monk

Exhibit in the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Saint Brendan and His Epic Voyage: Was the Irish Saint the First European in the New World?

Saint Brendan (also referred to by his various epithets ‘the Navigator’, ‘the Voyager’, ‘the Anchorite’, and ‘the Bold’) was an Irish saint who lived between the 5th and 6th centuries AD known for...
Detail of ‘Monk tasting wine’ by Josef Wagner-Höhenberg.

Feeling Guilty About Drinking? Well, Ask the Saints

Michael Foley / The Conversation Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing...
Image during part of the funeral ceremony for Thailand’s deceased King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Grand Funeral of Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Intricate Buddhist Funerary Rites

For Thai Buddhists, funerals are extremely important moments, as they represent rebirth and the passage from one existence to another. The elaborate funeral rites recently held in honor of Thailand’s...
The porpoise remains. Source: Guernsey Archaeology

A Perplexing Case of Unexplained Porpoise Burial at Medieval Monk Refuge

A peculiar medieval grave full of porpoise bones has been discovered on a tiny island off the coast of Guernsey in the British Isles. Experts have failed so far to answer with certainty all the...
A chunk came out of the coffin after visitors put a child inside it Image

No, It’s Not a Cot: 13th Century Coffin Smashed in Photo Attempt at Priory Museum

In the UK, some careless and one might say foolhardy visitors to the Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex caused damage to an 800-year-old stone sarcophagus when they placed their child into...
The archaeological site at Yao, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Mysterious Japanese Second Capital Built 1200 Years Ago by Controversial Empress is Finally Found

Japanese archaeologists working in Yao, Osaka Prefecture believe they have found the remains of Yugeno-miya, an unfinished city began by the orders of an empress who is remembered for a turbulent...
Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Beer may have been invented by the ancient Egyptians, but it was perfected in medieval monasteries, which gave us modern brewing as we know it. They also pioneered and improved several methods of...
The theory that Tsar Alexander I craved a holy life as a monk is based on him seeking forgiveness for coming to power after the murder of his father, Paul I. Source: Vesti Tomsk

Science ‘To Answer Russian Royal Mystery’: Did Tsar Stage Death to Become Siberian Monk?

By The Siberian Times reporter Officially, Alexander I died of typhus aged 47 on December 1, 1825, but evidence suggests he faked his demise and lived as a holy man. Genetic analysis is soon to be...
The Katskhi Pillar in Georgia.

Monk Lives Life of Solitude on This 131-Foot-Tall Rock with a 2,000 Year History

The Katskhi Pillar is the name given to a natural limestone column located in Georgia. On the top of this monolith is a monastery, which was built during the 1990s. Today, a solitary monk by the name...
Mount Huashan

Not for the Faint of Heart: 100 People Per Year Plummet to Their Deaths on The Ancient Huashan Trail

The Huashan Trail is considered by some to be one of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world. This trail is located on Huashan (or Mount Hua), a mountain situated near the city of Huayin in the...
Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Experts from a wide array of organizations are examining an intricately carved skull discovered in an antique shop in Vienna in 2011. The skull, believed to be 300 years old, is completely covered...
A painting depicting a scene from the Chinese classic, Journey to the West. The painting shows the four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing.

The Monk and the Poet: Meet the Rebels behind the Legendary “Journey to the West”

Hsi-yu chi , or Journey to the West, is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty. The novel adds elements from a bewildering array of Asian cultural lore, as well as...
Budai figurine

The Laughing Buddha: The Eccentric Monk, God of Plenty and Patron of Bartenders

Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born in 6 BC, in what is now modern Nepal. He lived the comfortable life of a young prince until one day he ventured out into the world and was confronted...
The Mogao Grottoes in China, the Legendary Home to a Thousand Buddhas and a Hidden Library

The Mogao Grottoes in China, the Legendary Home to a Thousand Buddhas and a Hidden Library

The Mogao Grottoes, known also as the Mogao Caves, the Dunhuang Caves, or the Thousand Buddha Caves, are a network of Buddhist cave temples in China. This site is located near the city of Dunhuang in...
3D scans showed previously unreadable scenes carved into the Buddha’s robe.

Cosmic Buddha: High Tech Scan of Ancient Chinese Statue Reveals Stunning Illustrations Depicting Buddhist Teachings

Digital 3D scans carried out on a 6th century life-size statue of a monk have revealed stunning illustrations carved into the limestone that depict stories from the Buddha’s life and teachings. The...
Self-Mummification

Dying to Live Forever: The Reasons behind Self-Mummification

Sunada Tetsu (1768-1829) was arguably the most famous individual who successfully mummified himself. Early in life, he was not religiously inclined. He loved a prostitute in Akagawa, Tsuruoka’s...

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Human Origins

Adam and Eve (1640s) by Jacob Jordaens.
The common male and female ancestors of human beings are popularly known as “Genetic Adam” and “Genetic Eve.” A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield claims all men can trace their origins to one male ancestor, ‘Adam’, who lived approximately 209,000 years ago. This places ‘Adam’ within the same time frame as ‘Eve’ - the ‘mother of all women’ – and provides evidence for the existence of a prehistoric ‘Adam and Eve.’

Ancient Places

The eerie mansion that is today known as Loftus Hall.
Driving along the isolated road that runs down the scenic Hook Peninsula in Ireland’s Ancient East, it is easy to spot the mansion that has earned itself the reputation as the most haunted house in Ireland. If ever a building fit the stereotype of a home haunted by its bloody and tragic past, this was it...

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)