Legend

The Great Horned Serpent was powerful and magical in Native American mythology.

Drowning, Poisoning, and the Dark Underworld. Meet the King of all Snakes, the wise Great Horned Serpent in Native American Cosmology

Since longer than history can recall, the western mind has been locked in a pattern of dualistic thinking. In the course of our experiences, the world is defined by a series of opposites, which...
The Konark Sun Temple, India

Chariot of the Gods: The Legend of the Konark Sun Temple Revealed

Here the language of stone surpasses the language of human. —  Rabindranath Tagore Hindu legends say that one of Krishna’s sons built the impressive Konark Sun Temple to honor the solar deity for...
Elephant-headed goddess Vinayaki is often mistaken for a female Ganesha. Statue of Ganesha

Goddess… or Demon? Hidden History of Vinayaki, the Mysterious Elephant-Headed Woman of Hindu Myth

In one of the shrines of the Thanumalayan temple in Kanyakumari district, India, is the stone sculpture of a four-armed deity sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana (“easy pose” - similar to sitting in a...
Amaterasu, a major goddess of Japan.

Solar Goddess Amaterasu, Divine Ancestor of the Japanese Imperial Family

Amaterasu is a major goddess in the Shinto religion. Although she is considered primarily to be a sun goddess, she is also believed to be the ruler of the Takama no Hara (the High Celestial Plain),...
Artist’s representation of a vampire

A Vampire in New Orleans? The Mysterious Case of Jacque and the Comte de St. Germain

If vampires existed in our modern age, it would be easy to imagine them in New Orleans, creeping from the shadows of the crypts in the St. Louis Cemetery or prowling for victims in the unlit alleys...
A model of the Ark of the Covenant from biblical description

The Missing Contents of the Ark of the Covenant: What Was Inside the Ark? (HINT: Not just the 10 Commandments)

Whenever the subject of ancient technology comes up, most people have been conditioned by spectacular movies and TV shows to think right away about the Ark of the Covenant . Some say it was a...
Detail of ‘Sisyphus’ by Antonio Zanchi.

Sisyphus: King Cheats Death, Annoys Zeus, and Receives Never-ending Punishment in the Greek Underworld

Doomed to forever roll a huge boulder up a steep hill, Sisyphus is a figure in Greek mythology who represents an impossible task. As his punishment in the Greek Underworld, each time Sisyphus neared...
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...
Hashihime.

Demonic Dames: Watch out for the Vengeful Women of Japanese Legends

Japan has had stories about oni (demons or ogres) and yuurei (ghosts) for hundreds of years. As time passes, new vengeful spirits continue to appear and their stories are told even in the present day...
Andromeda Chained to the Rock by the Nereids

Throwing Virgins into the Sea and Other Ways to Appease the Gods: The Ancient Reasons behind Virgin Sacrifice

When the going got tough, it was believed sacrificing a virgin to the gods—by throwing them into the sea, burying them alive, or leaving them for hungry monsters—was the best plan. Virgin sacrifice...
Hercules and the Leraean Hydra by John Singer Sargant

A Herculean Effort: What Led to the 12 Labors of Hercules and How Did He Succeed?

Classical mythology is full of heroes but Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles) is undoubtedly the most celebrated of them all. Although his heroic life was packed with daring escapades from...
8 Immortals in a temple in Vietnam

The 8 Immortals of China: How ordinary mortals worked hard to achieve superpowers and become legendary

The general appearances of Chinese gods lead us to think of them as sober imperial bureaucrats. They mostly look like middle-aged men dressed in official-looking robes, spending their time reading...
A collection of shoes, presumably from those who have taken their lives, inside Aokigahara forest.

The Aokigahara Forest of Japan: Many Enter, But Few Walk Out Alive

The Aokigahara forest is situated on the north-western side of Japan’s famous Mount Fuji. Over the centuries, many people have entered the forest, but fewer have left it. This is because, sadly, the...
Western passage at the megalithic site of Knowth with decorated orthostat on left. Co. Meath, Ireland.

Mystifying Megaliths: Knowth, Keeper of Ancient Tombs

The rolling green hills outside of Ireland hold more history than can be seen. Legend blends into folklore, and folklore transforms into history. Knowth, located not far from Dublin, is part of a...
Aeneas and Turnus by Luca Giordano 17th century

History Versus Legend: In Search of Aeneas, the Trojan Refugee

Roman mythology designates Aeneas as the founder of the great nation of Rome and ancestor to its peoples. In fact, his story begins long before Rome came into existence. While the Romans lay claim to...
The taking of Excalibur by John Duncan

Where did King Arthur Acquire Excalibur, the Stone or the Lake?

Excalibur is a legendary sword found in Arthurian legends, and is arguably one of the most renowned swords in history. This sword was wielded by the legendary King Arthur, and magical properties were...

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Top New Stories

Top image: Archaeologists looking at aerial photography found what they thought to be a hidden long barrow, or Neolithic burial chamber, hidden beneath a wheat field.
This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated one of the most extraordinary sites we have ever had the pleasure of investigating. The site is an Early Neolithic long barrow known as “Cat’s Brain” and is likely to date to around 3,800BC. It lies in the heart of the lush Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, UK, halfway between the iconic monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.

Myths & Legends

Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.
Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—Ragnar is an amalgamation of a number of historical personages and minor characters of legend. So, the question is: Where does Ragnar the man end and the myth begin?

Ancient Places

A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

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)