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.

Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

There is an enigmatic gland which seems to be hidden away in the human brain that has fascinated people for centuries. Depictions of pine cones and sacred eyes have been linked to this mysterious...
How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

Though it may seem as if Halloween is a modern con trick designed to get us spending our hard-earned cash on an American celebration, this is not the case. In fact, dressing up, knocking on neighbors...
Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part Two

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part Two

[Read Part I] When I began to research the J.C. Brown mystery, I suspected that if any element of Brown’s story was true, there might be something in the historical record–or prehistoric lore of the...
Mount Shasta, Photograph © Dustin Naef 2016

Legends of Mount Shasta: “The Abode of the Devil” Part 3 – Prehistoric Traditions of Giants and Mysterious Beings, Part One

There are countless Native American legends describing prehistoric giants, flood myths, lost civilizations, cataclysms, the star people, and other mysterious beings who belonged to some remote and...
The Marriage of the Sky and the Sea: Visayan Creation Myths

The Marriage of the Sky and the Sea: Visayan Creation Myths

Although there are different versions of the Visayan creation myth, they are similar in characters, conflicts and resolutions. The way the story was narrated and its different subsequent retellings...
Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Dogs, Ancient and Modern: A Mythological History

Dogs have been with us since the first stargazer cast an eye to the heavens. Were dogs up there, too -- in the stars? The answer is yes. In ancient times the dog star guided and guarded, just as its...
Illustration of a Witch.

Who Was the Mysterious Aradia - Italian Goddess or Wicked Witch?

The line between goddess and witch or witch and saint is very thin in ancient history. One example of this confusion is the legendary story of Aradia – a woman whose life has been explored in neo-...
Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna: The Famous Icelandic Book of Black Magic

Rauðskinna is a legendary book that was more terrifying than most of the black magic documents ever produced. It was so dark, that most people could not believe it was written by a Christian bishop...
The Ascension of Sleipnir: The Mythological Origins of Odin's Steed

The Ascension of Sleipnir: The Mythological Origins of Odin's Steed

Seven-headed monsters, one-eyed giants and blood-born winged horses are all shocking representations of the ways in which the well-known creatures of ancient Greek and Roman mythology transcend the...
The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

The Tale of Ivan Tsarevich, the Firebird, and the Grey Wolf

Ivan Tsarevich is a placeholder of sorts for the male protagonist of many famous Russian folk, myths and legends (Ivan is one of the most common names in Russia). Sometimes Ivan is the son of a...
Legends of Mount Shasta: The Abode of the Devil Part 2 – Castle Crags: Fortress of Giants

Legends of Mount Shasta: The Abode of the Devil Part 2 – Castle Crags: Fortress of Giants

“When the Wa-Gas first arrived on this continent they handed down the traditions to us that it was inhabited by a giant race of people when they first came. These giants were represented by the Wa-...
The Pyramid Complex and the Hopi: Creation Myth Sheds Light on Building Plan

The Pyramid Complex and the Hopi: Creation Myth Sheds Light on Building Plan

The Egyptians did not build the pyramids. No one living in the area can tell you; who built them, why they were built, when they were built, how they were built or why the pyramids at the complex...
The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

The Mythical Dilmun and The Island of the Dead

In Sumerian mythology, the mythical Dilmun was known as the bright and pure land, a paradise where sickness and death did not exist. The land of Dilmun was filled with divinely ordained and abundant...
Barker's 1889 ‘Circe’.

The Spellbinding Story of Circe, Goddess of Magic

Circe was a goddess of magic and she continues to be one of the most enchanting deities of ancient Greek mythology. This daughter of Helios and patron of ancient Greek witches still fascinates people...
The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

Modern heathenism has been fascinated by the concept of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology and readily provides the names of these worlds and their meanings. Academics are equally guilty. Whereas...
She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

She Brings Bad News: The Scary Slavic Household Spirit Called Kikimora

Some spirits are thought to be dangerous even by people who don't necessarily believe in them. One of the scariest creatures in world mythologies is the spirit from the Slavic culture known as...

Pages

Human Origins

The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).
A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. The new study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”

Ancient Technology

The Antikythera Mechanism, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece
Every time ancient Greece is mentioned most people automatically think of democracy, the Olympic Games, mythology and philosophy. It seems that not many are aware of how advanced the ancient Greeks were on a technological level as well and the Antikythera Mechanism, known as the world’s first analog computer, is the brightest example of all.

Ancient Places

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

Opinion

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

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)