Tauriel daughter of Mirkwood from Lord of the Rings
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 12:55

The success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies brought the languages that JRR Tolkien invented for the Elves to the attention of a much wider public. There are now numerous books and websites that allow devotees to learn Quenya and Sindarin. 

Medieval teaching scene.
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 21:56

The study of modern languages in British secondary schools is in steep decline. The number of students taking French and German GCSE has more than halved in the last 16 years. But as the UK prepares to forge new relationships with the wider world...

'Meeting of Mary and Elisabeth’ by Marx Reichlich. (Deriv.)
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 17:53

From the dawn of time, people have been trying to figure out ways to detect early pregnancy before physical signs begin to show. Whilst you may be familiar with the hCG pregnancy strip test that is commonly used today, the history of the pregnancy test is a rather fascinating one.

Prometheus and Hercules by Christian Griepenkerl.
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 12:50

The story of Prometheus, Epimetheus and Pandora is a popular myth of ancient Greece - one that has been told and retold throughout the ages. It is a tale of Prometheus, the son of a titan, who was punished for helping mankind.

Rick Potts, director of the National Museum of Natural History’s Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian, surveys an assortment of Early Stone Age hand-axes discovered in the Olorgesailie Basin, Kenya.
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 00:59

The first evidence of human life in the Olorgesailie Basin comes from about 1.2 million years ago. For hundreds of the thousands of years, people living there made and used large stone-cutting tools called handaxes (below left). 

Friday, March 16, 2018 - 21:57

Back in September 2017, underwater archaeologists met a decade-long goal in discovering the submerged ruins of the port of Neapolis. Now, they have identified the location of the port which preceded it, Palepolis, a site the Greeks wrested from the Etruscans some 3000 years ago. Today, Palepolis is known as Naples.


Archaeology News on Human Origins, Ancient Places and Mysterious Phenomena

Lancelot and Guinevere by Herbert James Draper (c.1890) (Public Domain)

Faeries in the Realm of King Arthur

Faeries may be just figments of our imagination, but they may have deeper roots of Celtic origin embedded in oral narratives and serve to remind us of a long-forgotten belief system that embraced a...
Ancient Greek Vase Celebrates the Exaltation of Our Ancestors as Gods

Ancient Greek Vase Celebrates the Exaltation of Our Ancestors as Gods

In 2016, Christie’s sold the Greek vase depicted above—a red-figure bell krater used for mixing wine with water—to a buyer in London for $220,000. It dates from 410 BC. For a mythology buff, what a...
A human skull (Public Domain) and tobacco. (Public Domain)

Researchers Take a Bite Out of Prehistoric Nicotine Use

A team of scientists including researchers from Washington State University has shown for the first time that nicotine residue can be extracted from plaque, also known as "dental calculus," on the...
Tablet hypothesized to be the oldest writing ever discovered.

An 8,000-year-old Slab Holds the “Oldest Writing” Ever Discovered! Or Does It?

A tiny ceramic slab dated to around 6000 BC with “written signs” has been discovered by archaeologists at a prehistoric settlement near the town of Nova Zagora in Southeast Bulgaria. And, they...
Venus of Willendorf statuette.

Iconic 30000-Year-Old Ancient Female Dubbed “Dangerous Pornography” By Facebook

A 30,000-year-old carving of a voluptuous naked woman known as the “Venus of Willendorf” statuette, has been censored by Facebook as “dangerous pornography”. Discovered in the early 20th century near...
A 14th century depiction of a camel caravan on the Silk Road.

Treacherous Trading: Dangers of the Silk Road

The Silk Road is arguably the most famous long-distance trade route in the ancient world. This trade route connected Europe in the West with China in the East, and allowed the exchange of goods,...
Skyrnir and Gerda - Illustration by Harry George Theaker (1920).

Freyr and Gerd: Lovesick Norse God Seeking Giantess

There is a well-known Norse myth which tells of how the Vanir Freyr fell in love with the giantess Gerd, wooed her, and eventually convinced her to marry him. She was not any easy catch - many...
The Great Heathen Army

The Great Heathen Army: Viking Coalition Becomes an Anglo-Saxon Nightmare

Viking raids may have been a common factor in the life of a 9th century Anglo Saxon, but there was something terrifyingly distinct when an army emerged seeking revenge. The Great Heathen Army would...
Angel of the Ribaudo tomb, Staglieno cemetery

The Dramatic and Intensely Moving Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno

The Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno is a well-known burial site located in the Italian city of Genoa, which is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the whole of Europe. It is famous...
The Muisca raft was dated to between 1200 to1500 BC. Made of 80% gold alloy, with silver and copper, it was created using the lost wax casting method.

Hunting South American Gold

Gold has always captured the imagination of mankind. Long before it acquired any monetary value and became a source of greed, gold was valued for its spiritual connotation. By 2000 BC the Muisca...
The ring found by gardener Dekel Ben-Shitrit thought to depict St. Nicholas with a bishop's crook.

Medieval Ring Unearthed in the Shadow of Armageddon

A rare 700-year-old bronze ring bearing a tiny image of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of pilgrims and travelers, was dug up in a routine weeding exercise in northern Israel. Gardener Dekel Ben-Shitrit...
Detail of ‘Coco’ a monstrous Spanish lullaby.

Creepy Cradle: Unsettling Traditional Lullabies Sung Around the World

Sweet dreams or nightmares – are we scaring our children to sleep? Have you ever thought about the lyrics sung in lullabies? Although it’s proven that lullabies help babies get to sleep, if you pay...
Drawing of the Medieval Birdman of Stirling Castle.

The Birdman of Stirling Castle: An Alchemical Pilot Searches for The Fifth Element

History books are peppered with stories of medieval European Alchemists attempting to turn base metals into gold and to produce elixirs of immortality. However, there was one disastrous alchemical...
Vases hanging above The Stone of Anointing (Stone of Unction) in the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These vases contain water with rose essence.

Getting High with the Most High: Drugs in the Bible

As the Bronze Age grew old, some of its oral traditions were recorded by poets with gods in their quills and drugs in their gardens. The Odyssey and the Vedas include verses still recited today that...
The Oval Forum and Cardo Maximus in ancient Jerash

Garshu, Gerasa, Jerash: the Everchanging City of the Ancient World

Today, Jerash is a relatively unimposing town in the modern-day country of Jordan but its expansive and majestic ancient ruins reveal its glorious past. Even beneath its existing ruins lies a history...
Thousands of talatat blocks from Akhenaten's dismantled Aten temples lie in the precincts of Karnak complex; design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten, the Savior of Karnak: Breaking Ties with “tainted” Amun - Part II

(Read Part I) Trouble brewed on the horizon when Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten in Regnal Year 5 in honor of his “father” the Aten, and abandoned Thebes (Waset) to occupy a desolate...


Myths & Legends

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)