love

Detail of a tomb painting depicting Meretites and Kahai – an ancient Egyptian couple who lived 4,400 years ago.

The Priestess and the Singer: Locked in a Lasting Egyptian Love Story

A beautiful love story bloomed around a tomb painting found in Saqqara, Egypt. The image shows an ancient Egyptian couple in a tender scene. While sweet, this type of image isn’t a common one - so...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Ostraca: Voices from the Place of Truth—An intimate glimpse into New Kingdom Egypt

Athenians meted out harsh punishments to those who fell afoul of prevalent laws or societal norms. If citizens had done something terrible, they ran the risk of being exiled from the city for up to...
Collage:  design by Anand Balaji

Slew of Surreal Experiences tied to KV62. Carter and Tut: Masks, Mosquitoes, and Mania!

There were several exciting, strange and puzzling happenings in the run-up to the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb and later. While Howard Carter wasn’t sure of the words he had used to describe his...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti (IX 12, 6-8) in Pompeii.

Shave Your Armpits and Don’t Smell Like a Billy-Goat: Ovid’s Art of Love, Relationships and Adultery

Born a year after the assassination of Julius Caesar, Ovid’s first works appeared in the early days of the Augustan principate. Ovid wrote various works throughout his long career, but none so...
The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

Solomon and Sheba: Were a Famous Pharaoh and Queen the Real Protagonists in this Love Story?

The story of Solomon and Sheba is well known as one of love. But it is only when we learn their true identities that we see how much affection and adoration Solomon had for his favorite Queen. He...
A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Claddagh rings are hugely popular both as fashion accessories and as symbolic gestures. The Claddagh design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland, particularly...
Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Being Lovesick Was a Real Disease in the Middle Ages

Love sure does hurt, as the Everly Brothers knew very well. And while it is often romanticised or made sentimental, the brutal reality is that many of us experience fairly unpleasant symptoms when in...
Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Dylan Foster Evans / The Conversation February 14 is the day marked for lovers in many countries around the world, but in Wales there is another date traditionally associated with romance: St Dwynwen...
Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Friedrich Paul Thumann, (1834-1908), "Cupid (Eros) and Psyche."

Four Ways to Love: How the Ancient Greeks Used Magic to Fulfil Hopes, Dreams, and Desires

For the ancient Greeks, 'love' was categorized into distinct words, each representing a different kind of infatuation; which is considerably different from our ideas of generalizing all aspects and...
Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

Neolithic Romeo and Juliet? The Star-Crossed Lovers of Valdaro

The “Lovers of Valdaro” are a pair of human skeletons that were discovered in 2007 by a team of archaeologists at a Neolithic tomb in Italy. The two skeletons appear to have died while they were...
A Heart as Cold as Ice? The Japanese Legend of Yuki-onna, the Beautiful Yet Dangerous Snow Woman

A Heart as Cold as Ice? The Japanese Legend of Yuki-onna, the Beautiful Yet Dangerous Snow Woman

The legend of Yuki-onna (the snow woman) comes from The Land of the Rising Sun. This beautiful but dangerous character may be a personification of death in a severe snow storm. Japanese legends do...
Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine is often remembered as a Celtic goddess of love. But she was also a deity of wealth, sovereignty, and the summer. Her sensitive and joyful personality brought her many followers in the Celtic...
More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

More than a Goddess of Love: The Many Other Aspects of Aphrodite

The Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, has a very distinctive image in classical arts. In 458 BCE, the playwright Aeschylus, in his play Agamemnon , used the name of Aphrodite to denote “beauty, charm...
Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl: A Tragic Romance of Aztec Legend

Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl: A Tragic Romance of Aztec Legend

Mexican natural structures are the topic of many legends and mythical stories connected with pre-Columbian tribes like the Aztecs and Mayas. Two of the many volcanoes in Mexico became the symbols of...

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Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.
Few visitors recognize that there is a forgotten world below the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The ancient maze of tunnels and quarries date back to the very beginning of this famous city. Locals, on the other hand, remember the existence of the underground pathways every time one of the ancient tunnels collapses, damaging the structures above. Hundreds of buildings and streets have fallen victim to the decaying tunnels.

Myths & Legends

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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.

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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)