Ancient Traditions

A court painting depicting Xuande Emperor of the Ming Dynasty playing chuiwan.

Golf - The Ancient Origins and Hidden Beginnings of a World-Wide Sport

The gladiatorial ring of ancient Rome was an infamously bloody, savage, and deadly sport, with hardened warriors battling to the death for the entertainment of the masses. The Mesoamerican ball game...
A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

A Window into the Traditional Sami Culture: Reindeer and a Worldview

The Sámi are an indigenous people with a rich cultural history. They have lived in northern Europe for thousands of years. The area they live in, Sápmi, includes the northern sectors of Norway,...
Funerary mask, Sican culture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, USA

Grave Goods and Human Sacrifices: Social Differentiation in Sican Culture Reflected in Unique Burials

The Sican culture, also known as the Lambayeque culture for the region they once inhabited, was one of the many cultures that existed in Peru prior to the coming of the Incas. The Sicans inhabited...
Reconstruction drawing of the communal latrines at Housesteads Roman fort (Vercovicium) on Hadrian's Wall. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2010).

Money Does Not Stink: The Urine Tax of Ancient Rome

The ancient Romans have passed many traditions on to modern day society, but they certainly had a different perspective on urine. It was seen as much more useful than today. They used it as a...
This artwork, realized in 1998 by the Veronese painter Davide Tonato, is an interpretation of the traditional attributes of Maat, Egyptian Goddess of the justice.

Maat: The Ancient Egyptian Goddess of Truth, Justice and Morality

Maat, also known as Ma’at or Mayet, was a female goddess in the ancient Egyptian religion who represented truth, justice, balance and morality. The daughter of the Egyptian sun deity Ra and wife of...
Shinto painting from manuscript of Todaiji, Nara, Japan

Purification as the Core of the Ancient Shinto Faith

A ritual based religion, Shintoism is defined as "the way of the gods" in Japan, from the Chinese Shendao. It is the indigenous religion of the country, and survives today as the state religion,...
Vodou Ceremony

The Origins of Voodoo, the Misunderstood Religion

In A.D. 64, a great fire broke out in Rome for six days, and devastated much of the city. According to the writer Tacitus, “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a...

Why Christmas is held on 25th December

According to popular tradition, Christmas is celebrated on 25 th December to honour the birth of Jesus. However, no records exist in the Bible or elsewhere to suggest that Jesus was actually born on...
Sokushinbutsu - The ancient Japanese monks mummified to death

Sokushinbutsu and the ancient Japanese monks that mummified themselves to death

Over 1,000 years ago, a practice was pioneered by a Japanese priest named Kukai, which was intended to demonstrate the ultimate act of religious discipline and dedication – self-mummification. The...
Symbols of Samhain and Halloween – fire, the dead, lanterns, harvest

Crossing the Veil: The Pre-Christian Origins of Halloween and Samhain

Halloween, or the ancient Samhain, is considered the time of year when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. As darkness falls and families light their pumpkin Jack-o'-...
Pagan Origins of Easter

The Ancient Pagan Origins of Easter

Easter Sunday is a festival and holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world who honour the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred three...
Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

The myths, legends and traditions of Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

Today marks the historical Qingming Festival in China. Fondly known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day, it is a day that commemorates the onset spring and the occasion to remember ancestors by...
Mongolia - Ancient Golden Eagle Hunting

New Future for the Ancient Art of Golden Eagle Hunting

Eagle hunting is an ancient art which has been in existence on the Central Asian Steppe, from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, for some 6,000 years. Societal and political changes have meant...
St Patrick

The Day of St Patrick and the myth of snakes being cast out of Ireland

Today marks Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, a cultural and religious holiday celebrated every year on 17 th March in Ireland and by Irish communities around the world. The...
Collecting honey - Nepal

The ancient art of honey collecting on the Himalayan cliffs of Nepal

The Gurung tribespeople of Nepal have been collecting honey from Himalayan cliffs for centuries, risking their lives in an ancient tradition that has been passed down over many generations. But now...
Akitu Festival

New Year’s Traditions around the World and Their Origins

In many countries around the world, New Year’s Day is celebrated on 1 st January with fireworks and festivities the evening before. But this is not the only type of New Year’s celebration and not...


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)