Europe

Elves and other fairy folk.

Divine, Demonic, or Something In-Between: How the Changing Face of Elves Reflects the Zeitgeist

Just as human culture has changed over the centuries, supernatural creatures also change with time. For example, elves were originally a type of nature spirit similar to Nymphs in Greek mythology...
Detail of a bowl from the Hildesheim Silver Treasure featuring a seated Athena, 1st century BC.

The Hidden Identity of the Woman Glorified as Athena: Her Link to the Pre-Flood World

Here is that woman in all her splendor, reconstructed in the imitation Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, based on the original in her ancient temple atop Athens’ Acropolis—the high place of the city...
Orcas attacking a whale, from Carta Marina (1539)

Mapping the Menacing Sea Monsters in Medieval and Renaissance Cartography

Until a few years ago, no serious consideration had been made of the many and varied representations of monsters found on world maps from the 10th century through to medieval and Renaissance times...
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...
‘Evil eye.’

Rings, Gestures, and Phallus Talismans: The Evil Eye and Ancient Ways to Ward Off Its Power

For over 5000 years people have worried that a look of envy or dislike would inflict injury, bad luck, or even death on the recipient. People would wear specific items of jewelry or other talismans...
Rhineland Master. Love Magic, 1470s. Museum für bildende Künste, Leipzig.

A Patriarchal Portrait of a Witch: Warning of Witchcraft in the Female Wiles

Early modern Europe was a period of patriarchy, in which men were in control and women only truly had a say in the household affairs. Power and regulation lay in the hands of men, while the care of...
The Stone of Scone.

The Voice is Mightier than the Sword: The Stone of Scone That Roared with Power

"Unless the fates be faulty grown And prophet’s voice be vain Where’er is found this sacred stone The Scottish race shall reign." -translated by Sir Walter Scott, 16th century A stone valued more for...
The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant

We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the...
Fossil, dinosaur and dragon montage (Legendz Collective)

Unearthing Unexpected Fossil Usage in Ancient Medicine (Part 2): Dragon Pills to Gods' Horns

Of all fantastic creatures of legend, dragons are undisputedly the most iconic of the lot. One powerful reason for their fame may be found in the fact that dragonkind permeates across cultures...
‘Meadow Elves’ (1850) by Nils Blommér.

The Diverse Nature of Elves in Norse Myth: Beings of Light or Darkness?

Santa Claus, Keebler cookies, and overloaded shelves. When one speaks of elves, the mind most often goes to those who work for Santa or Keebler, or those which hide from little children in the middle...
Achilles and Patroclus: Brothers from Other Mothers or Passionate Paramours?

Achilles and Patroclus: Brothers from Other Mothers or Passionate Paramours?

A woman launched a thousand ships. Men traveled far to rescue her, though her motives and intentions were shrouded in haze. But when one warrior quit, it did not take a woman to bring him back to the...
Artists impression of Norse giantedd , Skaði or Skadi

Skaði, The Norse ‘Giantess’ with a Godly Vendetta

In Norse mythology, Skaði (also anglicised as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi) is a giantess and goddess. She is most often associated with winter. Apart from that, Skaði is also connected with hunting,...
Detail of ‘The birth of Adonis and the transformation of Myrrha.’ By Luigi Garzi.

From Incest to Incense: The Sad and Sordid Affair of Myrrha’s Punishment by Aphrodite

One of the most disturbing stories in the Greek mythological canon has ties to some of the most important figures on Olympus. The multi-generational madness of the royal family of Cyprus includes...
Ulysses (Odysseus) and the Sirens, circa, 1909 by Herbert James Draper.

The Seductive Sirens of Greek Mythology: How the Heroes Resisted Temptation

Sirens (sometimes spelled as ‘seirenes’) are a type of creature found in ancient Greek mythology. Sirens are commonly described as beautiful but dangerous creatures. In Greek mythology, sirens are...
Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.

Ragnar Lothbrok: The Ferocious Viking Hero that Became a Myth

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—...
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...

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Human Origins

Celtic Creation Myth – Eiocha and the one tree.
Creation myths are like bubbles of time, and when you pop one, stories of how prehistoric cultures interacted with each other, and nature, are found. Celtic mythology, more so than most folkloric systems, offers a perspective on how people interacted with the land and sea during different seasons of the year.

Ancient Technology

Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria (Canada). The display is from 1979, and the fur is musk ox hair.
In Sivershchina, close to the village of Mizyn in Ukraine is one of the oldest and most unique settlements of humans – and it was discovered in a parking lot. The now well-known archaeological site, known plainly as the Mizyn parking lot, dates back 18-20 thousand years.

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)