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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.

King John’s final campaign in 1216 cost him his life and his crown jewels, but there is new hope the priceless treasure will be found again. Source: Charles A. Buchel / Public Domain.

Search is On to Find King John’s Lost Crown Jewels

The year is 1216 and King John of England, made famous as the usurper who faced off against Robin Hood, faces open rebellion from his nobles across much of the country. The ailing king is forced to...
During a survey in the Tunceli province of the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey, archaeologists uncovered two fortress settlements and identified two new open-air Urartian temples. Source: Erdoğan, S. ve Çakırca, D./IHA

Two Incredibly Old Rock-Carved Urartian Temples Identified in Turkey

Archaeologists carrying out an ongoing survey in Turkey’s Tunceli province in Eastern Anatolia have discovered two open-air Urartian temples inside two fortresses at settlements that date back to the...
Archaeologists in Brittany unearthed the ruins of an elaborate medieval castle and moat built in the 1380s. Source: © Emmanuelle Collado/ Inrap

Every Medieval Enthusiasts Dream: Dukes Castle Unearthed in Brittany

INRAP In an exciting revelation for both history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts, the long-lost Château de l'Hermine in Vannes has been unearthed, offering a glimpse into the grandeur of medieval...
Illustration of Paleolithic elephant hunting using spears.     Source: Dana Ackerfeld/Tel Aviv University

Stone, Water, and Elephants: Survival Secrets of Early Humans

Tel-Aviv University Archaeologists from Tel Aviv University have uncovered the mystery surrounding extensive Paleolithic stone quarrying and tool-making sites: Why did Homo erectus repeatedly revisit...
Replica of the Hallaton Helmet. The original is set to be displayed at the Harborough Museum in Leicestershire, UK.	(Inset; the original helmet) Source: Harborough Museum (Inset; CC BY 2.0)

The 2,000-year-old Hallaton Helmet Is Reborn in Beautiful Reproduction

A Roman cavalry helmet, initially called a ‘rusty bucket’ has been replicated to show its former glory, 23 years after the original was found in a field in Leicestershire, England. The Hallaton...
Painting of a fierce Amazonian woman leading her army into battle. Source: Pana/Adobe Stock

Burials in Azerbaijan Point to the Existence of Mythical Amazonian Women!

The legendary Amazons of ancient Greece emerged in classical literature around 3,000 years ago, notably mentioned in the 8th century BC in the Iliad. Despite their early literary presence, the dearth...
Inventory of the Tetepilco church.   Source: Photo: ©SC, INAH, BNAH /INAH

Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco Recovered in Mexican Church

With proven authenticity that links them to the transition period between the 16th and 17th centuries, three pictographic documents called the Codices of San Andrés Tetepilco, among which one stands...
Representational image of jousting horses. Source: Public domain

Jousting Horses Ridden by English Knights Came from Mainland Europe

Jousting was a popular sport among elites in medieval England, as anyone who has ever read a book or watched a movie about English knights in the Middle Ages is well aware. Jousters wore thick armor...
An amphora at the bottom of Kerpe’s ancient harbor in the Black Sea. Source: IHA / Anatolian Archaeology.

First Ever Scientific Underwater Excavation of Black Sea Reveals Ancient Harbor

In 2020, the first ever scientific underwater excavation ever undertaken in the Black Sea was started. Now, the results of that expedition are coming to light, revealing millennia-old artifacts and...
The foodstuffs found on the obsidian blades at Anakena in Rapa Nui suggest the islanders made the voyage to South America and returned. Source: F.C.G. / Adobe Stock.

Rapa Nui Obsidian Discovery: Did the Islanders sail to America?

It has long been thought that the people of Rapa Nui (popularly called Easter Island) lived a largely isolated existence, cut off from other lands by the vast and treacherous ocean. However a new...
Bringing an Italian Vampire Back to Life (With a Brick in Her Mouth!)

Bringing an Italian Vampire Back to Life (With a Brick in Her Mouth!)

A woman who lived in 16th century Italy was buried in a most unusual fashion. Originally excavated in a mass grave of medieval plague victims several years ago, the woman’s skull was found with a...
Left; part of one of the murals, Right; Entrance to the mastaba. Source: Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities

Mastaba With Stunning Murals Unearthed in Dahshur Necropolis

In the shadow of the ancient pyramids of Dahshur, a remarkable discovery has once again highlighted Egypt's enduring legacy as a cradle of human civilization. Thanks to the diligent efforts of a...
Dinosaur tracks in highlight and petroglyphs circled by dashed lines. Source: Troiano, et al., Scientific Reports 2024

Dinosaur Tracks in Brazil Found to Have Petroglyph ‘Companions’

A study of a site in Brazil known for its dinosaur tracks has revealed stunning new details about previously unexamined petroglyphs (rock carvings) that cover the very same set of rock formations as...
The remains of the axe placed underneath Structure One at Must Farm Bronze Age Settlement. Source: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Must Farm - Britain’s Pompeii - Reveals Bronze Age Lifestyle of ‘Cosy Domesticity’

‘Archaeological nirvana’ has been unearthed in ‘Britain’s Pompeii’, a stilt village occupied for less than a year before it burnt out, over a tragic summer day 2,850 years ago. As flames engulfed...
The thousand-year-old preserved human brain of an individual excavated from the c. 10th century churchyard of Sint-Maartenskerk in Ypres, Belgium. This specimen is among more than 4,000 recorded in a newly compiled archive.                           Source: Alexandra L. Morton-Hayward/Royal Society Publishing

Ancient Human Brains Found Preserved Through Millennia

In a revelation that is stirring the archaeological community, a recent study has demonstrated that human brains can survive the test of time far better than previously believed. This finding, led by...
Left; Excavation of one of the oldest Neolithic boats ever found, labeled Canoe 5. Right; Canoe Marmotta 1, on display in the Museo delle Cività in Rome. Source: Gibaja et al., 2024 / PLOS ONE / CC-BY 4.0

Earliest Neolithic Boats Found in Mediterranean Date Back to 5,000 BC

Archaeologists and historians from prominent institutions in Spain and Italy have recently published their findings on five ancient dugout canoes retrieved from La Marmotta , an Italian...
Bronze swords and spearheads, recovered from the Warring States Period Cemetery. Source: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

Warring States Period Cemetery With Pristine Weapons Discovered in China

Archaeologists in China have made the exciting discovery of a sprawling cemetery from the Warring States period, over 2,200 years ago. They have excavated many ancient tombs and more than 500...
Part of a tomb dating to the Jin Dynasty found in Changzhi city, Shanxi Province, China. Source: Shanxi Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology/ China Daily

Three Jin Dynasty Tombs Discovered in Chinese Village Reveal History

Three brick-chamber tombs from the Great Jin Dynasty (1115 – 1234 AD) that were uncovered in China have been found to feature beautiful and intricate wall murals. Though subject to looting and damage...
Rock art at one of the 16 new archaeological sites identified in Tocantins, Brazil.	Source: Romolo Macedo/IPHAN

16 New Archaeological Sites Identified in the Cerrado of Central Brazil

The archaeology team at the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan) in Tocantins, Central Brazil has identified and catalogued 16 archaeological sites in the Jalapão region, east...
Some of the 22 looted, historic items that have been repatriated to Japan	Source: FBI Boston

Treasures Looted from Okinawa During WW II Returned Eight Decades Later

Seeking to correct an 80-year-old injustice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has returned a collection of looted cultural artifacts to the people of Okinawa, Japan. These artifacts were...
Excavations of the Neolthic burial mounds at Eulenberg have revealed wooden graves with multiple occupants. Source: LDA / Heritage Daily.

6,000 Year Old Neolithic Burial Mounds were Later Used for Ritual Sacrifice!

A complex Neolithic burial with two monumental mounds has been unearthed on the Eulenberg near Magdeburg, Germany. Dated to 6,000-years-ago, the year long excavation has yielded these two mounds at a...
Reconstruction of Ötzi the Iceman, flanked by the tattoo experiment which is believed to replicate how the originals were created. Source: Deter-Wolf et al., Exarc, 2022; Mannivu / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Does Ötzi the Iceman Have History’s Oldest Hand-Poked Tattoos?

Over five millennia have passed since Ötzi the Iceman was struck down by an arrow from an unknown assailant in the frigid northern regions of the Alps. But still the ancient frozen body has secrets...
A Ming Dynasty tomb, remarkably preserved, was discovered in Xinzhou city, located in Shanxi province. Source: Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology

Pristine Ming Dynasty Tomb Unearthed in China’s Shanxi Province

For centuries, the pale blue doors of a formidable stone Ming Dynasty tomb in China’s Shanxi Province have remained tightly shut, shrouded in mystery. Upon gaining entry, archaeologists were greeted...
Stone age remnants from Bergsgraven in Linköping.                Source: Östergötland Museum/Stockholm University

Bacterial Diseases Were A Lethal Threat During the Stone Age

Bacterial poisoning via food and water – but also via contact such as kisses – caused a lot of suffering during the Stone Age. Diseases that today can be treated with antibiotics were then fatal, a...

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