Europe

From the Gisla Saga

The Gisla Saga: an Icelandic Tale of Love, Family, and Revenge

Considered an outlaw saga, the Gisla Saga survives in thirty-three manuscripts, first written in the 13 th century. It is notable for its psychological treatment of characters and its blatant...
One of the giants in St Mary's church, Aldworth

The Life and Legend of the Aldworth Giants

In the simple, tiny church of St. Mary, Aldworth there lie the nine stone statues of what have become known as the “Aldworth Giants,” a name bestowed upon them because all are over 7 feet tall and...
Illustration of Koshchey (Koshei) the Deathless, riding his magical steed.

A Slavic Legend of Immortality: Koschei, the Deathless

A figure from Slavic folklore, Koschei the Deathless was known for his titular characteristic: his inability to die. What is most interesting about this figure, however, is that his immortality was...
Aethra Showing her Son Theseus the Place Where his Father had Hidden his Arms

The Legend of Aegeus - The Mistake of a Son and the Death of a King

Forty-three miles south of Athens, Greece, one can find the magnificent cliffs of Cape Sounion. This is a beautiful site with breathtaking sunset views over the Aegean Sea. Today’s beautiful scenery...
Norse Mythological tree

The Norse Legend of the World Tree - Yggdrasil

In 1643 a Bishop called Brynjolf Sveinsson was given forty- five pieces of vellum containing poetry and prose from the heart of ancient Northern European indigenous culture. This collection is called...
A relief of Epona, flanked by two pairs of horses, from Roman Macedonia, foruth century C.E.

The Celtic Goddess Epona that Rode Swiftly Across the Ancient Roman Empire

The protector of horses, mules, and cavalry, Epona was one of the only non-Roman goddesses to have been wholly adopted by the Roman Empire. Often depicted astride a horse, Epona resonated in the...
Merlin the Magician

The Legendary Origins of Merlin the Magician

Most people today have heard of Merlin the Magician, as his name has been popularized over the centuries and his story has been dramatized in numerous novels, films, and television programs. The...
Aquae Sulis in Bath, England

Aquae Sulis: The Epitome of Roman Syncretization with the Celts

The Roman bath system was one of the most intricate and complex of the ancient world. Composed of various rooms for mental and physical cleansing, the Roman baths were more than a source of hygiene;...
Excavations at the site of Helike. In this case, a Hellenistic-era building; possibly used as a dye-works

Uncovering The Lost City of Helike

The story of the destruction of Atlantis is one of the most famous stories from ancient Greece. Yet, there is a similar story of destruction told about the city of Helike. Unlike Atlantis, however,...
The Legend of the Wolf Fenrir

The Legend of Fenrir: a Wolf with a Bite

One of the three children of Loki by a giantess (jötunn ) named Angrboða, Fenrir plays an imperative, though short, role in Norse mythology. A wolf of remarkable size and strength, Fenrir has one...
The Lost Land of Lyonesse – Legendary City on the Bottom of the Sea

The Lost Land of Lyonesse – Legendary City on the Bottom of the Sea

In Arthurian legend, Lyonesse is the home country of Tristan, from the legendary story of Tristan and Iseult. The mythical land of Lyonesse is now referred to as the “Lost Land of Lyonesse,” as it is...
 Featured image: Detail, An

The Enigmatic Loki, a Trickster among Gods in Norse Mythology

The Norse trickster god, Loki is undoubtedly the most debated figure from Norse mythology to this day. Though he appears to be a scheming, mischievous deity who has no real loyalties, scholars still...
Æsir gathered around the body of Baldr. Painting by Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg 1817

Baldr: The Shining God Who Shines No More

Known among the pre-Christian Scandinavians, and the gods themselves, as the "Shining God", Baldr was the image of perfection in the Norse religion, and the pride and joy of the Æsir (members of the...
Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams

Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams who delivered messages from the gods to the mortal world

Greek mythology depicts its deities as belonging to one big family, and people today would likely be able to recognize its most prominent members. Most people are perhaps familiar with the Twelve...
Wandering Wilas

Beware the Wandering Wilas

In Slavic mythology, there is a form of nymph which lies somewhere between a ghost and a fairy. The Wilas (pronounced viwa and also called Vili or Vilas) are fair-haired female creatures who have...
Symbols of Samhain and Halloween – fire, the dead, lanterns, harvest

Crossing the Veil: The Pre-Christian Origins of Halloween and Samhain

Halloween, or the ancient Samhain, is considered the time of year when the veil between our world and the spirit world is at its thinnest. As darkness falls and families light their pumpkin Jack-o'-...

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Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.
Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran until the 17th century. Founded in 518 BC by Darius I of the Persian Empire, Persepolis (called Parsa by the native Persians) lasted only a mere two hundred years despite the grandeur Darius and his followers abundantly heaped on its construction. Notwithstanding Persepolis’ tragic end, what remains of the Persian citadel is astounding.

Myths & Legends

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 Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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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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. 

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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)