Europe

A Sheela na gig carving on a church in Kilpeck, England

Why Are There Carvings of Women Flashing Their Genitals on Churches Across Europe?

The last place one would expect to see an image of a woman flashing her genitals is a church wall, but across Europe, most notably Ireland and Britain, there are dozens of them. Most are old women...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
A reconstruction of ‘Lucy’ (public domain). Inset: One of the fossilized teeth discovered at Eppelsheim. Credit: The Museum of Natural History in Mainz

9.7 Million-Year-Old Teeth Found in Germany Belong to Hominin Only Known To Have Existed in Africa 4 Million Years Later

Archaeologists have made a discovery so sensational that they have waited 1 year to announce it as they had to be sure they had the dating correct. A set of teeth belonging to an early hominin...
Kukeri is a type of wild man in Bulgaria. Rituals with this ‘beast’ are believed to scare away evil spirits.

Beasts of the Pagan Wild Man Ritual Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The wild man is a creature found in various pagan traditions across Europe. Generally speaking, a wild man is a man dressed up in a beast-like costume for certain pagan rituals, which were normally...
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...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
Vandalised site, showing fresh sand along the edges of the slab where it has been lifted and the holes left by the removal of two blocks in the centre. Babis Fassoulas, Author provided

Recently Discovered 6 Million-Year-Old Hominin Footprints Have Just Been Vandalized and Some Stolen

There has been a lot of interest in our discovery of nearly-6m-year-old footprints on Crete, first reported by the The Conversation – suggesting that human ancestors could have roamed Europe at the...
Sean's Bar is located on Main Street, Athlone, on the West Bank of the River Shannon, and was originally known as Luain's Inn.

Quaffing Here For 11 Centuries: Sean’s Bar Claims Title of Oldest Pub in Ireland, Europe and Possibly the World

Sean’s Bar is a pub (abbreviated from ‘public house’) located in Athlone, in Ireland’s County Westmeath. This bar holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest public house in Ireland. In...
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...
‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
Sultan Mahmud II (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

Ultimatum from the Sultan to the Powerful Janissary Military - Change… Or Die! Guess what they Chose? The Auspicious Event—Part II

A force of disciplined, elite royal guards of the 15th and 16th century Ottoman Empire grew in size by seizing Christian children and raising them as civil servants and dangerous soldiers. The...
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wearing the traditional Janissary uniform (Public Domain), and ornament from a Janissary's Cap, 17th century Turkey

The Powerful & Dangerous Janissaries and the Secret Plan to Destroy Them: The Auspicious Event—Part I

The Janissaries ( yeni-cheri , or “new troops”) were a small elite branch established by the Ottoman military sometime around the 14th century by Orhan Ghazi, second bey (chieftain), of the Ottoman...
Ötzi’s Ancient Axe is from Tuscany, Giving Firm Evidence of Neolithic Travel and Trade

Ötzi’s Ancient Axe is from Tuscany, Giving Firm Evidence of Neolithic Travel and Trade

Scientists have officially verified that copper used to make Otzi the Iceman’s axe blade did not come from the Alpine region as was initially suggested, but instead it came from southern Tuscany in...
New DNA Study Suggests African Humans Interbred With European Neanderthals Way Earlier Than We Think

New DNA Study Suggests African Humans Interbred With European Neanderthals Way Earlier Than We Think

Phys Org reports that in 1937, a 124,000-year-old Neanderthal thigh bone was discovered during excavations near the entrance of Hohlenstein-Stadel cave in southwestern Germany. After 80 years its...
An old map of Europe

From Christendom to Europe: How a Continent Got Its Identity

It is tempting to regard the history of Europe as a tale of gradually closer union, an evolution now imperilled by the forces of nationalistic populism that have brought Brexit and the growth of far-...
Vindija Cave in Croatia where Neanderthal DNA was found in cave sediment

DNA Can Now be Extracted from Dirt! New Tech May Solve Many Mysteries of Human Origins

An amazing technological innovation in the study of DNA has been called a ‘game changer’ in the research into ancient humans and hominids. It may solve many of the mysteries that exist in relation to...

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Human Origins

Adam and Eve (1640s) by Jacob Jordaens.
The common male and female ancestors of human beings are popularly known as “Genetic Adam” and “Genetic Eve.” A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield claims all men can trace their origins to one male ancestor, ‘Adam’, who lived approximately 209,000 years ago. This places ‘Adam’ within the same time frame as ‘Eve’ - the ‘mother of all women’ – and provides evidence for the existence of a prehistoric ‘Adam and Eve.’

Ancient Places

The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.
Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in Ireland. If ever a building fit the stereotype of a home haunted by its bloody and tragic past, this was it...

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)