A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Did Christians Ban The Ancient Olympics?

Every two years, when the Winter or Summer Olympics comes around, we hear about how the games staged at Olympia in Greece since 776 BC came to a sudden end in the late fourth century AD. The finger...
George Catlin, Tchung-kee, a Mandan Game Played with a Ring and Pole", 1832-3.

Ancient North Americans Played High-stakes Games

University of California, Santa Barbara From games of chance to tests of physical skill, ancient North America Indians took their sport and recreation seriously, research shows. “Games are ubiquitous...
An antique Ouija board

Be Careful What You Wish For: Ouija Boards Unraveled

Ouija boards—also called spirit boards or talking boards—have been part of various cultures long before the introduction of the "game" in the 19 th century. "Ouija", in fact, is the name of the game...
Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

Fun for Everyone: The Evolving History of Board Games

The delightful hobby of playing games isn't a modern invention. While people in ancient times didn't have Pokemon Go to entertain themselves, they still spent hours of fun games both inside and...
A tomb of athletes at Taranto. Inset: The skeleton of the ancient athlete found at Taranto

2,500-Year-Old Skeleton is Oldest Known Remains of a Panathenaic Athlete

In ancient Greece, successful athletes were rich and celebrated like they are today. Evidence for this comes in the form of the oldest known skeleton of a young athlete, buried with rich honors at...
Tracing the Origins of the Infamous Ouija Board

Tracing the Origins of the Infamous Ouija Board

The Ouija board (known also as a Spirit board or Talking board) is a type of board commonly believed to enable its users to communicate with the spirit world. A Ouija board usually has the letters of...
Two hand-painted Mamluk playing cards and two Venetian playing cards.

Before They Were Divination Tools, Tarot Cards Were Playing Cards

In the English-speaking world, the word ‘tarot’ is most commonly associated with the occult and divination. What is perhaps less well-known is that tarot cards were only used for such purposes...
Pankratiasts fighting.

Pankration: A Deadly Martial Art Form from Ancient Greece

Pankration was one of the most popular combat sports in ancient Greece. It combined two other popular sports of antiquity, wrestling and boxing, but kicking was allowed as well. The name Pankration...
Dramatic painting portraying gladiators in the arena. Jean-Léon Gérôme's 1872.

The Real Lives of the Gladiators of Rome – The Unfathomable Sport of Life and Death

Roman gladiators are some of the most iconic characters in history and have defined how we think of entertainment in ancient Rome. Their portrayal in films and stories has turned them into archetypal...

Ancient Roman Tunnel from Gladiator Training School to Colosseum set to be Revived

Authorities hope to preserve some ancient Roman history with the restoration of a tunnel that runs from a gladiator training school to the Colosseum, where brutal gladiatorial bouts took place. Parts...

Ancient Technology

6 Advanced Ancient Inventions
We’ve lost the secret to making some of history’s most useful inventions, and for all of our ingenuity and discoveries, our ancestors of thousands of years ago are still able to baffle us with their ingenuity and discoveries. We have developed the modern equivalent of some of these inventions, but only very recently.

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)