Cult

King Herihor and Queen Nodjmet adoring the god Osiris in the afterlife. (Photo credits: Trustees of the British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)); Deriv.

The Hunt for Herihor: Waning Pharaonic Power and Advent of Priest-kings–Part I

Early in the Twenty-First Dynasty, a High Priest of Amun-Re, Herihor, declared himself ruler. The custodians of the cult of the state god finally got what they had always yearned for—overtly and...
Tel Burna, Structures of Libnah

Archaeologists Discover a 3,200-Year-Old Pagan Ritual Hall in Israel

Excavators from Israel have announced the discovery of three millennia-old pagan ritual evidence, which supports the hypothesis of pagan worship at Tel Burna back then. Experts suggest that the new...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Creativity Blossoms in the Desert—Part I

Never before had a pharaoh ushered daring, almost bizarre and inconceivable transformations in religion and statecraft as Akhenaten did. Not only did he oust the pantheon of traditional gods and...
Images A, C and D show incisions while B shows the hole drilled into the skull.

Evidence of the Earliest ‘Skull Cult’ Activity: Drilled and Carved Skulls Found at the World’s Oldest Temple

Just as people at the world’s oldest known temple site in Southeast Turkey began to make the transition from hunter-gatherers to a more settled lifestyle, they also started a “skull cult” in which...
Aerial view of circular henge remains and burials

Archaeologists Discover a Stone Age “Cult” Henge Site and 4,000 Year-old Human Remains

A team of archaeologists has discovered a Stone Age “cult” henge site and human remains that are estimated to be nearly 4,000 years old. Experts suggest that the human remains, found near Stratford,...
Moses’ Horns.

4 Completely Different Versions of the Story of Moses

The story of Moses doesn’t just show up in the Bible. In the ancient world, nearly every culture had their own version of what happened. The Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their own...
2,000-year-old Warrior Armor Made of Reindeer Antlers Found on the Arctic Circle

2,000-year-old Warrior Armor Made of Reindeer Antlers Found on the Arctic Circle

By: The Siberian Times Reporter The ceremonial suit was embellished with decorations and left as a sacrifice for the gods by ancient bear cult polar people, say archeologists. The discovery is the...
The excavation site at Mariana, Corsica.

Mysterious Sanctuary Linked to Mithraism Found on French Island

An ancient sanctuary dedicated to the god Mithra was excavated in Lucciana on east coast of Corsica. The site was excavated by France’s National Institute for Preventative Archaeology (INRAP) in...
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...
Cave of Kelipus: A Place Where Ardent Believers Waited for the Second Coming

Cave of Kelipus: A Place Where Ardent Believers Waited for the Second Coming

Non-believers say that it is merely an old springhouse. Yet many believe that the hard-to-find cave is where the (perhaps) first death cult of the United States sought sanctuary as they awaited the...
Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

In the modern world, the mere mention of “Sacred Prostitution” may receive raised eyebrows or disgusted grimaces. Evidently, this was also the case for the ancients as many ancient authors describe...
Mural depicting Isis in the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings (KV17).

Isis, An Egyptian Goddess Who Spread Her Wings Across Europe

When the Romans entered Egypt they saw a land of magnificent temples, impressive and monumental statues, and symbolism they did not understand. The Greeks felt the same when they explored the country...
Relief carved from stone featuring Ptolemy XIII of Egypt and the deity Isis. Representational image.

4,000-Year-Old Relief Carvings and Decorated Stone Blocks Discovered in Temple of Serapis in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered two 4,000-year-old reliefs in the Temple of Serapis on the Red Sea. The Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh Eldamaty announced last week that discoveries...
The head of a mummified cat

Mummifying Millions: Operation of the Animal Cult Industry of Ancient Egypt

Read Part 1 Millions of animal mummies have been found in the dark, carved stone tunnels beneath the location of Egypt’s earliest pyramid, in the Catacombs of Anubis in North Saqqara. The astounding...
Statue of Hermanubis, a hybrid of Anubis and the Greek god Hermes.

Mummifying Millions: The Canine Catacombs and the Animal Cult Industry of Ancient Egypt

Many associate two popular themes with ancient Egypt: animal worship and mummies. The two have been combined on unprecedented levels deep in the Catacombs of Anubis in North Saqqara. The necropolis...
The biblical town of Libnah from the Book of Exodus

Could Iron Age settlement be the biblical town of Libnah from the Book of Exodus?

Excavations at Tel Burna, an Iron Age settlement in the Shephelah region of modern-day south-central Israel, have revealed artifacts and fortifications dating back to the seventh and eighth centuries...

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Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)