Europe

The Dunvegan Cup, Fairy Flag, and Sir Rory Mor's Horn are heirlooms of the MacLeods of Dunvegan. This photo was taken sometime before 1927.

The Mysterious Fairy Flag of Clan MacLeod and its Legendary Protective Powers

The Fairy Flag is one of the treasures kept by the chief of Clan MacLeod, a Highland Scottish clan associated with the Isle of Skye. Today, the flag resides in Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the clan’s...
"Loki's Brood" (1905) by Emil Doepler.

Going to Hel and Back: The Travel to Helheim Where a Goddess of Darkness Reigned

By far, Loki’s most well-known children are the ones he had with the giantess Angurboda. These include the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent Jormugandr, and the goddess Hel. Legends say that the...
Jacques Stella (France, Lyons, 1596-1657).

Stairway to Heaven: The story of Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s ladder is the name given to the stairway that appears in the dream of the Biblical Patriarch Jacob. Jacob’s ladder is the name given to the stairway that appears in the dream of the Biblical...
From the Gisla Saga: When Eyjólfur and his men attacked Gísli in overwhelming numbers, Gísli’s wife Auður stood by his side, armed with a club.

Gunnhild, A Misidentified Bog Body and the Mother of Kings in Norse Sagas

Gunnhild, known also as Gunnhild Gormsdóttir or Gunnhild konungamóðir (meaning ‘mother of kings’), is a character who is found in a number of Norse sagas. In these stories, Gunnhild is depicted as...
Boat on the Aegean Sea at night in Santorini, Greece - Poseidon

The Realm of Poseidon: A Mythical Voyage Around the Aegean

Poseidon the great god I begin to sing, he who moves the earth and the desolate sea… You are dark-haired you are blessed you have a kind heart. Help those who sail upon The sea In ships. ~Homeric...
Some of the forms of the monster Coco: as a dragon

Shape Changes, Fear Does Not: The Mythical Monster Coco

Coco is also known in folklore as Cuco, Coca, Cuca, Cucuy. It is a mythical dragon or a ghost monster which is said to appear in many different shapes and forms. There is no description of the beast...
The Departure of Väinämöinen.

The Fantastic Adventures of Vainamoinen: Finnish Hero, Wizard, Shaman, and God

Väinämöinen is an important figure in Finnish folklore, and has been variously referred to as a hero, a wizard, a shaman, and a god. More importantly, this benevolent character is the primary...
Neptune Carving

Ring of Skulls: Ancient and Modern Sacrifices to the Water Gods

The macabre discovery of a ring of children’s skulls buried in the earth around lakes in Germany and Switzerland has revealed an age-old tradition of making offerings and sacrifices to the water gods...
An illustration of a strigoi.

Preventing the Evil Dead from Arising, Ancient Practices Alive in Present-Day Romania Part 2

Read Part 1 As shown in numerous existing Romanian legends and testimonies, the main measure of protection against strigoi (vampires) is respecting funeral rites in detail. (The majority of strigoi...
"Tartini's Dream" by Louis-Léopold Boilly

Stan Patitul and his Infernal Pact with the Devil

The legends of world mythology are full of tales about infernal pacts. In the case of such a pact, the individual gives up his or her own soul in exchange for service to the devil or demons. However...
Deriv; Unidentified ancient manuscript

The Hidden Origins of Il Separatio: Manuscripts Deemed Dangerous and Banned

Throughout history a large number of books have been banned only because they contained various uncomfortable truths or tales. Such books have been systematically hunted down and destroyed by...
The Black Knight

The Entity of Neutrality and the Story of the Black Knights

During the Middle Ages, Black Knights began to appear in history and, since the 13 th century, a series of legends mentioning the mysterious Black Knights emerged. Although the Black Knights were...
Sigurd and Fafnir (Public domain). Fáfnir was a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar. After being affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold, Fafnir became a dragon and was slain by Sigurd.

Outlaws, trolls and berserkers: Meet the hero-monsters of the Icelandic sagas

Iceland’s medieval literature is rich in many regards: in Eddas and sagas, it tells us about early Scandinavia and its expanding world-view, ranging from the mythology of the North, the legends and...
Leprechaun hat

Leprechauns: At the End of the Rainbow Lies Richness for Irish Folklore

Those little men all dressed in green, obsessed with rainbows and treasure, trickery, and of course shoe-making. These are all common perceptions today regarding the famous characters from Irish...
A 15th century depiction of Scota’s voyage from Egypt.

Scota: Mother of Scotland and Daughter of a Pharaoh

During the 1440s, a Scottish chronicler, Walter Bower, sought to trace the history of the Scottish people from the earliest times. The result of his endeavour was the creation of a compendium of...
Dante e Virgilio nel Purgatorio, Domenico Morelli

A Pilgrimage of Thought: Dante Ascends Mount Purgatory

Read Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Purgatory is presented within The Divine Comedy as a mountain that must be climbed to be overcome. Following Dante and Virgil's sojourn into Hell, he and his guide...

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Myths & Legends

Right: Detail of a statue of a reclining Attis. The Shrine of Attis is situated to the east of the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia. Statue of Jesus Christ as a shepherd with a lamb.
Recently, it has been popular to suggest in some circles that Christianity was influenced, or even derived from, the ancient Roman mystery religions – religions often known to have orgiastic rituals and connection to a personal god.

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

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.

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

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)