writing

Famous stone head of the Olmec civilization.

Is the Cascajal Tablet the Key to Understanding Giant Olmec Heads?

Bryan Hilliard’s “Does the Cascajal Block provide evidence of a written language of the Olmecs?” published by Ancient Origins, discussed the finding by many Mexican researchers that the symbols on...

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...
The Fool’s Cap Map of the World.

Cartographic Comedy in the 16th century: The Fool’s Cap Map of the World

The Fool’s Cap Map of the World is an engraving of a map of the world, and is thought to have been made towards the end of the 16th century. This map is peculiar as it is framed within the hood /...
Base of the Emblem of Anubis (Dmitry Denisenkov/CC BY-SA 2.0), Papyrus (Pubic Domain), and Ka Statue (Photo: Heidi Kontkanen). Design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

A Curious Case of Linen for Papyri—Lifting the Veil off the Lack of Written Materials in Tut's Tomb

The tomb of the last ruler of the Amarna bloodline, the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun, yielded a wealth of anomalies: beginning with the tiny size of his burial place, the appropriation of funerary goods...
The Tărtăria Tablets

Are the Tărtăria Tablets Actually Written in Hungarian?

Archaeologists in Bulgaria have found writing that dates back 5000 years. This writing, found inscribed in clay, is called the Tărtăria Tablets by M.R. Reese. Reese makes it clear for Ancient Origins...
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...
An example of the Proto-Sinaitic script.

The A to Z of Alphabet Origins and the Most Ancient Written Languages

Writing is traditionally regarded as one of the requirements for a society to be considered as a civilization. Various writing systems have been invented by the great civilizations of the world, one...
Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

This year has provided an array of exciting, and sometimes puzzling, discoveries for archaeologists and ancient history enthusiasts. Looking back to our most ancient ancestors, a few of the...
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...
Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

Hidden in the Glyphs: Deciphering Bilingual Mayan-Olmec Text

In my book, Olmec Language and Literature , I explain how I deciphered the Olmec language. One of the most important documents used in my research was a Bi-lingual Mayan-Olmec text inscribed on a...
What Treasures Were Lost in the Destruction of the Great Musaeum of Alexandria?

What Treasures Were Lost in the Destruction of the Great Musaeum of Alexandria?

The monumental Musaeum of Alexandria was famous for its legendary library. The tragic story of the building’s destruction continues to be a painful one for people who love ancient history and...
Words from the Ancient Past: The Sogdian Ancient Letters

Words from the Ancient Past: The Sogdian Ancient Letters

The Sogdians were a people of Iranian origin who lived in the fertile valleys of Central Asia between the sixth century BC and tenth century AD. The secret to the Sogdians’ success was their knack...
Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

The ancient Egyptian language is not just one set of symbols which people find on papyri bookmarks at museums. It's a complicated system of symbols which changed over time. Moreover, the words found...
Translation of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Will Reveals Family Disputes Similar to Today

Translation of 3,000-Year-Old Egyptian Will Reveals Family Disputes Similar to Today

Unlike ancient Latin and Greek texts, Egyptian hieroglyphs have been mostly inaccessible for the average ancient history enthusiast. But this is beginning to change with a collection of texts that...
7,000-Year-Old Ceramic Fragment with Signs, Symbols and Swastika May Be One of the Oldest Examples of Writing

7,000-Year-Old Ceramic Fragment with Signs, Symbols and Swastika May Be One of the Oldest Examples of Writing

While excavating the ancient Roman site of Ad Putea in modern Riben, Bulgaria, researchers made a startling discovery – an artifact that they believe may be one of the earliest attempts of writing in...
Newly Discovered Ancient Roman Writing Tablets Provide Snapshots of Roman-Era London

Newly Discovered Ancient Roman Writing Tablets Provide Snapshots of Roman-Era London

Recently discovered ancient British Roman texts on wax-covered wood tablets with legal, correspondence, note-taking and accounting documents have been translated, and researchers are now releasing...

Pages

Top New Stories

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.

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.

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.

Ancient Places

Can Different Religions Peacefully Share a Sacred Site? A Temple Mount Tragedy
One of the major points of contention between Israel and the Arab/Moslem world is over the most sacred piece of real estate on the planet. At 37 acres, the Temple Mount is the focal point of prayer and contention for the three western religious traditions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. While Christianity has Rome, Constantinople, and Jerusalem vying for spiritual “seniority;” and Islam has Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem; Judaism has Jerusalem, and Jerusalem, and Jerusalem.

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.

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)