afterlife

Naughty ghost statue, in the ghost city Fengdu

Fengdu Ghost City: Testing Your Soul in the Domain of the Chinese King of Hell

Numerous shrines, temples and monasteries pepper Fengdu Ghost City. But all of them are dedicated to the afterlife. Legends link the site to the King of the Underworld. Would you dare to enter his...
Pharoah’s Little Helpers: The Shabti Funerary Statuettes of the Ancient Egyptians

Pharoah’s Little Helpers: The Shabti Funerary Statuettes of the Ancient Egyptians

A shabti [also known as ‘ushabti’ (statuettes made from the 21 st Dynasty onwards) or ‘shawabti’ (those from Thebes during the New Kingdom)] is a funerary figurine used by the ancient Egyptians...
Busts of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

Why No Nose? The Ancient Breath of Life and Remarkably Powerful ‘Living Statues’

Why was is so important for bodies and images to remain intact after death in Ancient Egypt? And what was the power of ancient statues and reliefs – that they would be a danger to a Pharaoh? For the...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
Ancient Jade and Copper Sex Toys and Drinking Vessels Reveal Randy Chinese Royals

Ancient Jade and Copper Sex Toys and Drinking Vessels Reveal Randy Chinese Royals

You might call ancient Chinese royalty of the Han Dynasty jaded. Some aristocrats of around 2,000 years ago enjoyed a lusty sex life that included bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. And the presence...
Weighing of the heart scene from the Book of the Dead of Hunefer.

Death and Rebirth: Startling New Information Emerges About Ancient Egyptian Pot Burials

Ancient Egyptian funerary practices were not just about making mummies. Surprising new information reveals that pot burials were not just for poor children in ancient Egypt either. Instead, it seems...
Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious...
Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

Judgment in the Hall of Truth and Preparations for the Afterlife

A dead noble stands trembling in the Hall of Truth. Behind the noble, Horus, the half-falcon, half-man ruler of Earth, unleashes a piercing stare at the quivering man. Thoth, the sharp-beaked, ibis-...
The Origins of the Faeries: Encoded in our Cultures

The Origins of the Faeries: Encoded in our Cultures – Part I

The faeries appear in folklore from all over the world as metaphysical beings, who, given the right conditions, are able to interact with the physical world. They’re known by many names but there is...
"Loki's Brood" (1905) by Emil Doepler.

Going to Hel and Back: The Travel to Helheim Where a Goddess of Darkness Reigned

By far, Loki’s most well-known children are the ones he had with the giantess Angurboda. These include the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent Jormugandr, and the goddess Hel. Legends say that the...
Anubis – The Jackal God and Guide into the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

Anubis – The Jackal God and Guide into the Ancient Egyptian Afterlife

Anubis is one of the most prominent and mystical gods of ancient Egypt. He was known since the earliest periods in the history of the civilization that was based near the Nile River. This god was...
Some of the Abydos boats in their brick-built graves.

The Abydos Boats: Transporting the Pharaohs Through the Afterlife

The Abydos boats are a fleet of ships discovered in the sands of Abydos, Egypt. Sea vessels played an important role in ancient Egypt, not only in the everyday life of its people, but also in its...
A detail of the star chart of Idy of Asyut showing the sky goddess Nut holding up the heavens at the top.

Star charts reveal how ancient Egyptians planned to navigate the sky after death

Like others in the ancient world in the Americas, Asia, Europe and around the Mediterranean, Egyptian pharaohs and nobles associated stars with their gods or thought they could be deified by becoming...
Dante e Virgilio nel Purgatorio, Domenico Morelli

A Pilgrimage of Thought: Dante Ascends Mount Purgatory

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Purgatory is presented within The Divine Comedy as a mountain that must be climbed to be overcome. Following Dante and Virgil's sojourn into Hell, he and his guide...
Dante holding open a copy of the Divine Comedy while gazing towards Mount Purgatory (1530), Agnolo Bronzino

A Pilgrimage of Thought: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages...
The mummified remains of Usermontu, Rosicrucian San Jose Museum

Medical Mystery of Usermontu: Why the Discovery of 2,600-Year-Old Knee Screw Left Experts Dumbfounded

In 1971, the Rosicrucian Museum in California acquired a sealed ancient Egyptian coffin containing the well-preserved mummy of a high status Egyptian male. More than two decades later, a team of...

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Human Origins

Thinking Man? By Moncloa
Homo Sapiens represents the last of a long line of hominin races that once consisted of five different species spanning four continents. Today, we are the last humans, that is, the last of the genus Homo. Our closest living relatives are chimpanzees and gorillas. We, however, stand out in many ways from them. We have unparalleled capacities for abstract thought, language skills, and social cohesion.

Ancient Places

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

Opinion

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)