france

Recreated Viking helmet and weapon

Burning, Pillaging, and Carving up the Lands: Viking Raids into England - Part II

Vikings in history and popular culture are known as strong and dangerous, bloodthirsty killers, raiders, pillagers – pirates of land and sea. But who were the Vikings, and what were the causes of...
(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.

Medieval Treasure Unearthed at the Abbey of Cluny

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...
The castle of Fleckenstein.

Fleckenstein Castle: From Impregnable Fortress to a Chateaux in Ruins

Fleckenstein Castle is a castle located near Lembach, in the eastern French region of Alsace. This castle is known to have existed since the 12 th century, and was the property of the powerful...
King Edward III implores the forgiveness of God while facing the storm of 1360 with his army in the fields of Sours

Black Monday: The Deadly 14th Century Hailstorm That Killed Over 1000 Soldiers and 6000 Horses

On Easter Monday, 13 th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years’ War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,...
Representation of a group of Neanderthals.

Toolmaking Teachers? Surprising Skills Shared Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

50,000-year-old tools made from deer ribs suggest modern humans may have learned tool-making from Neanderthals. Found in the southwest of France, these artifacts add to a growing body of evidence...
The site is being carefully excavated before the mosaics are removed.

Race to Recover Elaborate Ancient Roman Mosaics Unearthed in France

A team of archaeologists has recently discovered the ruins of an opulent 5th-century Roman palace in Auch, a commune in southwestern France. The team claims to be eager to excavate the site as they...
Detail of ‘The Battle of Pavia’ (1528-1531) by Bernard van Orley and William Dermoyen.

The Battle of Pavia: Paving the Political Roads of Rival Rulers with Blood

February 24, 1525. A day that is not marked in infamy but in the blood of France. On this date, the Battle of Pavia occurred – the decisive event in a longstanding war and rivalry, and the crushing...
Two views of the Parade Armor of Henry II of France.

Renaissance Aesthetics at its Finest: The Exquisite Parade Armor of Henry II of France

The crowded, dusty square was full of excitement. Even the heat and the cramped space served as no deterrent to the people who continued trying to push their way into the already full meeting place...
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...
This bronze cauldron is one of the stunning artifacts which have been analyzed from the tomb of a Celtic elite found in Lavau, France.

Celtic Prince or Princess? Researchers Have Finally Ascertained Who Owned an Opulent 2500-Year-Old Tomb in France

First unearthed in 2015, research on the stunning artifacts found in a rich tomb in Lavau, France are finally coming to light. Scholars have managed to solve the mystery of the tomb’s owner and have...
Tunnels in the underground city of Naours, France

The Underground City of Naours: A Subterranean Settlement Complete with Bakeries and Chapels

Many stories have been told about hidden underground cities or realms. Examples from fiction include the underground compound inhabited by the Morlocks in H.G. Well’s, The Time Machine and the...
French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) releasing lunatics from their chains at the Salpêtrière asylum in Paris in 1795.

Gunpowder, Prostitutes, and Neuroscience: What is the Explosive History of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital?

The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a well-known historical hospital located in Paris, France. But it wasn’t always a hospital. The oft-forgotten beginnings of this building may be traced back to the...
The Lion Attacking a Dromedary diorama.

Grisly Find of Human Remains in a Famous Museum Diorama: Whose Skull is on Display?

The Lion Attacking a Dromedary , formerly known as the Arab Courier Attacked by Lions , has attracted thousands of museum-goers for over a hundred years. Now it is at the Carnegie Museum of Natural...
Elizabeth Taylor, ‘Cleopatra’ (1963).

A Brief History of the Enduring Iconic Female Phenomenon of Red Lipstick

Red lipstick is a modern-day symbol of sex appeal and an attribute of femininity. Many modern women may be surprised by the fact that our recent generations are not the ones which invented this...
One of the beautiful mosaics was surrounded by images of a fawn, duck, eagle and owl.

Legendary Lost City of Ucetia Has Been Found and Its Remains are Breathtaking

Through the years, people have seen tantalizing mentions of the lost ancient Roman city of Ucetia on stelae in southern France. But until now, there was no evidence that it really existed. However,...
Minerva arming herself. The Gaulish goddess Belisama has been linked to this Roman goddess.

Belisama: Who Was this Beautiful, Powerful, and Popular Gaulish Goddess?

When the Roman conquerors encountered the world of Gaulish deities and traditions, they tried to understand it in their own religious terms. Seeing a cult of gods and goddesses, they sought to find...

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Top New Stories

Sealings from the archive of Doliche.
Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. "This unique group of artifacts comprising more than 1,000 pieces from the municipal archive of the ancient city of Doliche gives many insights into the local Graeco-Roman pantheon -- from Zeus to Hera to Iuppiter Dolichenus

Myths & Legends

Detail, Chicomoztoc — the place of the seven caves.
Is Aztlan the ancient homeland of the great Aztec civilization, or is it just a mythical land described in legends? The Aztec people of Mexico created one of the greatest empires of the ancient...

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

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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)