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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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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.

Inscription on the Negau helmet B. Source: Peter1936F / CC BY-SA 4.0

Do the Runes on the Negau Helmet B Really Date Back Over 2,000 Years?

The exact origin of the runic alphabet is still an enigma for scholars, who continue in their efforts to deduce when it first appeared. Because of this, every new archaeological excavation that bears...
Example of a brightly painted antique papyrus, as could benefit from wasabi’s preservative qualities.	Source: Thomas Sztanek/Adobe Stock

Wasabi Is Innovative ‘Green’ Solution for Preserving Ancient Papyrus

Researchers have discovered a novel, environmentally friendly method for preserving bio-deteriorated painted archaeological papyri using wasabi. The study, led by Hanadi Saada and her team, explored...
Close up of the 4,000-year-old copper dagger found in Jarosław, Poland.	Source: Łukasz Śliwiński/PAP

4,000-year-old Copper Dagger Found in Polish Forest

By Science in Poland A copper dagger from over 4,000 years ago was found in near perfect condition in the forests of Jarosław, Poland. It is the oldest dagger made of metal ever to be discovered in...
Archaeologists discovered certain motifs in Patagonia, Argentina, dating back more than 8,000 years ago.	Source: Guadalupe Romero Villa/ Science Advances

Patagonia Rock Art Reveals Ancient Messages Transmitted Across Generations

Cave painting in the southern areas of South America may have started 8,200 years ago, several millennia earlier than previously thought. The cave art, located in Patagonia, Argentina, was thought to...
Rongorongo Tablet D engraved with the undeciphered script.  Source: (© Museum Archives of the Congregazione dei Sacri Cuori di Gesu e Maria, 3D model Produced by ERC INSCRIBE Project, based at the University of Bologna)

Undeciphered Rongorongo Script Found on Easter Island Predates European Contact

There has long been an air of mystery and intrigue surrounding a set of wooden tablets with writing on them found on the tiny, remote South Pacific island of Rapa Nui (more commonly known as Easter...
The project team at the start of work at the end of 2018 in the University Library's manuscript collection with (from left) Markéta Preininger, Korshi Dosoo and Edward O. D. Love. Source: Gunnar Bartsch / Universität Würzburg

Translated Egyptian Magical Texts Map Human Emotions

After five years of research two German scientists have published translations of a collection of Egyptian magical texts. Cutting through the love spells, curses and protection rituals, this work...
Excavations of a city wall belonging to the ancient city of Gan which existed near the modern-day city of Puyang in China. It was here that the bone slips were uncovered. Source: China News Service

Bone Slips Excavated in Central China Linked to Ancient Fortune-Telling

During excavations at a 2,500-year-old archaeological site in Puyang, China, a set of 10 polished and painted bone slips or sticks were unearthed, all of which were inscribed with an ancient Chinese...
Left; One of the Herculaneum scrolls that are being deciphered. Right; Text from the Herculaneum scroll          Source: Vesuvius Challenge

AI Tool Deciphers Herculaneum Scroll, and It’s All About Pleasure!

A team of student researchers have combined 3D-mapping and AI to decipher a Greek scroll that was encased in ash during the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The philosophical musing reveals Greek...
1700, Cellarius Map of Asia, Europe and Africa according to Strabo. (Right) Drawing of Strabo. Source: PicturePast/Adobe Stock, Public Domain

Strabo's Geographica: A Grand Tour of the Ancient World

Strabo, a prominent Greek geographer, historian, and philosopher born around 64 BC, left an undeniable mark on ancient geography with his magnum opus, " Geographica ." This monumental work,...
Images of Mysterious Rock Art. Source: JSirlin/Adobe Stock; ©John Wombell; ©Salima Ikram; ©Amit Bhardwaj/Times of India; Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Ten Mysterious Rock Art Examples from the Ancient World

Rock paintings and engravings are among the world’s oldest continuously practiced art form and are as diverse as the wide-ranging cultures and civilizations that have produced them. Depictions of...
The Bible tells an overall story about the history of the world.  Source: Pixabay/Pexels/The Conversation

Who wrote the Bible?

Philip C. Almond /The Conversation The Bible tells an overall story about the history of the world: creation, fall, redemption and God’s Last Judgement of the living and the dead. The Old Testament (...
(Left to Right), archaeologist Federico Bernardini and astronomer Paolo Molaro at Castelliere di Rupinpiccolo, holding what could be the oldest celestial map ever discovered. Source: INAF

Is This Really an Ancient Celestial Map, Or a Case of “The Selection Effect”?

A pair of researchers report they have identified an ancient celestial map carved on a circular stone at an Italian Bronze Age hillfort. But having taken several leaps of faith, and lacking a...
Example of bamboo slips, from the Han Dynasty. 	Source: CC BY-SA 4.0

Ancient Esoteric Knowledge Translated From Chinese Bamboo Texts

In what is being described as “a groundbreaking discovery,” scholars from China’s Tsinghua University have successfully translated the mystical texts inscribed on 2,500-year-old bamboo slips. The...
A hooded scribe working on an ancient manuscript.  Source: UniverseInside / Adobe Stock

Top 10 Mysterious Ancient Manuscripts and Inscriptions Yet to be Deciphered

While exploring the enigmatic depths of ancient history, scholars often stumble upon cryptic relics, among which lie manuscripts that continue to defy the most skilled scholars and linguists. The...
Rakau Momori Moriori tree carvings. Source: Royston Vasey / CC BY-SA 3.0

Endangered Heritage: The Rakau Momori Tree Carvings of the Moriori

Wood carving, or whakairo , has a long and rich history in Maori culture. Traditionally, Maori artisans, utilizing woods like totara, kauri and pohutukawa, crafted intricate designs laden with...
Ernst Stötzner during scanning a cuneiform tablet in order to decipher the text.  Source: Maike Glöckner/Uni Halle

Ancient Cuneiform Tablets Instantly Deciphered By Revolutionary Methods

New artificial intelligence software is now able to decipher difficult-to-read texts on cuneiform tablets, almost in an instant. Instead of photos, the AI system uses 3D models of the tablets,...
Ancient magical grimoire with a dimly lit, mysterious background and captivating light swirls, emphasizing knowledge power and spell world. Source: XaMaps/Adobe Stock

Spells, Invocations and Divination: The Ancient History of Magical Grimoires

Grimoires are books containing magic spells and instructions for the making of amulets and talismans, but some of them also contained directions on how to summon and control demons. Grimoires have...
A depiction of the Great Library of Alexandria, a symbol of the intellectual epicenter of the ancient city of Alexandria. Right: Detail of Raphael's (1509–1511) impression of Euclid, teaching students 	Source: Microgen / Adobe Stock

What Made Alexandria the Intellectual Capital of the Ancient World?

The ancient city of Alexandria, nestled on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, held a unique and enduring status as the intellectual capital of its time. Its remarkable legacy as a hub for knowledge...

How The Rosetta Stone Revolutionized Egyptology (Video)

In 1799, amidst the ruins of Napoleon's failed Egyptian campaign, a French soldier unearthed a peculiar black basalt slab near Rosetta. Little did he know that this discovery would change the course...
The Book of Deer contains notes in the margin which are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and hinted at the location of the monastery where they were written. Source: The Book of Deer Project

Lost Monastery Tied to Oldest Scottish Text “Book of Deer” Unearthed

A monastery, where the earliest surviving Scots Gaelic text was once noted within the margins of a significant Scottish manuscript called the Book of Deer , disappeared from the pages of history...
Circles are also very common and in many cases were made to ward off evil. Source: Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project

Mysteries of Medieval Graffiti in England Investigated

The Lincoln Medieval Graffiti Project was founded in England back in 2013 to record the plethora of medieval graffiti found in churches throughout the county. According to the BBC , the strange...
Ancient Egyptian woman. Source: Denis / Adobe Stock.

What Hieroglyphics Say About the Women of Ancient Egypt (Video)

In the midst of Karnak's grandeur and prosperity, there's a revelation that challenges conventional wisdom. Images etched on tomb walls unveil a remarkable narrative of female influence in ancient...
Ancient biblical text. Source:  SVasco / Adobe Stock.

The Texts That Rocked the Foundations of Christianity (Video)

In 1831, Robert Curzon, an English nobleman, left Oxford without completing his studies, symbolizing the restlessness of his era. Disenchanted with England, he sought solace in Egypt , captivated by...
Three stacks of French love letters bound together by a ribbon, were finally opened by Cambridge University professor Renaud Morieux at the national archives, Kew. Source: The National Archives / Renaud Morieux

18th Century Love Letters Written to French Sailors Finally Opened and Read

More than two-and-a-half centuries after they were originally composed, more than 100 letters sent to members of the French navy by their loved ones have finally been opened and read. The messages...

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