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.

Ancient Egyptian relief. Design by Anand Balaji.

Understanding the Monotheism of Akhenaten: Solar Disc Thrust into Eternal Darkness–Part II

At first glance it appears as though Pharaoh Akhenaten is someone whom one would describe as a textbook monotheist, but are we missing the plot? Apart from Amun (and later, Osiris) the king doesn’t...
The excavation of the Oseberg Ship, Norway. 1904 - 1905.

Grave Findings Could Solve a Viking Age Mystery

BY THORNEWS In the autumn of 834 AD, two elderly women were buried together in the magnificent Oseberg ship discovered in 1903 near Tønsberg in Vestfold, Southeast Norway. Ever since the ship was...
A bust of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Design by Anand Balaji.

Understanding the Monotheism of Akhenaten: Decay of a Dream and the Final Curtain Call–Part I

Pharaoh Akhenaten has been revered and reviled in equal measure for unleashing his religious policy of one god, the Aten sun disc. But, was the king a monotheist in letter and spirit – one who...
Kalash girls with traditional clothing.

Are the Distinctive Kalash People of Pakistan Really Descendants of Alexander the Great’s Army?

The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of...
‘The Deluge’ (1805) by J.M.W. Turner.

The Comet that Sparked a Worldwide Flood ‘Myth’

It seems that Noah’s Great Biblical Flood was caused by comet fragments striking the earth. Isaac Newton was the first one to come up with a theory connecting the flood to a comet strike, in 1680...
An illustration of François l’Olonnais.

François l’Olonnais: Cunning and Cruel Pirate and Flail of the Spanish

François l’Olonnais was a notorious French buccaneer who lived during the 17th century. l’Olonnais’ career as a pirate lasted about 10 years, from 1660 till his death in 1668/9. During this period,...
The Great Horned Serpent was powerful and magical in Native American mythology.

Drowning, Poisoning, and the Dark Underworld. Meet the King of all Snakes, the wise Great Horned Serpent in Native American Cosmology

Since longer than history can recall, the western mind has been locked in a pattern of dualistic thinking. In the course of our experiences, the world is defined by a series of opposites, which...
Detail of ‘Monk tasting wine’ by Josef Wagner-Höhenberg.

Feeling Guilty About Drinking? Well, Ask the Saints

Michael Foley / The Conversation Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing...
A typical depiction of a pirate

French Pirate Olivier Levasseur Left Behind a Curious Cryptogram – Does it Lead to his Long-Lost Treasure?

Olivier Levasseur (known also by his nicknames ‘La Buse’, meaning ‘the Buzzard’, or ‘La Bouche’, meaning ‘the Mouth’) was a French pirate who was active during the 1st half of the 18th century...
A Tarim mummy

Where the West Actually Meets the East—The Tarim Mummies

Ancient Rome and China were on opposite sides of the world as far as both civilizations were concerned. Although both cultures were aware of each other’s existence because of the Silk Road, each...
Statue of Roman Soldier (Public Domain), and Roman Cavalry Reenactment  (CodrinB/CC BY-SA 3.0); Deriv.

Rome’s Forgotten General: Ventidius Takes Enemy Heads and Enemy Gold – Part II

With the Amanus Pass secured, Roman general Publius Ventidius Bassus, on the mission given by Antony to retake Asia-Minor, pushed south into Syria. Prince Pacorus of Parthia of was done fighting, at...
Taking of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, 15th July 1099, Emile Signol

Why the Crusades Were Not a ‘Clash of Civilizations’

Ask pretty much anyone – whether terrorists, politicians (of all camps), dinner party guests, or religious leaders – and the one thing that they will say with confidence about the Crusades is that...
Statue of Roman Soldier (Public Domain), and recreators of Roman legionaries wearing the lorica segmentata, 1st-3rd century

Rome’s Forgotten General: Upstart Poor Boy Becomes Military Conqueror – Part I

In the spring of 40 BCE, the Parthians, led by Quintus Labienus, a Roman general who was supported the Liberators (consisting of Brutus and Cassius, who participated in the assassination of Caesar),...
Depiction of the hanging of Elizabeth Wilson, with William Wilson coming with the pardon (from a later edition of The Pennsylvania Hermit).

The Pennsylvania Hermit: The Woeful Tale of a Grieving Brother’s Broken-hearted Hermitage

William “Amos” Wilson, who is known also as the Pennsylvania Hermit, is a figure in the folklore of Pennsylvania, more specifically of its south-eastern and south-central regions. William lived...

A Hopi Hero’s Journey: How the Snake Clan Came to Arizona

Joseph Campbell, in his classic book The Hero With A Thousand Faces explores in depth the universal mythic narrative of the culture-hero (traditionally male) who goes forth not to conquer but...
Manananggal, mythical creature of the Philippines

The Shocking Demon that Brings Plague and Devours Babies: Ancient Goddess & Evil Widow Rangda in Balinese Mythology

All eyes focused on the figure of Rangda as she emerged from the inner part of the temple, about a third of the way through the Barong dance (an ancient dance which predates even the Hindu influences...

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Top New Stories

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

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.

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)