Ancient Traditions

Phryne on the Poseidon's celebration in Eleusis by Nikolay Pavlenko, 1894

The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery?

It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks loved to have parties, dance and drink for every occasion. It could be celebrating a birth, the arrival of a loved person or a marriage. Indeed, in many cases...
High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

High Fashion of Ancient Egypt: The Bead-Net Dress

Fashion trends are not just a modern construction. In ancient Egypt, looking fashionable was an important part of everyday life, especially for the elite members of society. One of the high class...
A Roman Ring with Linked Hands – this was a popular design for Roman wedding rings.

Roman Engagement and Wedding Rings: Joining Hands and Hearts

The use of engagement rings and wedding rings are common in Western culture to indicate a person’s relationship status. This tradition may be traced back to ancient times, in particular, to the Roman...

Secret Societies and Hidden Knowledge: The Explosive Star that Inspired the Modern World

A few weeks ago, astronomers announced that in 2022 something truly spectacular is to occur: a new star will appear in the heavens. It will be the first such event visible with the naked eye for over...
 Krampus, the Christmas Devil

Krampus, Son of Hel: The Ancient Origins of the Christmas Devil

It is well known in America that Santa Claus maintains a Naughty and Nice list for when he comes to town. Good kids get presents; bad kids get coal. This makes for a great Christmas carol but it is...
‘The Banquet Scene’ relief panel, 645BC-635BC.

Gazelle Stewed in Broth and Garlic: Would You Try These 3,700-Year-Old Recipes for the Babylonian Elite?

"A cuisine of striking richness, refinement, sophistication and artistry, which is surprising from such an early period,” is how French Assyriologist and gourmet chef Jean Bottero, who decoded three...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Love sure does hurt, as the Everly Brothers knew very well. And while it is often romanticised or made sentimental, the brutal reality is that many of us experience fairly unpleasant symptoms when in...
Some Top Tips for Valentine’s Day … from Medieval Lovers

Some Top Tips for Valentine’s Day … from Medieval Lovers

If you’d asked someone to be your Valentine before the 14th century, they’d probably have looked at you as if you were mad. And checked you weren’t holding an axe. There were two saints by the name...
Why Did Parents in the Chinookan tribe Perform Cranial Deformation on their Babies?

Why Did Parents in the Chinookan tribe Perform Cranial Deformation on their Babies?

Beauty is a fickle thing. Worse than that, it is (as often as not) one of the most painful goals in the realms of the wealthy and elite. In China, the binding of feet was once seen to create...
Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Numerous folk stories in Galicia, Spain, tell of supernatural spirits that dwell in forests, among the waters of the rivers, or on sandy beaches. Many of them are related in some ways to ancient...
Said to Cure Everything but Death, These Seeds are an Ancient Miracle Cure

Said to Cure Everything but Death, These Seeds are an Ancient Miracle Cure

The black cumin seed or “Nigella Sativa” has been revered as a miracle cure for a vast amount of illnesses and ailments throughout the ages and across many cultures. The plant is indigenous to the...
Tripping through Time: The Fascinating History of the Magic Mushroom

Tripping through Time: The Fascinating History of the Magic Mushroom

The psilocybin group of mushrooms, popularly known as magic mushrooms, shrooms or psychedelic mushrooms, is found in over two hundred varieties around the world. We know them today as a recreational...
A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

Morris dancing is a type of folk dance from England. It is unclear as to when Morris Dancing began to be performed, though there is evidence that this dance has existed for several centuries, the...
No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

Shame masks were a type of embarrassing punishment device used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. As its name suggests, the shame mask was meant to humiliate the person who was forced to...
The futhark on the Vadstena bracteate.

Unearthing Ancient Magic in The Runes –Messages with Hidden Symbols and Powerful Numbers

The etymology of the word “rune” means: “to carve, or to cut.” In Low German the word is “raunen.” As the runes were cut and carved into wood, metal or stone, the word “rune” was analogous to the...

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A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

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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.

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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)