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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.

Left; Dr Frederica Gigante examining the Verona astrolabe, Right; The Verona Astrolabe. Source: F. Gigante/University of Cambridge

The Verona Astrolabe Reveals A History of Islamic – Jewish Scientific Exchange

Tom Almeroth-Williams /University of Cambridge The identification of an eleventh century Islamic astrolabe bearing both Arabic and Hebrew inscriptions makes it one of the oldest examples ever...
Left; Stele of a standing dignitary, with likely tobacco leaves his hair. Right; El Baul, acropolis site Cotzumalhuapa, Guatemala. under excavation 2006 Inset; 3 of the vessel tested in the study 	Source: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos/Antiquity Publications Ltd

Proof Ancient Mesoamericans Drank Sacred Tobacco-Infused Liquids is Found

In a new chemical analysis performed on ceramic vases recovered during excavations at the ancient metropolis of Cotzumalhuapa in southwestern Guatemala, a team of researchers from Yale University and...
Traditional farmers Ramón Nonato Tec Poot, Xuxcab, Yucatán.	Source: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center/CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

What Ancient Farmers Teach Us About Adapting to Climate Change

Chelsea Fisher /The Conversation In dozens of archaeological discoveries around the world, from the once-successful reservoirs and canals of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to the deserted Viking colonies of...
Greek Philosopher Pythagoras with overlay of woodcut showing Pythagoras with bells, a kind of glass harmonica, a monochord and (organ?) pipes in Pythagorean tuning. From Theorica musicae by Franchino Gaffurio, 1492 (1480?)	Source: Khuram Ibn Sabir/Adobe Stock, overlay Bibliothèque nationale de France/Public Domain

Pythagoras’ Claim of Universal Musical Harmony is Wrong, Finds Study

Ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras posited that "consonance," a harmonious combination of notes, arises from specific relationships between simple numbers like 3 and 4. While scholars have...
The discovery took place during works carried out in the north gallery of the monastery's Gothic cloister. Source: Department of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia

Medieval Catalonian Nobility Unearthed in Santes Creus Monastery

As part of the restoration works of the Gothic cloister of the Royal Monastery of Santes Creus currently underway in Catalonia, archaeologists have uncovered the ‘totally unexpected’ intact remains...
The collection of 16 mostly Roman offerings found at the sacred spring site in Anglesey. Source: Museum Wales

Roman Offerings at Sacred Spring Whisper of the Druids’ Last Stand

In a significant archaeological find, a collection of sixteen ancient artifacts dating back to the Iron Age and Roman periods has been officially declared treasure by H.M. Senior Coroner for North-...
Left, stacked bones of pre-Hispanic burial system; Right, complete skeleton. Source:  Claudia Servín Rosas/INAH

Stacked Skulls and Bones Show Intriguing Pre-Hispanic Funerary System

Investigators have uncovered a burial ground from the pre-Hispanic era in today’s Mexico, which exhibits unique burial practices and how they were carried out in the region. The discovery occurred in...
Millions of postcards made a mockery of Leap Day traditions which gave women the opportunity to propose to men once every four years on the 29th February. Source: Public domain

Women Have Proposed Marriage to Men on Leap Day for Hundreds of Years

Welcome to February 29th, the Leap day that comes around but once every four years! In the age of viral marriage proposals, the persistence of outdated traditions whereby men inevitably go down on...
Detail of the Roman cellar found in Frankfurt. Source: Thomas Flügen / Archäologisches Museum Frankfurt

A Roman Wooden Cellar Unearthed in Frankfurt's Nida

In the heart of modern Frankfurt, Germany, a new window into the past has been uncovered. The recent archaeological discovery of a full, well-preserved Roman wooden cellar in the ancient Roman city...
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...
Badami Chalukya Temples dating back 1,300 years were unearthed in India.  Source: (Public Research Institute of History, Archaeology, and Heritage PRIHAH)

Intact Badami Chalukya Temples & Inscriptions Unearthed in India

Archaeologists in southern India have made an amazing discovery, unearthing two temples dating back to the Badami Chalukya era. These 1,300-year-old temples, situated along the banks of the Krishna...
The hoard of ancient weapons found near Hrubieszów, Poland. Source: B. Bartecki /©Lublin Provincial Conservator of Monuments

Weapons of Germanic Tribes from Roman Era Discovered in Poland

In the now serene landscapes of Hrubieszów, on the eastern border of Poland, a remarkable discovery has recently emerged, casting new light on the region's ancient history. The find of likely...
Mercury figurine was discovered in Kent, England and dates back 2,000 years. Source:  © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Excavations in Kent Reveal Mercury Figurine and Roman Settlement

Excavations at Smallhythe Place in England’s Kent have revealed both a medieval shipbuilding site and an earlier Roman settlement. The latter yielded the unexpected find of the head of a figurine...
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...
The medieval soldier’s remains were found in Lake Asveja, Lithuania

Remains of Medieval Soldier Uncovered at Bottom of Lithuanian Lake

In the depths of Lithuania's Lake Asveja, divers and archaeologists uncovered the remains of a medieval soldier, a discovery of profound historical significance. This unexpected revelation provided...
The Braintree hoard of 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies, found in Essex, England.      Source: Noonans

Anglo-Saxon Pennies Auctioned For A Whopping $400,000

At a recent auction held at Noonans Mayfair in London, a hoard of 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies, discovered near Braintree in Essex by two metal detectorists in 2019, fetched a whopping £325,560, or just...
The ring found inn Jutland, Denmark whispers of unknown royalty from the Source: The National Museum Denmark

Gold Ring Hints At Unknown Royalty and an Alliance with the Kingdom of France

A metal detecting enthusiast has found a rare gold ring, which may reveal a new, unknown princely family in Denmark, which had close connections to the European great power of the time. The ring was...
Archaeologists analyzing the remains from excavations at the Cova dels Xaragalls burial cave in Catalonia. Source: IPHES-CERCA

Prehistoric Catalonia Burial Cave Reveals Over 7,000 Human Remains

Archaeologists in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, have unearthed human and animal remains and ornamental objects spanning from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age. The Cova dels Xaragalls cave, located in...
The ancient lipstick vial found in Iran. Left) the carved chlorite vial containing the cosmetic preparation. Right) image of mineral composition of the substance found. Source: Left: M. Vidale, Right: F. Zorzi /Nature CC BY 4.0 DEED

Ancient Red Lipstick Found in 4,000-Year-Old Vial Unearthed in Iran

Archaeologists studying a unique artifact obtained from an ancient cemetery in Iran have identified it as a small cosmetics vial made from chlorite. Most notably, inside the vial they found the...
A pit filled with heat stones from the rescue excavation in Heimberg. Source: Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern / Guy Jaquenod

Bronze Age Pits in Switzerland Reveal Secrets of Clay Production

Ahead of a new road building project in Switzerland, archaeologists excavated what they assumed was a Roman settlement. However, it was only when they discovered a series of pits filled with hearth...
The ground-penetrating radar car drives over the land at Utstein Gard on Klosterøy.   Source: Grethe M. Pedersen, AM / University of Stavanger

Archaeologists Find Evidence of a Viking Age Marketplace in Norway

By Andreas Vikøren / UNIVERSITY OF STAVANGER Klosterøy is an island in southwestern Norway known for its rich cultural heritage. Here, you can find Norway's most well-preserved medieval monastery,...
Researcher holding the bronze Irulegi hand inscribed in Vasconic script. Source: Aiestaran, M. et. al / Antiquity Publications Ltd

Bronze Hand Inscribed with Rare Vasconic Script Linked With Basque Found in Spain

A stunningly rare artifact found at an Iron Age site in Spain contains an example of the equally rare ancient Vasconic script. Dating to the first century BC, the artifact in question is a flattened...
Archaeologists survey the area near Trafalgar Square, London.        Source: © Archaeology South-East

Saxon ‘London’ Was Bigger Than Previously Thought

In a remarkable archaeological endeavor, the team from Archaeology South-East, a division of the UCL Institute of Archaeology, has made groundbreaking discoveries beneath the National Gallery at the...
Images of the exploration of the Bronze Age copper ingot shipwreck, at the Bay of Antalya. Source: Mateusz Popek/ Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

World's Oldest Copper Haulage Shipwreck Redefines ‘Wreck’

Scientists from the Center of Underwater Archaeology at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, have examined what is believed to be the world's oldest known shipwreck used for transporting...

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