Sumerian

Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.

The Powerful Enki: Epic Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian Deity

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...

The Exceptional Inscription on the Pokotia Monument – Evidence of Sumerian Script in Bolivia?

There is a very intriguing inscription on the back of the Pokotia Monolith. What makes it stand out is that it was written in linear Sumerian. Even more exciting is that it provides further evidence...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
A photo of the Kushim Tablet.

Leaving A Mark in History: The Oldest Known Named Person

The oldest named person that we know belongs to an individual from Sumer, one of the earliest urban civilisations in southern Mesopotamia, in present day Iraq. A person’s name is an integral part of...
Detail of The Adda Seal. The figures can be identified as gods by their pointed hats with multiple horns. The figure with streams of water and fish flowing from his shoulders is Ea (Sumerian Enki), god of subterranean waters and of wisdom. Behind him stands Usimu, his two-faced vizier (chief minister). At the centre of the scene is the sun-god, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), with rays rising from his shoulders. He is cutting his way through the mountains in order to rise at dawn. To his left is a winged goddess, I

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Leaving an Impression: Revealing the Intricate Story of Sumerian Cylinder Seals

A cylinder seal is a small cylindrical object with images, words, or both, engraved onto it. Sumerian cylinder seals would be rolled over wet clay to make an impression. When the clay dried, a seal...
‘Jacob’s Dream’ with Jacob’s ladder (1660-1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Hopes, Fears, Progress…and Maybe DNA? Unravelling the Real Meaning of Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is the common term (particularly in the West) used to describe a bridge that connects Heaven and Earth. More broadly speaking, the ladder represents an ancient symbol of unknown...
What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

One of the more mysterious symbols that has been found in ancient carvings is an image that looks uncannily like a handbag. The shape appears in depictions made by the Sumerians of Iraq, in the ruins...
Sumerians Looked to the Heavens as They Invented the System of Time… And We Still Use it Today

Sumerians Looked to the Heavens as They Invented the System of Time… And We Still Use it Today

One might find it curious that we divide the hours into 60 minutes and the days into 24 hours – why not a multiple of 10 or 12? Put quite simply, the answer is because the inventors of time did not...
Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

Instructions of Shuruppak: 4,600 Years Ago, A Sumerian King Instructed His Son on How to Behave

The Instructions of Shuruppak are a set of 4,600-year-old Sumerian proverbs given by a king to his son, which essentially set out how he should behave. The ancient inscriptions were engraved in...
The Kesh Temple Hymn: 5,600-Year-Old Sumerian Hymn Praises Enlil, Ruler of Gods

The Kesh Temple Hymn: 5,600-Year-Old Sumerian Hymn Praises Enlil, Ruler of Gods

Like many foundational inventions that we use every day, such as wheels and law codes, the Ancient Sumerians living in Ancient Mesopotamia, the so-called cradle of civilization, created the oldest...
The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece

The Descent of Inanna (known also as ‘Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld’) is a piece of work in the literary corpus of ancient Mesopotamia. This story, which was originally written in...
Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna...
Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

Bask in the Beauty and Melody of the Ancient Mesopotamian Lyres of Ur

It is unknown which culture was the first to create music, but a set of beautiful Sumerian instruments from the city of Ur provide us with some insight into the world of ancient music. They are known...
The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

In Sumerian mythology, the mythical Dilmun was known as the bright and pure land, a paradise where sickness and death did not exist. The land of Dilmun was filled with divinely ordained and abundant...

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Human Origins

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Ancient Technology

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Ancient Places

Entrance from above to the Loltun Cave complex
On the 3rd of January 1931, an article appeared in the Modesto News-Herald entitled ‘Mystery of the Loltun Cave hermit’. The article recounted the encounter between a man by the name of Robert Stacy-Judd and an old Mayan hermit, when the former got lost whilst exploring the Loltun Cave with several native guides.

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)