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 typical depiction of a pirate

French Pirate Olivier Levasseur Left Behind a Curious Cryptogram – Does it Lead to his Long-Lost Treasure?

Olivier Levasseur (known also by his nicknames ‘La Buse’, meaning ‘the Buzzard’, or ‘La Bouche’, meaning ‘the Mouth’) was a French pirate who was active during the 1st half of the 18th century...
Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099, Emile Signol

Why the Crusades Were Not a ‘Clash of Civilizations’

Ask pretty much anyone – whether terrorists, politicians (of all camps), dinner party guests, or religious leaders – and the one thing that they will say with confidence about the Crusades is that...
Depiction of the hanging of Elizabeth Wilson, with William Wilson coming with the pardon (from a later edition of The Pennsylvania Hermit).

The Pennsylvania Hermit: The Woeful Tale of a Grieving Brother’s Broken-hearted Hermitage

William “Amos” Wilson, who is known also as the Pennsylvania Hermit, is a figure in the folklore of Pennsylvania, more specifically of its south-eastern and south-central regions. William lived...
Six of the Roman Emperors:

A Succinct Timeline of Roman Emperors—400 Years of Power Condensed

To say that the Roman Empire had its ups and downs would be the understatement of all understatements. No “nation” was more abruptly destabilized or even more abruptly stabilized than that of ancient...
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Philosopher-King of Ancient Rome: Marcus Aurelius' Imperium

Marcus Aurelius is famed for various accomplishments—his title as the last of the Five Good Emperors; his extensive study of and literary accomplishments in the field of Stoicism; and, last but not...
Locustra testing Poison by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre

10 Ancient Serial Killers That Foreshadowed Jack The Ripper

What makes someone a serial killer? Even though psychologists and criminologists have been working for decades to accurately define and identify what makes a person commit such cold-blooded murders...
Aryan warriors.

The True Aryans: Who Were They Really and How Were Their Origins Corrupted?

Today, the word ‘Aryan’ is loaded with all sorts of negative connotation, largely due to Nazi ideology, Aryans have become associated with racial hierarchies that consider white, blonde, blue-eyed...
Left: Lilias reconstructed face as she may have looked when alive. (Dundee University) Right: 3D imagery created from the photo of Adie’s skull. (National Library of Scotland)

Face of Notorious “Witch” Digitally Reconstructed 300 Years after her Death

A group of elite forensic scientists from the University of Dundee, has reconstructed digitally the face of one of Scotland's most notorious “witches”, Lilias Adie. The only documents that helped...
Julius Caesar by Peter Paul Rubens.

“Veni, Vidi, Scripsi”: The Literary Conquests of Gaius Julius Caesar

A man who needs no introduction, Gaius Julius Caesar is more than well known for the stories he spearheads—namely, his numerous military victories. (Although, even his defeats somehow sound rather...
A modern interpretation of King Solomon’s Temple.

The First Temple: Crowning Achievement of King Solomon and Home of the Legendary Ark of the Covenant

The Biblical figure King Solomon was the son of King David, was reputedly both wealthy and wise. He is recorded as a prophet in both Judaism’s Talmud and Islam’s Quran and one of his major legacies...
Ninja warrior.

Hwarang, The ‘Flowering Knights’ of Korea: Deadly Warriors That Looked and Smelled Good!

The Hwarang were an extraordinary group of ancient knights from Silla – one of 3 kingdoms in the region of the Korean peninsula. They were an elite sect, chosen from high society families whilst...
Fight between Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) and Kumasaka Chôhan at the inn; bales and a torch on the ground, and Kisanda in the distance. (circa 1840-1843) By Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Yoshitsune: The Silk Clad Warrior With a Noble Quest for Revenge

Apart from a very rich mythology, Japan also has numerous histories about heroes. One of these is the story of Yoshitsune. Walking around in fine silk and playing the flute, at first glance he seemed...
Portrait of Christopher Columbus

How Columbus, Of All People, Became a National Symbol

Christopher Columbus was a narcissist. He believed he was personally chosen by God for a mission that no one else could achieve. After 1493, he signed his name “xpo ferens” – “the Christbearer.” His...
Portrait of Saint Nicholas

True Remains of the Saint Behind the Santa Myth Believed Found in Turkey

Researchers suggest that they have found the almost fully intact temple and burial grounds of Saint Nicholas in Antalya, Turkey. In case the name Saint Nicholas doesn’t ring any bells, keep in mind...
‘Marius sitting on the Ruins of Carthage’ (circa 1791-1794) by Pierre-Joseph François.

Banished by Caesar and Executed by Mark Antony: Did the Charismatic ‘Grandson of Gaius Marius’ Have a Legitimate Claim to the Roman Empire?

Long before imposters claimed to be Anastasia of Russia’s Romanov dynasty, a genealogical mystery consumed ancient Rome. No later than 45 BC, a man emerged who claimed to be the famous Gaius Marius’...
Cao Cao cites a poem before the Battle of Red Cliffs, portrait at the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace, Beijing

Devastating Defeat for Chinese Warlord in Largest Naval Battle in History

The largest naval battle in history occurred in the winter of 208/9 AD as part of the war for control of China. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers fought - some estimates suggest that the exact number...

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A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

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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.

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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)