Ancient Traditions

Foreigners accompany a triumphal procession of the King; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); Deriv.

Echoes of Eternal Egyptian Art: Effulgence and Beyond at Amarna—Part II

Egypt witnessed religious and cultural upheaval on an unimaginable scale when Pharaoh Akhenaten assumed the reins of power and declared the Aten as the supreme god. One of the noteworthy...
 “Litany of Ra” scene in the tomb of King Merenptah (KV8), Valley of the Kings, Luxor; design by Anand Balaji

Echoes of Eternal Egyptian Art: Masters of Form and Finesse—Part I

The ancient Egyptians were pioneers of various forms of art and architecture. Down the millennia, the world has been left awestruck by the design and purpose of their grandiose monuments, their...
Village Doctor Looking at a Urine Sample (1640s) by David Teniers the Younger.

The Urine Wheel and Uroscopy: What Your Wee Could Tell a Medieval Doctor

In modern medicine, urine samples are routinely examined in laboratories to obtain clinical information about a patient. This procedure, known as urinalysis, developed from an older medical process...
Fantasy linen dress wanderer by ArmStreet

Linen: The Ancient Cloth That Still Beats Modern Fabrics

There is a relic of early humanity in the windows of basically every modern fashion outlet every summer. After years of cotton being the ideal textile for breezy summer clothing, the world’s oldest...
Skeleton with a hole in the skull.  Source: wellphoto/ via The Conversation

Drilling Holes in the Skull was Never a Migraine Cure

Trepanation – the technique of removing bone from the skull by scraping, sawing, drilling or chiselling – has long fascinated those interested in the darker side of medical history. One stock tale is...
Detail of the Berlin bust of Nefertiti; and the latest 3D sculpture of the queen based on the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji

Religion and Magic in Amarna: A World of Confusion in Akhetaten—Part II

The population that inhabited Akhenaten’s brand new city, Akhetaten, in Middle Egypt was ill at ease with the massive religious uncertainty their monarch had unleashed. A question mark hung over not...
Hegassen scroll detail. Fart Battle, 1864

From Fart Gods to Farting Out One’s Soul: The Historic Ritualization of Farts

They command attention, bring silence into noisy environments and have been associated with the utterances of gods for thousands of years. In fact, entire rituals have been designed around them...
As an amulet, the popular Wedjat eye symbolized health and protection; design by Anand Balaji

Religion and Magic in Amarna: Battling Forces from Different Realms—Part I

The ancient Egyptians held magical practices in high esteem and used it for a variety of purposes in almost every sphere of life. Their worldview was not restricted to that which occurred on earth,...
Kings' Fairy Tale, 1909, by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis

The Lost Charms and Incantations That Molded Celtic Reality

Since men and woman have been capable of making vocal sounds, incantations have been floated on airwaves by enchanters, who whispering charms, spells in rituals, hymns and prayers, invoked curses,...
Vases hanging above The Stone of Anointing (Stone of Unction) in the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These vases contain water with rose essence.

Getting High with the Most High: Drugs in the Bible

As the Bronze Age grew old, some of its oral traditions were recorded by poets with gods in their quills and drugs in their gardens. The Odyssey and the Vedas include verses still recited today that...
The Alchemist.

Spagyric Secrets of The Alchemists: Alchemy as Alternative Medicine

Even the best read of us sometimes come up against a word which needs a quick check in the dictionary, and Spagyric is one of those words. To discover the origins and magical meaning of this ancient...
A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.

The Erotic Art of Ancient Greece and Rome

Craig Barker / The Conversation Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of...
A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Did Christians Ban The Ancient Olympics?

Every two years, when the Winter or Summer Olympics comes around, we hear about how the games staged at Olympia in Greece since 776 BC came to a sudden end in the late fourth century AD. The finger...
Skulls from the Andean Paracas (top left). (CC BY-SA 3.0); Paracas skull at Ica Museum(right). (CC BY 2.0); Child head shaping methods (bottom left).

Elongated Skulls Increased Kudos in Ancient Peru

Archaeologists dig them up all over the ancient world from Egypt to Peru, and now, these curious elongated skulls are believed to have been “status symbols,” according to a recent paper in Current...
Detail of ‘Solitude’ (circa 1890) by Frederic Leighton, 1st Baron Leighton.

Alone Need Not Be Lonely: What Joyous Solitude of Early Hermits Can Teach Us

Kim Haines-Eitzen / The Conversation In today’s world, loneliness seems to have reached epidemic proportions. Countless studies have highlighted the serious and negative impact that loneliness has on...
George Catlin, Tchung-kee, a Mandan Game Played with a Ring and Pole", 1832-3.

Ancient North Americans Played High-stakes Games

University of California, Santa Barbara From games of chance to tests of physical skill, ancient North America Indians took their sport and recreation seriously, research shows. “Games are ubiquitous...


Myths & Legends

Hygeia - The Serpent Priestesses
Women robed in scarlet sheaths, conducting rituals associated with serpents away from prying eyes, serving Innana, the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War. The color of their clothes was symbolic of...

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Grinding stone, Dendera Temple, Egypt.
Most people know of the great construction achievements of the dynastic Egyptians such as the pyramids and temples of the Giza Plateau area as well as the Sphinx. Many books and videos show depictions of vast work forces hewing blocks of stone in the hot desert sun and carefully setting them into place.

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)