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.

Statue of an Iroquois man, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Theresa O’Connor/CC BY-SA 2.0) and background, Hiawatha by Thomas Eakins, 1874. (Public Domain);Deriv.

Thunder god and Skywoman – Myth and History of the Iroquois: Exploring a First Nations Tradition

Every year, western scholars look with wonder to the ancient mythologies, ruins, and histories of such places as Egypt, Greece, and the Near East. Due to the considerable efforts of professional and...
Mysterious man on a creepy night. Who really killed the King?

Who Killed the King? Was it Eochaid the Slayer? An Ancient Irish Murder Mystery

It might almost be a shocking moment from a Shakespeare play or even a plot-line from Game of Thrones, but the murder of an ancient Irish king, Crimthann mac Énnai, is an event which actually took...
Hendrick Avercamp’s ‘Ice Scene’ (c. 1610).

How Fashion Adapted to Climate Change – In the Little Ice Age

Lane Eagles / The Conversation One could say the consequences of the planet’s warming climate can be seen on fashion week runways and the shelves of Anthropologie and H&M. Silhouettes shrink as...
The sarcophagi of Carajia, emblematic of the lost Chachapoya culture. Source: BigStockPhoto

The Cloud Warriors: Sarcophagi Sentries Perched on the Cliffs in Peru

Researchers would have never guessed what they would find inside a seven-foot-tall statue when it came crashing down the Peruvian cliffside in the Utcubamba valley in 1928. The sculpture was a...
Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
Caltrops of WWI

Watch Your Step! Don’t Tread on the Caltrop, A Weapon with a Pointed History

There is a cunning and deadly device that used by armies in the past, and up to the present day. It’s a weapon mostly overlooked but is yet brilliantly effective—the caltrop. The caltrop (or calthrop...
Zhang Heng's odometer, a mechanical carriage.

The Famous Ancient Chinese Inventions of Zhang Heng

Zhang Heng (78-139 AD) was a Chinese astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar from Nanyang, Henan Province, China. He is noted for...
Pandora, Bouguereau, 1890

Eve was Created from Adam’s Rib, but What About the Other Women? Where did the First Women of Ancient Creation Come From?

In the Bible, Genesis 2:7 is the first verse that tells us about the first man. It tells how God formed a man from the dust and blew the breath of life into him. The man was then placed in Eden where...
The 4000-year-old brain tissue found in Seyitömer Höyük, Turkey.

Bronze Age Brain: 4000-Year-Old Human Cerebral Tissue Preserved by ‘Corpse Wax’

Tissue from a human Bronze Age brain has been preserved for 4000 years. Archaeologists hope that similar specimens can be found to discover more information on health conditions in the prehistoric...
Sack of Rome’ by Karl Briullov. (1833-1836) in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. This painting is showing the Vandal king Gaiseric sacking Rome

Va-Va-Vandal: The Life and Times of Gaiseric, the Vandal King of North Africa

Meet one of the most important late antiquity kings you’ve never heard of: Gaiseric (a.k.a. Genseric), a Germanic kinglet who transformed his tribal affiliations into a massive realm in the 5th...
Jezebel.

Jezebel: Revealing the Slander of a Virgin of Baal, Princess of Tyre, and Queen of Israel

Jezebel - even to this day her name is synonymous with wickedness and promiscuity. She was the most depraved of women, a murderess, an adulteress and worst of all an idolatress. She was so hated by...
A traditional Uros boat

Sons of the Sun? Looking for the Origins of the Uros People

The Uros people live on 42 artificial floating islands on Lake Titicaca. They call themselves "Lupihaques" (Sons of the Sun) and descendants of the ancient Uros, a pre-Incan people. However, there...
Remains of the house of scribe Butehamun at Medinet Habu, design by Anand Balaji.

The Hunt for Herihor: Butehamun and the Death of the Royal Necropolis–Part II

Sometime around Regnal Year 17 or 19 of Pharaoh Ramesses XI matters took a turn for the worse, due in no small measure to civil unrest and a failing economy. The northern and southern parts of the...
Scene of destruction in the film “Pompeii 3d” (2014). (La Stampa/CC BY NC ND) Insert: Remains of a skull attributed to Pliny the Elder from the Museo di Storia dell'Arte Sanitaria in Rome.

Researchers Look to Crowdfunding to Identify the Skull of Pompeii Hero Pliny the Elder

Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, was an influential administrator, officer, and author in ancient Rome. His life ended suddenly with the deadly eruption of Mount Vesuvius in...
King Herihor and Queen Nodjmet adoring the god Osiris in the afterlife. (Photo credits: Trustees of the British Museum (Wikimedia Commons)); Deriv.

The Hunt for Herihor: Waning Pharaonic Power and Advent of Priest-kings–Part I

Early in the Twenty-First Dynasty, a High Priest of Amun-Re, Herihor, declared himself ruler. The custodians of the cult of the state god finally got what they had always yearned for—overtly and...

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The Achievement of the Grail.
Leah Tether works at the University of Bristol. She received funding for this research from Anglia Ruskin University, Ghent University, Somerville College, Oxford and the Stationers' Foundation. Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence.

Myths & Legends

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)