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Ancient Writings

There are literally thousands of incredible texts that have survived from the ancient world, which are etched onto copper, beautifully inscribed on papyrus, chipped onto tablets, and even written using the ink of ground down gold and precious stones. Here we feature many ancient writings, which have served to open a window onto the daily lives of our ancestors and enhanced the knowledge we hold about our ancient past.

Ancient Travels to the Americas or a Modern Forgery? Who Made the Bat Creek Inscription?

Ancient Travels to the Americas or a Modern Forgery? Who Made the Bat Creek Inscription?

The Bat Creek stone was discovered in a small mound near Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. The archaeologists who dug it up in 1889 discovered a small stone tablet engraved with several mysterious...
The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The Northern Mysteries Current: Futhark and Mystery Schools of the Viking Age

The existence of mystery schools in the Viking Age (800-1200 CE) is deduced from myth and folklore. The poems of the Edda display the structure and content of cultic texts used within the framework...
Witch of Endor by Nikolai Ge, 1857.

Ancient Witchcraft and the Spell of the Pella Curse Tablet

In the first half of the 4th century someone wrote a text in Doric Greek idiom. This text became known as the Pella curse tablet. Over the centuries, it became a key object in the argument supporting...
3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis

3 Problems to Remember When Trying to Find Atlantis

It is perhaps the greatest unsolved mystery of all time: Did the lost city of Atlantis actually exist? And if it did once exist, where was it located before its watery demise? Fortunately, the...
The Invitation of the Varangians.

Tracing the Paths of the Vikings Through Their Graffiti

One of the things that the Vikings are renowned for is their seafaring abilities. As a result of their expertise in this field, the Vikings were able to travel around Europe (and beyond) via various...
Deriv; Bust of Plato, map of Santorini, 1703, underwater ruin.

Atlantis: Examining the Legendary Tale of Plato

Around 360 BC, in his dialogues of Timaeus and Critias , the Greek philosopher Plato introduced an incredible story, a tale of an enigmatic island civilization which has since captivated the...
Page from Serat Babat Tanah Jawi, the Chronicle of Java, Inset: King Jayabaya

Jayabaya — The Seer King of Java who Predicted the Dutch and Japanese Occupation of Indonesia

Nostradamus (1503 – 1566) was best known as an author of prophesies. He is credited by some with predicting a number of events in world history, including the French Revolution, the atom bomb, the...
The story of King Tang (Ta Ji), the dynasty, in a 17th-century painting Shang Dynasty (Public Domain)

Reading Oracle Bones and Writing the Future in the Shang Dynasty

Oracle bones (known in Chinese as 甲骨, transliterated as ‘jiǎ gǔ’, and literally translated as ‘shells and bones’) are a type of artifact best known for its association with the Shang Dynasty (roughly...
A photo showing some stelae found with Arabic inscriptions.

Archaeologists Discover that Earliest Known Arabic Writing Was Penned by a Christian

The oldest known Arabic writing found in Saudi Arabia, from ca. 470 AD belong to a Christian context and predates the advent of Islam with 150 years. In December 2015, researchers from a French-Saudi...
Aerial Photograph (Photo Copyright South American Pictures 1978) and Illustration “Mysterious Holes of Peru”

Does Socos Pampa Geoglyph Reveal Nasca Lines Were Made Centuries Before Nasca Culture?

Ancient Origins Guest Writer, William James Veall, completes his Opinion Piece trilogy by cementing together two earlier articles concerning " The Mysterious Holes of Peru " and " Seafarers from the...
Traité des Fardements et Confitures, Lyon 1556.

Treatise on Make-up and Jam: A Bestselling Cookbook by Nostradamus

It is undeniable that Michel de Nostredame (more commonly known as Nostradamus) is most renowned for his published collection of prophecies known as Les Prophéties , or in English as The Prophecies...
Opening from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, 1440. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Beautiful, Decorative, and Sometimes Crude: Illuminated Manuscripts and Marginalia

Illuminated manuscripts are manuscripts that are covered with painted ornaments presented under several forms. These documents are perhaps most commonly associated with the European Middle Ages...
“The Alchymist, in Search of the Philosopher's Stone” by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1771.

From Magic to Science: The Intriguing Ritual and Powerful Work of Alchemy

Throughout time, history has recorded numerous rituals and magic practices, some more bizarre than others. While alchemists were preoccupied with finding the Philosopher's Stone and the elixir of...
Burning witches and holding others in the Stocks, 14th century.

The Malleus Maleficarum: A Medieval Manual for Witch Hunters

The Salem witch trials, which began in 1692 in Salem Village, Massachusetts bay colony, are one of the most well-known and notorious witch trials in history. Yet, this was not the only case of these...
Painting entitled ‘Abulcasis blistering a patient in the hospital at Cordova.’

Al-Zahrawi: The Legacy of the Father of Modern Surgery

The period from the 8th century until the 13th century AD is commonly referred to as the Islamic Golden Age. During this era, the Islamic world produced numerous scholars who contributed greatly to...
The Laguna Copperplate Inscription.

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription: An Ancient Text That Changed the Perception of the History of the Philippines

The Laguna Copperplate Inscription is the name of an inscription written on an artifact that has great significance for the understanding of the history of the Philippines during the 10th century AD...

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