AncientOrigins



Ancient Origins News from Ancient Origins website - Ancient Origins seeks to uncover, what we believe, is one of the most important pieces of knowledge we can acquire as human beings – our beginnings.

  • Revealing the Identify of the First Female Ruler of Egypt. Hint: It Was NOT Hatshepsut
    by Natalia Klimczak on 18 gennaio 2017 at 14:48

    Today it is known that women appeared on the throne in ancient Egypt more often than many people believed just decades ago. The first known influential queens appeared with the first kings. This was long before the female pharaoh Hatshepsut took the throne. Their lives inspired queens until the fall of the ancient Egyptian civilization. For a long time, Egyptologists believed that women became leaders a few centuries after the reign of the First Dynasty in ancient Egypt. However, information about powerful female rulers in the first dynasties eventually became a well-known fact. This provides a beautiful tale about strong and authoritative women in ancient Egypt. Leaders Didn't Have to be Men It is commonly believed that to become a ruler in Egypt, women had to act like men, or even pretend to be male - as in the case of Queen Hatshepsut who ruled during the 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom Period. However, the women from the first dynasties of Egypt had a different situation. They were mother-queens, rulers, and probably regents too. Although it is impossible to reconstruct all the details about their times, one can suppose that their position in their courts was strong. Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (CC BY-SA 3.0) Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous Peo […]

  • Kumbhalgarh: The Great Wall You Have Never Heard Of (and it is NOT in China)
    by Theodoros Karasavvas on 18 gennaio 2017 at 3:49

    The wall that encircles the ancient fort of Kumbhalgarh is one of the biggest secrets in India, and possibly the entire planet. Guarding a massive fort that contains over 300 ancient temples, the little-known wall was said to be constructed almost 500 years ago in tandem with Kumbhalgarh Fort itself. However, a retired archaeologist now suggests another immense wall may be even older. Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • Political Intrigue: The Fake News that Sealed the Fate of Antony and Cleopatra
    by ancient-origins on 18 gennaio 2017 at 0:55

    The papers and social media are today full of claims of fake news; back and forth the accusations fly that one side of the political divide in the US has been filling the world with lies in order to discredit the other. We used to call this propaganda; now it’s fake news. Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • 600-Year-Old Buddha Statue Temporarily Emerges from the Waters, Reminding Locals of a Forgotten Past
    by Mark Miller on 17 gennaio 2017 at 21:49

    The head of a Buddha statue estimated to be 600 years old recently emerged from a Chinese reservoir in Nancheng County, when water levels receded during renovation of a hydropower gate. Read moreSection: ArtifactsOther ArtifactsNews […]

  • Theagenes of Thasos: From Legendary Olympic Fighter to God-Healer
    by Theodoros Karasavvas on 17 gennaio 2017 at 14:53

    Theagenes was born in Thasos around 500 BC (or 505 BC according to some sources) and was meant to become one of the most dominant and famous competitive fighters that ever lived.  His impact while competing was so great that after his death he was worshipped as a god-healer. Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous Peo […]

  • The Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, Entwining Faiths and Generations
    by Natalia Klimczak on 17 gennaio 2017 at 3:44

    The tomb of the Biblical matriarch Rachel became the basis for many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim stories. The remarkable chamber located in Bethlehem is not only a part of cultural and historical heritage for three religion and a famous city, but also provides a fascinating story that intertwines generations. Rachel’s tomb was first mentioned during the 4th century AD when the young religion of Christianity was desperately searching for locations to base their cults. It was a period when Christians miraculously ‘discovered' many places related to Biblical figures. The identification of several of these sites is controversial, but that doesn't bother the thousands of people who travel to the Holy Land every year to reconnect with the early individuals of their faith. Who Was Rachel? Rachel was one of the most iconic women of Biblical times. She was the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, famous progenitors of the twelve tribes of Israel. Rachel was the patriarch Jacob’s wife. She died during delivery of her youngest son. She is known as the mother of Judaism, but is also an important figure in Christianity and Islam. Rachel is weeping for her children, 14th century fresco from Marko's Monastery. (Public Domain) Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous Peo […]

  • Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Grand Duke to Caesar – Part II
    by Cam Rea on 17 gennaio 2017 at 2:22

    Military adventurer and mercenary for hire, Roger de Flor was as shrewd a businessman as he was a skillful sailor and fighter. Through his rich services to kings and the elite, he established a reputation and became master mercenary of a dangerous force, the Catalan Company. Roger’s new promotion to vice-admiral by Frederick III (Fadrique), king of Sicily, and being given castles were both tremendous gifts that needed to be repaid in his mind. Roger decided to double his efforts and made his way to Messina where he equipped five galleys “and proceeded to scour all the Principality and the Roman shore, and the strand of Pisa and Genoa and of Provence and of Catalonia and Spain and Barbary. And all he found, belonging to friend or foe, in coin or valuable goods, which he could put on board the galleys, he took.” Roger made sure that any wealth taken from his friends would be repaid once the war was over. Roger also went out of his way to spare the lives and ships of his enemies. When Roger returned to Sicily with gold and grain, “all the soldiers, horse and foot, were awaiting him as the Jews do the Messiah.”  [Read Part I] Roger’s plundering along the Italian coasts would soon end, as King Fadrique made peace with Charles II. King Fadrique was able to keep Sicily, thus ending the war between Aragonese kings of Aragon and the French kings of Naples over the control […]

  • Archeologists Discover Ancient Burial Site of Infants, Scorpions and Crocodiles
    by Theodoros Karasavvas on 17 gennaio 2017 at 0:49

    A group of archaeologists excavating an ancient site in Egypt have uncovered tombs and crypts – dating to the reigns of Pharaohs Thutmose III and Amenhotep II – containing intact remains of infants, goats, cats and scorpions, as well as a mysterious crocodile skeleton. Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • Explorers That Found Ancient Lost City of the Monkey God Almost Lose Their Faces to Flesh-Eating Parasite
    by Theodoros Karasavvas on 16 gennaio 2017 at 21:49

    The group of explorers that discovered the remains of an ancient city in the jungle of Honduras while hunting for the legendary lost city of La Ciudad Blanca (‘White City’), otherwise known as City of the Monkey God Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • 24,000-Year-Old Butchered Bones Found in Canada Change Known History of North America
    by aprilholloway on 16 gennaio 2017 at 14:47

    Archaeologists have found a set of butchered bones dating back 24,000 years in Bluefish Caves, Yukon, Canada, which are the oldest signs of human habitation ever discovered in North America. Until recently, it was believed that the culture that represented the continent’s first inhabitants was the Clovis culture. However, the discovery of the butchered bones challenges that theory, providing evidence that human occupation preceded the arrival of the Clovis people by as much as 10,000 years. For decades, it has been believed that the first Americans crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia about 14,000 years ago and quickly colonized North America. Artifacts from these ancient settlers, who have been named the Clovis culture after one of the archaeological sites in Clovis, New Mexico, have been found from Canada to the edges of North America. A hallmark of the toolkit associated with the Clovis culture is the distinctively shaped, fluted stone spear point, known as the Clovis point. These Clovis points were from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa (public domain). However, the recent discovery of bones in Canada that show distinctive cut marks supports the perspective that there were other inhabitants of America that preceded the Clovis. Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • A Symbol of Peace, Victory, and Abundance: The Millennia-Old History of the Olive Tree
    by Natalia Klimczak on 16 gennaio 2017 at 3:51

    People In many countries around the world cannot imagine their cuisine without olive oil. Apart from gastronomy, the gift of oil from the magnificent olive tree is also used today for other purposes, like cosmetics and medicine. In ancient times, the products of the olive tree were used daily for a variety of purposes and benefited many communities. The first evidence of olive trees is dated to the 7th millennia BC. The first known olive trees grew in the Levant, in the lands of Persia and Mesopotamia. The olive tree also appeared on tablets and pieces of wood hidden in ancient tombs. People who lived millennia ago saw the olive tree as a life-giving tree. It also provided one of the first goods used for trade. Early evidence of the appreciation and usage of olive oil is known from archaeological sites in Crete, Israel, and Syria too. Distribution map of the Olive tree. (CC BY 4.0) The first known commercial plantation of olive trees was created on Crete by the Minoan civilization in about 3000 BC. This idea by the mysterious tribe changed the history of Greece and the entire Mediterranean Sea area. Read moreSection: NewsHistory […]

  • Ancient Syria: Another Cradle of Civilization?
    by Caleb Strom on 16 gennaio 2017 at 0:51

    Traditionally, it has been thought that civilization in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean began in two centers, Sumer in the east between the Tigris and Euphrates, and Egypt in the west along the Nile. The earliest cities are believed to have been built in the flood plains of southern Mesopotamia during the mid-4th millennium BC. There is, however, some evidence that complex urban centers such as Tell Brak were already being built in ancient Syria at the same time. This has led some archaeologists to suggest that civilization began in the north independently of the southern Mesopotamian centers, or even before their emergence. Evidence shows that although proto-urban centers appear in the south first, they also arise very soon afterwards or simultaneously in the north, suggesting that ancient Syria is another center where civilization emerged independently, alongside Egypt and Sumer. Prehistoric Syria – Earliest Sites are 13,000 Years Old The earliest proto-agricultural site, dating to about 11,000 BC is located at Tell Abu Hureyra in northwestern Syria near the river Euphrates. Actual agricultural sites first emerge around 8500-9000 BC in the southern Levant. Tell Abu Hureyra demonstrates a precedence of large population centers in Syria going all the way back to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Tell Abu Hureyra, Syria. Credit: A.M.T. Moore Read […]

  • 2,000-Year-Old Carving and 16th Century Manuscript Reveal Some Maya Came from Across the Sea
    by Clyde Winters on 15 gennaio 2017 at 21:57

    The Popol Vuh, a corpus of mythological and historical narratives according to the Quiché-Maya people, and Izapa Stela 5, a carved stela found at the ancient Mesoamerican site of Izapa in Mexico, provide a fascinating insight into Mexican history. In fact, together, they may reveal that some of the ancestors of the Quiché-Maya came from across the sea. Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient WritingsNewsAncient PlacesAmericas […]

  • Aboriginal Australians Co-Existed with the Megafauna for at Least 17,000 Years
    by ancient-origins on 15 gennaio 2017 at 14:55

    Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction of this megafauna has been the subject of a debate that has persisted since the 19th century. Despite great advances in the available scientific techniques for investigating the problem, answering the key question of how they became extinct has remained elusive. Indeed, the same questions as those asked in the 19th century by scientists, such as the British comparative anatomist Sir Richard Owen and the Prussian scientist and explorer Ludwig Leichhardt, remain: were people responsible for their demise or was it climate change? Our new research, published in the latest Quaternary Science Reviews journal, shows that early humans to Australian lived alongside some of the megafauna for many thousands of years before the animals became extinct. The First Australians Many researchers have previously argued that the megafauna became extinct soon after the arrival of the First Australians. For example, it has been argued that perhaps firing of the landscape dramatically altered ancient Australia’s ecology. One species in particular, the giant flightless bird Genyornis newtoni was investigated and shown to have succumbed to significant habitat change and direct predation. Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy
    by dhwty on 15 gennaio 2017 at 3:51

    Amalasuntha was a regent of the Ostrogoths who lived during the Late Antique period, i.e. the 6th century AD. This was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when Italy was under the rule of the Ostrogoths. She was a strong and powerful woman who had her wits about her and made sure she got what she wanted, for as long as possible. Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous Peo […]

  • 2000-Year-Old Bronze Toy Provides Clues on How the Best Roman Chariots were Constructed to Win Races
    by Mark Miller on 15 gennaio 2017 at 0:48

    Toy models have fascinated kids since ancient times and the more realistic they look, the better. One rich kid in ancient Rome had a very special model toy chariot made of bronze. The model was found in the Tiber River in Rome in the 1890s and tells quite a bit about full-scale chariots used in races 2,000 years ago. A real Roman racing chariot has never been found, presumably because they were constructed primarily of perishable wood and leather, and any metal parts would have been reused. The toy model is now on display in the British Museum and has been studied by engineer and professor Bela Sandor. The bronze model of a Roman chariot from the British Museum’s collection. (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) The bronze model represents a two-wheeled racing chariot called a biga, says Professor Sandor in an article in the Journal of Roman Archaeology. The model does not include a charioteer and has just one horse instead of the usual two that a biga likely had. Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient TechnologyNews […]

  • Remaking the Mausoleum: One of the Seven Wonders of The Ancient World to be Revived
    by Alicia McDermott on 14 gennaio 2017 at 21:46

    Plans are underway to bring the famed Mausoleum at Halicarnassus back to its former glory. This is the second longest surviving ancient wonder, after the Great Pyramid of Giza. However, the ancient tomb of King Mausolus has fallen into ruins and little remains these days of the marvelous structure that once stood. Archaeologists hope that the reconstruction of the tomb and other local sites will help resurrect interest in the history of the region and bring the ancient tomb back to life. The Mausoleum is located in Halicarnassus, present day Bodrum, in Turkey. It was built between 353 and 350 BC as the final resting place for Mausolus, the second ruler of Caria from the Hecatomnid dynasty. The building was constructed on top of a hill overlooking the city and created with a mixture of styles from three different cultures – Greek, Lycian, and Egyptian. Mausolus’ grieving widow (and sister), Artemisia II, pulled out all the stops in the creation of his tomb. Ancient Origins writer Dhwty has provided a description of how the grand Mausoleum looked in its glory days: Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology […]

  • Curses and Cures: The Magic and Medicine Found on the Spectacular Metternich Stela
    by Natalia Klimczak on 14 gennaio 2017 at 14:52

    The Metternich stela is one of the most remarkable stelae related to magic and medicine in ancient Egypt. The text carved in the stone from the 30th dynasty is a fascinating source of forgotten spells and provides solutions to many health problems – especially those linked to poisoning. It is known that the Metternich stela was created during the reign of Nectanebo II, the last Egyptian pharaoh, however other details related to the origins of the artifact remain unknown. It is a part of a group of stelae known as ''Cippus of Horus''- a collection of stelae used to protect people from dangers like snake or crocodile attacks. However, this particular stela is one of the largest of its kind. It also has some of the best-preserved magical text from its time. Cippus of Horus stela. (Public Domain) A Traveling Stone It is believed that the priest Esatum traveled to Heliopolis and saw some inscriptions that were very interesting for him. As a person who knew how to write, he copied the texts and ordered they be carved on a huge stone block. When Alexander the Great built the city of Alexandria, this large block of text was also brought to the new capital. It was later found in 1828 at a Franciscan monastery. The stone was then sold to Prince Metternich by the ruler of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha. Following this, it was taken to Kynzvart Castle in Bohemia, where it remained for the […]

  • Roger de Flor and His Catalan Company: From Knight Templar to Pirate – Part I
    by Cam Rea on 14 gennaio 2017 at 2:15

    Roger de Flor was a swashbuckling military adventurer and condottiere (mercenary) leader of the Catalan Company. He was born in the city of Brindisi, Italy, which at the time of his birth was a part of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was the youngest son of Richard von Blum (Blum in German means flower), a German falconer who served Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and an Italian mother who was the daughter of an honorable and wealthy man (possibly a patrician) from Brindisi. Roger also had an older brother by the name of Jacob. Power Struggles The Royal Coronation mantel 1133/34 (dyed silk, gold thread and pearls, precious stones) of the Kingdom of Sicily (Public Domain) Not long after Roger’s birth, the Kingdom of Sicily was embroiled in a war between Charles of Anjou, the youngest son of King Louis VIII of France, and King Conradin (Conrad) of Sicily in late summer of 1268. It was during this war that Roger’s father, Richard, joined to aid in the defense of Sicily. According to the Ramon Muntaner Chronicle, Richard was “a man expert in arms and wished to fight in the battle.” On 23 August 1268, the supporters of Conradin and the army of Charles of Anjou meet at Scurcola Marsicana province of L'Aquila, present-day Italy, in what is known as the Battle of Tagliacozzo. Read moreSection: NewsHistory […]

  • Ragnarok: The Rainbow Bridge that Connects Heaven and Earth at the Caribbean Basin – Part II
    by Brad Yoon on 14 gennaio 2017 at 0:49

    According to the Old Norse philologist Rudolf Simek and religious historian Mircea Eliade, Ragnarök marks the end of a cosmic cycle that will repeat ad infinitum. I argue that the Norsemen also preserve the account of a strange and wonderful land doomed to destruction Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsAncient PlacesAmericasOpinionGuest Authors […]