goddess

Amaterasu, a major goddess of Japan.

Solar Goddess Amaterasu, Divine Ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family

Amaterasu is a major goddess in the Shinto religion. Although she is considered primarily to be a sun goddess, she is also believed to be the ruler of the Takama no Hara (the High Celestial Plain),...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
An image of the goddess Meenakshi.

Meenakshi: The Warrior Goddess Who Could Not Be Defeated by Any Man …Until She Met Shiva

Meenakshi is a goddess in the Hindu pantheon who is worshipped mainly in the southern part of India. This goddess is believed to be an avatar of the goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The most...
Bellona with Romulus and Remus

Who is Bellona and Was She More Powerful than Mars? Piecing Together the Identity of the Mysterious Ancient Roman Goddess of War

In his History , Livy reported that during a critical part of the battle against the Samnites in 296 BCE, the general Appius Claudius was seen in the front lines raising his hands as he uttered a...
eft: Old Moon Goddess Destructive, Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI. Right: Old Moon Goddess, Beneficent Chak Chel. Dresden Codex, Forstemann version, with permission of FAMSI

Mayan Women and the Coiled Snake Headdress

The coiled snake headdress is a significant artifact connected with Mayan women, both ancient and modern. Images of ancient Mayan women wearing this distinctive headdress have been found carved on...
Portrait of a Woman by Bartolomeo Veneto, traditionally assumed to be Lucrezia Borgia – an infamous femme fatale.

Femme Fatale: Seduced by the Ancient Sex Crafts of History’s Most Alluring Women

The seductress, or femme fatale (French for “Deadly Woman”), is one of the oldest female archetypes and although there has been great diversity in "how" she has been portrayed, she has some core...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
Is this ‘Temple of Fertility’ in Peru Really a Giant Collection of Stone Penises, or is it a Phallic Fallacy

Is this ‘Temple of Fertility’ in Peru Really a Giant Collection of Stone Penises, or is it a Phallic Fallacy?

The megalithic Fertility Temple also known as “Chucuito” on the edge of Lake Titicaca in Peru is special and at the same time controversial basically for a single reason: its “sexuality”. Whether the...
Four heads have been pieced together from shards of pottery at ancient Porphyreon in Lebanon. Top image is of the best preserved. Another is partially complete, and the other two are very incomplete.

2,400-Year-Old Goddess Statues Found Dumped in Ancient City on Lebanon’s Coast

Polish archaeologists studying the ancient city of Porphyreon in Lebanon have pieced together the broken parts of ceramic heads to remake what they think are statues of goddesses. One of the 2,400-...

Woman, Healer, Goddess? Famous (and Forbidden) Female Physicians in the Ancient World

Throughout history, women have always been healers. They were pharmacists, cultivating healing herbs and exchanging the secrets of their uses. They were also nurses, counselors, midwives who traveled...
An Easter postcard depicting the Easter Bunny.

The Very Strange History of the Easter Bunny

While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no...
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...
Detail of The Adda Seal. The figures can be identified as gods by their pointed hats with multiple horns. The figure with streams of water and fish flowing from his shoulders is Ea (Sumerian Enki), god of subterranean waters and of wisdom. Behind him stands Usimu, his two-faced vizier (chief minister). At the centre of the scene is the sun-god, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), with rays rising from his shoulders. He is cutting his way through the mountains in order to rise at dawn. To his left is a winged goddess, I

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
The statue of King Amenhotep III in the ruins of his temple in Luxor

Archaeologists find Magnificent Statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and His Protector, the Lioness Goddess of War

Archaeologists working in Luxor have unearthed a magnificent statue of King Amenhotep III of ancient Egypt and several statues and statue parts of the cat goddess Sekhmet meant to protect him. The...
Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Before the first moon landing in 1969, the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e was mentioned in the Apollo 11 Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription between the Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas and the Apollo...
1st century BC marble statue of Cybele from Formia, Lazio

Mothers, Madness and Music: A Study of the Parallels of Cybele and Dionysus

Though she was one of the most renowned goddesses in her day, the motherly, wise Cybele has long been over-shadowed in the mythology of ancient Greece by the later pre-Olympian goddesses, Rhea, Gaia...

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Virtual recreation by Charles Chipiez. A panoramic view of the gardens and outside of the Palace of Darius I of Persia in Persepolis.
Once the stunning capital of the Persian Empire (also known as the Achaemenid Empire), Persepolis was lost to the world for almost nineteen hundred years, buried in the dirt of southwestern Iran until the 17th century. Founded in 518 BC by Darius I of the Persian Empire, Persepolis (called Parsa by the native Persians) lasted only a mere two hundred years despite the grandeur Darius and his followers abundantly heaped on its construction. Notwithstanding Persepolis’ tragic end, what remains of the Persian citadel is astounding.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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. 

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)