Myths & Legends

All over the world there are extraordinary stories—stories that once upon a time were believed to be true but are today limited to the sphere of ancient myths and legends. The question remains, are those myths and legends stories something that existed in the minds of our ancestors, or were they based on true events? It is true that most of those ancient myths and legends stories appear to the scientific world as fictitious products of vivid imaginations whose goals were purely to explain phenomena beyond their comprehension. Yet is it not arrogant to accuse our ancestors of being uncivilised and ignorant in one breath, then offer them praise and admiration over their monuments, buildings, art, sculptures, and societies in the next? This only proves that our modern society has two contradictory attitudes toward our past.

In this section we will explore some of the most amazing myths and legends from around the world—legends that may hold truths that can unlock the secrets of our ancient origins.

Heracles wrestling the Mares of Diomedes.

Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes: Greek Hero VS Man-Eating Beasts

By now, you’re probably aware that the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) had to complete twelve arduous labors as retribution for killing his wife and kids in a divinely-induced rage. The eighth...
A stereotypical depiction of a leprechaun

Fascinating Facts You Probably Did Not Know About Leprechauns

The leprechaun is perhaps one of the best-known creatures in Irish folklore. Leprechauns are popularly depicted as little men with beards dressed in green coats and tall green hats. Other well-known...
Ponferrada Castle, ‘Castle of the Templars, Leon, Northern Spain. 12th century Castle of Ponferrada by night.

The Mysterious Stories of Castle Ponferrada: Knights Templar, the Camino de Santiago and the lost Sword of Jacques de Molay

Every pilgrim who is traveling along the French route of the Camino de Santiago, going to Santiago de Compostela, will pass through the Ponferrada in the Spanish section. Most of them have no idea...
‘Die Amazonenschlacht’ by Anselm Feuerbach, 1873.

Who was the Powerful Amazon Queen Orithyia and What Drove Her to Launch a Fated Attack on Athens?

Orithyia was one of those dangerous women whose beauty was so often described by terrified and excited men that it became legendary. For centuries, the Amazons were believed to be nothing more than a...
Georgian (Colchis) fortress of Surami, built in the 2nd-3rd centuries, heavily fortified in the 12th century

The Ancient Kingdom of Colchis: A Legendary Land of Plenty, Conflict, and the Golden Fleece

Anyone familiar with Greek legends has heard of the Colchis Kingdom. It was to here that the band of heroes known as the Argonauts ventured in order to obtain the Golden Fleece, a symbol of authority...
Hercules and Deianira circa 1475–80.

An Unfortunate Fate and Nasty Gods: The Tragic Story of Mythical Deianira and Her Lover Hercules

Deianira became a famous heroine after the release of the TV show ''Hercules,'' with Kevin Sorbo, and the Disney movie about the mythical hero. Her real story, although still juicy, isn't the same...
Stone Figures of Yandi and Huangdi, Yellow River Scenic Area, Zhengzhou, China

Mythical Ancient Emperors Who Fought Over the Birth of China - Who Started It?

One of the tallest statues in the world, standing 106 meters (347.77 ft.) tall, depicts two of the earliest Chinese emperors, Yandi, “The Flame Emperor” and Huangdi, “The Yellow Emperor.” The statues...
Yurri and Wanjel - the Gemini stars Castor and Pollux in the Wergaia traditions of western Victoria, Australia.

Kindred Skies: Ancient Greeks and Aboriginal Australians saw Constellations in Common

Look up on any clear night and you can see myriad stars, planets, and the Milky Way stretching across the sky. The chances are that you know some of the constellations. The International Astronomical...
A fanciful depiction of a leprechaun

The Carlingford Leprechauns: Protected by the European Union, But Are They Real?

Along with the harp and Saint Patrick, leprechauns have become iconic of Ireland. These mischievous fairies; with their green coats and hats, pots of gold at the edge of rainbows, and promise of...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
Cloaked man; Deriv

Merlin: Warrior & Poet. Two Historical Figures that Inspired the Legend

It’s only a few weeks now until the movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits the big screen. It will be particularly interesting to see how it portrays Merlin, the royal puppet master in the...
Illustration of Ogopogo and an image of a Wendigo

Bigfoot Is Not the Only Elusive Creature Said to Roam the Canadian Wilds

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times In Beyond Science, Epoch Times explores research and accounts related to phenomena and theories that challenge our current knowledge. We delve into ideas that stimulate...
Le Couronnement d’Ines de Castro en 1361’ (The Coronation of Ines de Castro in 1361) by Pierre-Charles Comte (

Was a Portuguese Queen Really Exhumed for her Coronation?

According to legend, in the mid-14th century a heart-broken King Peter (Pedro) I of Portugal exhumed the corpse of his lover to have her posthumously crowned queen. The romantic scandals of European...
Minerva arming herself. The Gaulish goddess Belisama has been linked to this Roman goddess.

Belisama: Who Was this Beautiful, Powerful, and Popular Gaulish Goddess?

When the Roman conquerors encountered the world of Gaulish deities and traditions, they tried to understand it in their own religious terms. Seeing a cult of gods and goddesses, they sought to find...
Painting of a mermaid by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann, 1873.

The Secret Life of Melusine: Mysterious Mermaid & Serpent Mother of European Nobility

Melusine is the spirit of fresh water, usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down, much like the mythical mermaid. She is also frequently illustrated with two tails. The...
Meteor strike.

Scotland’s Catastrophic Comet Conspiracy

In 1945, one of Britain’s social and intellectual elite, William Comyns Beaumont, a hyper-eccentric catastrophist published the most bizarre conspiracy theory of all time in which “Plato's legendary...

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Top New Stories

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.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

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.

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. 

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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)