Europe

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...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Drinking Horn by Brynjólfur Jónsson of Skarð, South Iceland – 1598

Icelandic Drinking Horn Changes Our Historic Understanding of Saint Olav

After the Reformation, Norway's Olav Haraldsson was no longer supposed to be worshipped as a saint. An Icelandic drinking horn offers some clues on how the saint's status changed over time. Drinking...
The Ill-fated Elling Woman: An Iron Age Sacrifice to Appease the Gods?

The Ill-fated Elling Woman: An Iron Age Sacrifice to Appease the Gods?

Elling Woman is the name given to a well-preserved bog body that was discovered in Denmark during the first half of the 20th century. By then, this type of remains had already been found in Denmark’s...
A 700-Year-Old Murder Mystery: Who Bludgeoned the Bocksten Man to Death and Why?

A 700-Year-Old Murder Mystery: Who Bludgeoned the Bocksten Man to Death and Why?

Around 700 years ago, a young man, who has come to be known as ‘Bocksten Man’, was struck three times on the head, then tossed into a peat bog and impaled with three wooden poles to prevent his body...
Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Galician Faith in the Enchanted Mouros and Mouras: Is There Reality Behind the Fairytales?

Numerous folk stories in Galicia, Spain, tell of supernatural spirits that dwell in forests, among the waters of the rivers, or on sandy beaches. Many of them are related in some ways to ancient...
A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

A Strange Ancient Dance with Unknown Origins – How Far Back Does the Morris Dance Really Go?

Morris dancing is a type of folk dance from England. It is unclear as to when Morris Dancing began to be performed, though there is evidence that this dance has existed for several centuries, the...
No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

No Gossiping, Gluttony, Lying, or Eavesdropping! European Metal Masks Would Shame You into Good Behavior

Shame masks were a type of embarrassing punishment device used in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries. As its name suggests, the shame mask was meant to humiliate the person who was forced to...
Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha was a regent of the Ostrogoths who lived during the Late Antique period, i.e. the 6th century AD. This was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when Italy was under the...
Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Would you have sex with a Homo sapiens neanderthalensis if they hadn’t gone extinct? Your ancestors may have. Scientists are testing cave dirt for the presence of Neanderthal DNA from disintegrated...
A replica of a painting of an aurochs in Lascaux cave in France. Scientists have estimated these paintings may be 20,000 years old.

Scientists Have Almost Completed the Resurrection of Extinct Aurochs and Plan to Reintroduce Them to the Wild

A group of scientists is attempting to re-wild 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres) of European lands, and one of the keys in the circle of life will be reintroducing the fierce, huge, wild...
2,500-Year-Old Celtic Chariot Proves Iron Age Links with Mainland Europe

2,500-Year-Old Celtic Chariot Proves Iron Age Links with Mainland Europe

The Newbridge Chariot is the name given to the remains of a Celtic chariot found in Edinburgh, Scotland. The burial is found to date to around the 5 th century B.C., hence placing it in the Iron Age...
: Deriv; Portrait of Gustav II of Sweden and his death on November 6, 1632.

“Lion of the North” Gustavus Adolphus and the Thirty Years’ War: Victories and Downfall – Part II

This is the recounting of the dramatic life of the “The Golden King” and “The Lion of the North” Gustav Adolf, and the Swedish Empire during stormaktstiden – “the Great Power era”. As Gustav II Adolf...
The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631)

“Lion of the North” Gustavus Adolphus and the Thirty Years’ War: Fighting the Holy Roman Empire – Part I

On 9 December 1594, Gustav II Adolf was born. From the time of his birth until his coronation, his upbringing involved many lessons in politics, literature, military science, and physical development...
The Znojmo Catacombs: A Maze of Tunnels Where No Enemies Escaped Alive

The Znojmo Catacombs: A Maze of Tunnels Where No Enemies Escaped Alive

The Znojmo Catacombs are a series of subterranean passageways located beneath the city of Znojmo, in the Czech Republic. The underground tunnels were built to protect and shelter people in times of...

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Top New Stories

The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge, Scotland
The oldest surviving packhorse bridge in the Scottish Highlands, the "coffin bridge" at Carrbridge in Inverness remains one of the most significant. Built in 1717, this packhorse bridge is located near the city of Inverness, capital of the Highlands, and was erected in an arch from "tooled rubble…springing from natural rock abutment".

Myths & Legends

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Human Origins

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Ancient Technology

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Ancient Places

The old packhorse bridge in Carrbridge, Scotland
The oldest surviving packhorse bridge in the Scottish Highlands, the "coffin bridge" at Carrbridge in Inverness remains one of the most significant. Built in 1717, this packhorse bridge is located near the city of Inverness, capital of the Highlands, and was erected in an arch from "tooled rubble…springing from natural rock abutment".

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)