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Human Origins

Ancient Origins presents how human origins are explained through three different perspectives: a) science and scientific evidence, b) religions and creation stories and c) folklore and mythology.

Artist’s depiction of ancient hominids.

How Ancient Hominid Interbreeding has Shaped Humans Today

Over the past half-decade, ancient DNA research has revealed some surprising aspects to our evolutionary history during the past 50,000 years. Perhaps the most startling of these has been the extent...
A portrait painted by John Cooke in 1915 showing scientists involved in the Piltdown man case: F. O. Barlow, G. Elliot Smith, Charles Dawson, Arthur Smith Woodward. Front row: A. S. Underwood, Arthur Keith, W. P. Pycraft, and Sir Ray Lankester.

Piltdown Man: The scandal that delayed the study of human origins by decades

For a long time in archaeology, and even in the popular media, there was discussion of a missing link in the archaeological/paleontological fossil record between apes and humans. In 1911, Englishman...
A mushroom ring creating a circle on the grass. These rings were believed to be portals to the fairy realm, and areas of danger.

Do you dare enter a fairy ring? The mythical mushroom portals of the supernatural

For thousands of years, the sudden appearance of a ring of mushrooms was a sure sign of otherworldly presences. These rings would seemingly appear overnight, or travel from one location to another,...
Cro-Magnon man communicating with each other and producing cave drawings

The Origins of Human Language: One of the Hardest Problems in Science

How human language began has been a question pestering researchers for centuries. One of the biggest issues with this topic is that empirical evidence is still lacking despite our great advances in...
The tooth before it was removed. Credit: Musee Homme de Tautavel

560,000-year-old tooth found by student may be one of the oldest human remains in France

A volunteer archaeologist by the name of Valentin Loescher, aged 20, has found an ancient tooth at the Arago Cave, near Tautavel, south western France. He was working as part of an archaeological dig...
Ogdoad - The Place of Truth. Relief at Deir el Medina.

The Infinite Ogdoad: The Creation Pantheon of Ancient Egypt and Predecessor Gods of the Old Kingdom

The Ogdoad, also called the Hehu or Infinites, were the celestial rulers of a cosmic age. Considered to have come long before the Egyptian religious system currently recognized, the Ogdoad were...
The Gristhorpe Man: A Bronze Age Skeleton

The Gristhorpe Man: A Bronze Age Skeleton with a Story to Tell

On the July 10, 1834, William Beswick excavated a barrow on his land in Gristhorpe, North Yorkshire, England. What he found gave him quite the surprise. Beswick discovered a coffin in the shape of a...
Shinto painting from manuscript of Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Purification as the Core of the Ancient Shinto Faith

A ritual based religion, Shintoism is defined as "the way of the gods" in Japan, from the Chinese Shendao. It is the indigenous religion of the country, and survives today as the state religion,...
Matsya protecting Svayambhuva Manu and the seven sages at the time of Deluge

Startling Similarity between Hindu Flood Legend of Manu and the Biblical Account of Noah

In 1872, the amateur Assyriologist, George Smith, made a discovery that would shock the world. Whilst studying a particular tablet from the ancient Mesopotamian city of Nineveh, he comes across a...
Replica of 9th century Viking ship docked in Norway.

Did a Native American travel with the Vikings and arrive in Iceland centuries before Columbus set sail?

Scientists have been searching for answers on the puzzles of history by sifting through the genetic code of certain Icelanders. They have been looking to see if a Native American woman from the New...
'Pandora' by John William Waterhouse, 1896.

Pandora, the Goddess who Unleashed both Hell and Hope upon Humanity

Most people are familiar with the creation of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis. But the story of mankind’s creation in Greek mythology is probably less well-known, and is arguably darker in tone...
Abstract image depicting creation of the universe and mankind

The awesome, terrible, and unknowable creator gods through history

All throughout history people have invoked gods of various kinds, including incomprehensibly strange creators. Crediting an almighty god as the creator of the universe is an acknowledgement that the...
Ancient Book

Ancient DNA on parchments reveal hidden stories

Parchment documents--ancient writings on animal skins--record an immense wealth of information about the history of humanity and past civilizations. However, new research has shown that within these...
Khoisan busy barbecuing grasshoppers

Khoisan people of South Africa were once the most populous humans on Earth

The Khoisan, an indigenous population in Namibia, may once have comprised the majority of living humans on the planet, for much of the past 150,000 years. The Khoisan population declined about 22,000...
The Roman god Bacchus

The Roman god Bacchus as a Christian icon

Before the acceptance of Christianity, Roman polytheism was dominant in the western world. Rome's borders extended as far west as Britain and as far east as modern day Greece and Turkey. To help ease...

Optical Illusions: The Challenge of Tracing Human Origins

If tracing this lineage from our earliest ancestor seems inconsistent or spotty, that’s because it is. We have a makeshift model of human history that had been cobbled together by geneticists,...

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