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.

Legend of The Flying Dutchman, Ghostly Apparition of The Ship of Captain Hendrick

Legend of The Flying Dutchman, Ghostly Apparition of The Ship of Captain Hendrick

Among nautical myths and legends, few are as famous as the Flying Dutchman. Many have claimed to see the ghostly vessel of Captain Hendrick van der Decken (the Dutchman) since it sank in 1641. It is...
Taraxippus, the Terrifying Horse Scarer: Apparition Appeared Across Racetracks in Ancient Greece

Taraxippus, the Terrifying Horse Scarer: Apparition Appeared Across Racetracks in Ancient Greece

The Greeks had one word devoted to ghosts that frightened horses during a chariot race—a Taraxippus. This spectral spook, usually the ghost of someone involved with, or killed by, horses, appeared at...
Sculpture of child, deriv.

Swapping Babies: The Disturbing Faerie Changeling Phenomenon

The worldwide stories of faerie changelings come under a group of motifs recorded in the Aarne-Thompson folklore index as F321: ‘Faerie steals child from cradle and leaves faerie substitute.’ The...
Not Always A Man’s Best Friend: Terrifying Black Dogs of British Legends

Not Always A Man’s Best Friend: Terrifying Black Dogs of British Legends

Primarily associated with British legends, stories about black dogs, ghost dogs, or hellhounds are present in almost every region of the world. Perhaps the first things to come to your mind when...
Wailing Out the Lament-Filled Legends and Origins of Irish Banshees

Wailing Out the Lament-Filled Legends and Origins of Irish Banshees

To hear her harrowing wail tear through the night sky was an omen of certain death. The cry of the banshee implied that someone in your family had died or was about to– or, that you were about to...
Cannibalism in Scotland: The Dark Legend of Sawney Bean

Cannibalism in Scotland: The Dark Legend of Sawney Bean

Sawney Bean is a legendary figure from Scotland, who is said to have been a prolific cannibal. Together with his equally cannibalistic family, Sawney Bean murdered and robbed unfortunate victims from...
The Wold Newton Meteorite: An Extraordinary Stone and the Birth of a Superhero

The Wold Newton Meteorite: An Extraordinary Stone and the Birth of a Superhero

In a remote part of North-East England called the Yorkshire Wolds, an incident took place on Sunday 13th December 1795 that not only became talking point of late 18th century London society but also...
The Story of the Midgard Serpent: A Mythological Tailspin

The Story of the Midgard Serpent: A Mythological Tailspin

In Teutonic mythology the Middle Earth was wrapped round by the Midgard Serpent. Above this the gods built their mansions in the sky. Yet, curiously, in the lower world there lived all those people...
Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 4 – Investigating the Castle Crags Petroglyphs

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 4 – Investigating the Castle Crags Petroglyphs

In the previous articles about Mount Shasta's J.C. Brown mystery, we explored the prehistoric lore of the area, which at face-value could suggest that Brown's claim of discovering a cave containing...
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...
A Boy, to Vei, to Venus? Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Etruscan Orvieto Necropolis

A Boy, to Vei, to Venus? Piecing Together the Puzzle of the Etruscan Orvieto Necropolis

Ancient Etruscan deities continue to puzzle researchers. Unveiling the truth about their cults and positions in the pantheon took decades, yet they still protect some of their secrets. One of the...
Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious...
Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita was a goddess associated with water, fertility, wisdom, warfare, and eventually the planet Venus. During the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia, she became incorporated into the Zoroastrian...
Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine: A Radiant Celtic Goddess of Love, Summer, and Sovereignty

Aine is often remembered as a Celtic goddess of love. But she was also a deity of wealth, sovereignty, and the summer. Her sensitive and joyful personality brought her many followers in the Celtic...
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A History of Monsters, from Werewolves to Hippogriffs

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A History of Monsters, from Werewolves to Hippogriffs

The latest instalment in the Harry Potter franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them , sees wizard Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) entering New York in 1926, smuggling a briefcase full of...
The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods

The Mythology of Nut, Mother of Gods

One of the oldest goddesses in Egyptian mythology is Nut, the goddess of the sky ( nut means ‘sky’ in the ancient Egyptian language). It was believed that that the sky is, in fact, a star-covered...

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Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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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.

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)