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.

A 17th century condom from Sweden.

Ancient Methods of Contraception – Even Tutankhamun Wore Protection

In today’s society, there are various forms of contraceptives available on the market. Some of these, like the combined oral contraceptive pill (often referred to just as ‘the pill’), for instance,...
India, Rajasthan, 13th-14th century (Public Domain) and A 12th-century sandstone statue of a dancing Apsara from Uttar Pradesh, India.

What Really Happened in the Celestial Palace? Daughters of Pleasure, Courtesans of the Gods

It takes much willpower to resist the temptation of the asparas ; beautiful dancing women in the court of Indra, king of the gods, in the celestial palace in Hindu mythology. They are the heavenly...
Thorbjörg Lítilvölva from the Saga of Erik he Red displayed in the Saga Museum in Reykjavik.

The Feared and Respected Old Norse Völva Sorceresses

BY THORNEWS In the Viking Age, the völvas (female shamans) were both feared and respected: they exercised seiðr (Norse magic) and were supposedly in direct contact with Odin, the Allfather. The word...
Wassailing revelers at night – CC BY-SA 2.0

From Saxon Sirens to Sacred Orchards: The Modern Traditions and Pagan Origins of Wassailing

Every January, in parts of rural England, people still gather to celebrate Wassailing, a tradition with distinctly Pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s apple crops and protect orchards...
Detail of ‘Man eating noodles’ (1656) by Jan Vermeer van Utrecht.

A Deadly Bite: The Plight of the Ancient Food Taster

Poison was a potent weapon that could be used by would-be assassins to get rid of their targets. This was especially useful when the target was a person in power and was surrounded by bodyguards. One...
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...

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Top New Stories

A carnivorous dinosaur track heading up the rock face at Cretaceous Park, Bolivia.
Some ancient rock art shows the deliberate leaving of hand prints by our ancestors leaving a lasting impression of their existence. The surprising prints that are to be found on a rock face in Bolivia were a completely unintentional mark left by unwitting artists. Sometimes a fortunate sequence of events leaves a puzzling phenomenon on the earth.

Human Origins

Photo of Zecharia Sitchin (left)(CC0)Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki.(right)
In a previous 2-part article (1), the authors wrote about the faulty associations of the Sumerian deities known as the Anunnaki as they are portrayed in the books, television series, and other media, which promotes Ancient Astronaut Theory (hereafter “A.A.T.”).

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

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)