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.

Dream Idyll (A Valkyrie) by Edward Robert Hughes

The Slain Will Rise Again: Lost Valkyries Remembered

“Brothers shall fight | and fell each other, And sisters' sons | shall kinship stain; Hard is it on earth, | with mighty whoredom; Axe-time, sword-time, | shields are sundered, Wind-time, wolf-time...
Statue of Persephone, circa 525 BC and painting The Deluge

Hell on Earth? Is the REAL location of the Ancient Underworld Right in Front of Us?

The myth of the underworld, much like the myth of the lost paradise and the worldwide deluge, is a universal one. Cultures from all across the world, past and present, widely separated and with...
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...
Pandora, lifting the lid of the ‘pithos’. By Nicolas Régnier

Pandora: The Tale of a Good Girl Gone Bad?

When Pandora opened her box, as the Ancient Greek myth goes, all manner of evil was released into the world - ending the Golden Age of man and forsaking them to a life of death and rebirth. Being the...
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...
Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture

Shennong: The God-King of Chinese Medicine and Agriculture

Shennong, which means “God farmer” or “God peasant”, is a deity in Chinese religion. He is a mythical sage healer and ruler of prehistoric China. Shennong is also known as Wugushen “five grains,” or...
Odysseus and Polyphemus, Arnold Bockling. Polyphemus is one of the only Cyclopes recognized by name.

Is There Any Truth to the Existence and Damning Character Assassinations of Mighty Legendary Cyclopes?

The mysterious, one-eyed creatures revered in Greek and Roman mythologies remain one of the most interesting creatures spoken of in the oldest Mediterranean legends. They were members of the race of...
The Revelation (the Valkyrie Brünnhilde discovering Sieglinde and Siegmund).

The Bold and Beautiful Valkyries and Their Mortal Lovers

In Norse mythology, Valkyries were originally sinister spirits that would fly above the battlefield in search of the dead, deciding the fate of the fallen for Odin. The word “Valkyrie” means “chooser...
5 Mythical Creatures – And Where to Find Them

5 Mythical Creatures – And Where to Find Them

Folklore is littered with accounts of unusual beasts of all shapes and sizes. Some, like Bigfoot, are household names. Others, like the Japanese water demon Kappa, are not so well-known. But they all...
Sculpture of Athena, 1915 and painting ‘Fire of Troy’

Battle of the War Gods: Ares versus Athena! Understanding Ancient Greek War Deities

The ancient Greeks had two different gods of war — the wise goddess Athena and the bloodthirsty god Ares. The mere fact that, out of twelve Olympian gods, two deities were devoted to armed conflict...
Glastonbury tor, a location that has often been associated with Avalon.

Avalon: A Real Island Obscured by Legend, or Just a Legendary Island?

Like many mythical paradise isles, Avalon has captured the imagination of generations of writers since the island was first mentioned by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae or...
‘Jacob’s Dream’ with Jacob’s ladder (1660-1665) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.

Hopes, Fears, Progress…and Maybe DNA? Unravelling the Real Meaning of Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is the common term (particularly in the West) used to describe a bridge that connects Heaven and Earth. More broadly speaking, the ladder represents an ancient symbol of unknown...
Disney ALMOST Got It Right: From Moana to Mayhem, The Mythology Behind the Real Maui

Disney ALMOST Got It Right: From Moana to Mayhem, The Mythology Behind the Real Maui

Disney’s latest animated feature film, Moana , has achieved critical acclaim, already netting over half a billion dollars. It tells the story of a Polynesian princess, who must seek out Maui, a...
Tuatha Dé Dannan, the Enchanting Predecessors of Irish Fairies and Elves

Tuatha Dé Dannan, the Enchanting Predecessors of Irish Fairies and Elves

Most people do not believe in elves. The little people, along with fairies, banshees, and werewolves, are often thrown into the category of ‘fantasy’ and left to molder unless some video game or...
Not Just an Urban Legend: The Terrifying Ghostly Tales of the Lady in White

Not Just an Urban Legend: The Terrifying Ghostly Tales of the Lady in White

There is a famous “ghost” of a long-haired woman in a white dress in Quezon City, Philippines. According to legends, she died in a car accident while driving along Balete Drive. Her stories usually...
A Man-Eating Hog? Meet the Crommyonian Sow

A Man-Eating Hog? Meet the Crommyonian Sow

The myths of ancient Greece had their fair share of unusual animals—the Chimera, the man-eating horses of Dionysus, and Pegasus, to name a few. But one that usually oinks its way under the radar is...

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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. 

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)