Iceland

King Haraldr hárfagri receives the kingdom out of his father's hands. From the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

Icelander Sagas May Have More Truth to Them than You Think

Myths and legends – purely the creation of creative and imaginative minds, right? Not necessarily. Numerous stories, sagas, and texts from the ancient past have been proven to hold facts. For example...
Elkhound, a Viking Dog.

Viking Dogs Followed Their Masters to Valhalla

By THORNEWS Large amounts of animal bones have been found in Viking Age ship graves. For example, there were eight large sighthounds (Old Norse: mjór) buried on both sides outside the ship In the...
Elves and other fairy folk.

Divine, Demonic, or Something In-Between: How the Changing Face of Elves Reflects the Zeitgeist

Just as human culture has changed over the centuries, supernatural creatures also change with time. For example, elves were originally a type of nature spirit similar to Nymphs in Greek mythology...
Archaeologists dig at the site of the first ship burial, where the human and dog bones, the ship and sword were found. You can see how close the waters of the fjord are in the background.

Three Boat Burials of Viking-era Chiefs Found in as Many Days at Icelandic Site

Archaeologists have announced that they found three Viking-age boat burials in quick succession on a fjord along Iceland’s northern coast this week. They believe they may find more Viking burials in...
Reconstruction of a Viking meeting by Jonathan Hart

Vikings Used Sherwood Forest Long Before It Was Known as the Hideout of Robin Hood

A team of archaeologists has made a significant discovery at an ancient monument which served as a Viking meeting point in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, England. Archaeologists stated that the...
Depiction of Surtr – a powerful fire giant mentioned in the Viking age.

A Viking Flame Reborn: Myths and History Hidden in the Depths of Blackener's Cave

Forged by the mythological fires of Muspell, the Blackener's Cave lives up to its name as a cavern of fiery mystique. The volcano to which the cave is attached has long been silent, but Blackener...
Drinking Horn by Brynjólfur Jónsson of Skarð, South Iceland – 1598

Icelandic Drinking Horn Changes Our Historic Understanding of Saint Olav

After the Reformation, Norway's Olav Haraldsson was no longer supposed to be worshipped as a saint. An Icelandic drinking horn offers some clues on how the saint's status changed over time. Drinking...
Highland along Kjolur, Iceland

The Kjolur Route: Haunted Highway and Ancient Viking Shortcut in Iceland

Positioned on a desert upland in the highlands of Iceland, the Ancient Kjolur Trail gives a new meaning to the word “desolation.” This lengthy, winding thoroughfare, that leads visitors across an...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Vikings’ next step out into the Atlantic – the discovery and settlement of Iceland – is one of the best documented events of the Viking Age. Medieval Icelanders were fascinated by genealogy, not...
The 1,000-year-old Viking sword discovered in Iceland.

1,000-Year-Old Viking Sword Discovered in Iceland by Men Hunting Geese

A group of hunters tracking geese in Skaftárhreppur, South Iceland, brought back more than just birds on their latest trip – they found a 1,000-year-old Viking sword lying completely exposed in the...
A scene of a Viking on a horse from New Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

How the Vikings Started the Worldwide Distribution of Gaited Horses

Some horses have special gaits, which are more comfortable for the rider than walk, trot or gallop. Now, a study by an international research team under the direction of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo...
Sverd I Fjell, Hafrsfjord

Bronze Swords of Hafrsfjord Tell a Legendary Tale of a Powerful King and a Great Battle

Long ago, the inhabitants of Norway lived in warring tribes and villages. It was not until the 872 Battle of Hafrsfjord that the fractious clans of habitable Norway were united under a single ruler...
Haunting and beautiful Middle-Earth-like elves by artist

Lessons from the Hidden World: Icelanders believed in elves, but it is probably not what you think

Icelanders believe in elves. They refuse to begin major construction projects unless they consult with elves first. They lobby their politicians on behalf of elf colonies. They run “elf schools” and...
The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

Iceland’s strong love of literature is a source of amazement to many people. In an era of declining book sales around the world, this small North Atlantic island continues to publish and sell more...

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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

Ancient Places

Illustration of the "Emmons mask", a Mississippian culture carved cedarwood human face shaped object once covered in copper and painted with galena and used as part of a headdress
The City of Moundsville is located along the Ohio River in Marshall County, West Virginia. From the time of European settlement in the 1770s, Moundsville was regarded by antiquarians as one of the most significant ancient sites in North America. For it was here that the Adena mound builders and their descendants constructed the largest ceremonial center in the Upper Ohio Valley

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)