gladiators

The helmet of a heavily armed ‘secutor’, first century AD. Rógvi N. Johansen, Department of photo and medie Moesgaard

Roman Gladiators Were War Prisoners and Criminals, Not Sporting Heroes

For centuries, the bloody gladiator conflicts that the Romans staged in amphitheatres throughout the empire have engrossed and repelled us. When it comes to gladiators, it is almost impossible to...
Mythbusting Ancient Rome – Throwing Christians to the Lions

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – Throwing Christians to the Lions

CHRISTIANS TO THE LIONS! rang without end through all quarters of the city. So writes Henryk Sienkiewicz in his novel Quo Vadis (1895). By the end of the 19th century, the image of cowering...
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...
Wild carnivorous animals emerge from a trap door into the Colosseum. ‘The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1883.

Complex Elevator and Trap Door System for Raising Wild Animals into the Colosseum Reconstructed

Many thousands of people suffered violent deaths in the gladiatorial contests of the Colosseum and other arenas of the ancient Roman empire. Innumerable animals killed and were killed in the blood-...
Colosseum

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...
Inside the Roman Colosseum.

Red-painted numbers helped Romans find their seats in the Colosseum

Archaeologists have discovered that the carved seat numbers in the Roman Colosseum had been painted red to make the seats easier to see, assuring orderly, trouble-free seating of the crowd--who then...
The Gladiators of Rome

The Gladiators of Rome: Blood Sport in the Ancient Empire

The ancient Romans were well known for many things – their engineering marvels, their road networks, and the establishment of Roman law throughout the empire. They were, however, also renowned for...
Shackled adult and child skeletons unearthed in ancient Roman necropolis in France

Shackled adult and child skeletons unearthed in ancient Roman necropolis in France

An archaeological team in France has unearthed a Gallo-Roman necropolis in Saintes, France, in which the remains of a group of adults and a child were found with iron shackles around their wrists,...
A mosaic depicting gladiators

The legendary Spartacus: Gladiator and leader of slaves against the Romans – The Final Stand (Part 2)

(Read Part 1) The Final Stand Led by the Roman gladiator Spartacus, the Third Servile War stretched on from 73-71 BCE – it was an attempt by thousands of Roman slaves to escape the gladiatorial ring...
Spartacus

The legendary Spartacus: Gladiator and leader of slaves against the Romans – Part 1

Thracian born Roman gladiator, Spartacus is now considered the stuff of legend. To this day, books, movies, and TV shows have been created to highlight the strength of this rebel slave and the power...
Gladiators

New evidence suggests Gladiators consumed plant ash for bone strength

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE has revealed evidence that gladiators drank a beverage made from plant ash, vinegar, and water that was rich in calcium, essential for enhancing bone...
Rome's Colosseum

Colosseum of Rome, a Condominium in Medieval Times

The Colosseum of Rome is infamously known as the site of brutal gladiator battles in which slaves, Christians, and gladiator fighters were mercilessly slaughtered for the enjoyment of the emperor and...
Gladiator School

Gladiator School Discovery Reveals Hard Lives of Ancient Warriors

Archaeologists have revealed the almost complete remains of a Roman school of gladiators on the banks of the Danube in Austria and have used sophisticated 3D reconstruction techniques to bring to...
Trophy Skulls - Headhunters in London

Gruesome evidence of ancient Roman head hunters in London

A report in the Journal of Archaeological Science published earlier this year revealed grisly evidence of beheadings and brutality inflicted upon the Roman Empire’s gladiators, criminals and war...

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

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 history.

Ancient Technology

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)