Ancient Traditions

Harking Back: The Ancient Pagan Festivities in our Christmas Rituals

Harking Back: The Ancient Pagan Festivities in our Christmas Rituals

When we think of the Romans, gift-giving, carol-singing and celebrating the birth of Christ don’t immediately present themselves. Waging wars, general oppression and a never-ending desire to rule the...
‘Festa di Pales, o L'estate’ by Joseph-Benoît Suvée

The Busy Romans Needed a Mid-Winter Break Too … and it Lasted for 24 days

In the Doctor Who Christmas Special from 2010, Michael Gambon’s Scrooge-like character remarks that across different cultures and worlds people come together to mark the midpoint of winter. It is, he...
The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

The Medieval Origins of The Carol: How Christmas Songs Have Survived Through the Centuries

Singing and Christmas seem to go naturally together, like plum pudding and custard. Even those who would not normally attend a choir concert or church service throughout the year might happily...
The Holly and the Ivy: How Pagan Practices Found Their Way into Christmas

The Holly and the Ivy: How Pagan Practices Found Their Way into Christmas

Every year, almost without thinking about it, we incorporate certain plant species into out Christmas celebrations. The most obvious is the Christmas tree, linked historically in England to Prince...
Putting a Price on Marriage: The Long-standing Custom of Dowries

Putting a Price on Marriage: The Long-standing Custom of Dowries

A dowry is an ancient custom that requires the transfer of parental property to a daughter at her marriage, rather than at her father’s death. It is a tradition in which emotion does not play a role...
Why Ghosts Haunt England at Christmas but Steer Clear of America

Why Ghosts Haunt England at Christmas but Steer Clear of America

A few years ago, the Downton Abbey Christmas special featured a ouija board which communicated a message from a dead character. American reviewers were extremely puzzled by this incursion of the...
A group of Trinovantes at a graveside in Colchester by Peter Froste.

The So-Called Druid of Colchester: Physician, Mystical Man, or Both?

In 1996, a team of researchers unearthed a unique burial of a mysterious man. The odd remains and specific funerary equipment thrilled the archaeologists. Was the man who lived 2,000 years ago an...
Tower of silence, Yazd, Iran

Zoroastrian Towers of Silence: Where the Dead Are Left to the Vultures

A tower of silence (known also as a ‘dakhma’) is a type of structure used for funerary purposes by adherents of the Zoroastrian faith. This Zoroastrian practice for the disposal of the dead involves...
The City of Refuge: Ancient Hawaiian Sanctuary Protected Law Breakers from Death Sentence

The City of Refuge: Ancient Hawaiian Sanctuary Protected Law Breakers from Death Sentence

For the ancient people living on the Hawaiian Islands, kapu was a major factor in their day-to-day lives. Kapu was a system of laws that governed political and religious affairs as well as lifestyle...
Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

Birds, Stones, and Jaguars: Piecing Together the Multifaceted Ancient Olmec Religion

The Bilingual-Mayan inscription of Comalcalco and decipherment of the La Venta celts and Olmec iconography allows one to understand much about the ancient Olmec religion and its cult associations...
Would you Want a Chalice Owned by Cleopatra or a Necklace Worn by Alexander the Great?

Would you Want a Chalice Owned by Cleopatra or a Necklace Worn by Alexander the Great?

If you think that collecting artifacts that belonged to famous people is a modern domain, you are wrong. The idea of idols has been popular since the beginning of human civilization, and people have...
What Would You Have Eaten for Christmas in Medieval Times?

What Would You Have Eaten for Christmas in Medieval Times?

With Christmas almost upon us, there will be plenty of frenzied present shopping and meal planning. Haven’t made that Christmas cake yet? Fear not. If you were preparing the festive meal 600 years...
Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Witch trials are amongst some of the cruelest events in European history. Thousands of innocent women were murdered by fake accusations. In England, one of the most famous trials took place in 1612,...
Barter, Bills and Banknotes: The 5,000 Year History of Money

Barter, Bills and Banknotes: The 5,000 Year History of Money

A long time ago, people did not buy or sell with money. Instead they traded one thing for another to get what they wanted or needed. This exchange of goods or services is called barter. At the...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...
White Buffalo Calf Woman – Healer, Teacher, and Inspirational Spirit for the Lakota People

White Buffalo Calf Woman – Healer, Teacher, and Inspirational Spirit for the Lakota People

Goddess cults have existed in every part of the world. The myths and legends of the Lakota people discuss a powerful female figure in the stories of White Buffalo Calf Woman. She is a supernatural...

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Top New Stories

An ancient skull (public domain). Note: This image is representational only, and is not a photo of one of the skulls recently-discovered in Mayo, Ireland. Photos have not yet been released of the Neolithic Mayo bones.
The remains of at least ten adults, adolescents and children that were positioned in a 5,500-year-old cave-like structure over the course of 1,200 years during the Neolithic Period, have been found in Ireland. All of them show signs of having their heads smashed in after death, as part of a mysterious funerary ritual.

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

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

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)