Europe

‘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...
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...

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Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

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)