illness

‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
The tumor with teeth was found in a cemetery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Archaeologists Found a Medieval Body With a Tumor That Was Growing Teeth – But That’s Not the Whole Story

Digging up a graveyard in Lisbon, Portugal, archaeologists found the remains of a woman who had died sometime between the 15th and 18th century. They can’t be sure what killed her, but it may have...
Navajo Yebichai (Yei Bi Chei) dancers. Edward S. Curtis. USA, 1900. The Welcome Collection, London

Can a Ghost Make You Ill? The Ghost Sickness Belief of the Native American Indians

Ghost sickness is the belief that ghosts are able to cause a living person to fall ill. This particular term is used by the Native Americans, especially amongst the Navajo people. Nevertheless, this...
 Excavations at the site of in Siberia. Source: Andrey Plekhanov

Why Would Medieval Siberian Nomads Ritually Sacrifice Their Seriously Ill Companions?

By Tamara Zubchuk/ The Siberian Times Unique crouched burials for this period - comprising a seriously ill quartet - presents archaeologists with a puzzle. The find of four graves from the 11th...
Painting of the Fourteen Holy Helpers

When Millions Were Dropping Dead From the Plague, The 14 Holy Helpers Were Summoned to Intercede

The Fourteen Holy Helpers are a group of saints venerated together in the Roman Catholic Church. Veneration of this group of saints (known also as auxiliary saints) began during the 14th century, as...
Sculpture of child, deriv.

Swapping Babies: The Disturbing Faerie Changeling Phenomenon

The worldwide stories of faerie changelings come under a group of motifs recorded in the Aarne-Thompson folklore index as F321: ‘Faerie steals child from cradle and leaves faerie substitute.’ The...
Members of the Habsburg family

Weird Ideas, Weird Behaviors: Bringing the Habsburg Family Skeletons Out of the Closet

The Habsburg family is one of the most important royal families in the history of Europe. This may be somewhat surprising, as many of the rulers from this family behaved strangely, had some weird...
The Ancient Legend of the Monstrous Rat King

The Ancient Legend of the Monstrous Rat King

A rat king is the term used to describe an agglomeration of rats whose tails have entangled together. As a result of this entanglement, a large single entity is formed, which is usually further bound...
The new study says that Neanderthal DNA influences many physical traits in people of European and Asian heritage.

Study Casts New Light on Diseases We Inherited from Neanderthals

Feeling depressed? Can’t kick the tobacco habit? Sun causing skin lesions? Allergies bothering you? Some people of today may blame their Neanderthal ancestry in part for some of these health problems...
Reconstruction of the Iceman. Prehistory Museum of Quinson, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France.

Stomach Troubles for the Iceman: How Otzi Continues to Provide Information About the Past

Ötzi, the Copper Age man, continues to tell tales of our homo sapien past. Now, an international team of scientists including paleopathologist Albert Zink and microbiologist Frank Maixner from the...
La Peste (1695) wax sculpture, Gaetano Zumbo, Museum of Specola, Florence

The Black Death: the Plague that Sowed Terror and Death in Medieval Europe - Part 2

Read Part 1 Science had to wait until the nineteenth century to banish the idea of ​​a supposed supernatural origin of the plague. The fear of a pandemic on a global scale persisted for four...
A 1680 engraving accompanying a description by Erasmus Francisci of a battle between ships in the sky said to take place in 1665.

In 1665, Many Said They Saw a UFO Battle and Fell Sick Afterward

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times On April 8, 1665, around 2 p.m., fishermen anchored near Barhöfft (then in Sweden, now in Germany) reported seeing ships in the sky battling each other. After the...
Medieval Dance Mania

The Mysterious Case of Medieval Dance Mania

St. John’s Dance, known historically as St. Vitus Dance, was a social phenomenon involving a type of dance mania that gripped mainland Europe between the 14 th and 17 th centuries. One of the most...

Top New Stories

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Myths & Legends

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0
In the mountain rain forest of Chiapas, México, sits the ruins of Palenque, considered the most beautiful ancient Maya city. Silhouetted against a backdrop of natural hills and valleys, the elegant pyramids and palace offer fine Maya bas-relief carvings of high-grade limestone and stucco.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)