Salmonella bacteria, a common cause of foodborne disease, invade an immune cell.

Scientists Find aDNA Evidence of the Bacteria that Almost Wiped out the Aztecs

Architectural investigations of the Grand Plaza resulted in the unexpected discovery of a large epidemic cemetery associated with the 1545-1550 cocoliztli epidemic. The cemetery was found to contain...
Fragment of talisman used to exorcise the sick, Assyrian era.

Mixing Magic and Medicine: New Study Shows Mesopotamian Doctors Had to Battle Demons

Analysis of a collection of clay tablets confirms that a Mesopotamian doctor had to deal with more than just physical ailments. The ancient healer was expected to exorcise demons, ward off witchcraft...
(B) the child’s mummified body prior to the autopsy, (C) the pockmarked face and (D) this rash as evident on the arm.

Child Mummy Unlocks a Secret by Unravelling 450 Years of the Hepatitis B Virus

Scientists examining the mummy of a child who died in the 16th century have confirmed that the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been causing human health issues for centuries. Strangely enough, it seems...
A human skeleton in space.

Medical Astrology: Moon Fever and Diseases Sent from the Skies

For centuries, humans have believed that the celestial realm could influence everyday life. This is the basis of astrology. The rise and fall of kingdoms and the fortunes of individuals have all been...
Mummy of a 900-year-old Russian "polar princess"

Viruses Sleeping in Mummies—Could Ancient Corpses Lead to Modern Epidemics?

Mummies fascinate historians, archaeologists, and anyone with antiquarian leanings. Mummies allow scientists to learn more about the diets, clothing, appearance, genetics, and general lifestyle of...
Plague Doctor Mask, Steno Museum

The Secrets Behind the Plague Doctor’s Terrifying Costume

The plague doctor is arguably one of the most enigmatic figures to have emerged from the Middle Ages. These were European physicians who specialised in treating victims of the plague, the best known...
Famadihana reburial, ‘turning of the bones’ in Madagascar

Plague Epidemic in Madagascar May be Spread by Dancing with the Dead Ritual

The Malagasy people of Madagascar have built a way of life around death – during the dry winter months, famadihana ceremonies, known as “the turning of the bones” and “dancing with the dead”, take...
The Battle of Rocroi, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War: Was it Worth it?

The Thirty Years’ War was a major European war that occurred during the 17 th century. Whilst the conflict took place mainly in the area of modern day Germany, it involved many of the great European...

Evolution of Genetic Health Improvements in Humans Stall over Last Millennium

Had an arrow in his back not felled the legendary Iceman some 5,300 years ago, he would have likely dropped dead from a heart attack. Written in the DNA of his remains was a propensity for...
Navajo Yebichai (Yei Bi Chei) dancers. Edward S. Curtis. USA, 1900. The Welcome Collection, London

Can a Ghost Make You Ill? The Ghost Sickness Belief of the Native American Indians

Ghost sickness is the belief that ghosts are able to cause a living person to fall ill. This particular term is used by the Native Americans, especially amongst the Navajo people. Nevertheless, this...
GR1014 showing upper layer of burials with the partially removed skeleton of B26 (one of the possible eunuchs) in the middle.

Were These Eunuchs in Ptolemaic-Roman Egypt? The Truth May Be in Their Bones

Archaeologists have recently discovered two intriguing skeletons at the Ptolemaic-Roman cemetery site in Quesna, Monufiya city in Egypt. By analyzing the skeletal remains and graves for key features...
The remains of a mother and fetus were buried alongside those of two other children in the early days of the Black Death in Italy, however researchers cannot say for certain that they died of the plague.

New Details Emerge on the Black Death by Examining a Plague Victim and her Tragic Coffin Birth

We can only guess about the life and times of a young mother and two children buried with her, possibly felled by the first wave of the bubonic plague in the 1340s in Italy. They were all buried in a...
A painting of 14th century St. Roch shows the dracunculiasis worm exiting the upper part of his leg.

A Medieval Painting Depicts the Chilling Image of a Worm Eating Its Way Out of the Body of a French Saint

Imagine a 2- to 3-foot long (0.6- to 1-meter) worm slowly working its way out of your body… with the possibility of other worms doing so in the future. Such is the horror of the guinea worm, which...
 Excavations at the site of in Siberia. Source: Andrey Plekhanov

Why Would Medieval Siberian Nomads Ritually Sacrifice Their Seriously Ill Companions?

By Tamara Zubchuk/ The Siberian Times Unique crouched burials for this period - comprising a seriously ill quartet - presents archaeologists with a puzzle. The find of four graves from the 11th...
Preparation of a corpse, Florentine Codex Book 3

New Study Finds Salmonella Brought by Europeans Caused Epidemic that Wiped Out 80% of the Aztecs

For years, historians and scientists have said that much of the population of the New World died from infectious diseases brought by Europeans, for which the natives had little or no natural bodily...
Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

Have Researchers Discovered What Caused the 16th Century Mexican Epidemic That Killed Over 80% of the Population?

A pair of recently published studies point the finger at a deadly form of salmonella as the cause of millions of deaths in a 16th century Mexican epidemic outbreak. This cocoliztli (pestilence in...


Top New Stories

 Indus Valley Diorama by Biswarup Ganguly
In the Rigveda, the ancient Indian Vedic Sanskrit canonical sacred texts, a hymn is dedicated to each deity and the goddess Saraswathi is revered as a female deity with healing and the purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters. Saraswathi is therefore also reference to a river and she embodies wisdom, music, language and purification of self.

Myths & Legends

Constantine TV Series logo
Constantine is an American TV series that centers around the character of John Constantine, a British exorcist and occult detective who hunts supernatural entities. The entire Constantine series is based upon a vast mythology that encompasses the legends and folklore of many different cultures throughout 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.

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
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