herodotus

Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes, the mysterious Scythian stepped onto the world stage. There is not a great deal of information about him, nor has his name turned up in any of the Assyrian tablets. Herodotus and Strabo are...
Herodotus, by Jean-Guillaume Moitte, relief 1806.

Herodotus, Cato the Censor and Josephus: Understanding the Life and Times of Historians of the Ancient World

For thousands of years, we turned to history to explain the what, why and how an event happened. Although “historian” did not become a professional occupation until the late nineteenth century, the...
Cyrus the Great’s Last Campaign: Who Killed Cyrus? - Part II

Cyrus the Great’s Last Campaign: Who Killed Cyrus? - Part II

According to the popular Greek historian Herodotus, Cyrus went on his last campaign to subdue the Massagetae, a tribe located in the southernmost portion of the steppe regions of modern-day...
Deriv; Relief of Darius in Persepolis and roaring lion frieze found in the Apadana (Darius the Great's palace) in Susa.

Did Darius Hijack the Persian Throne? Ancient Coup and the Rise of Darius the Great – Part I

Cambyses II began his rule around 530 BCE, maybe 529 BCE, and his reign ended in 522 BCE. Not much is known about Cambyses since he left no inscriptions of his own. Only Herodotus and the Egyptians...
Pleasure, Procreation, and Punishment: Shocking Facts about Sex and Marriage in the Ancient World

Pleasure, Procreation, and Punishment: Shocking Facts about Sex and Marriage in the Ancient World

Much of what is considered normal in the present day might have been seen as shocking in the past and vice versa. This idea applies to many of the aspects of daily life, including customs related to...
Xerxes at the Hellespont.

Xerxes The Great: The Achaemenid King Who Began the Decline of an Empire

Xerxes I (known also as Xerxes the Great) was the fourth ruler of the Achaemenid Empire. In modern popular culture, Xerxes is perhaps best known as the main antagonist in Frank Miller’s 300 , a film...
Female Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

The Shrouded History of Nitocris: Was the Last Pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty a Woman?

Nitocris is claimed by some sources to have been a female pharaoh of ancient Egypt. However, prior to the Ptolemaic Dynasty, there were few female rulers in the history of ancient Egypt. Many of...
Mummified feet on display at museum.

Walk Like An Egyptian… Scientists Preserve Modern Human Leg using Ancient Egyptian Methods

Scientists have unwrapped ancient knowledge and used it to mummify a modern human. Inspired by the preservation techniques as perfected by ancient Egyptians, a team of researchers have mummified...
The dramatic scenes of an older man slaying a young man depicted on the Scythian art might reference the ancient “Bastard Wars” as recorded by Herodotus.

Secret Chamber Found at Scythian Burial Mound Reveals Golden Treasure of Drug-Fueled Rituals

Elaborate golden treasures with traces of cannabis and opium have been discovered in a secret chamber hidden in an ancient Scythian burial mound near Strovopol, Russia. Described as a once-in-a-...
Dalbyneder Church, the western arch in the naive with a gothic fresco from 1511 of two blemmyes

Blemmyes: The Headless Men of Ancient and Medieval Mythology

Various species of bizarre creatures were rumored, in antiquity and later, to inhabit remote parts of the world, from dog-headed humanoids to strange men with a single large foot, and many other...
Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis David. 1814.

King Leonidas of Sparta and the Legendary Battle of the 300 at Thermopylae

Zack Snyder’s 2007 fantasy historical film, 300 , has probably made the Battle of Thermopylae one of the most famous battles of the ancient world. It may be pointed out, though, that the film has...
Relief, circa 728 B.C., depicting an Assyrian warrior holding a large shield to protect two archers taking aim, from the Central Palace in Nimrud and now in the British Museum, London.

Weapons and tactics change, but PTSD goes back millennia

The weapons, tactics and strategies of warfare have changed enormously through the centuries, but the hellish aspects of war and the deep psychological scars it leaves on warriors were apparently...
The newly-discovered underground causeway leading to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

After Decades of Searching, the Causeway for the Great Pyramid of Egypt has been Found

Dozens of foreign missions carried out over three decades using the latest high-tech instruments failed to find the causeway of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Now, unexpectedly, the passage has finally...
Dreams and Prophecy

Dreams and Prophecy in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greeks writers tend to distinguish two categories of dreams, those that are insignificant, caused by hopes, fears, digestion, and other residues of the day, and those that are significant...
The pyramid of Amenemhat III in Hawara - Lost Labyrinth

The Lost Labyrinth of Ancient Egypt – Part 3: Uncovering its Location

(Read Part 1 / Read Part 2 ) More than 2,000 years ago, ancient Greek historians, Herodotus and Strabo, recorded their visits to the legendary labyrinth of Egypt, before it disappeared into the pages...
Sobek, the Crocodile God - Egypt

The Lost Labyrinth of Ancient Egypt – Part 2

(Read Part 1 ) The lost labyrinth of ancient Egypt is a colossal temple said to contain 3,000 beautifully adorned rooms connected by a confusing array of passages, chambers, porticoes, and stairs. It...

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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)