Tópac; Viracocha, Portraits of Inca Kings, and Inca Tunic (Public Domain), Machu Picchu

Origin Myths of the Inca Civilization & Piecing Together Royal Heritage

According to most historical accounts, especially those collected by the early Spanish chroniclers of the 16th century, and just after the destructive efforts of the conquistadors, the Inca were...
Guifré el Pilós (Wilfred the Hairy), Founder of Catalonia, Slaying a Dragon. Cathedral of Barcelona. Spain.

10 Historic Reasons Catalonia is Fighting for Independence from Spain

On Sunday 1st October, a referendum for independence – deemed illegal by the Spanish government – was held in Catalonia, an autonomous Spanish region, with 90% of Catalans choosing independence from...
Bearded Gods of the Americas Were Jesus Resurrected?! Maybe. But Why is the Plumed Serpent Ubiquitous?

Bearded Gods of the Americas Were Jesus Resurrected?! Maybe. But Why is the Plumed Serpent Ubiquitous?

It is claimed by some authors that white missionaries or "gods" visited America before Christopher Columbus. Authors usually quote from mythology and legends which discuss ancient gods such as the...
Two of the ancient Kilwa coins.

Ancient African Coins Found in Australia Pose Interesting Questions About the Nation’s History

According to Australia’s established history, European adventurers and explorers were the first foreigners to step foot on the continent – first Dutchman Willem Janszoon in 1606, and later Captain...
The Spanish Armada, 1577

Will The Lost Fleet of Hernán Cortés And Its Treasures of the Aztec Finally be Found?

The search for the lost fleet of Hernán Cortés – the man who invaded and conquered Central America – is about to launch soon. Archaeologists suggest that the lost ships probably lie at the bottom of...
Burial at the Aztec site of Colhuacatonco belonging to the time of Spanish contact

Archaeologists in Mexico Unearth Evidence That Aztecs Resisted Spanish Rule Even In Death

Archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered what they speculate was a dwelling where Aztecs of the higher socioeconomic classes that fought against the Spanish conquistadors tried to preserve their...
Section of skulls at the tzompantli found near the Templo Mayor, Mexico City

Gruesome Remains of Aztec Skull Tower Discovered in Mexico Include Women and Children

Archaeologists have uncovered a tower of human skulls beneath the heart of Mexico City. The new find has given birth to new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after numerous...
One of the first cultures to have books were the Maya codices written on doubled-over pages and covered by a layer of "stucco".

The Maya Codices: The Precious Remaining History of an Eradicated Civilization

The Maya were a powerful pre-Columbian civilization who thrived between AD 600 – AD 800. They were literate, had a complex language including pictograms, glyphs, and phonetic representations. They...
Eilean Donan Castle, view across the footbridge, Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle: Idyllic Scottish Setting Carries a Dark History

Eilean Donan is a small tidal island in the western Highlands of Scotland, on which a castle can be found. This castle, known as the Eilean Donan Castle, is one of Scotland’s most easily recognised...
Bison from Magdalenian occupation of Altamira Cave. In black charcoal, c. 16500 – 14000 years ago.

A Pearl of Prehistoric Spain in Danger of Disappearing: Can the 35,600-year-old Art of Altamira Cave be both Witnessed and Preserved?

The cave located at Altamira was inhabited thousands of years ago and contains remarkable examples of sophisticated art from Prehistory. The first paintings appeared there most probably around 35600...
Trading Treasures and Curiosity: The Fascinating History of Manila Galleons

Trading Treasures and Curiosity: The Fascinating History of Manila Galleons

Every remarkable story starts with curiosity. That is the primary reason why people travel and want to discover new lands. It applies to every period in history, from antiquity to our times. The...
Preparation of a corpse, Florentine Codex Book 3

New Study Finds Salmonella Brought by Europeans Caused Epidemic that Wiped Out 80% of the Aztecs

For years, historians and scientists have said that much of the population of the New World died from infectious diseases brought by Europeans, for which the natives had little or no natural bodily...
Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

A pair of recently published studies point the finger at a deadly form of salmonella as the cause of millions of deaths in a 16th century Mexican epidemic outbreak. This cocoliztli (pestilence in...
Sunbeams illuminating a church

A Sacred Light in the Darkness: Surprising Winter Solstice Illuminations at Spanish Missions

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, nations in the Northern Hemisphere marked the winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night of the year. For thousands of years people have marked this event with...
Ahuitzotl: Powerful Ruler in the Aztec Golden Age

Ahuitzotl: Powerful Ruler in the Aztec Golden Age

Ahuitzotl was a tlatoani (meaning ‘speaker’) of the city of Tenochtitlan, and the eighth ruler of the Aztec Empire. This emperor reigned from 1486 AD to 1502 AD, a period which is regarded by some...
The Bold Story of Benito de Soto, One of the Last Spanish Pirates

The Bold Story of Benito de Soto, One of the Last Spanish Pirates

The history of the Spanish coast is full of legends about famous pirates. Some of them were real, and others imaginary. There were some pirates who became famous figures for the regions they came...

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Top New Stories

(1) Knotted tanned hide bundle before extraction of contents; (2) & (4) gold dinars; (3) signet ring with intaglio; (5) contents of knotted tanned hide bundle.
In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex.

Human Origins

Deriv; Ancient Celtic dolmen from Poulnabrone, Ireland and carved Egyptian deity Thoth
When ancient Egypt and Ireland are spoken about in the same breath it usually results in the rolling of eyes, polite exits and the sound of murmurs citing pseudo-history and new age babble. At least...

Ancient Technology

Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.
Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show depictions of vast work forces hewing blocks of stone in the hot desert sun and carefully setting them into place.

Ancient Places

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.

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)