castle

Old rusty sword

Notorious Knight Greysteil and His Magical Sword Sit on the Cusp Between Legend and Reality

Swords imbued with magical powers and supernatural qualities are like nails in mythological systems and having originated in ancient legends, they now feature in fantasy fiction. Being inspired by...
Predjama Castle.

Predjama Castle: The Castle in a Cave that Housed a Slovenian Robin Hood

Once home to the Slovenian Robin Hood, Predjama Castle is a site rich in history. It is built into the mouth of a cave high up on a cliff and has a commanding view over the landscape. That position...
Burg Eltz Castle

Eltz Castle: A Majestic Medieval Pile Owned by the Same Family for 800 Years

Eltz Castle is a majestic castle situated on the top of a rock within a small wooded valley in Germany. Be it through luck or strategy, the castle has been mostly spared from the ravages of war...
Window with a portrait of Harald in Lerwick Town Hall, Shetland

A Military Life for Clever King Harald: Serving the Empire and Stopping the Pirates – Part I

In 1015, Harald Sigurdsson was born. He was the youngest of three sons born to Sigurd Syr, who ruled over a petty kingdom in Ringerike, located in the region of Buskerud. Harald’s upbringing is not...
The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.

Loftus Hall: Most Haunted House in Ireland Has Not Revealed All Its Dark Secrets

Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in...
3,000-year-old remains of a castle at the bottom of Lake Van in Turkey.

3,000-Year-Old Castle Built by Mysterious Civilization Found at The Bottom of a Lake in Turkey

Marine archaeologists made a superb find at the bottom of Turkey’s largest lake – a very well-preserved castle dating back 3,000 years. It was likely built by the mysterious Urartian civilization...
Detail of the Castelinho da Rua Apa.

Castelinho da Rua Apa: The Brazil’s Little Castle of Horror

In 2015, work began on Castelinho da Rua Apa, or Little Castle of Apa Street, to restore it to its original grandeur. This house originally resembled a medieval French castle, but due to years of...
Sixth-Century silver plate of Hercules

The Rocks, Stained Red with Blood: A Son of Hercules Slew Giants at Salcombe, Devon?

The myth of Brutus of Troy is well over a thousand years old, yet it continues to fascinate and current scholarship seeks to find new truths hidden in its mossy folds. John Clark’s excellent paper ‘...
The Crooked House of Windsor. Left: From the Front. Right: From the Back

A House with a Twist: The 16th Century Crooked House of Windsor and Its Colorful History

The Crooked House of Windsor, also known as the Market Cross House, is a 16th century building located in the market town of Windsor, in the southeastern English county of Berkshire. As its name...
The castle of Fleckenstein.

Fleckenstein Castle: From Impregnable Fortress to a Chateaux in Ruins

Fleckenstein Castle is a castle located near Lembach, in the eastern French region of Alsace. This castle is known to have existed since the 12 th century, and was the property of the powerful...
A female ghost (Public Domain) and Stirling Castle

Female Phantoms of Stirling Castle: Ghostly Encounters with a Handmaiden and Her Queen

Approaching Stirling Castle in the day time is rather daunting. Filled with the scent of ancient dust, damp stone, and dew-covered grass, the palace exudes magic from the moment one steps inside its...
Eilean Donan Castle, view across the footbridge, Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle: Idyllic Scottish Setting Carries a Dark History

Eilean Donan is a small tidal island in the western Highlands of Scotland, on which a castle can be found. This castle, known as the Eilean Donan Castle, is one of Scotland’s most easily recognised...
Castell de Bufalaranya, Roses.

Rhodes in Spain? The Tempestuous History of the Strategic Coastal City of Roses

The city of Roses (Greek: Rhode) in Catalonia, Spain, founded most probably in 776 BC, became the basis for some remarkable stories that last from ancient times until now. In accordance with its...
The complex includes both Christian and Mithraic places of worship, a huge castle, underground features, rock-cut tombs, and water channels.

Mithraism May Become a Bit Less Mysterious with New Temple Discovery in Turkey

In ancient times, there was an Aryan religion, Mithraism, so veiled in secrecy that only rumor of its beliefs and rites were recorded. Archaeologists are hoping to shed more light on the mysteries of...
Ponferrada Castle, ‘Castle of the Templars, Leon, Northern Spain. 12th century Castle of Ponferrada by night.

The Mysterious Stories of Castle Ponferrada: Knights Templar, the Camino de Santiago and the lost Sword of Jacques de Molay

Every pilgrim who is traveling along the French route of the Camino de Santiago, going to Santiago de Compostela, will pass through the Ponferrada in the Spanish section. Most of them have no idea...
Painting of a mermaid by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann, 1873.

The Secret Life of Melusine: Mysterious Mermaid & Serpent Mother of European Nobility

Melusine is the spirit of fresh water, usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down, much like the mythical mermaid. She is also frequently illustrated with two tails. The...

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Top New Stories

A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of genitalia, the phallus in particular, were incredibly popular motifs across a wide range of media in ancient Greece and Rome.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)