Ancient Traditions

Theseus (center) invented wrestling

The Real Reason That Men in Classical Portrayals Were Given Small Manhoods

Today, bigger is widely regarded as better. But was this always the case? This article sheds some light on how the Western culture changed in its phallic preferences. Over the past few decades,...
Egyptian Fellah woman with her child, Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, 1872

Did Eternity Obsessed Ancient Egyptians Know How to Prevent Pregnancy?

It is hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians, a culture completely infatuated with the preservation of life after death, would be concerned with the prevention of pregnancy. But they were one of...
Ancient Book

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra and Other Magical Mutterings

Magic words are often used by magicians whilst performing magic tricks on stage. One of the most common of these incantations is ‘Abracadabra’. Although this word is known to many, it is likely that...
‘The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics.’ (Deriv.) An ancient Greek memory technique suggests imagining a pathway through a location to remember important information.

Enhance Your Memory with this Ancient Greek Memorization Technique

In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the personification of memory. In ancient Greece, prior to being written down, stories were recounted orally. Due to that, memory played an important part in the...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Historical records suggest that ancient Greek men liked sexual relations with gym-fit adolescents

The Truth About Sex in Ancient Greece

An exhibition at the British Museum promises to lift the lid on what beauty meant for the ancient Greeks. But while we gaze at the serene marble statues on display – straining male torsos and soft...
Cro Magnon diorama showing a mammoth bone shelter.

Did Man and Mammoth Ever Live in Harmony? Not Quite…

Humans and mammoths coexisted in Europe for about 30,000 years. As a result, it makes sense that humans would have used mammoths and their remains for food and possibly for making clothing and even...
Inca in a religious event. The Inca civilization is accredited with the first peanut paste.

Peanut Butter: Who Invented the Tasty Sandwich Spread?

Peanut butter is a popular type of food commonly used as a spread, though it may also be used as an ingredient in various recipes. As many already know, peanut butter is made from ground dry roasted...
‘Woman With Brown Hair Near White Painted Wall’ and division of the face according to Mian Xiang

Can Traditional Chinese Face Reading Provide Insight on Your Future, Health, and Character?

面相 (‘miàn xiàng’, or less accurately as ‘mien shiang’) is a type of Chinese divination that relies on the observation of a person’s facial features. Apart from divining an individual’s future,...
The Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) is a subspecies of Western honey bee.

After 2000 Years of Harmony, the Maya May Soon Lose their Stingless Bee Pets

For several years now, reports have circulated about the worrisome decline of the population of bees. Periodically, newspaper headlines lament the bees’ disappearance as an irreversible tipping point...
Chinese concubines

The Ming Dynasty Concubines: A Life of Abuse, Torture and Murder for Thousands of Women

The Chinese Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years (1368 – 1644 AD), and has been described as “one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history.” This dynasty became a...
Elaborate Ceremonial Samurai Helmet. The helmet was one of the most important parts of a Samurai’s armor.

The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

The Samurai class was officially dissolved over 150 years ago. Nonetheless, the warriors’ elaborate armor is still recognized globally as an iconic emblem of Japanese military strength and virtue...
An Easter postcard depicting the Easter Bunny.

The Very Strange History of the Easter Bunny

While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no...
A photo of a troglodyte cave house in Gharyan, Libya.

Want a Unique Underground Experience? Live Like a Modern Troglodyte at a Libyan Cave House Hotel

Troglodyte (which means ‘cave dweller’) cave houses are a type of dwelling that may be found in certain parts of the world. In Libya, this unique type of house can be found in the Jabal Nasufah (...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
All images courtesy of Ashley Cowie

Sex Symbols of the Ancient World: Top Ten Sexually Explicit Caves, Mountains, Temples and Artifacts

If you are sensitive about matters pertaining to sex and sexuality it's probably best that you press the back button now. For those with a more exploratory attitude, what I hope you take away from...

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Myths & Legends

Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘
One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of the renowned Ragnar Lodbrok, "boneless" means precisely what it sounds like: a man lacking sturdy bones, but not power.

Ancient Places

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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)