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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.

A handful of the medieval coin hoard found in Visingsö, Sweden	Source: Jönköping County Museum

Sensational Silver Discovery on Visingsö Alters Medieval Coin History

In an extraordinary archaeological find, at a medieval graveyard at Brahekyrkan on Visingsö island, Sweden, has yielded around 170 silver coins dating back to the mid-12th century, casting new light...
A Chinese prisoner who has tried to escape is lying on the ground while a man wearing a red jacket is cutting his ankles with a sword. Colored stipple print by J. Dadley, 1801.Source: Wellcome Collection/ Public Domain

Amputation Found to be Elite Punishment in 550 BC

A team of researchers recently completed a study into the origins of two ancient skeletons from China that were both missing parts of their lower leg at the time they were buried. Based on extensive...
The authors at the stern of the wreck where the standing bottom logs and stern are seen sticking up from the seabed, seen from the starboard side. Source: Florian Huber/Stockholm University.

Medieval Weapons Chest Amongst Spoils in Sunken Warship

New insights into warship combat platforms and a unique late medieval weapon chest have been discovered in studies of the Danish flagship Gribshunden/Gripen which sank in the Blekinge archipelago in...
Image and name of Cerdic, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Source: Paul Harper

King Cerdic of Wessex’s Burial Site Claimed to be Found!

More than a millennium after its mention in an ancient royal charter, the possible final resting place of Wessex founder Cerdic has come to light. An enigmatic figure from the same era as the...
The 4,200-year-old grave with the large stone designed to stop the “zombie” within rising once again. Source: LDA Saxony-Anhalt, Anja Lochner-Rechta / Miami Herald.

Bronze Age German Grave was Built to Hold a “Zombie”

There’s always something new in archaeology, it would seem. In an unexpected development, archaeologists performing excavations in eastern Germany excavated a 4,200-year-old grave containing the...
Stonehenge may map the changing seasons through following the Sun, but does it align with the Moon as well? Source: Magann / Adobe Stock.

Stonehenge May be Aligned with the Moon

A team of experts and organizations, including the Royal Astronomical Society, think they have found something unexpected. After careful research they have announced the possibility that Stonehenge's...
The colonnaded Roman road was found near Hıdırlık Tower, and extends to Hadrian’s Gate, another Roman-era landmark in the city. Source: Antalya Metropolitan Municipality / Anatolian Archaeology.

2nd Century Colonnaded Roman Road Unearthed in Turkey

During recent excavations along Turkey’s southwestern Mediterranean coastline in the city of Antalya, archaeologists have found something big. A partial section of a colonnaded road has been...
The Carved area of the Bone was completed deliberately by a Neanderthal, not as a byproduct of butchery or other practical applications. Source: Journal of Archaeological Science.

Carved Bone in Poland shows us how Neanderthals were Thinking

Nobody thought much of the bone fragment when it was discovered in the Dziadowa Skała Cave in southern Poland in the 1950s. It would take the better part of a century, and a brilliant new study, for...
Malta’s hypogeum Hal saflieni. Source: damian Entwistle/CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

The Incredible Sound Effects of Malta’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni

The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world. The subterranean structure is shrouded in mystery...
Left; The excavation site at Somma Vesuviana. Credit: Right; Augustus Caesar of Prima Porta statue. 	Source: Left; University of Tokyo Foundation.  Right; Vatican Museums/CC BY-SA 4.0

Villa Where Augustus Died May Have Been Excavated Near Mount Vesuvius

Archaeologists from the University of Tokyo has excavated what may be the remains of the Villa of Augustus, a first-century grand estate that was built near Somma Vesuviana, a town located in the...
A cast of the skull of Homo heidelbergensis, one of the hominin species analyzed in the latest study. Source: The Duckworth Laboratory/ University of Cambridge

A Unique Twist Found In Path of Human Evolution

University of Cambridge Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins -- and produced a "bizarre" evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage -- according to a new...
The lead coffin of the aristocratic Roman woman’s burial found in Yorkshire, Northern England. Source:  Leeds City Council

Previously Undetected Roman Remains Found in Lead Coffin

In an unexpected twist, archaeologists investigating a "truly unique and remarkable" lead coffin from Roman era Britain have identified a set of previously undocumented remains. Found in 2022,...
Pages of the Voynich manuscript. Source: Yale University Library/The Conversation

A Sexy Part of the Voynich Manuscript Is Deciphered

By Keagan Brewer /The Conversation The Voynich manuscript has long puzzled and fascinated historians and the public. This late-medieval document is covered in illustrations of stars and planets,...
Left; Carved pendant plaque of a human head from the burial. Right; Jade Mask in fragments. Source: C. Halperin/Antiquity

Ritual Burning of Royal Remains Marked Maya Regime Change

Researchers in Guatemala have unearthed fascinating evidence of a dramatic ritual burning of royal remains, pointing to a significant political shift in the ancient Maya city of Ucanal. This find not...
The graves, unearthed by a team from ERA Arqueologia in Portugal, held the remains of a man, a young woman, and an infant, all interred beneath limestone slabs believed to have been repurposed from monumental structures from the ancient city of Ossónoba. Source: ERA Arqueologia

Pre-Medieval Tombs Found in Ancient Roman City of Ossonoba

Archaeological excavations in Portugal’s central Faro, the country’s southernmost city, have unearthed three graves from the ancient Roman city of Ossonoba, possibly indicating a familial connection...
left; the recently excavated Greek-Illyrian helmet, Right; archaeologists extracting the helmet at the site. Source: Dubrovnik Museums

2,500-Year-Old Greek-Illyrian Helmet Discovered in Croatia

Archaeologists in Croatia have recently made a significant discovery on the Pelješac Peninsula, unearthing a Greek-Illyrian helmet that dates back to the 6th century BC. This find is the second such...
Earth structures were being constructed on Tongatapu around AD 300. Source: Phillip Parton/ANU

Oldest City Found on a Pacific Island Was Constructed in 300 AD in Tonga

With the assistance of data obtained in 2011 with advanced laser scanning technology, archaeologists have been able to identify the remains of a 1,700-year-old lost city on the island of Tongatapu in...
The Joyeuse Sword of Charlemagne. Source: P.poschadel/CC BY-SA 3.0

Joyeuse: The Legendary Sword of Charlemagne

The sword of Joyeuse, which today sits in the Louvre Museum, is one of the most famous swords in history. Historical records link the sword to Charlemagne the Great, King of the Franks. If it did...
Avenue of the dead, Teotihuacan, now thought t have declined due to earthquakes. Source: rafalkubiak/Adobe Stock

New Study Links Decline and Fall of Ancient Teotihuacan to Earthquakes

The reasons for the decline and abandonment of the mighty Mesoamerican city-state of Teotihuacan in the seventh century AD have long remained a mystery. There will always be a degree of speculation...
Some of the stunning Roman glassware recovered from the Nîmes site. Source: INRAP / C Coueret / Heritage Daily.

Discoveries Made in Roman Nîmes Include Stunning Glassware

During the development of a social housing residence in Rue de Beaucaire in Nîmes, archaeologists have uncovered a series of ancient structures including tombs and funeral pyres. These Roman finds...
The Swiss site in Gebenstorf, and (inset) some of the unexpectedly large and extensive Roman walls found by the initial archaeology. Source: Archaeology News / Cantonal archeology, © Canton Aargau.

Swiss Archaeologists in Gebenstorf Find Unexpectedly Extensive Roman Site

Archaeologists in Switzerland have discovered a large Roman settlement in Gebenstorf in the Canton of Aargau. The area is slated for a major modern redevelopment and the race is on to preserve this...
The excavation site on Jiigurru where the discovery of ancient pottery has rewritten the history of Australia. Source: Science Direct / Ian J. McNiven.

New Barrier Reef Find Proves Australians Didn’t Learn Pottery from Europe

A new discovery off the northwestern coast of Australia has rewritten the history books. Up until now the academic consensus was that pottery was introduced to Australia by Europeans. This has now...
The skull of the man found in Poland from behind. On the left the absence of a hard palate can be clearly seen. The photograph on the right shows how the gold prosthesis was fitted. Source: Anna Spinek; © 2024 Elsevier Ltd / Live Science.

300 Year Old “Exceptional” Prosthesis made of Gold and Copper Discovered in Poland

Archaeologists in Poland working on the excavation of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Krakow have found something new, described as the first discovery of its kind in the country. The body of...
The Roman bronze plaque measures only 26-28 mm in diameter. Source: Museum Vestsjaelland

Roman Era Bronze Plaque Showing Alexander the Great Found in Denmark

During explorations on the Danish Island of Zealand, a pair of amateur archaeologists unearthed a small but remarkable artifact. While using metal detectors to search for coins or other items at a...

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