epic

Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
Beowulf fighting Grendel’s Mother beside Grendel’s body.

Of Monsters and Men: What Is the Grim Being Known as Grendel from the Epic Beowulf?

Nowadays, monsters hide under your bed. They come out of the closet or dangle from your ceiling. Children usually picture such monsters with fangs or scales, glowing eyes, and claws. With the right...
Beowulf against the dragon.

Finding Beowulf: Is Some of the Famous Anglo-Saxon Heroic Epic Based on Truth?

Beowulf is possibly the most famous example of Anglo-Saxon literature. The heroic epic was created between the 8th-11th century and is set in Scandinavia. In the tale, Beowulf helps the king of the...
Left (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0) and right (Wally Gobetz/CC BY NC ND 2.0): Brooklyn Museum - Reliefs of King Ashur-nasir-pal II - Standard Inscription. Detail of cuneiform script. Center: British Museum, Assyrian collections (Room 10) cuneiform inscription.

Deciphering Cuneiform: Helping Scholars to Get a Handle on Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Cuneiform is a system of writing that was invented by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia. Believed to have been created sometime during the 4th millennium BC (between 3500 and 3000 BC), this script...
Ragnarök battle

Epic Battle Equals Doom or Twilight for Norse Gods? Ragnarök: The Real Message in the Myth

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök encompasses a series of events that will come to pass. It foretells an epic battle which leads to the death of numerous gods, natural disasters, and the death of the...
The codex, opened to a page of Beowulf

A Literary Treasure: The Oldest Surviving English Poem - Beowulf and His Epic Battles

Perhaps the oldest surviving long poem in Old English, Beowulf is commonly seen as one of the most important works of Old English Literature. While the date of the poem’s composition is still debated...
Sumerian chaos monster and sun god

Forget Death and Seek Life! Fascinating Insights into The Human Condition in 4,000-Year-Old Epic of Gilgamesh

“Forget death and seek life!” With these encouraging words, Gilgamesh, the star of the eponymous 4000-year-old epic poem, coins the world’s first heroic catchphrase. At the same time, the young king...
Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its...
The Nurturing Goddess Ninsun: Worshipped by Ancient Mesopotamians and the Mother of Gilgamesh

The Nurturing Goddess Ninsun: Worshipped by Ancient Mesopotamians and the Mother of Gilgamesh

Ninsun is a female figure found in Sumerian mythology. She is a goddess whose parents are the deities Anu (the sky god) and Uras (a goddess of the earth). As a goddess, Ninsun was worshipped by the...
This clay tablet in inscribed with one part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. It was most likely stolen from a historical site before it was sold to a museum in Iraq

Previously Unknown Lines to the Epic of Gilgamesh discovered in Stolen Cuneiform Tablet

An Assyriologist at the University of London (UCL) has discovered that a stolen clay tablet inscribed with ancient cuneiform text that was recently acquired by a museum in Iraq, contains 20...
Siegfried's Death

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge – Part 2

Like many ancient poems and epic tales, the 13 th century saga of The Nibelungenlied, or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is based on both myth and history. Written by an unknown author, the tale remains...
Painting illustrating The Nibelungenlied: Hagen orders servants to sink the hoard in the Rhine river

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge

The Nibelungenlied , or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is a Middle High German epic poem first written sometime in the thirteenth century. Though its author is unknown, The Nibelungenlied remains one...
The Defense of the Sampo, magical artifact of Finnish folklore.

The Magical Sampo: Object of Power and Riches in Finnish Folklore

The Kalevala, a poem based on Finnish folklore and mythology, is regarded as the national epic of Finland. As such, the 28 of February has been set aside in Finland as a day to commemorate this piece...
Theseus and Ariadne at the Entrance of the Labyrinth

The Abandoned Heroine Archetype in Greek and Roman Myth

In the epic myths of Ancient Greece and Rome, it is common for heroes to abandon their heroines in order to reach the end of their quests, as it was considered virtuous in these cultures for a man to...

Earliest surviving copy of epic poem, The Brus, brought back to life

One of the two oldest surviving copies of 'The Brus' – a medieval poem famous for its vivid, early description of the Battle of Bannockburn – has been restored in time for the battle’s 700th...
Nibelung Legend Treasure

Is treasure hoard found in Germany linked to Nibelung legend?

An amateur treasure hunter equipped with a metal detector has discovered a hoard of gold and silver dating back to late Roman times in a German forest. The finding has prompted speculation that it...

Top New Stories

The Achievement of the Grail.
Leah Tether works at the University of Bristol. She received funding for this research from Anglia Ruskin University, Ghent University, Somerville College, Oxford and the Stationers' Foundation. Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence.

Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

Ancient Technology

10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!
Long before modern warfare, there was a time of knights in shining armor atop equally armored horses fighting for the hand of a maiden or in pitched battle. However, the weapons that these knights wielded expanded far past that of an ordinary sword and shield.

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)