Folklore

The Nightmare, circa 1790 by Johann Heinrich Füssli; Deriv

The Night Mare and Being Ridden by the Hag

Most people today who have heard that ‘the Nightmare’ is an actual being in European folklore and not just a certain type of dream-state, associate the being with horses. A mare is indeed a horse—but...
'The Premature Burial’ by Antoine Wiertz

How Long Have We Believed in Vampires?

Vampires have a contested history. Some claim that the creatures are “as old as the world”. But more recent arguments suggest that our belief in vampires and the undead was born in the 18th century,...
Cherry of Zennor broke with ‘reality’ and reached something deeper

What did Cherry of Zennor See That Altered Her Reality and Shaped Ours? The Deeper Meanings of Faerie Folklore

'Myth is a story that implies a certain way of interpreting consensus reality so to derive meaning and effective charge from its images and interactions. As such, it can take many forms: fables,...
Golden Age By Juan Carlos Barquet

Long Lost Golden Age - Just a Myth?

The myth and folklore of ancient cultures speak of a vast cycle of time with alternating dark and golden ages; Plato called it the Great Year. Most of us were taught that this cycle was just a myth...
The 800-year-old skeleton found in Bulgaria stabbed through the chest with iron rod.

People Practiced Anti-Vampire Rituals in Bulgaria Until Three Decades Ago

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula, many people associate vampires with the region of Transylvania in Romania. However, it was only around 25 years ago that anti-vampire rituals...
Fairy realm and abstract quantum physics

Do you have the Second Sight? Finding Fairies & The Secret Commonwealth of Robert Kirk

The tale of the Rev. Robert Kirk and his Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Faeries is very peculiar. When read carefully, the text of his 1691 manuscript describing the faeries of Aberfoyle,...
“Bust of a child” first century AD (Public Domain), Antique bust of girl (Nerissa’s Ring/CC BY 2.0) and On A Misty Morning (Vinoth Chandar/CC BY 2.0); Deriv

The Green Children of Woolpit – An Otherworldly Tale That Just Might be True

The story of the Green Children of Woolpit, Suffolk, has always been one of the strangest medieval folktales, and that's up against some pretty stiff competition. If you don't know it, it goes a bit...
The two skeletons that were recently found in Gyeongju, South Korea are believed to have been victims of human sacrifice.

Shocking Discovery Shows Ancient Koreans were Sacrificed for Building Project

Local authorities from South Korea announced recently that they have found proof of human sacrifice for the foundation of buildings for the first time at a Korean site. Experts suggest that the...
‘Merlyn’ a wizard.

A Spellbinding Story of Discovery: A Medieval Grave for a Wizard and a Magical Artifact

Powerful wizards, warlocks, and sorcerers wielding supernatural staffs and spells have captivated our imaginations for thousands of years. Characters like Merlin, Gandalf, Dumbledore, and Yoda are...
Illustration from book in a series of fairy tales. A warning to children. John Lambton fights the Wrym

A Monstrous and Venomous Serpent: Legendary Crusading Heroes and Wyrm-Slaying Symbolism – What Does it Mean?

Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, Aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story, Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, An aa'll tell ye ‘boot the wyrm. --(C.M. Leumane, 1867) Beasts that Scorch the Land There are more than...
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...
The Fool with Two Demons / Master of the Ingeborg Psalter

Fantasies from Evil Spirits? Faeries in the Medieval Imagination

“There are also others who say that they see women and girls dancing by night whom they call elvish folk, or faeries, and they believe that these can transform both men and women or, by leaving...
Main: The Inca site of Machu Picchu. Inset: Golden sun

Inti, Sun God of the Inca, Spawned the First Rulers of An Unforgettable Empire

In the mythology / religious belief system of the Incas, Inti was the god of the Sun, and one of the most important deities in the Inca pantheon. As a solar deity, Inti is closely associated with...
Skeletons in the Attic and Babes in the Wood: Surprising and Spooky Yuletide Traditions

Skeletons in the Attic and Babes in the Wood: Surprising and Spooky Yuletide Traditions

Although we nowadays associate ‘Happy Holidays’ with celebrations during Advent and the run-up to Christmas Day and then on to New Year’s Eve (or Hogmanay in Scotland) not that many years ago the ‘...
Sculpture of child, deriv.

Swapping Babies: The Disturbing Faerie Changeling Phenomenon

The worldwide stories of faerie changelings come under a group of motifs recorded in the Aarne-Thompson folklore index as F321: ‘Faerie steals child from cradle and leaves faerie substitute.’ The...
Creatures of the Land, Sea and Heavens: Ancient Beliefs in Animal Counterparts

Creatures of the Land, Sea and Heavens: Ancient Beliefs in Animal Counterparts

Until the Age of Enlightenment, it was widely believed that every land creature had its counterpart in the sea (and perhaps even in the heavens). The classic example of this belief is the horse,...

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Human Origins

Thinking Man? By Moncloa
Homo Sapiens represents the last of a long line of hominin races that once consisted of five different species spanning four continents. Today, we are the last humans, that is, the last of the genus Homo. Our closest living relatives are chimpanzees and gorillas. We, however, stand out in many ways from them. We have unparalleled capacities for abstract thought, language skills, and social cohesion.

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.

Ancient Places

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

Opinion

Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

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)