Ancient Origins

Virtual Reality Tracks 75,000-Year-Old Footsteps of Sahul Explorers

Representational image of the peopling of the ancient supercontinent of Sahul. Source: intueri / Adobe Stock

Newly published and ground-breaking research has revealed previously unknown information about the populating of the ancient supercontinent of Sahul, which once comprised Australia and New Guinea. This story begins around 75,000 and 50,000 years ago when about 3,000 brave Southeast Asians became the first humans to reach Australia.

According to a 2013 study published in Science, these “intrepid explorers” became the continent's founding population and the ancestors of Australia's aboriginal people. But the new research paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews has combined advanced demographic and wayfinding models to construct a timeline of migration across Australia.

The study was led by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage (CABAH), and was published under the title Directionally supervised cellular automaton for the initial peopling of Sahul. According to the researchers, the results are “surprising and have massive implications for understanding migration in other places and times.”


Ancient Engineering Saves Sites From Earthquake’s Wrath

Damaged Ottoman mill building in the Aleppo Citadel.          Source: Syria's Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums

Concerns have arisen for ancient sites after two earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria on Monday.


Proof Emerges that Neanderthals Harvested and Ate Crabs 90,000 Years Ago

Neanderthals were eating brown crabs like this 90,000 years ago.	Source: davemhuntphoto/Adobe Stock

New research has once again illustrated that the Neanderthals were neither primitive nor unsophisticated. It shows that Neanderthals living in a cave near Lisbon, Portugal 90,000 years ago enjoyed a rich and diverse diet that included healthy amounts of crab meat.


Ground-Breaking Tech Brings Us Face-to-Face with a Nabatean Woman

The Nabatean woman, known as Hinat. Source: Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU)

For the first time in history, a team of archaeologists, forensic scientists, and model makers working under the Saudi Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) have reconstructed the face of an ancient Nabatean woman who lived over 2,000 years ago. 


Gold Laden Hun Warrior Tomb Uncovered by Romanian Highway Project

Workers excavating the Hun warrior tomb which was discovered at one of several archaeological sites unearthed during the construction of a highway in Romania. Source: CNAIR / Vasile Pârvan Institute of Archaeology

Amidst the buzz of a highway construction project in Romania, a team of workers accidentally stumbled upon a historic trove of buried treasure and a Hun warrior tomb.


Caracalla Erased Hated Brother’s Memory Using Damnatio Memoriae

Geta Dying in his Mother's Arms by Jacques Pajou. His death at the hands of Caracalla has been remembered due to the subsequent use of damnatio memoriae to erase him from public memory. Source: Public domain

We’ve all had issues with family at one time or other. But the lengths taken by the Roman emperor Caracalla really take the biscuit.


Grand Neolithic Homes Dating Back 5,800 Years Found in Northern Ireland

Neolithic houses. Source: AI generated

In the past, archaeologists exploring near the banks of Lough Foyle in Ireland have found ruins and artifacts linked to the first millennium AD Kingdom of Aileach. 


Historic Monuments Including Gaziantep Castle Destroyed in Earthquake

The recently destroyed walls of Gaziantep Castle. Source: DHA/ Daily Sabah

The catastrophic earthquake of magnitude 7.8 that hit Turkey and Syria on Feb. 6, 2023 has caused horrific loss of life and injuries in 10 cities in the affected region.


Egyptian Obelisks Unplugged: The Lost Chord Divine

Egyptian Obelisks Unplugged: The Lost Chord Divine

The magic of ancient Egypt, with its megalithic monuments and the mysteries they symbolize, still mesmerizes millions of people 2,500 years after its decline as an ancient cradle of civilization. 


Jade Beauty: 15 Must-See Artifacts in Pictures

Stone Age jade axehead, Scotland, c. 4000 BC. Most of them were brought to Scotland around 4,000 years BC. Credit: Project Jade

Jade has been used by ancient civilizations for thousands of years, dating back to the Neolithic period. The precious stone was highly valued by the Chinese and was often referred to as "the royal gem."


Ancient Roman Road and Bronze Age House Remnants Unearthed in Devon

Ancient Roman road, Sherford, Devon. Source: AC Archaeology

The Sherford site in Devon, which is being developed into a new town, has been providing fascinating insights into the region's ancient history.


The Fragmentarium: New AI Tool Pieces Together Ancient Babylonian Texts

Representational image depicting ancient text being brought to life by artificial intelligence, such as the newly announced Fragmentarium AI. Source: Надежда Семироз / Adobe Stock

Artificial intelligence has now officially seeped into ancient history.


China’s Reed Flute Cave: A Natural Masterpiece with a Rich History

The Reed Flute Cave in southern China is a beautiful geological marvel. Source: Dennis Jarvis / CC BY SA 2.0

There are a lot of fascinating natural wonders in the world, but one of the most interesting is the Reed Flute Cave in Guilin, in southern China.


Uncharted Section of Augustan Aqueduct Discovered Beneath Naples

Top Image: Speleologists explore the Aqua Augusta, a Roman aqueduct that was previously the least-documented aqueduct in the Roman world. Source: Associazione Cocceius

Built in the early first century BC during the Augustan era in Naples, Italy, the “Aqua Augusta” is one of the largest and most sophisticated aqueducts in the Roman Empire. 


Oldest Bone Projectile Point in the Americas Found Stuck in a Mastodon’s Rib!

Prehistoric hunters. (anibal / Adobe Stock) Insert: The oldest known bone projectile point in the Americas. (Center for the Study of the First Americans, Texas A&M University)

Analysis of a 13,900-year-old bone projectile point has led to two major discoveries. First and most importantly, it is the oldest known artifact of its kind in the Americas! 


Seven Haunted Monuments and Their Violent Past

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted monuments in the world! This is unsurprising, given all the bloodshed it’s seen since the 12th century.	Source: Savvapanf Photo / Adobe Stock

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Historic monuments throughout the globe are said to be home to ghostly goings-on.


Marijuana for All that Ails You: Cannabis in the Ancient World

Marijuana and other plants have been used for medicinal, spiritual, and recreational purposes since time immemorial. The pictured Amazonian shaman uses ayahuasca ritualistically. Source: Ammit / Adobe Stock

Marijuana, also known as cannabis, has been used by humans for thousands of years for both medicinal and recreational purposes.


The Greek And Roman Agoras In Athens

Temple of Winds in the ancient Agora, in Plaka district in Athens (vaios karalaios/ Adobe Stock)

The word ‘Agora’ in ancient Greek means ‘market’ but the agora in a city-state or polis was much more than just a commercial hub, it was also the socio-political center, the verus locus social media platform where politicians and city-fathers gathered to discuss affairs of the state


Thornborough Henges: England’s Majestic Stonehenge of the North Finally Opened to the Public

The three connected earthwork henges at Thornborough. Source: English Heritage

As the culmination of several years of sensitive negotiations, the preservation organizations Historic England and English Heritage have finally secured ownership and full control of two-thirds of the splendid Thornborough Henges, a massive set of interconnected late Neolithic earthen monuments located near the city of Ripon in North Yorkshire.


Kayakoy: An Abandoned Ghost Town Opens For Tourismi

The abandoned and earthquake-damaged ruins of Kayakoy have become a tourist attraction. Source: Nullplus / Adobe Stock

Since the beginning of time, cities have been built and abandoned for countless reasons. War, famine, drought, and more have led communities to flee and relocate to regions that better suit their needs.


The Bjørnstad Ship: A Rare Window into the Nordic Bronze Age

The Bjørnstad Ship carving, Norway. Source: Sarpsborg Turist as/Visit Norway

Situated near Sarpsborg, Norway, the enigmatic Bjørnstad ship is a fantastic glimpse into the prehistoric, pre-Viking age of Scandinavia.


Analysis Reveals Secret Recipe of Ancient Egyptian Embalming Fluids

Embalming scene in underground chamber. Source: © Nikola Nevenov / Nature

Egyptian mummification has been a source of fascination for historians, archaeologists and scientists alike for centuries.


An Extraordinary Discovery: A Giant’s Ring of the Inca Era?

The supposed giants ring, with condor decoration. Source: Courtesy of Celso García Vargas / Author supplied

A long time before the Inka reigned, there were in those parts men in the manner of giants, as grown as they showed the figures that were sculpted in the stones. 


Giant Elephant Hunt Reveals Emerging Neanderthal Society

The elephants hunted by the Neanderthal groups would have been even larger than this African elephant. Source: peterfodor/Adobe Stock

New evidence has emerged that Neanderthals were more advanced hunters and gatherers than previously thought.


Mask or Masquerade? Skeptic Totally ‘Trashes’ Magical Pagan Masks

Opole-Ostrówek, wooden "mask" from the mid-12th century. (Karol Szott/Kamil Kajkowski, "Masks from Opole in the context of Medieval Slavic rites", Archaeologia Polski 66, 2021, fig.3). Source: Archaeologia Polski/ CC BY 4.0

For over six decades, it was believed that two wooden objects discovered in Opole, Poland were pagan Slavic masks used in mystical ceremonies held in cemetery woods.


LiDAR Reveals Medieval Fortress in Spain, Rewriting History

Northeastern view of the remains at Castro Valente, where the medieval fortress has been uncovered thanks to LiDAR technology. Source: Fernàndez-Pereiro & Sánchez-Pardo / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

An ancient 25-acre (10-hectare) fortified settlement found on a hilltop in Galicia was long ago identified as an Iron Age village, meaning it was dated to the period between 1,500 and 500 BC. 


Ancient Olympia: Site Of The Sacred Hieros Gamos

Statue of Hera and Zeus at Panathenaic stadium, Athens. (Sean Wallace-Jones / Adobe Stock)

Long before the Greek Olympic Games became the dominion of a male god, ancient symbolism was embedded in the Hieros Gamos (Sacred Marriage ceremony) practiced at Olympia, a sanctuary in a serene valley called Altis


New Insights into the Viking Great Army: Cremation Site Unveils Surprising Details

 Vikings woman with horse, the Norse invaders brought their animals with them. Source: selenit / Adobe Stock

The Viking warriors who invaded England in the late ninth century have long been a topic of fascination for historians and archaeologists alike. 


New Study Debunks the “Ruthless Vikings, Helpless Monks” Narrative

New study claims medieval monasteries showed resilience in the face of the Vikings. Source: Deivison / Adobe Stock

Medieval English monasteries didn’t just passively cave in to the long-running Viking attacks on English shores that culminated in the victory of the Anglo-Saxon king Alfred the Great. Lyminge


Anne d’Alegre and Her Dirty Dental Secret

The Skull of Anne d’Alegre, countess of Laval (1565-1619) equipped with hippo bone dental prostheses and gold wire. Source: Rozenn Collator / Inrap

Like many LA celebrities today, serious dental work was carried out in 17th century France to protect the smiles of perceived social elites. 


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