History

From the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus Valley, to the fearsome yet sophisticated society of the Vikings, the ancient world was a surprising and challenging place. Here we feature some of the most seminal and influential events and people throughout history, that have helped shape the world we know today.

Dark forces conspired in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

Dark Forces Conspire to Destroy the Radiant One: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part II

Akhenaten’s religious experiment, which was launched in the imperial capital Thebes and later nurtured in the new city Akhetaten, resulted in dramatic changes. Not only did the king oust the panoply...
Edmund killing Sweyn by Matthew Paris, 13th century (Cambridge University Library MS Ee.3.59 p. 4)

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 2: Did the Martyred Saint Rise from the Grave to Kill a Viking King?

King Edmund was the man who died, indeed was martyred by the Vikings after enduring a tortuous death which ended in his beheading. He thus became St Edmund and was the England’s original heavenly...
Martrydom of St Edmund.

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 1: The Unfortunate Friendship With Ragnor Lodbrok that Led to Edmund’s Beheading

Over the past decade, there have been two major public campaigns in the UK to drum up support for removing St George as the patron saint of England and replacing him with St Edmund, the man who was...
Romulus' Victory Over Acron’ (1812) by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Romulus was the first Roman king.

The Seven Kings of Rome: Tumultuous Origins of the Roman Republic

In the beginning, there was only dirt and mud and twigs. Then came the legendary hero Aeneas, and from him descended the sons of Rhea Silva and Mars, the god of war. These sons were Romulus and Remus...
Concept art of Queen Anne’s Revenge, based on the Pirates of the Caribbean prop for ‘The Black Pearl’

Blackbeard and his Infamous Pirate Ship, Queen Anne’s Revenge

“So our Heroe, Captain Teach, assumed the Cognomen of Black-beard, from that large Quantity of Hair, which, like a frightful Meteor, covered his whole Face, and frightened America more than any Comet...
Was there a sinister plot to eliminate the Sun King? Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

A Sinister Plot to Eliminate the Sun King: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part I

The Pharaoh clearly had enough of life at Thebes (Waset). His determined attempts to introduce Atenism—a syncretism of the Memphis-Heliopolis solar philosophy, with a deification of kingship dating...
Skiing Birchlegs Crossing the Mountain with the Royal Child by Knud Larsen Bergslien

The Birkebeiners and a Heroic Mountain Rescue that Helped Unify Medieval Norway

The rebels were so poor that their shoes were made of birch. The wealthier, better-established party derided the upstarts in state-sponsored propaganda, labeling them ‘birkebeiners’ after their birch...
Odysseus at the court of Alcinous

In Search of King Alcinous: Who were the Legendary Phaeacians?

The mythological Alcinous and his kingdom have remained one of the most mysterious and elusive topics of ancient Greek literature. Not much is known of this foreign monarch, or at least not much has...
Statue of an Iroquois man, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Theresa O’Connor/CC BY-SA 2.0) and background, Hiawatha by Thomas Eakins, 1874. (Public Domain);Deriv.

Thunder god and Skywoman – Myth and History of the Iroquois: Exploring a First Nations Tradition

Every year, western scholars look with wonder to the ancient mythologies, ruins, and histories of such places as Egypt, Greece, and the Near East. Due to the considerable efforts of professional and...
Mysterious man on a creepy night. Who really killed the King?

Who Killed the King? Was it Eochaid the Slayer? An Ancient Irish Murder Mystery

It might almost be a shocking moment from a Shakespeare play or even a plot-line from Game of Thrones, but the murder of an ancient Irish king, Crimthann mac Énnai, is an event which actually took...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
The sarcophagi of Carajia, emblematic of the lost Chachapoya culture. Source: BigStockPhoto

The Cloud Warriors: Sarcophagi Sentries Perched on the Cliffs in Peru

Researchers would have never guessed what they would find inside a seven-foot-tall statue when it came crashing down the Peruvian cliffside in the Utcubamba valley in 1928. The sculpture was a...
Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
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...
Caltrops of WWI

Watch Your Step! Don’t Tread on the Caltrop, A Weapon with a Pointed History

There is a cunning and deadly device that used by armies in the past, and up to the present day. It’s a weapon mostly overlooked but is yet brilliantly effective—the caltrop. The caltrop (or calthrop...
Zhang Heng's odometer, a mechanical carriage.

The Famous Ancient Chinese Inventions of Zhang Heng

Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) was a Chinese astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar from Nanyang, Henan Province, China. He is noted for...

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Human Origins

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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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.

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. 

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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)