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.

8 Immortals in a temple in Vietnam

The 8 Immortals of China: How ordinary mortals worked hard to achieve superpowers and become legendary

The general appearances of Chinese gods lead us to think of them as sober imperial bureaucrats. They mostly look like middle-aged men dressed in official-looking robes, spending their time reading...
‘Marius sitting on the Ruins of Carthage’ (circa 1791-1794) by Pierre-Joseph François.

Banished by Caesar and Executed by Mark Antony: Did the Charismatic ‘Grandson of Gaius Marius’ Have a Legitimate Claim to the Roman Empire?

Long before imposters claimed to be Anastasia of Russia’s Romanov dynasty, a genealogical mystery consumed ancient Rome. No later than 45 BC, a man emerged who claimed to be the famous Gaius Marius’...
Sea Silk

One Person Left on Earth Knows the Ancient Secret of Producing Sea Silk

Sea silk is a highly-precious fabric that is so rare only one woman left on earth knows the secret to its creation. Whilst silk is famously known to be obtained from the cocoons of the mulberry...
Cao Cao cites a poem before the Battle of Red Cliffs, portrait at the Long Corridor of the Summer Palace, Beijing

Devastating Defeat for Chinese Warlord in Largest Naval Battle in History

The largest naval battle in history occurred in the winter of 208/9 AD as part of the war for control of China. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers fought - some estimates suggest that the exact number...
Georgia, Savannah River, near Savannah, circa 1862. (Public Domain) with couple (Public Domain);Deriv.

Prehistoric Romeo and Juliet Lived Apart: But Why? The People of the Shoals and The People of the Hills

Just north of Augusta, Georgia, USA, near what is called the Fall Line of the Savannah River, lies Stallings Island. It has given its name to the culture that sparked the second great American...
Reog Ponorogo performer and spectators.

The Reog Ponorogo: A Dance of Rebellion Which Changed History

A fearsome lion monster with peacock feathers on its head charged and twirled about as cavalrymen curtseyed and jumped by. The onlookers were entranced with the story playing out in front of them...
The Purusha or ‘cosmic man’, which has a thousand heads and permeates the earth and universe in all directions.

The Real Reason Ancient Indo-Europeans Carried Out Human Sacrifice

The ultimate aim of the original Indo-European sacrifices, modelled after the cosmic sacrifice of the Purusha [a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life] … must have been the...
Aeneas and Turnus by Luca Giordano 17th century

History Versus Legend: In Search of Aeneas, the Trojan Refugee

Roman mythology designates Aeneas as the founder of the great nation of Rome and ancestor to its peoples. In fact, his story begins long before Rome came into existence. While the Romans lay claim to...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.and illustration depicting a sacrifice being made on behalf of a family, by the chief priest Conon and two assistants, first century AD. Graeco-Iranian style

Mithridates Clashes with Kings and Swallows up Territory: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran — Part II

Mithridates (“The Gift of Mithra) exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. He understood that a king could retain his power only as long as the people and nobles were...
Detail of ‘Caius Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage’ (1807) by John Vanderlyn.

Gaius Marius was the Savior of Ancient Rome, but was he a Hero or Villain?

Gaius Marius was easily one of the Roman Republic’s most accomplished men. He was a beloved general, influential military reformer, and a massively successful politician; but later in his career, he...
Coin of Mithridates I of Parthia (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. and Relief of Mithridates I at Xong-e Ashdar in Izeh, Khuzestān ;Deriv.

Mithridates Stalks His Prey, and Strikes a Killing Blow: The ‘King of Kings’ of Ancient Iran

Mithridates exhibited qualities that most kings rarely have: experience and maturity. Even Phraates passed over his own sons for his qualified brother to be next in line. Mithridates I (r. 171-138...
Liao Dynasty (907-1125) tomb mural by unknown painter in Inner Mongolia. Scene of everyday life. Men and boys have distinctive Khitan hairstyle. (Public Domain) Insert: A famous Liao Dynasty Sancai Luohan, Circa 1000

An Intriguing Empire: The Lasting Impression of the Nomadic Liao Dynasty on Chinese Culture

Well-represented in artifacts found in museums and private collections, the Liao Dynasty rose and expanded as the Tang Dynasty dwindled in power. This was the first state to control all of Manchuria...
The Battle of Rocroi, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.

Social Consequences of the Thirty Years' War: Was it Worth it?

The Thirty Years’ War was a major European war that occurred during the 17 th century. Whilst the conflict took place mainly in the area of modern day Germany, it involved many of the great European...
Mesoamerican ballgame latterly known as ‘Ulama’, using ‘Hipball’ rules

Playing Ball in Ancient Belize: 1,300-year-old Stone Panels Depicting Mayan Ballplayers Revealed

Archaeologists have deciphered two 1,300-year-old stone panels that depict ancient Mayans playing with large balls while carrying impressive fans. The panels were found at the archaeological site of...
The climactic moment in Homer's Iliad when a dying Achilles' head bursts into flame

Magic Armor Can’t Save the Tragic Heroes: Duty & Doom for Karna, Ferdiad & Achilles

It is no longer a secret that there are historical connections between the myths from everywhere in the world, indicating that every culture had strong influences on each other and their legends. A...
Lord Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama: How The Father of Buddhism Walked From Suffering to Enlightenment

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha or “Enlightened One,” is probably one of the most influential individuals to come out of India through the incidental founding of Buddhism. Siddhartha...

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A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

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)