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.

The death of Cleopatra

The dramatic death of Cleopatra – was it really suicide?

According to accepted historical accounts, Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of ancient Egypt who ruled after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period, committed suicide by holding...
Boudicca, the Celtic Queen

Boudicca, the Celtic Queen that unleashed fury on the Romans – Part 2

(Read Part 1 ) Queen Boudicca had every reason to hate the Romans – by 60 AD, the lands of the Iceni clan of Britain had been captured, her people had been killed or taken as slaves, she was publicly...
The Year of the Four Emperors

The Year of the Four Emperors

The Roman emperor Nero was the last of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. During his rule, he was disdained by his people because of his vanity and inadequacies as leader. He had one wife executed and he...
Elizabeth Bathory

Elizabeth Bathory – 16th century deranged serial killer or victim of betrayal?

Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed (Báthory Erzsébet in Hungarian) is recorded as being one of the most prolific serial killers in history, as documented by her entry in the Guinness Book of Records...
Mongol Invasion of Japan

Kamikaze – The Divine Winds that Saved Japan

During the 13th century, the Mongols, led by Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, attempted two major invasions of Japan in 1274 and 1281 AD. However, on both occasions, a massive typhoon (tropical...
Nefertiti

The Mysterious Disappearance of Nefertiti, Ruler of the Nile

Nefertiti was the chief consort of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten (formerly Amenhotep IV), who reigned from approximately 1353 to 1336 BC. Known as the Ruler of the Nile and Daughter of Gods ,...
Nero and the burning Rome

Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?

Nero is today remembered as one of the mad and bad emperors of the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, this reputation may have been unjustly accorded to him, as some of the stories of his brutality were...
Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland

Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century Pirate Queen of Ireland

Grace O'Malley was Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the O Maille clan, rebel, seafarer, and fearless leader, who challenged the turbulent politics of 16 th century England and Ireland. While Irish...
The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

The destruction of the Great Library of Alexandria

Alexandria, one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, was founded by Alexander the Great after his conquest of Egypt in 332 BC. After the death of Alexander in Babylon in 323 BC, Egypt fell to...
May day

May Day: An ancient celebration with pagan roots

The 1st May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of spring. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural...
Pagan Origins of Easter

The Ancient Pagan Origins of Easter

Easter Sunday is a festival and holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world who honour the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred three...
Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

The myths, legends and traditions of Chinese Tomb Sweeping Day

Today marks the historical Qingming Festival in China. Fondly known as Ancestors Day or Tomb Sweeping Day, it is a day that commemorates the onset spring and the occasion to remember ancestors by...
April Fools

Tracing back the ancient origins of April Fools’ Day

On 1 st April every year, people around the world celebrate April Fools’ Day, sometimes called All Fools’ Day, a day when merriment and joviality is supposed to reign and pranks, practical jokes, and...
Mongolia - Ancient Golden Eagle Hunting

New Future for the Ancient Art of Golden Eagle Hunting

Eagle hunting is an ancient art which has been in existence on the Central Asian Steppe, from Kyrgyzstan to Kazakhstan and Mongolia, for some 6,000 years. Societal and political changes have meant...
Saint Patrick

The Day of St Patrick and the myth of snakes being cast out of Ireland

Today marks Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick, a cultural and religious holiday celebrated every year on 17 th March in Ireland and by Irish communities around the world. The...
Collecting honey - Nepal

The ancient art of honey collecting on the Himalayan cliffs of Nepal

The Gurung tribespeople of Nepal have been collecting honey from Himalayan cliffs for centuries, risking their lives in an ancient tradition that has been passed down over many generations. But now...

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Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

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)