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.

Mural from a Pompeii brothel.

The Grim Reality of the Brothels of Pompeii

Like the anxious men who began excavations at Pompeii in the 18th century and discovered more about the ancient Italians than they had bargained for – such as phallic-shaped lamps – historians of sex...
Rice goddesses are found across cultures

Rice Goddesses - Earth Mothers who Influenced Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld

For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives becoming more difficult due to climate change, Bloomberg states...
2nd century AD copy of a 4th cent. BC sculpture of Aristotle, which Alexander the Great commissioned from the sculptor Lysippus.

Aristotle: The Man Who Needs No Introduction

Before embarking on our journey to character and (self) leadership, we should briefly discuss the life and work of Aristotle, the man and the philosopher - he who needs no introduction. Aristotle’s...
A Byzantine depiction of the Three Wise Men (526 AD), Basilica of Sant' Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy.

What the Magi Had in Common with Scientists

Picturesque and exotic, with their crowns and camels, the three kings regularly appear on Christmas cards and in nativity scenes. But how much is original, and how much is later addition for the sake...
Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom

A Dream Cure? The Effective Healing Power of Dream Incubation in Ancient Greece

In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the...
Ramesses III smites his enemies. Design by Anand Balaji.

Ramesses III, The Final Warrior Pharaoh: Devastating Sea Peoples and Egypt’s Finest Hour—Part II

The vile and vicious juggernaut of the Sea Peoples had laid waste to several cultures and had dispersed vast populations in their wake. When they were done pillaging and ravaging Levantine empires,...
Symbol of the Knights Templar

Alternative-Right Claims to March in Step with the Knights Templar – This is Fake History

When market trader Tina Gayle was banned from selling mugs featuring Knights Templar logos in a Loughborough Market, Charnwood Borough Council ruled that they were offensive to Muslims. A story in...
A painted relief shows Ramesses III making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Design by Anand Balaji.

Ramesses III, The Final Warrior Pharaoh: Savior of Egypt in Her Darkest Hour—Part I

The reign of Ramesses III proved to be unprecedented in more ways than one. While most of his predecessors often had to thwart the designs of Egypt’s enemies one at a time, he had to quell invasion...
'The End of the Song’ – a depiction of the lovers Tristan and Isolde.

Ancient Lovers: Five Touching and Sometimes Tragic Love Stories Before Romeo and Juliet

Do you believe in true love? Are you a romantic in constant search of the one thing that so many novels, poems, and films have been dedicated to, or are you one of those people who doesn’t have much...
Fire and Water Hands

The Relationship that Started it All and Changed the World: The Yin Yang & Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate

Chinese mythology and cosmology rest on the concept that the universe is shaped and maintained by two fundamental forces called yin and yang. They are opposite yet complementary forces that interact...
A soldier from the game Numantia. Credit: RECO Technology

Remembering Numantia: Videogame Reminds Us of Brave Warriors and Their Blood on Roman Hands

The forgotten war between the Romans and the Celtiberians may not ring any bells with most people today, but many historians rank it as one of the most significant wars of the Roman era...
They came from the fjords of Western Norway, and when they left, only silence could be heard.

Did the Viking Age Really Start on 8 June 793 AD?

BY THORNEWS “ Never before has such terror appeared in Britain as we have now suffered from a pagan race (…). The heathens poured out the blood of saints around the altar, and trampled on the bodies...
Santa with pipe and the knowing smile of ancient wisdom.

Santa the Shaman Comes to the New World: The Shapeshifting Magic-Man from the Ancient Past

In 1626, a ship filled with folks from the Netherlands put into what would later be called New York Harbor and went about building a Dutch colony called New Amsterdam. The figurehead on the prow of...
Skeletal remains and recreation of a prehistoric timber circle

Burned Bones, Mysterious Timber Circles & the Rites of the Ancients - Adena Culture in Mason County

Mason County, West Virginia is a place rich in history. Founded in 1804, the county is named after George Mason, who was a delegate at the American Constitutional Convention of 1787. In October of...
Some Saxon Queens had killer reputations. (Public Domain);Deriv.

Killer Queen: Meet Queen Elfrida – The Original Wicked Stepmother

History has seen some incredible, cut-throat politics and lurid scandals, including the reign of Queen Elgiva: a teenage Saxon princess who was caught enjoying a threesome (along with her mother!),...
Canis Major as depicted on the Manuchihr Globe made in Mashhad 1632-33 AD. Adilnor Collection, Sweden.

What is so Special About Sirius, the Dog Star?

The accolade of ‘brightest star in the sky as viewed from Earth” goes to the well-known star Sirius, also popularly called the “Dog Star”, due to its role as the dominant star in the Canis Major (...

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A fragment of a wall painting showing two lovers in bed from the House of L Caecilius Jucundus in Pompeii, now at Naples National Archaeological Museum.
Rarely does L.P. Hartley’s dictum that “the past is a foreign country” hold more firmly than in the area of sexuality in classical art. Erotic images and depictions of genitalia, the phallus in particular, were incredibly popular motifs across a wide range of media in ancient Greece and Rome.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)