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.

16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
An illustration of the ‘Black Dog’ series by Dusty Crosley, a twisted Halloween tale of horror written by Terry Lambert.

Tricking and Treating Has a Long History

Over the past few decades, Halloween celebrations have gained in popularity , not only with children and families, but with all those fascinated with the spooky and scary. As a scholar of myth and...
Julius Caesar by Peter Paul Rubens.

“Veni, Vidi, Scripsi”: The Literary Conquests of Gaius Julius Caesar

A man who needs no introduction, Gaius Julius Caesar is more than well known for the stories he spearheads—namely, his numerous military victories. (Although, even his defeats somehow sound rather...
Ancient statue of Ramesses II.

Oldest Recorded Solar Eclipse Helps Date the Egyptian Pharaohs

Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on 30 October 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences...
Elephant-headed goddess Vinayaki is often mistaken for a female Ganesha. Statue of Ganesha

Goddess… or Demon? Hidden History of Vinayaki, the Mysterious Elephant-Headed Woman of Hindu Myth

In one of the shrines of the Thanumalayan temple in Kanyakumari district, India, is the stone sculpture of a four-armed deity sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana (“easy pose” - similar to sitting in a...
A cross-shaped tattoo on Ötzi's knee.

Acupuncture for the Iceman: Did Ötzi Get Inked for Health?

Ötzi the iceman was discovered in the Oetz Valley, Austria, in 1991 by some German tourists. When this 5,300-year-old mummy was first found it was believed the frozen corpse belonged to a soldier who...
‘A Player with a Hermit’ by Moritz von Schwind

Revealing the Recluse: The Sad and Secret Lives of Hermits

The word “hermit” often elicits thoughts of men with long, scraggly hair and beards, eyes lined with wrinkles and filled with wisdom, and clothes a bit torn and dirty but otherwise, no worse for wear...
Image during part of the funeral ceremony for Thailand’s deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Grand Funeral of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Intricate Buddhist Funerary Rites

For Thai Buddhists, funerals are extremely important moments, as they represent rebirth and the passage from one existence to another. The elaborate funeral rites recently held in honor of Thailand’s...
Main image: Screen of Gameplay of the video game War of the Vikings (public domain). Inset: One of the skeletons found in the Sandvika sitting graves, Central Norway (Photo: NTNU Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, 1965-66)

Who Were These Vikings Buried Sitting Upright?

BY THORNEWS Accidentally, in 1963 a burial ground with 24 graves deep inside the bay of Sandvika on the eastern side of the island of Jøa in Central Norway were discovered. The bodies buried in a...
Collection of Egyptian Busts and Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Nefertiti and the Perfect Serenity of Death: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun —Part II

Archeological records and a trove of recovered specimens inform us that shabtis (funerary figurines) produced from different materials were placed in the tombs of Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh...
A modern interpretation of King Solomon’s Temple.

The First Temple: Crowning Achievement of King Solomon and Home of the Legendary Ark of the Covenant

The Biblical figure King Solomon was the son of King David, was reputedly both wealthy and wise. He is recorded as a prophet in both Judaism’s Talmud and Islam’s Quran and one of his major legacies...
Ninja warrior.

Hwarang, The ‘Flowering Knights’ of Korea: Deadly Warriors That Looked and Smelled Good!

The Hwarang were an extraordinary group of ancient knights from Silla – one of 3 kingdoms in the region of the Korean peninsula. They were an elite sect, chosen from high society families whilst...
Collection of Egyptian Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Deputies of the Dead from Amarna to Thebes: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun—Part I

Among the most important items that made it into the crypts of both kings and commoners alike were shabti figurines that served to ensure that the Afterlife was one long holiday for their masters...
A model of the Ark of the Covenant from biblical description

The Missing Contents of the Ark of the Covenant: What Was Inside the Ark? (HINT: Not just the 10 Commandments)

Whenever the subject of ancient technology comes up, most people have been conditioned by spectacular movies and TV shows to think right away about the Ark of the Covenant . Some say it was a...
A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...
‘An alchemist being tempted by Luxuria.’ Oil painting after Marten de Vos.

Spiritual Alchemy – Casting Light on a Secret Science

Spiritual alchemy is closely linked to secret knowledge and many who have attained this level of wisdom later decided to withdraw from it as they found they were not ready to receive it. The purpose...

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Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
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 Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

Ancient Technology

An Ulfberht sword displayed at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany
Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost … mystical. Dozens of these swords—made with metal so strong and pure it’s baffling how any sword maker of that time could have accomplished it

Ancient Places

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
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 Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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)