Hero

Fight between Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) and Kumasaka Chôhan at the inn; bales and a torch on the ground, and Kisanda in the distance. (circa 1840-1843) By Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Yoshitsune: The Silk Clad Warrior With a Noble Quest for Revenge

Apart from a very rich mythology, Japan also has numerous histories about heroes. One of these is the story of Yoshitsune. Walking around in fine silk and playing the flute, at first glance he seemed...
Hercules and the Leraean Hydra by John Singer Sargant

A Herculean Effort: What Led to the 12 Labors of Hercules and How Did He Succeed?

Classical mythology is full of heroes but Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles) is undoubtedly the most celebrated of them all. Although his heroic life was packed with daring escapades from...
Detail of ‘Caius Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage’ (1807) by John Vanderlyn.

Gaius Marius was the Savior of Ancient Rome, but was he a Hero or Villain?

Gaius Marius was easily one of the Roman Republic’s most accomplished men. He was a beloved general, influential military reformer, and a massively successful politician; but later in his career, he...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
Bible paper. Insert: Mesha stele.

This 2,800-Year-Old Stele Tells A Bible Story From A Different Point Of View

As soon as you fit the words “Bible” and “history” into the same sentence, people start reacting. Most people are in one of two camps: either every word of the Bible is completely, literally true, or...
Moses’ Horns.

4 Completely Different Versions of the Story of Moses

The story of Moses doesn’t just show up in the Bible. In the ancient world, nearly every culture had their own version of what happened. The Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their own...
Heracles wrestling the Mares of Diomedes.

Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes: Greek Hero VS Man-Eating Beasts

By now, you’re probably aware that the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) had to complete twelve arduous labors as retribution for killing his wife and kids in a divinely-induced rage. The eighth...
Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious...
The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922).

Meet Magnus Maximus, the Roman Usurper-Turned-Welsh Hero Who Inspired King Arthur

Fourteen hundred years before Britain voted to leave the European Union, it tried (and failed) to Brexit the Roman Empire. Under the leadership of Spanish-born soldier Magnus Maximus, a chunk of the...
Mask of Zorro Legend

Joaquin Murrieta - The Man Whose Life Provided Inspiration for Zorro

Zorro is one of the icons of 20th century culture. Although he is a fictional character, his story was based on biographies of at least three men: Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, Tiburcio Vasquez, and the...
The Story of the Brave Horatius Cocles, One-Eyed Hero

The Story of the Brave Horatius Cocles, One-Eyed Hero

Through the centuries there have been many brave men who wrote their name in history with blood. One of these men was the glorious Roman Publius Horatius Cocles, a young officer in the army of the...
Archaeologists Say They Have Found an Important Medieval Site Linked to Scottish Hero William Wallace

Archaeologists Say They Have Found an Important Medieval Site Linked to Scottish Hero William Wallace

Archaeologists think they’ve confirmed the site where William Wallace was dubbed Guardian of Scotland but are restricted from excavating more because of so many graves in the churchyard. The site,...
Cincinnatus chosen as dictator. Painting by Giovanni Francesco Romanelli, 1655-1658.

A Model of Civic Virtue: The Dictator Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus is a figure from the Early Republican period of Rome’s history. Cincinnatus (a nickname given to him due to his curly hair) was an aristocrat who belonged to the...
The Story of Mulan.

The Ballad of Hua Mulan: The Legendary Warrior Woman Who Brought Hope to China

Hua Mulan is one of the most legendary women of ancient China. Her story was originally described in a poem known as the Ballad of Mulan. There is no archaeological proof that she was a real person,...
Painting of María Pita (1987) by Fernández Cersa

Maria Pita: The Woman Who Saved a Galician Town from the British

At the end of 16th century the fleet of Queen Elizabeth wanted to take control of the waterways from England to Portugal. The group of galleons headed by Sir Francis Drake were the dread of the ports...
A line of Hero stones from 10th century at Trimurthi Narayana Gudi, Bandalike village, Karnataka state, India.

Archaeologists in India Discover Ancient Hero Stones that Retell Epic Battles and Honorable Deaths

Intricately carved ancient Hero Stones can be found across India. These decorated stone markers serve as monuments to honorable deaths, commemorating fallen heroes and ferocious warriors who...

Pages

Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

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 Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

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)