Ancient Traditions

A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Claddagh rings are hugely popular both as fashion accessories and as symbolic gestures. The Claddagh design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland, particularly...
Chinese concubines in a harem

20,000 Women and 100,000 Castrated Men to Serve the Emperor: The Imperial Harem of China

In Imperial China, one of the important tasks that the emperor needed to do was to ensure the continuation of the dynasty, which was achieved by the production of a male heir. For this purpose, the...
An artist’s imaginary depiction of a pharaoh burning herbs (possibly cannabis or blue lotus) in a ritual.

A Versatile Plant: What Were the Many Uses of Cannabis in Ancient Egypt?

Cannabis is widely considered to be one of the most widespread options when it comes to medicinal herbs. However, in ancient times the plant’s popularity was far greater, and its use much more common...
The birthday party of Lazaro Salsita, born 15 years ago, in the body of Lazaro Medina Hernandez, 35, Sculptor. Havana (La Habana), Cuba.

A Unique Mixture of Afro-Cuban Religious Rituals or Witchcraft? The True Story Behind Santeria

Some religious practices can be very surprising because they link aspects from different beliefs which may appear incompatible at first glance. In the case of Santeria, the connection between native...
Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Modern Paganism (known also as Neopaganism or Contemporary Paganism) is a movement / group of religions / spiritual traditions centered on the reverence of nature. Modern Paganism borrows and adapts...
Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Since at least the 18th century AD, there have been discoveries in northwestern continental Europe and Britain of “bog bodies” - human remains which have been preserved in the anoxic environment of...
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...

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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

The Lycurgus Cup.
A strange chalice made its way into the British Museum’s collection in the 1950s. It is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman artifact called the Lycurgus Cup. The image on the chalice is an iconic scene with King Lycurgus of Thrace...

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

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)