middle ages

The engraved whetstone found in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Karen Langsholt Holmqvist/NIKU

Puzzling Medieval Runes Found on Stone in Norway

A rare find of a stone bearing engravings of runes that date back to the Middle Ages has been unearthed recently at an excavation near Oslo. The relic is a whetstone which was a tool used for...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
Caltrops of WWI

Watch Your Step! Don’t Tread on the Caltrop, A Weapon with a Pointed History

There is a cunning and deadly device that used by armies in the past, and up to the present day. It’s a weapon mostly overlooked but is yet brilliantly effective—the caltrop. The caltrop (or calthrop...
Medieval-themed illustration of a young woman; representative image only

Putting the Sex Back in Wessex: The Scandalous Reign of Queen Elgiva & Her Clash with a Demon-Fighting Bishop

The Queens of England (as in the consorts of Kings) during the early Medieval periods of English history rarely receive any coverage in the history books. Hands up anyone who can name the wife of...
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...
Fight with Cudgels, 1819-1823 by Francisco de Goya

New Study Reveals that London was the Most Violent Place in Medieval England

A new study suggests that medieval London was notorious for its excessive violence. The overall findings suggest that violence affected many parts of medieval London, although predictably it...
View of the Castle of Zafra, Campillo de Dueñas, Guadalajara, Spain. The castle was built in the late 12th or early 13th centuries

Parallel Worlds – Events in Game of Thrones Based on Real Historical Events

The television series, Game of Thrones , based on George R.R. Martin’s book series A Song of Ice and Fire , has been praised for its gritty realism and epic storyline. G.R.R. Martin has been referred...
Medieval medical text

Medieval Men With ‘Unsuitable Seed’ Prescribed Ground Up Pig Testicals

A recent study of medical and religious texts suggests that men were diagnosed with infertility as far back as Medieval times, and indeed may be held responsible for the inability to have children...
The burial of the Count of Orgaz

Millennial Bashing: Like Today, Medieval Aristocrats Blamed Youth for Ruining Society

As a millennial and a teacher of millennials, I’m growing weary of think pieces blaming my generation for messing everything up. The idea that young people are ruining society is nothing new. I teach...
10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!

10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!

Long before modern warfare, there was a time of knights in shining armor atop equally armored horses fighting for the hand of a maiden or in pitched battle. However, the weapons that these knights...
Extraction of the Stone of Folly

Five Bloodcurdling Medical Procedures That are No Longer Performed … Thankfully

Surgeries and treatments come and go. A new BMJ guideline, for example, makes “strong recommendations” against the use of arthroscopic surgery for certain knee conditions. But while this key-hole...
Doctors giving medicine.

Medieval Medical Books Could Hold the Recipe for New Antibiotics

For a long time, medieval medicine has been dismissed as irrelevant. This time period is popularly referred to as the “Dark Ages,” which erroneously suggests that it was unenlightened by science or...
The recently unearthed medieval priest’s skull and coffin lid.

Latest Thornton Abbey Discovery: Did the Great Famine take a Medieval Priest and Leave an Elaborate Grave?

The remains of a Medieval priest who died 700 years ago has been uncovered at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire. Research shows he could have been a victim of the Great Famine. Archaeologists from the...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Hand-colored woodprint by Samuel Coccius, Basle Switzerland 1566. August 7th many black globes moved before the sun at great speed and seemed to be fighting. Was this an ancient UFO sighting or celestial event?

What Did the Ancients See? Unidentified Flying Objects that Made an Impact on Early History

The number of reported UFO sightings has hit an all time high in 2017. In the 112 years since the National UFO Reporting Center began keeping track, there have been 104,947 reported events (Monfort,...
Catapulta by Edward Poynter

Were Catapults the Secret to Roman Military Success?

The Roman Empire conquered the known world in large part due to its army. The Roman Army was a formidable force of training and discipline led by military minds who established organizational and...

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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)