Ancient Traditions

Mysterious man on a creepy night. Who really killed the King?

Who Killed the King? Was it Eochaid the Slayer? An Ancient Irish Murder Mystery

It might almost be a shocking moment from a Shakespeare play or even a plot-line from Game of Thrones, but the murder of an ancient Irish king, Crimthann mac Énnai, is an event which actually took...
The sarcophagi of Carajia, emblematic of the lost Chachapoya culture. Source: BigStockPhoto

The Cloud Warriors: Sarcophagi Sentries Perched on the Cliffs in Peru

Researchers would have never guessed what they would find inside a seven-foot-tall statue when it came crashing down the Peruvian cliffside in the Utcubamba valley in 1928. The sculpture was a...
Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
The 800-year-old skeleton found in Bulgaria stabbed through the chest with iron rod.

People Practiced Anti-Vampire Rituals in Bulgaria Until Three Decades Ago

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula, many people associate vampires with the region of Transylvania in Romania. However, it was only around 25 years ago that anti-vampire rituals...
A Dendera Zodiac with added blue and gold color, Neues Museum, Berlin

A Circular Egyptian Mythology: Does the Dendera Zodiac Represent the Most Ancient Astronomy?

In 1799, Napoleon and his armies were beginning to expand their presence throughout Egypt. Napoleon brought not only armies but artists to record sketches of his findings of a country that was...
The Marriage of St. Ursula and Prince Conan, 1522

Marriage: Is the Sacred Bond a Result of Social Evolution or Deliberate Design?

Getting married is an age-old celebration, which commemorates the joining of two individuals together in matrimony. For many in today’s society it represents picking out invitations, dresses,...
‘Evil eye.’

Rings, Gestures, and Phallus Talismans: The Evil Eye and Ancient Ways to Ward Off Its Power

For over 5000 years people have worried that a look of envy or dislike would inflict injury, bad luck, or even death on the recipient. People would wear specific items of jewelry or other talismans...
Images from the manuscript ‘Seventy-Two Specimens of Castes in India.

The Controversial Indian Caste System Has Been Dividing India for 2000 Years

A study of genetic populations in India suggests the Indian caste system, a traditional method of social organization into a hierarchy of hereditary groups, has been prevalent in the South Asian...
A Visit to the Witch by Edward Frederick Brewtnall

Bubbling Brews and Broomsticks: How Alewives Became the Stereotypical Witch

"Brewing", "herbs," "broomsticks," "woman." When one hears these words together, most often the assumption is that the person in question is a witch. Yet brewing has a very human meaning as well, one...
Sticker showing baby Krishna stealing milk from a cow.

Modern Hindus Forbidden From Eating Beef But Ancient Hindus Ate the Sacred Cow

Wendy Doniger / The Conversation Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef...
Detail of the famous Minoan bull leaping fresco.

Taking the Bull by the Horns: The Perilous Minoan Practice of Bull-Leaping

If bull-leaping was a genuine practice in Bronze Age Minoan courts (estimated c.3200 BC-1100 BC), it was likely not nearly as fun as it appears in frescoes. Modern day professional matadors have...
Mosaic, shown Gargoyles in form of Theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. Roman artwork, 2nd century AD.

Masks, Sex, Laughter, and Tears: The Exciting Evolution of Ancient Greek Theater

The city of theater was Athens. Athens birthed drama, bred drama, and ultimately was responsible for cultivating it into the premiere art of the Classical world—at least according to Greek...
Portrait of a Woman by Bartolomeo Veneto, traditionally assumed to be Lucrezia Borgia – an infamous femme fatale.

Femme Fatale: Seduced by the Ancient Sex Crafts of History’s Most Alluring Women

The seductress, or femme fatale (French for “Deadly Woman”), is one of the oldest female archetypes and although there has been great diversity in "how" she has been portrayed, she has some core...
The eembuvi-plaits of Mbalantu women. Photo: CHL Hahn, Collection Antje Otto

The Braided Rapunzels of Namibia: Every Stage of Life is Reflected in Their Hair

Not everyone desires floor-length hair, but if you do, you can take some lessons from the Mbalantu women of Namibia in Africa, who are renowned for their incredibly long, braided hair. Throughout the...
Wisconsin Community Pharmacy supply of natural remedies

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Chinese Remedy Provides Effective Non-Addictive Pain Relief

With innovations appearing in our lives seemingly every day it seems that new breakthroughs in science are the only ones we trust. New is always considered better. With this prevalent thinking those...
Satyr Playing the Pipe (Jupiter's Childhood) (fragment) Jacob Jordaens 1639

War, Death and the Wrath of Gods: How Satyr Plays Helped Ancient Greeks Cope With Life

Before Shakespeare, there were the Greeks. The infamous "all the world's a stage" quote attributed to the Elizabethan writer in the 16th century far more accurately describes the world of ancient...

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Painting of a ghostly looking woman. (Public Domain) Rose Hall, the estate house of a former sugar plantation, in Jamaica.
Rose Hall Plantation – better known today as Rose Hall Great House – in Montego Bay, Jamaica is considered one of the most haunted houses in the western hemisphere. It has such a notorious reputation that the famous American singer and songwriter, Johnny Cash, wrote a song popularizing the legend created by Herbert de Lisser who immortalized Annie Palmer in his book, White Witch of Rose Hall, published in 1929.

Ancient Technology

A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.
Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re-shaped transportation. In fact, this invention played an important role in some key historical events and empire building.

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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)