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.

Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Missing Skullcap of the Last Sun King–Part II

The oft-repeated phrase “the Amarna era is shrouded in mystery” could be a thing of the past if only closer scrutiny of key artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are permitted by the authorities...
Theseus (center) invented wrestling

The Real Reason That Men in Classical Portrayals Were Given Small Manhoods

Today, bigger is widely regarded as better. But was this always the case? This article sheds some light on how the Western culture changed in its phallic preferences. Over the past few decades,...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Among the stupefying hoard of over five thousand objects that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), some sported distinct Atenist leanings. While the golden throne of the boy-king is...
Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘

Ivar the Boneless: A Viking Warrior That Drew Strength From His Weakness

One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of...
The Sorceress by John William Waterhouse

The Enchanted Sex-Word of Scotland’s Secret Seduction Society

Seduction, the most noble art. History books across the planet reveal the carnal activities of an endless number of femme-fatals, causing nations to collapse and dynasties to crumble. In Ancient...
False toe on mummy found near Luxor.

Severed Limbs and Wooden Feet: How the Ancients Invented Prosthetics

We are living through an incredibly exciting period for prosthetics. A pioneering brain computer interface that will allow veterans to control artificial body parts with their minds was recently...
Extraction of the Stone of Folly

Five Bloodcurdling Medical Procedures That are No Longer Performed … Thankfully

Surgeries and treatments come and go. A new BMJ guideline, for example, makes “strong recommendations” against the use of arthroscopic surgery for certain knee conditions. But while this key-hole...
Statue of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

Why is the Evidence for the Outlaw Robin Hood as Elusive as the Man Himself?

The historic existence of the legendary English hero who ‘stole from the rich and gave to the poor’ is a perennial source of debate. Every few years, new evidence emerges of authenticity and possible...
Anubis Reconstructing Osiris (1350 BC, Tomb of Ramses 1, Egypt).

The Macabre Mystery of the Missing Prince And ‘Zombie’ King

In “The Mysterious Death of Tutankhamun”, by Paul Doherty he remarks, “There is a passivity about Tutankhamun which is quite chilling.” Normally the text in the tombs of other Kings read in the...
Egyptian Fellah woman with her child, Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann, 1872

Did Eternity Obsessed Ancient Egyptians Know How to Prevent Pregnancy?

It is hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians, a culture completely infatuated with the preservation of life after death, would be concerned with the prevention of pregnancy. But they were one of...
Yorkshire Photo Walks (Tom Marsh/CC BY 2.0), and Grey Lady. (CC BY 2.0); Deriv.

Staked Through the Heart and Buried at the Crossroads – The Profane Burial of Suicides

I uncovered a curious tale about a scrubby patch of land while writing a book on the folklore and history of East Anglia. Marked on modern maps as Lushbush, you pass it heading eastwards out of the...
James Woodford’s statue of Robin Hood in Nottingham, England

Robin Hood: Too Good to Be True - A Real Folk Hero or a Romantic Embellishment?

Robin Hood is arguably one of the best-known figures in English folklore. Today, he is generally portrayed as an outlaw dressed in Lincoln green who ‘robbed from the rich to give to the poor’. Now a...
Ancient Book

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra and Other Magical Mutterings

Magic words are often used by magicians whilst performing magic tricks on stage. One of the most common of these incantations is ‘Abracadabra’. Although this word is known to many, it is likely that...
Detail; The entry of Sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929)

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and...
Prophetess by Alphonse Mucha

The 17th Century Seer, Janet Douglas: Being A Gifted Child Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Janet Douglas was a 17 th century Scottish teenager reputed to have a paranormal gift known as ‘Second Sight’. It may be pointed out that there was another well-known Janet Douglas, a Scottish...

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Top New Stories

This statue was originally painted. Left: Painted replica of Augustus of Prima Porta statue with pigments reconstructed for the Tarraco Viva 2014 Festival
Once upon a time, long before wars, natural disasters and erosion took hold of the ancient Greek statues, these ivory gems vibrated with color. Ancient Greek sculptors valued animated and pulsating depictions as much as they valued perfection and realism, and it has finally become fact that these artists utilized color in their creations.

Myths & Legends

 “Cadmus Slays the Dragon” by Hendrik Goltzius. The Greek myth of Cadmus fighting the serpent may be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River. In various accounts, the snake is instead referred to as a dragon or serpent.
The ancient Greek myth of Cadmus battling a snake could be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River, said Dr. Enrico Mattievich, a retired professor of physics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. Mattievich wrote a book titled “Journey to the Mythological Inferno” in 2011, exploring connections between Greek myths and South American geographical and historical sites.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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)