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.

Ulysses (Odysseus) and the Sirens, circa, 1909 by Herbert James Draper.

The Seductive Sirens of Greek Mythology: How the Heroes Resisted Temptation

Sirens (sometimes spelled as ‘seirenes’) are a type of creature found in ancient Greek mythology. Sirens are commonly described as beautiful but dangerous creatures. In Greek mythology, sirens are...
Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.

Ragnar Lothbrok: The Ferocious Viking Hero that Became a Myth

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—...
“Bust of a child” first century AD (Public Domain), Antique bust of girl (Nerissa’s Ring/CC BY 2.0) and On A Misty Morning (Vinoth Chandar/CC BY 2.0); Deriv

The Green Children of Woolpit – An Otherworldly Tale That Just Might be True

The story of the Green Children of Woolpit, Suffolk, has always been one of the strangest medieval folktales, and that's up against some pretty stiff competition. If you don't know it, it goes a bit...
Navajo Yebichai (Yei Bi Chei) dancers. Edward S. Curtis. USA, 1900. The Welcome Collection, London

Can a Ghost Make You Ill? The Ghost Sickness Belief of the Native American Indians

Ghost sickness is the belief that ghosts are able to cause a living person to fall ill. This particular term is used by the Native Americans, especially amongst the Navajo people. Nevertheless, this...
Ragnarök battle

Epic Battle Equals Doom or Twilight for Norse Gods? Ragnarök: The Real Message in the Myth

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök encompasses a series of events that will come to pass. It foretells an epic battle which leads to the death of numerous gods, natural disasters, and the death of the...
An image of Enki from the Adda cylinder seal.

The Powerful Enki: Epic Sumerian, Babylonian, and Akkadian Deity

In the belief system of the Sumerians, Enki (known also as Ea by the Akkadians and Babylonians) was regarded to be one of the most important deities. Originally Enki was worshipped as a god of fresh...
 “Cadmus Slays the Dragon” by Hendrik Goltzius. The Greek myth of Cadmus fighting the serpent may be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River. In various accounts, the snake is instead referred to as a dragon or serpent.

Could Ancient Greek Myths Hint at Contact With South America?

By Tara MacIsaac , Epoch Times The ancient Greek myth of Cadmus battling a snake could be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River, said Dr. Enrico Mattievich, a retired professor of physics...
Ivar the Boneless as portrayed in the History Channel Series ‘

Ivar the Boneless: A Viking Warrior That Drew Strength From His Weakness

One would expect "boneless" to describe a man without a lick of bravery. Or perhaps a man without a shred of compassion in a heart of ice. Yet in the case of the infamous Ivar the Boneless, son of...
Detail; Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox

Quick as a Fox, Powerful as a Demon: Legendary Foxes and Their Trickster/Temptress Ways

The fox plays a wide range of roles in 42 out of the 358 of Aesop’s fables. It is generally described as a quick, intelligent and adaptable animal which no doubt led to its importance as a symbol of...
Statue of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

Why is the Evidence for the Outlaw Robin Hood as Elusive as the Man Himself?

The historic existence of the legendary English hero who ‘stole from the rich and gave to the poor’ is a perennial source of debate. Every few years, new evidence emerges of authenticity and possible...
Cataclysmic natural disasters frame indelible human stories.

No Smoke Without Fire: The Existence of Xia Dynasty and the Great Flood Legend

The Xia Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the first dynasty of China. This dynasty is believed to have been founded by Yu the Great towards the end of the 3 rd millennium BC, and lasted until...
Diagram of the Seqe/Ceke system of Cusco, a believed system of energy lines radiating from Cusco that connected through the cities, shrines, temples and sacred sites of the Incan empire. Planned intricately, the temple of Coricancha sat at the center.

Rediscovering the Lost Code of the Inca Cosmic Power Matrix

The National Museum in Quito, Ecuador exhibits an otherworldly collection of sheet-gold masks representing the Andean sun god Inti. Zig-zag rays of golden light burst from his face and some end in...
James Woodford’s statue of Robin Hood in Nottingham, England

Robin Hood: Too Good to Be True - A Real Folk Hero or a Romantic Embellishment?

Robin Hood is arguably one of the best-known figures in English folklore. Today, he is generally portrayed as an outlaw dressed in Lincoln green who ‘robbed from the rich to give to the poor’. Now a...
Ancient Book

Say the Magic Word: The Origins of Abracadabra and Other Magical Mutterings

Magic words are often used by magicians whilst performing magic tricks on stage. One of the most common of these incantations is ‘Abracadabra’. Although this word is known to many, it is likely that...
Saint Columba converting King Brude of the Picts to Christianity, Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Does the Fierce Reputation of The Picts Reflect Reality?

It’s not that the Picts, a group of British Isle inhabitants, were that different from native Britons around the fourth century, a historian suggests in a new book. It’s just that Julius Caesar didn’...
‘The gyri of the thinker's brain as a maze of choices in biomedical ethics.’ (Deriv.) An ancient Greek memory technique suggests imagining a pathway through a location to remember important information.

Enhance Your Memory with this Ancient Greek Memorization Technique

In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the personification of memory. In ancient Greece, prior to being written down, stories were recounted orally. Due to that, memory played an important part in the...

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Top New Stories

King Leonidas by David Baldo
Mythologically descended from the hero Herakles, the Agiad dynasty of ancient Sparta reigned alongside the Eurypontids almost since the beginning of the city-state. When war was on the borders of their land, and that of their neighboring city-states, it was to the current Heraklean descendent that those city-states turned.

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria (Canada). The display is from 1979, and the fur is musk ox hair.
In Sivershchina, close to the village of Mizyn in Ukraine is one of the oldest and most unique settlements of humans – and it was discovered in a parking lot. The now well-known archaeological site, known plainly as the Mizyn parking lot, dates back 18-20 thousand years.

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

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)