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.

The theory that Tsar Alexander I craved a holy life as a monk is based on him seeking forgiveness for coming to power after the murder of his father, Paul I. Source: Vesti Tomsk

Science ‘To Answer Russian Royal Mystery’: Did Tsar Stage Death to Become Siberian Monk?

By The Siberian Times reporter Officially, Alexander I died of typhus aged 47 on December 1, 1825, but evidence suggests he faked his demise and lived as a holy man. Genetic analysis is soon to be...
Frederick Barbarossa awards the city of Haarlem with a sword for its shield or coat-of-arms. By Pieter de Greber, 1630.

Frederick I Barbarossa: A Megalomaniac Roman Emperor On a Crusade for Power

Some people believe they were born for greatness but fall short and some go on to exceed all expectations. Frederick I Barbarossa falls into the second category. His ambition for power was limitless...
David and Jonathan.

David and Jonathan: A Secret Biblical Bromance?

The deep, emotional relationship that bonded David and Jonathan is related in the books of Samuel. The two are said to have formed a covenant of friendship, even though their situation essentially...
Unmasking King Richard: Does the Lionhearted King of England Have a Better Reputation Than He Deserves?

Unmasking King Richard: Does the Lionhearted King of England Have a Better Reputation Than He Deserves?

Cruel. Courageous. Scheming. Chivalrous. These are just some of the contradictory words that have been used to describe the English king with a ‘Lion heart.’ But lions are not always majestic...
A miniature from the Rashid al-Din’s Jami‘ al-Tawarikh showing Mahmud of Ghazni receiving a richly decorated robe of honour form the Abbasid caliph in 1000 AD.

Mahmud of Ghazni: Merciless Tyrant Obliterated Hindu Temples and Conquered Territories Through Plunder and Slaughter

God be merciful to both father and son! Mahmud utterly ruined the prosperity of the country [India], and performed wonderful exploits, by which the Hindus became like atoms of dust scattered in all...
A portrait of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi: How an Adventuresome Peasant Boy Became Japan’s Second Great Unifier

Toyotomi Hideyoshi was a powerful Japanese daimyo (feudal lord) who lived during the 16th century. He is regarded as Japan’s second ‘great unifier’, the first being Oda Nobunaga, and the third being...
Artist’s representation of Wei Zhongxian.

Wei Zhongxian: When China Yielded to the Terrifying Power of a Notorious Eunuch

Wei Zhongxian is often considered to be the most powerful and notorious eunuch in Chinese history. He had powers almost equivalent to that of the emperor’s and those who opposed him were ruthlessly...
From Slave to Sultan: Baibars I - The Slave Warrior Who Fought His Way to the Top

From Slave to Sultan: Baibars I - The Slave Warrior Who Fought His Way to the Top

Baibars I was a powerful Sultan who is remembered most for his military leadership, especially against Crusaders and Mongols, but also for his diplomatic skills. He is often regarded as the most...
What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

What Role Did Skepticism Play in the Conquests of Alexander the Great?

Anaxarchus and Pyrrho. These are two names which are not as well known to the general public as those of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Yet these men are no less important. While the latter three...
Medieval miniature of Æthelflæd in genealogical roll of the kings of England 13th century.(Public Domain)/ Æthelflæd as depicted in the cartulary of Abingdon Abbey

Æthelflæd, The Medieval Queen Who Took on the Vikings to Save Her Kingdom

While her name is a mouthful, and quite a convoluted one at that, Æthelflæd of Mercia's role in early medieval England is rather straightforward. More importantly, the part she played in the conquest...
Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

The Sicarii: The Jewish Daggermen With a Thirst for Roman Blood

The Sicarii - which may be translated as ‘daggermen’ from the Latin - were a group of Jewish zealots who lived during the 1 st century AD. The Sicarii intended to expel the Romans and their...
Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.

Ragnar Lothbrok: The Ferocious Viking Hero that Became a Myth

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—...
Left: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Right: Warrior heroine Saikal

Selling Sex: Wonder Woman and the Ancient Fantasy of Lady Warriors That Goes Back Millennia

When the film Wonder Woman is released in early June, it will surely join the blockbuster ranks of other recent comic book-inspired film franchises. Wonder Woman has long been a bestselling creation...
Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘

Ivar the Boneless: A Viking Warrior That Drew Strength From His Weakness

One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of...
Statue of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

Why is the Evidence for the Outlaw Robin Hood as Elusive as the Man Himself?

The historic existence of the legendary English hero who ‘stole from the rich and gave to the poor’ is a perennial source of debate. Every few years, new evidence emerges of authenticity and possible...
Anubis Reconstructing Osiris (1350 BC, Tomb of Ramses 1, Egypt).

The Macabre Mystery of the Missing Prince And ‘Zombie’ King

In “The Mysterious Death of Tutankhamun”, by Paul Doherty he remarks, “There is a passivity about Tutankhamun which is quite chilling.” Normally the text in the tombs of other Kings read in the...

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Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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Ancient Places

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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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.

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.

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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)