Famous People

In this section, we shed light on some of the most famous and infamous people known throughout history, from powerful pharaohs, to emperors and empresses, acclaimed military leaders, or just regular civilians who’ve been thrown into the spotlight for great crimes or for heroic actions, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

Edmund killing Sweyn by Matthew Paris, 13th century (Cambridge University Library MS Ee.3.59 p. 4)

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 2: Did the Martyred Saint Rise from the Grave to Kill a Viking King?

King Edmund was the man who died, indeed was martyred by the Vikings after enduring a tortuous death which ended in his beheading. He thus became St Edmund and was the England’s original heavenly...
Martrydom of St Edmund.

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 1: The Unfortunate Friendship With Ragnor Lodbrok that Led to Edmund’s Beheading

Over the past decade, there have been two major public campaigns in the UK to drum up support for removing St George as the patron saint of England and replacing him with St Edmund, the man who was...
Romulus' Victory Over Acron’ (1812) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Romulus was the first Roman king.

The Seven Kings of Rome: Tumultuous Origins of the Roman Republic

In the beginning, there was only dirt and mud and twigs. Then came the legendary hero Aeneas, and from him descended the sons of Rhea Silva and Mars, the god of war. These sons were Romulus and Remus...
Concept art of Queen Anne’s Revenge, based on the Pirates of the Caribbean prop for ‘The Black Pearl’

Blackbeard and his Infamous Pirate Ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge

“So our Heroe, Captain Teach, assumed the Cognomen of Black-beard, from that large Quantity of Hair, which, like a frightful Meteor, covered his whole Face, and frightened America more than any Comet...
Skiing Birchlegs Crossing the Mountain with the Royal Child by Knud Larsen Bergslien

The Birkebeiners and a Heroic Mountain Rescue that Helped Unify Medieval Norway

The rebels were so poor that their shoes were made of birch. The wealthier, better-established party derided the upstarts in state-sponsored propaganda, labeling them ‘birkebeiners’ after their birch...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
Zhang Heng's odometer, a mechanical carriage.

The Famous Ancient Chinese Inventions of Zhang Heng

Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) was a Chinese astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar from Nanyang, Henan Province, China. He is noted for...
Sack of Rome’ by Karl Briullov. (1833-1836) in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. This painting is showing the Vandal king Gaiseric sacking Rome

Va-Va-Vandal: The Life and Times of Gaiseric, the Vandal King of North Africa

Meet one of the most important late antiquity kings you’ve never heard of: Gaiseric (a.k.a. Genseric), a Germanic kinglet who transformed his tribal affiliations into a massive realm in the 5th...
Jezebel.

Jezebel: Revealing the Slander of a Virgin of Baal, Princess of Tyre, and Queen of Israel

Jezebel - even to this day her name is synonymous with wickedness and promiscuity. She was the most depraved of women, a murderess, an adulteress and worst of all an idolatress. She was so hated by...
Scene of destruction in the film “Pompeii 3d” (2014). (La Stampa/CC BY NC ND) Insert: Remains of a skull attributed to Pliny the Elder from the Museo di Storia dell'Arte Sanitaria in Rome.

Researchers Look to Crowdfunding to Identify the Skull of Pompeii Hero Pliny the Elder

Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, was an influential administrator, officer, and author in ancient Rome. His life ended suddenly with the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius in...
 Three runners. Side B of an Attic black-figured Panathenaic prize amphora (Marie-Lan Nguyen/CC BY 2.5) ) and detail of a statue of a Greek runner by Sir William Blake Richmond, in St Peter's Square, Hammersmith, London. (CC BY SA 3.0)

The Greatest Runner You Have Never Heard Of: The Other Famous Greek Leonidas

Thanks to Zack Snyder’s 2007 fantasy historical film, 300 , the Battle of Thermopylae has become one of the most famous battles in history, while the name Leonidas is now synonymous with the...
Tang and Shakespeare’s dramas are being blended together in a series of adaptions.

From China with Love: Tang Xianzu Was the Shakespeare of the Orient

After 400 years, Shakespeare is still rightly celebrated as a great wordsmith and playwright. But he was not the only great master of dramatic writing to die in 1616, and he is certainly not the only...
Ior Bock.

The Ior Bock Saga: Is Everything We Know about History Wrong?

There are many disagreements among scholars regarding historical events and individuals, however there is a consensus that most historians follow - a mainstream view of world history. At the same...
An image of the goddess Meenakshi.

Meenakshi: The Warrior Goddess Who Could Not Be Defeated by Any Man …Until She Met Shiva

Meenakshi is a goddess in the Hindu pantheon who is worshipped mainly in the southern part of India. This goddess is believed to be an avatar of the goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The most...
Edited image from the Tokyo National Museum of the actor Nakazō Nakamura playing Goemon Ishikawa (or, in Japanese style, Ishikawa Goemon), a legendary ninja

Ninja Warrior Ishikawa Goemon: Charitable Hero or Violent Outlaw?

Ishikawa Goemon was a legendary Japanese outlaw and folk hero who lived during the 16th century. This outlaw has sometimes been compared to Robin Hood, as he stole from the rich to give to the poor...
his head of indurated limestone is a fragment from a group statue that represented Amun seated on a throne, and Tutankhamun standing or kneeling in front of him. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Hunt for Ankhesenamun: A Murderess, Vixen or Helpless Child in this Ancient Egyptian Soap Opera? Part II

Ankhesenamun, wife of the boy-king Tutankhamun, is portrayed in many ways; as a terrified and hapless youngster; a power-hungry murderess; or a loathsome vixen who will stop at nothing to achieve her...

Pages

Top New Stories

Painting of a ghostly looking woman. (Public Domain) Rose Hall, the estate house of a former sugar plantation, in Jamaica.
Rose Hall Plantation – better known today as Rose Hall Great House – in Montego Bay, Jamaica is considered one of the most haunted houses in the western hemisphere. It has such a notorious reputation that the famous American singer and songwriter, Johnny Cash, wrote a song popularizing the legend created by Herbert de Lisser who immortalized Annie Palmer in his book, White Witch of Rose Hall, published in 1929.

Ancient Technology

A cowboy boot in a horse’s stirrup.
Seemingly simple, yet oh so significant - the stirrup is an invention that changed the history of the world. The emergence of the stirrup revolutionized the way horses were ridden and consequently re-shaped transportation. In fact, this invention played an important role in some key historical events and empire building.

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)