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.

Deriv; Statue of the Fallen Angel and The Hell, Inferno Canto 34, circa 1301

Devils or Angels? Defining the Dark Entities of Christianity’s Past

Devil or angel? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. The concept of demons is an old one, harking back to the confiscation of pagan nature deities by the Roman Empire, which turned them into something more...
A 1909 illustration of kings in a dark forest peering into mystical realms.

Mysterious Worlds: Travels to the Faerie and Shamanic Realms

There are many accounts of a land of immortality and eternal youth in world myths and legends, as well as shamanic and indigenous spiritual traditions. Mysterious Worlds Writing in his recent work,...
King Arthur. Detail. Charles Ernest Butler, 1903.

Archaeologists May Have Discovered the Birthplace of King Arthur: Legends Come to Life?

The recent discovery of 1500-year-old ruins at Tintagel in south-west England has made headlines around the world. What appear to the be the walls of a Dark Age palace have been found in the exact...
Mithra slaying the bull. Royal Ontario Museum

The Cult of Mithra: Sacred Temples, and Vedic Legends, and Ancient Armenian Understanding

Mithra was the god of light, purity, goodness, truth and occupied an important place in the faith of the ancient Aryans. The Spread of Mithra There are various opinions on the spread of the Mithra (...
Dažbog (Deriv). Infrared image showing a portion of the Milky Way.

The Mysterious Mix of Myth and Sky Observations in Serbian Folk Astronomy

Serbia is one of the Balkan countries that was influenced by many wars. However, even after centuries of very tense events, memory of the traditions from the first inhabitants has survived. Astronomy...
Selkies, gems of sea mythology by Gwillieth / DeviantArt

Legends of the Selkies, Hidden Gems of Sea Mythology

Amorous, affectionate and affable, Selkies are the hidden gems of sea mythology. Gentle souls who prefer dancing in the moonlight over luring sailors to their death, Selkies are often overlooked by...
Artwork of a dragon for the Durian-Project of the Blender Foundation

Dragons: Exploring the Ancient Origins of the Mythical Beasts

One of the most popular and persistent characters of the human mythos is that of the dragon. Whether it is a gold hoarding serpent or fire-breathing giant, dragons continue to fascinate and entertain...
A 19th-century interpretation of Charon's crossing by Alexander Litovchenko.

Charon, Son of Night and Shadow, Ferrier of the Dead

In days of old, the dead were buried with a silver coin (the shiner the better) so that the souls of the faithful departed could pay the toll to the deathless demon ferryman of the underworld: Charon...
Solar deity bronze relief, Deriv.

Those Who Once Reigned: Experts Name Famous and Forgotten Ancient Gods

Ancient Origins asked experts to weigh in on the topic of ancient deities. Some ancient gods get all the attention - but which gods are largely forgotten… and why? The following is their views on...
“Agneta & the Sea King” by John Bauer.

When the Church Bells Ring: Themes and Proclivities of the Danish Folktale "Agnete and the Merman"

Fascination with the Danish ballad Agnete og Havmanden , or "Agnete and the Merman", has long been prominent in the Scandinavian countries. In spite of arguments over origin and dating, the poem has...
A depiction of the Norse goddess Sif.

The Story of Sif, Powerful Wife of Norse God Thor

The warrior god Thor is well known from Old Norse literature. He has become a popular cultural icon, but his wife seems to be largely forgotten these days. However, Sif was once recognized as an...
Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

Lugh of the Long-Arm: The Martial and Sovereign Reach of Lugh Lama-fada

One of the most prominent characters of Irish mythology and literature, Lugh Lama-fada, served as the High King of Ireland for 20 years before his unfortunate death at the hands of the sons of...
Budai figurine

The Laughing Buddha: The Eccentric Monk, God of Plenty and Patron of Bartenders

Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, was born in 6 BC, in what is now modern Nepal. He lived the comfortable life of a young prince until one day he ventured out into the world and was confronted...
An artistic representation of a Telchine.

No Rest for the Wicked: The Role of the Telchines in the Myths of Greece and Rome

Magicians, artists and craftsmen, the Telchines are the proverbial jacks-of-all-trades - yet they are also atypical masters of all. Considered by most ancient authors to be malevolent daimons of the...
“Full moon rising over Mount Shasta, as seen from northern valley.”

Mount Shasta: Inner Earth Realms and History of the Lava Beds

There are legends all over the world, found in every culture, which populate caves with spirits and supernatural guardians who dwell in a subterranean realm hidden just beneath surface of our own...
Dragon Sculpture, China.

The Bird and the Serpent: From the Neolithic Goddesses to Ancient Chinese Symbols of Nobility and Benevolence

Victorian art critic, John Ruskin, in his book Proserpina , calls himself “the gentle and happy scholar of flowers”. A large part of his work is an attempt to connect nature, art and society. To...

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)