Important Events

Here we feature some of the most seminal, historical, and influential events throughout history – both celebrated and unheralded – from the emergence of powerful civilizations and empires, to famous battles, great achievements, and events that have helped shaped the world we currently know.

The Massacre of Glencoe James Hamilton (1853–1894)

Mapping A Massacre for Old Times Sake

Archaeologists in Scotland are to bring alive “the human story” of the Glencoe massacre, one of the most violent episodes in British history. Three former settlements in the magnificent Glencoe...
‘The Last Judgment’ triptych (open) (1467-1471) by Hans Memling.

Prophecy of the Popes: Are We Reaching the End of Days?

For thousands of years, people all over the ancient world claimed to have the powers of foresight. In 1143, The Prophecy of the Popes was created - listing the future attributes of the 112 pontiffs...
Detail from a replica of the small golden shrine found in KV62 that shows Ankhesenamun and Tutankhamun; design by Anand Balaji

Inching Closer to Ankhesenamun: Is the Last Sun Queen Set to be Found? — Part II

The probable marriage of Ankhesenamun, the widow of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, to the aged vizier Aye before she vanished from the records paved the way for the old family retainer to ascend the throne of...
"Ertränken im Fass oder Sack", a 1560 sketch showing ‘punishment of the sack’.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Early Roman history is full of stories about the terrible fates that befell citizens who broke the law. When a certain Tarpeia let the enemy Sabines into Rome, she was crushed and thrown headlong...
‘End of the World’ artistic representation.

Ancient Fears to Keep You Up at Night - The End Really, Really is Nigh

Historians often declare that at least 3500 end of world prophecies have appeared over the same number of years. And those are only the written ones! Eschatology is theology concerned with the final...
Top image: A woman in traditional Chinese dress. Source: CC0

When Concubines Fought Back: The Plot to Eliminate a Mad and Sadistic Emperor

The Renyin Plot was an assassination attempt carried out on the sadistically violent Jiajing Emperor, who was the ruler of China’s Ming Dynasty during the 16th century. The assassins almost succeeded...
Detail from Venus and Mars, Botticelli, tempera on panel

Explainer: The Gods Behind the Days of the Week

The Roman weekday ‘dies Veneris’ was named after the planet Venus, which in turn took its name from Venus, goddess of love. The origins of our days of the week lie with the Romans. The Romans named...
Mosaic with the months of the year, starting with the Roman first month March.

Where do the names of our months come from?

Our lives run on Roman time. Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and public holidays are regulated by Pope Gregory XIII’s Gregorian Calendar , which is itself a modification of Julius Caesar’s calendar...
Panning for gold in Kildonan. (slains-castle) Alluvial gold from Kildonan Burn, Helmsdale, Suth-erland.

A Highland Gold Rush: The Scottish Search for Semen of the Sun

Gold was referred to by the Pre-Columbian ancient South American cultures as ‘Semen of the Sun’ and ‘Sweat of the Sun’ but in that continent, where it was so abundantly available, it held no...
Venus and Mars, c 1485. Tempera and oil on poplar panel, National Gallery, London.

Trial by Public Performance: The Impotence Trials of Pre-Revolutionary France

The impotence trials of prerevolutionary France sound a bit like a political joke. France had mostly squelched the ability for couples to divorce, and it was in the wake of this that the impotence...
Main: The rough Cullinan Diamond (public domain). Inset: One of the nine stones it was cut into (public domain)

Find of a Lifetime: 3,106-Carat Diamond Worth US $2 Billion Takes Its Place in History

Created an unimaginably distant time in the past, diamonds are the most coveted and valued of precious stones. The story of the discovery and destiny of the Cullinan diamond, to this day the largest...
Mycanae lions

The Fall of a Civilization: The Mysterious Collapse of the Mycenaean Bronze Age

"In most cases, collapse results from multiple, 'cascading' stress factors—politico-economic, demographic, and sociocultural as well as environmental…relational aspects, arguing that factors such as...
The Romans of the Decadence (1847) by Thomas Couture.

Why is Christmas Celebrated December 25th?

Why is Christmas celebrated on December 25th? The popular answer is that it is Jesus’ birthday. However, it is necessary to reconsider that belief, No records exist in the Bible, or elsewhere,...
Gladiators fighting.

The Gladiators Priscus and Verus: Equal they Fought, Equal they Yielded

“As Priscus and Verus each drew out the contest and the struggle between the pair long stood equal, shouts loud and often sought discharge for the combatants. But Titus obeyed his own law (the law...
Artist’s representation of the Hittite city of Hattusa in Anatolia.

The Anatolian Histories Part 1: Emerging Empires and Lands Changing Hands

What comes to the mind when one says Anatolia? Does the phrase “land of the rising sun” (as the ancient Greeks called it) appear? Or, because it technically belongs to the Middle East, do you think...
Animals are commonly found in creche sets, but surprisingly not in the Bible.

An Ox, an Ass … a Dragon? Sorry, there were no Animals in the Bible’s Nativity Scene

From nativity plays to crèche sets to Christmas cards, animals are ubiquitous in our vision of the birth of Christ – but according to the Bible, not a single animal was there. Where did all these...

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Top New Stories

The interior of a private library in Chinguetti.
During the Middle Ages, Sahara outposts often found themselves filled with travelers, traders, and pilgrims passing through with their differing tasks. The pilgrims in particular interest us here, as they would sometimes meet and share religious scriptures amongst each other and with their hosts.

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)