monster

Chicanná: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

Chicanna: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

A menacing serpent-like monster glares down at you as you cross the plaza of Chicanná in Mexico. While it is certainly an unnerving thought, you decide to step inside the gaping serpent’s mouth...
An octopus and fish. Scandinavian mythology claimed the Kraken was a sea monster that looked like an octopus or a squid – but was much bigger.

Are Fossils Linked to the Legendary Kraken Enough to Prove its Terrifying Existence?

Scandinavian mythology claims the Kraken swallowed up whales and devoured ships. It has been described as a huge version of an octopus or squid. Legends have even claimed the terrifying sea creature...
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...
Beowulf fighting Grendel’s Mother beside Grendel’s body.

Of Monsters and Men: What Is the Grim Being Known as Grendel from the Epic Beowulf?

Nowadays, monsters hide under your bed. They come out of the closet or dangle from your ceiling. Children usually picture such monsters with fangs or scales, glowing eyes, and claws. With the right...
Why Do We Love (and Fear) Mummies?

Why Do We Love (and Fear) Mummies?

Christian-Georges Schwentzel / The Conversation Somewhere in Iraq, the tomb raider Nick Morton (a never-ageing Tom Cruise) flies over the desert. This is where Egyptian queen Ahmanet lies in her tomb...
This monster-like creature was found on the vaulted ceiling of the tomb's corridor.

1,400-Year-Old Tomb with Bizarre Images of a Blue Monster Found in China

Scientists have discovered a 1,400-year-old tomb in China which includes some of the most fascinating images ever found. Among others, a blue monster, a winged horse and a nude deity known as the...
Illustration of a sea serpent. Credit: Tina Leyk / deviantart

In the Wake of the Stronsay Globster

More humans have walked on the moon than have been to the deepest parts of planet Earth and although the oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface, we only know around 1% of the seafloor. Many a mystery...
A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

While completing his Twelve Labors, the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) got up to tons of mischief—and that included bedding a lot of women. In the process, he fathered a whole host of...
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...
The Dark Secret Behind the Hidden Room of Glamis Castle

The Dark Secret Behind the Hidden Room of Glamis Castle

If you could even guess the nature of this castle’s secret, said Claude Bowes-Lyon, 13th Earl of Strathmore, you would get down on your knees and thank God it was not yours. Glamis Castle, one of the...
Stay Out of the Water: Does a Prehistoric Shark Still Live in the Ocean?

Stay Out of the Water: Does a Prehistoric Shark Still Live in the Ocean?

There is said to be a shark that is scarier than the one from the movie Jaws which is as large as the biggest whale. But this isn’t a monster from a sci-fi movie, it’s real. This kind of shark lived...
Artist Illustration of a Yeti.

Am Fear Liath Mor: The Terrifying Grey Man of the Cairngorms

Am Fear Liath Mor, known also as the Big Grey Man of Ben MacDhui, or simply as the Greyman, is the name given to a creature said to live on Ben MacDhui, the second highest mountain, which is situated...
The Ancient Legend of the Monstrous Rat King

The Ancient Legend of the Monstrous Rat King

A rat king is the term used to describe an agglomeration of rats whose tails have entangled together. As a result of this entanglement, a large single entity is formed, which is usually further bound...
Some of the forms of the monster Coco: as a dragon

Shape Changes, Fear Does Not: The Mythical Monster Coco

Coco is also known in folklore as Cuco, Coca, Cuca, Cucuy. It is a mythical dragon or a ghost monster which is said to appear in many different shapes and forms. There is no description of the beast...
Artistic representation of Teyujagua paradoxa.

Newly Discovered 250-Million-Year-Old Fierce Lizard Fossil is Named After Mythical Monster

Who knows if the people who lived in the Paraná Basin of southern Brazil years ago saw fossils of dinosaurs and came up with strange mythical beings because of them. Whatever connection there may be...
An artist's concept of the Mokele-mbembe.

Mokele-mbembe: A Legendary Water-Dwelling Creature of the Congo River

Mokèlé-mbèmbé is the name given to a creature believed to inhabit the upper reaches of the Congo River basin, i.e. Congo, Zambia and Cameroon, as well as in Lake Tele (in the Republic of Congo) and...

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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

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

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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

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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. 

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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)