Alexander the Great

Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist

The Cold Case of Alexander the Great: Have Toxicologists Finally Explained His Untimely Death?

It might be a surprise to learn that Alexander the Great was only 32 when he died in Babylon in June 323 BC. In a short period of 12 years as ruler he managed to create an empire stretching from...
What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

Anaxarchus and Pyrrho. These are two names which are not as well known to the general public as those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Yet these men are no less important. While the latter three...
Payava's tomb from Xanthos, now in the British Museum.

Culturally Mixed Messages in the Tomb of Payava: Is it Greek or Persian?

The Tomb of Payava is a decorative rectangular tomb that was transported in the 19th century from a site in Turkey to England is one of the most remarkable artifacts related to Lycian culture...
Remains of the Apadana, the Audience Palace

Alexander the Great’s Capital Punishment? The Building of Persepolis and its Flaming Demise

Persepolis is an ancient city that once served as the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire. Persepolis is the Greek name for ‘Parsa’, and both these names mean ‘Persian City’ or ‘City of the...
Pasargadae Tomb in Shiraz, Iran.

Was the Magnificent Monumental Tomb of Pasargadae Really Built for Cyrus the Great?

The tomb of Cyrus the Great is the name given to a monument located in the ancient Persian city of Pasargadae. This city was founded by Cyrus, and served as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire until...
Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Zoroaster was a prophet of ancient Persia, whose teachings laid the foundation for the religion known as Zoroastrianism, which largely dominated the land of Iran until the arrival of Islam after the...
“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

“But In Case Anything Should Happen”: Wills and Covenants in the Age of Alexander the Great

Would kings, dictators and statesmen have used Wills in the ancient Greek world to assure successions, pass down estates and document their last wishes? ‘All will be well but in case anything should...
Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

When Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony closed their eyes for the last time, passing through to their longed-for afterlife, among the successors were their three orphans: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra...
Relief carving of Alexander the Great.

The Romance of Alexander the Great: Are the Legends Really True?

The real-life history of Alexander the Great is a fascinating story. The legends associated with his exploits have gripped people’s imagination for centuries. From Spain to India, from Scotland to...
In Search of The Lost Testament of Alexander the Great: Excavating Homeric Heroes

In Search of The Lost Testament of Alexander the Great: Excavating Homeric Heroes

The ancient city of Aegae in Greece, where the royal tombs are located, dates back to the 7th century BCE; it became Macedonia’s first capital after it was conglomerated from a collection of villages...
The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

The Nine Worthies: Are These the Most Chivalrous Men in History?

It may come as a shock to learn that ancient peoples enjoyed making lists of greats as much as we do. Just as websites make Top 10 lists about topical items today, so too did the Hellenistic Greeks...
Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great abruptly ended the reign of Darius III, and with it he saw the demise of the Achaemenid kings. However, while conquering new lands Alexander gained not only territory, but also...
Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Cleopatra of Macedon stood in the shadow of her more famous brother, Alexander the Great. In fact, she was one of his three known sisters, apart from Cynane and Thessalonica. However, Cleopatra was...
The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

The King of Beasts That Have Witnessed the Rise and Fall of Ancient Civilizations

Lions are often said to be the kings of all animals. They are also a symbol of power and popular archetypes for influential rulers. Most civilizations have depicted these regal animals in their...
Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was apparently fascinated with everything that could be seen as a symbol of power. Stories about his interest in animals are well known too. He was probably intrigued by other...
Would you Want a Chalice Owned by Cleopatra or a Necklace Worn by Alexander the Great?

Would you Want a Chalice Owned by Cleopatra or a Necklace Worn by Alexander the Great?

If you think that collecting artifacts that belonged to famous people is a modern domain, you are wrong. The idea of idols has been popular since the beginning of human civilization, and people have...

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Top New Stories

Denisova cave, some 150 km (93 mi) south of the city of Barnaul, is the only source of Denisovan's remains. Pictures: The Siberian Times
The distance from the only currently known home of the Denisovans in Altai region to the nearest point of Australia is roughly akin to the length of the Trans-Siberian railway, and yet it is looking increasingly likely that these ancient species of humanoids somehow made this epic journey deep in pre-history, perhaps 65,000 years ago.

Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

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. 

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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)