mythology

A depiction of the Norse goddess Sif.

The Story of Sif, Powerful Wife of Norse God Thor

The warrior god Thor is well known from Old Norse literature. He has become a popular cultural icon, but his wife seems to be largely forgotten these days. However, Sif was once recognized as an...
Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

One of the most prominent characters of Irish mythology and literature, Lugh Lama-fada, served as the High King of Ireland for 20 years before his unfortunate death at the hands of the sons of...
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...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
A Celtic knotwork border, high cross, and knot symbol.

Ancient Signs of Pride and Power: Unravelling the Secrets Behind Irish and Celtic Symbols

The ancient Celts believed their symbols and signs held amazing and meaningful powers which could influence their lives. Bards and storytellers have carried on the stories and meanings behind Celtic...
Manannán mac Lir sculpture by John Sutton at Gortmore, Magilligan, County Londonderry (2014).

Manannan Mac Lir: God of the Sea and Guardian of the Afterlife

Manannan mac Lir is likely the most prominent sea deity of Irish mythology and literature. With his sea-borne chariot, affiliation with horses and cloak of invisibility, he guards the otherworld and...
Illustration of a Celtic warrior woman by RottenRagamuffin

The Woman Behind the Man: Celtic Warrior Scathach, Teacher of Warriors

The most notorious warrior from Irish mythology, akin in many ways to the great Greek warrior Achilles, the intense tales of Cú Chulainn's life and battles were really only possible because of one...
Gods and the creative and destructive power of fire.

Thieves of Fire in Ancient Mythology: Divine Creation and Destruction in the Hands of Man

From ancient times and even to this day, people consider fire one of the basic elements of the universe. Interpretations of fire in ancient mythologies vary greatly, with fire viewed as a creative...
Thor and the Midgard Serpent, Emil Doepler painting.

Slithering Through the Stories of Ancient Snake Deities: Serpent Gods of Ancient Mythology

Serpent and their symbols are found in the myths and legends of countless cultures around the world. These animals often have a negative connotation, but not always. There are even cases of snake...
Pegasus

Pegasus: The Majestic White Horse of Olympus

Pegasus is the majestic flying horse found in Greek mythology. This creature is traditionally depicted as a pure white horse with wings. The father of Pegasus is said to be the god of the sea,...
"Loki's Brood" (1905) by Emil Doepler.

Going to Hel and Back: The Travel to Helheim Where a Goddess of Darkness Reigned

By far, Loki’s most well-known children are the ones he had with the giantess Angurboda. These include the wolf Fenrir, the Midgard Serpent Jormugandr, and the goddess Hel. Legends say that the...
How Europeans saw the Garden of Eden in the Middle Ages. Painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553)

Was the Garden of Eden a Real Place?

Mention the Garden of Eden to a group of friends and you are likely to get as many suggestions on its true location as people you ask, plus a fair number who will deny that it was ever a real place...
A Tale of Two Brigids: a Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

A Tale of Two Brigids: a Celtic Goddess and a Christian Saint

There are churches dedicated to Saint Brigid in many parts of the world. With time, she became one of the most important icons of the Catholic Church. However, it is still uncertain if she was a real...
Nachzehrers: The Shroud Eating Vampires of Germanic Folklore

Nachzehrers: The Shroud Eating Vampires of Germanic Folklore

The nachzehrer, also known as a shroud eater, is a type of German vampire which features prominently in the folklore of Germany’s northern region. According to legend, it needed to devour both its...
Bringing the Secret Story of Shadows to Light

Bringing the Secret Story of Shadows to Light

Mythology regarding the forces of light and the forces of darkness has a long history of debate. However, there is a faction which has not been discussed so much. This is the story of shadows. In...
Decoding the Ancient Symbols of the Norsemen

Decoding the Ancient Symbols of the Norsemen

The Vikings used many symbols in accordance to Norse mythology. Such symbols were widely used in Viking society and they represented elements of their beliefs and myths. There are even some Viking...

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Top New Stories

The interior of a private library in Chinguetti.
During the Middle Ages, Sahara outposts often found themselves filled with travelers, traders, and pilgrims passing through with their differing tasks. The pilgrims in particular interest us here, as they would sometimes meet and share religious scriptures amongst each other and with their hosts.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)