Tag Archives: Ancient Origins

Qin Shi Huang’s China: The Secret Tomb of the First Chinese Emperor Remains an Unopened Treasure

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

A kneeling crossbowman from the Terracotta Army assembled for the tomb complex of Qin Shi Huang (r. 221–210 BC)

The history of China can be likened to a majestic tapestry threaded with innovative technologies and embellished with the exquisite artifacts of a prolific culture. Intertwined in this more than 4,000-year-old history are the wars and periods of peace that have lent definition to the complex evolution of this most populous modern nation. Continue reading

Yakety-Yak, How We Do Talk Back: The Hydraulic Telegraph of Aeneas – Long-distance Communication of Antiquity

communicationThrough the ages humans have sought to communicate with each other. On a primal level, language developed out of necessity:  “Sabre-toothed tiger…run!” or “Fire…ow!” served obvious purposes and were intended to preserve the species. Memorializing their lives was a common force driving early cultures, and communication took many forms. Lacking any type of writing, people relied on memory, oral histories, art, monuments and other elements to document who they were.  The ability to communicate and record contemporary times became more important as societies evolved and grew. The passing centuries brought the realization that in communicating with others, there were limitations to perfecting a memory, drawing pictures and shouting to the next village (hoarseness being a little known driver of human innovation). As a result, the 3rd – 4th centuries BCE found the Phoenicians creating an alphabet and the Sumerians devising cuneiform writing (pictographs on clay tablets). The Egyptians were also hard at work recording their life and times through hieroglyphics. Here’s a look at some other advances we take for granted today that are courtesy of our ever-chattering ancestors[1]: Continue reading

Picture This! Ten Mysterious Examples of Rock Art from the Ancient World

Petroglyph attributed to Classic Vernal Style, Fremont archaeological culture, eastern Utah, USA.

Petroglyph attributed to Classic Vernal Style, Fremont archaeological culture, eastern Utah, USA.

More than 6,000 years ago people were telling stories, but not with words. They captured their lives in pictures on the walls of caves and other rock surfaces.  This was a preliterate time of human existence, or a time before language was written down and people were able to read and write. But the stories these ancients told in pictures still engage the mind in astonishing ways. These chroniclers of their times gave us the gift of ancient sight. We can see how life was lived thousands of years ago just by looking at these artfully painted images.  How amazing is that? Continue reading

Double Trouble: Doppelgangers and the Mythology of Spirit Doubles

doppelganger500It’s almost Halloween! In our recent posts we’ve been delving into why some of us are so drawn to the supernatural, the paranormal and the scaring the pants off terrifying. In today’s post we hurl ourselves once more into the realm of the supernatural. A twice look at terror, as it were. Continue reading

Graffiti From Ancient to Modern Times: Memorialization, Human Expression and the Art That Will Not Die

Image courtesy of April Holloway.

Credit: Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project

Graffiti has been around since time immemorial.  From ancient caves to carved mountainsides to splendiferous murals, pictures have been splashed and carved on walls and surfaces throughout time and across cultures.  Self-expression, political agitation, vendettas, advertisements—all reasons for some to bring out the paint and depict what moves them most.  There is something inherently primal in the need to memorialize one’s self and time.  Indeed, graffiti’s immediacy and rawness of expression can astonish, whether found deep in the caves of Lascaux or in the modern day artistic gyrations of the anonymous British artist Banksy. Continue reading

Echoes of History: The Incredible Sound Effects of Malta’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni


This is our second blog with our educational partner Ancient Origins for our Science Fiction section.  Yes, we’re using science fiction rather broadly in this case, but in this offering by Ancient Origins you’ll see how the unknown conjures up theories of acoustical mind control that are fascinating for the fact that they could very possibly be true.  Archaeoacoustics is the study of sound in ancient space, and in this blog about the underground prehistoric temple of Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni you’ll find mind-boggling examples of auditory ingenuity.  So let’s go spelunking and hear the captivating sounds of ancient lives. Continue reading

Science Fiction or Just a Matter of Time? Time Travel From Ancient Mythology to Modern Science


What would it be like to travel back in time? To travel forward in time?  Remember H. G. Wells’ science fiction novella,The Time Machine,published in 1895? The book has been quite popular for more than a century and has even been made into movies.  But as you will see, there are many stories across cultures of time travelers. What is so fascinating about this concept? Continue reading

AntiquityNOW to Partner With Ancient Origins

AN News Grey

AntiquityNOW is pleased to announce a new partnership with Ancient Origins, an organization that “seeks to uncover…one of the most important pieces of knowledge we can acquire as human beings—our beginnings.” Ancient Origins offers “a reconstruction and retelling of the story of our beginnings through an exploration of lost civilisations, sacred writings, ancient places, unexplained artifacts, scientific mysteries and more.” AntiquityNOW also explores these antecedents and as well draws comparisons to modern times to show that antiquity continues to inform and influence our lives today.

Ancient OriginsThrough joint blogs and educational content the partnership will promote cultural heritage and the importance of appreciating our shared world history.

In today’s popular culture young people are exposed to diverse ideas from numerous perspectives, both scientific and speculative. AntiquityNOW and Ancient Origins are interested in current archaeological and scientific discoveries but are also intrigued by the unknown questions of human existence.  Ancient Origins’ view is that “there still exists a multitude of anomalies and mysteries in humanity’s past that deserve further examination.”  Embracing that concept, AntiquityNOW’s approach is to create educational material for children designed to develop critical thinking skills, teach the importance of research and realize the value of a curious and open mind.

Ancient Origins has offices in London, England and Springwood, Australia.  AntiquityNOW is incorporated in New York, NY.