funeral

The sarcophagus of Junius Bassus.

The Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus: How a Coffin Defeated the Gods

Bacchus into Jesus. This is a topic seen many times before and its relevance continues here. As mentioned in a previous article , the attributes of the Greco-Roman god of wine, transformation and...
Loutrophorai: Greek, Attica, c.440BC, (Penn Valley); Greek, Classical Period, 450–425 BC (MFA);Greek, South Italian, Early Hellenistic Period c.320–310 BC

From Cremated Ashes to Holy Water for a Bride’s Ritual Bath, The Loutrophoros Was No Ordinary Vase

A loutrophoros is a distinctive type of Greek pottery characterized by an elongated neck with two handles. It is a specific type of amphora , which was a type of Greek container used as early as the...
A funerary garden discovered by CSIC's research team.

A First-Ever Find in Egypt: 4,000-Year-Old Funerary Garden at Tomb Entrance

The Djehuty Project, led by research professor, José Manuel Galán, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered a 4,000-year-old funerary garden- the first such garden ever to be...
Researchers Wonder if Rich Viking Boat Burial Found in Scotland was Made for a Warrior Woman

Researchers Wonder if Rich Viking Boat Burial Found in Scotland was Made for a Warrior Woman

A team of researchers who have been examining the horde of grave goods left in an amazing Viking boat burial have decided that the deceased individual was definitely an important person in their...
Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of Gruesome 9,500-Year-Old Funerary Rites Found in Brazil

Evidence of complex and gruesome funeral rites found in the Lapa do Santo cave in Brazil have shocked researchers yet again. The researchers have discovered evidence of the mutilation of corpses,...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...
The Hidden Stories Behind Their Eyes: Unearthing the Secrets of Fayum Mummy Portraits

The Hidden Stories Behind Their Eyes: Unearthing the Secrets of Fayum Mummy Portraits

The famous Fayum mummy portraits of people who lived in Egypt during the Greco-Roman period contain many secrets and were very important for the dead buried with them. These magnificent portraits...
Deriv; Defaced bust of Alexander Severus. The head and bust were mutilated during Antiquity, the memory of the outlawed emperor was to be extinguished and portrait of Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice, painted over, as he was condemned to damnatio memoriae.

From Piso to the Baby Drusilla: The Legal Aspects of Damnation Memoriae - the Punishment of Non-Existence

The ancient Roman decree of damnatio memoriae (“damnation of one’s memory”) was a mark of great disgrace and a punishment, deemed worse than execution, for an ancient Roman. The object of the...
The Living Dead: Chinese Hopping Vampires

The Living Dead: Chinese Hopping Vampires

The Hopping Vampires (jiang shi) are a type of undead creature found in Chinese folklore. Although its Chinese name is often translated as ‘Chinese hopping vampire / zombie / ghost), its literal...
Exposing the Shady Secrets of Charon's Obols: Spirit Coins of Ancient Greece

Exposing the Shady Secrets of Charon's Obols: Spirit Coins of Ancient Greece

Charon’s obols were coins supposedly used by the ancient Greeks for funerary purposes. More precisely, the belief is that these coins were used by the shades (roughly equivalent to the concept of ‘...
Turtles May Have Been Feasted On as Part of Funeral Rites at Ancient Turkey Site

Turtles May Have Been Feasted On as Part of Funeral Rites at Ancient Turkey Site

During excavations at Kavuşan Höyük, six miles (9.7km) from the modern town of Bismil in Turkey, archaeologists discovered a mysterious burial. Apart from human remains, the grave includes several...
Funerary cones.

Examining Cryptic Grave Goods: What Are the Ancient Egyptian Funerary Cones?

Funerary cones are a type of funereal object from ancient Egypt. It is well known that the ancient Egyptians were extremely concerned about the afterlife, and that they did all they could to provide...
The Abusir boat.
Shiva carrying Sati on his trident. (1800s).

Manikarnika Ghat and the Role of Cremation in Traditional Indian Funerary Rites

India is renowned for having distinctive religious practices that coexist with one another. The numerous shrines and monuments allow one to contemplate the importance of faith for many. One of the...
17th century illustration of a woman committing sati: self-immolation on her husband’s funeral pyre.

Jauhar - The History of Collective Self Immolation during War in India

Sadly, the fate of civilians in war has often been harsh, perhaps even more so in the past. Men would invariably be killed, and children were often sold into slavery. As for the women, they might be...
Toraja People - Funeral Rituals

The Toraja people and the most complex funeral rituals in the world

The Tana Toraja is a regency of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, a picturesque mountainous region that is home to an indigenous group known as the Torajans. For the Toraja people, life very much revolves...

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Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Technology

Invention of Wheel - Sumer
In today’s world, technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. The latest gadget today is tomorrow’s antique. As a result of this rapid development of technology, we often take things for...

Ancient Places

Google Earth image of manmade stone structures in Saudi Arabia
Deep in the heart of Saudi Arabia, 400 peculiar stone structures have been found, dating back thousands of years ago. These stone features were discovered by archaeologists with the use of satellite imagery, identifying what they call stone "gates" in an extremely unwelcome and harsh area of the Arabian Peninsula.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)