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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...
Terrifying Mesoamerican Skull Racks Were Erected to Deter Enemies

Terrifying Mesoamerican Skull Racks Were Erected to Deter Enemies

A skull rack, known also as Tzompantli in the Nahuatl language, is an object documented to have been used in several Mesoamerican civilizations, including the Aztecs, the Toltecs, and the Mayas...
Santa Elena Fort, one of the first in La Florida, 1576 (today, Parris Island, South Carolina).

Archaeologists Find Elusive 16th-Century Spanish Fort on Parris Island

Nearly 40 years after finding the remains of the 16th-century town of Santa Elena on present-day Parris Island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, archaeologists have discovered San Marcos, one of...
Did the Legendary Irish Milesians Come from Spanish Galicia?

Did the Legendary Irish Milesians Come from Spanish Galicia?

The legend of Irish Milesians is one of the strangest stories connected with the origins of these islanders. Where did they come from? Is it possible that the early ancestors of modern Irish people...

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Top New Stories

Two of the ancient Kilwa coins.
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 James Cook in 1770, who claimed the continent for Britain. But a series of unusual artifact discoveries over the last century may tell a different story.

Myths & Legends

Trailer for Ouija Movie. (BagoGames/CC BY 2.0) Insert: Ouija board on your skull: noe valley, san francisco (2015).
Ouija boards, also known as talking boards or spirit boards, are a relatively modern tool/game that strikes fear and wonder in the hearts of many people. Almost everyone has heard stories of someone connecting with malevolent beings or suffering unfortunate events following the use of a Ouija board. But what’s the real story behind these terrifying tales?

Human Origins

A Wa'a Kaulua (double canoe) of Hawaiian Nobility of the 18th Century. Polynesia was inhabited by skilled seafarers.
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 Pacific. Using outrigger canoes, they founded a society across islands stretching in a triangle from the Hawaiian Islands to Easter Island to New Zealand

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

Ancient Places

Antarctica.
On a chilly winter day in 1929, Halil Edhem, the Director of Turkey's National Museum, was hunched over his solitary task of classifying documents. He pulled towards him a map drawn on Roe deer skin. As Halil opened the chart to its full dimensions (two feet by three feet wide or 60 X 90 cm) he was surprised by how much of the New World was depicted on a map which dated from 1513.

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)