Ancient Traditions

“The Painted Ones” hand-colored version of Theodor de Bry’s engraving of a Pict woman who is either painted or tattooed.

Power, Perils and Rites of Passage – The History of the Female Tattoo

Emily Poelina-Hunter / The Conversation Almost a quarter of Australian women now have tattoos - a trend some attribute to the influence of feminism. What I find interesting is that the mainstreaming...
Youtube video screenshot from the new movie ‘The Mummy.’

Desecration and Romanticization – The Real Curse of Mummies

Craig Barker / The Conversation This June Hollywood’s tomb of old ideas will creak open yet again and present the tale of an ancient Egyptian tomb disturbed by a bumbling archaeologist and/or action-...
Stones arranged into a Native American medicine wheel pattern.

A Glimpse into the Intuitive Medicine of the Native American Tradition

Many centuries ago, in a land that is quite familiar to the modern American (in some forgotten, ethereal way).... A native boy scurries through a thicket of bramble bushes. His mouth stained with...
The Spirit of the Dead Keeps Watch’ (1892) by Paul Gauguin.

Ghost Beliefs in Polynesia: When Spirits Return and Possess

A belief in ghosts is held by many cultures (both modern and ancient) around the world. Some of these ghost beliefs are well-known, whilst others, such as those held by the Polynesians, are less so...
A modern Pagan Wiccan altar set up.

Secrets of Magic in Modern Paganism Revealed

Magic is one of the aspects that can be found in many of the groups that are part of the movement known collectively as Modern Paganism. According to practitioners of magic within the movements of...
Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
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...
Two youths engaged in sex, one of them holding a hoop. Detail from an amphora

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...

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Top New Stories

(1) Knotted tanned hide bundle before extraction of contents; (2) & (4) gold dinars; (3) signet ring with intaglio; (5) contents of knotted tanned hide bundle.
In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex.

Human Origins

Deriv; Ancient Celtic dolmen from Poulnabrone, Ireland and carved Egyptian deity Thoth
When ancient Egypt and Ireland are spoken about in the same breath it usually results in the rolling of eyes, polite exits and the sound of murmurs citing pseudo-history and new age babble. At least...

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)