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.

A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

If you think that girl power is a modern idea from songs created in the 90s, you should read the story of a mother and daughter whose bright minds and dose of independence had a remarkable impact on...
Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Who Was Zoroaster and How Did He Gain Religious Followers?

Zoroaster was a prophet of ancient Persia, whose teachings laid the foundation for the religion known as Zoroastrianism, which largely dominated the land of Iran until the arrival of Islam after the...
Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Since at least the 18th century AD, there have been discoveries in northwestern continental Europe and Britain of “bog bodies” - human remains which have been preserved in the anoxic environment of...
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...
Pocahontas, after 1616, Oil on canvas by Unidentified Artist.

Pocahontas Shrouded in Myth: A Princess Goes to England

As Ancient Origins reported in its article “ The True Story of Pocahontas as Not Told by Disney ,” the real life Pocahontas was different from her portrayal in the 1995 animated feature film. However...
Photo by Leo Von Klenze. A romantic idealized reconstruction of the Acropolis of Athens.

Cleisthenes, Father of Democracy, Invented a Form of Government that Has Endured for Over 2,500 Years

Ancient Athens is best remembered for giving birth to the first democracy in history, a course of action that took many years and several leaders to develop. One of the most prominent figures of that...
Detail of ‘Velleda’, as imagined in a 19th-century painting by Charles Voillemot.

The Legendary Prophetess Veleda: A Secret Weapon Against the Romans

Legends about beautiful women who drove armies of men to glory are very familiar in history. In the case of Veleda, her story didn't end with the loss of her people, but withstood the passage of time...
Star-Crossed Lovers? Criminals? Or Strangers? The Mystery of the Windeby Bog Bodies

Star-Crossed Lovers? Criminals? Or Strangers? The Mystery of the Windeby Bog Bodies

Windeby I (known also as the ‘Windeby Girl’ until recently) is a bog body hat was discovered in a peat bog located in the town of Windeby, near Schleswig, in the northern part of Germany. This bog...
Searching for the Lost Footsteps of the Scorpion Kings

Searching for the Lost Footsteps of the Scorpion Kings

In the pre-dynastic period of ancient Egypt, there were two rulers by the name of ‘Scorpion’. They were long forgotten for most of the world until Dwayne Johnson played one of the rulers in the...
Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the...
Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

Emperor Caligula Brought an End to the Illustrious Ptolemies, But Why?

When Cleopatra VII and Mark Anthony closed their eyes for the last time, passing through to their longed-for afterlife, among the successors were their three orphans: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra...
The Forgotten Cleopatra: Searching for Cleopatra the Alchemist and Her Golden Secret

The Forgotten Cleopatra: Searching for Cleopatra the Alchemist and Her Golden Secret

Cleopatra was one of four female alchemists who worked on producing the famous Philosopher's stone. She lived during the last remarkable period in Alexandria’s history, when it was still a city of...
Earthquake in Ecuador Reveals Bizarre Burial of a Mummy in a Jar with a Little Mouse

Earthquake in Ecuador Reveals Bizarre Burial of a Mummy in a Jar with a Little Mouse

On August 5, 1949, an earthquake struck the small town of Guano in Ecuador, causing buildings to crack open and crumble. The disaster led to the strange discovery of the Mummy of Guano. During the...
Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi (1785) by Angelica Kauffman.

Who was Cornelia Africana and How Did She Become the Prototype of the Virtuous Roman Woman?

The life of Cornelia Africana could be the basis for a fascinating Hollywood super-production. Since the beginning, her tale was nothing but an adventurous story about a woman whose extraordinary...
Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne, The Ancient Greek Prostitute Who Flashed Her Way to Freedom

Phryne the Thespian was a famed courtesan of Athens, better known for the court case she won by baring her breasts. Her actual name was Mnesarete but people referred to her as Phryne (“toad”) because...
The Amazing Story of Yasuke: The Forgotten African Samurai

The Amazing Story of Yasuke: The Forgotten African Samurai

Samurai are among the most enduring symbols of Japanese cultural heritage, thus unsurprisingly, most samurai were Japanese. There are, however, examples of non-Japanese who became samurai as well...

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Top New Stories

(1) Knotted tanned hide bundle before extraction of contents; (2) & (4) gold dinars; (3) signet ring with intaglio; (5) contents of knotted tanned hide bundle.
In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex.

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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. 

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)