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History & Archaeology

We bring you all the latest historical news and archaeological discoveries relating to ancient human history. Read more history news from around the world here at Ancient Origins.

Prehistoric men hunting a young mammoth

New Discovery Shows Prehistoric Humans May Have Hunted Mammoths to Extinction

It has long been debated as to how our ancient ancestors were able to kill mammoths . In Poland, a discovery has been made that should throw more light how prehistoric hunters killed these giants,...
Limestone stela showing a man and woman standing next to each other, which shows signs of having been defaced.

Ancient Egyptian Carving of Couple Defaced in Revenge Attack to Deny Them a Happy Afterlife

Ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife shaped every aspect of their culture and society. A find in a 3,500-year-old shrine is throwing new light on the beliefs of provincial Egyptians. Experts...
Coast of Antarctica with centuries-old thicknesses off glaciers (sichkarenko_com / Adobe Stock)

Tiny Animals Discovered in Lost Lake Beneath 3500 Feet of Ice in Antarctica

Scientists drilling into Mercer Lake, a Subglacial Antarctic lake locked beneath 3500 feet (one kilometer) of ice have discovered the ancient carcasses of tiny animals including “water bears,” in a...
A selection of possible food in a Neolithic diet in the Iron Gates region, where people were still more reliant on aquatic resources.

New Insights Into what Neolithic People Ate in Southeastern Europe

With the dawn of the Neolithic age, farming became established across Europe and people turned their back on aquatic resources, a food source more typical of the earlier Mesolithic period, instead...
Detail of a mural around a niche in one of the Roman tombs found at Beir Al-Shaghala archaeological site in Egypt’s Dakhla Oasis.

Roman Tombs Found in Egyptian Oasis Reflect Cultural Blending Evident in Burial Practices

If they stayed almost any length of time, the ancient Romans left a cultural mark on the place they visited, conquered, and/or had extensive trade with. One way this makes itself known in Egypt is in...
Neolithic hunters used domesticated dogs as their hunting companions in Jordan.

In Jordan, Neolithic Hunters Used Domesticated Dogs as Small Prey Hunting Companions

11,500 years ago in what is now northeast Jordan, people began to live alongside dogs and may also have used them for hunting, a new study from the University of Copenhagen shows. The archaeologists...
coat of arms of the Tokugawa shogun clan is seen embossed on this ridge-end gargoyle tile off Hatsushima island in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture

Shipwreck’s Cargo Belonged to Most Important Shogun Clan in Japanese History

In recent decades marine archaeology has greatly expanded our knowledge of the past. A Japanese team of marine archaeologists has made an amazing discovery at the bottom of the sea. They have been...
Maya steam bath system artist’s image, Guatemala

The First Complete Maya Steam Bath For Ritual Use Found in Guatemala

Archaeologists at a major Maya site in Guatemala have been forced to rethink an important find. What was initially believed to be a tomb has turned out to be a steam bath. This is very important as...
Topographical image analysis has now revealed that the mummy is Nespamedu

When the Identity of this Madrid Mummy Was Finally Established, One of the Surprises Was a Swift Gender Reassignment

Often it takes many years before the full significance of an archaeological discovery can be established. This was the case with an enigmatic mummy that had been on display at Madrid’s National...
Don’t look so worried Cromwell, she’s just asleep. Thomas Cromwell’s wife and daughters died of sweating sickness.

What was Sweating Sickness, the Mysterious Tudor Plague of Wolf Hall?

Derek Gatherer / The Conversation In the first episode of BBC historical drama Wolf Hall , based on Hilary Mantel’s novel of the same name, Thomas Cromwell returns home to find his wife and two...
The hoard of copper axe and axe hammer heads from the 5th millennium BC is said to be Europe’s largest Chalcolithic find of its kind.

27 Pounds of Copper Age Axe and Hammer Heads is the Largest European Hoard of its Kind

Ancient societies’ ability to manufacture metal objects was critical in the development of civilization. This is why any finds of metallic goods or tools from the prehistoric past is so important for...
Illustration representing a ‘Bronze Age workshop in the 9 to 10th Centuries BCE’. A circular economy can be traced back as far as the Bronze Age, or perhaps earlier.

Circular Economy: How the Ancients Pioneered the Idea of Recycling Waste

Maikel Kuijpers / The Conversation The circular economy is typically seen as the progressive alternative to our wasteful linear economy, where raw materials are used to make the products that feed...
The Great Pyramid casing stone.

Great Pyramid Casing Stone Exhibit On Rocky Ground As Egypt Challenges Its Legality

The National Museum of Scotland announced that they plan to exhibit a marvelous block of fine white limestone that was brought to the UK in 1872 as a centerpiece in a new permanent gallery called...
The first clear example of an ancient Harappan couple burial.

Archaeologists Find the First Example of a Harappan Couple Burial

A rare discovery at an ancient Harappan site shows that death doesn’t even mean the end for some relationships. The couple’s burial stands out from others in a sprawling cemetery. Even in the grave,...
King Naram-Sin of Akkad, grandson of Sargon, leading his army to victory.

How Climate Change Caused the World’s First Ever Empire To Collapse

By Vasile Ersek / The Conversation Gol-e-Zard Cave lies in the shadow of Mount Damavand, which at more than 5,000 metres dominates the landscape of northern Iran. In this cave, stalagmites and...
Self portrait of Guda, a 12th century nun and female scribe.

Blue Pigment Found on Medieval Teeth Reveals Secret Existence of Female Scribes

The analysis of human teeth has become increasingly important in modern archaeology. A recent discovery of a set of teeth in a German monastery is revolutionizing our understanding of women in...

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