Norse

King Haraldr hárfagri receives the kingdom out of his father's hands. From the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

Icelander Sagas May Have More Truth to Them than You Think

Myths and legends – purely the creation of creative and imaginative minds, right? Not necessarily. Numerous stories, sagas, and texts from the ancient past have been proven to hold facts. For example...
Artist’s depiction of a Viking King.

You Speak Like a Viking! 10 Everyday Words in English with Old Norse Origins

Did you know that many words we use today such as “husband,” “happy,” and “egg” are of Old Norse origin? No? Well, this isn’t surprising, as in the minds of many people the Vikings were nothing but a...
Example of Roman coins from a hoard at Llanvaches, Monmouthshire, Wales in 2006. Roman coins have been found in a few locations across Scandinavia as well.

Making Money Divine: Roman Imperial Coins had a Unique Value in Scandinavian Cultures

"My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri to which, up to that time, no Roman had ever penetrated either by land or by sea, and the Cimbri and Charydes...
Urmes Stave Church, Norway

Urnes Stave Church: A Final Vestige of Viking Innovation

At the edge of the world lies the last trace of Viking Christianity. Urnes Stave Church (c. 1130 AD) stands tall in Sognefjord in the west of Norway, yet it represents as much of an end as it does a...
Modern interpretation of a Viking with a tattoo. (Public Domain) Background: Portal from a stave church, exhibited at historisk museum Oslo Norway.

Were Norsemen Tattooed? Evidence of Ink on the Rugged Rusiyyah

Did the Norsemen of Scandinavia have tattoos? Did runic script adorn their arms as they sailed their longships down fjords? While material remains offer few clues, one piece of historical evidence...
‘Meadow Elves’ (1850) by Nils Blommér.

The Diverse Nature of Elves in Norse Myth: Beings of Light or Darkness?

Santa Claus, Keebler cookies, and overloaded shelves. When one speaks of elves, the mind most often goes to those who work for Santa or Keebler, or those which hide from little children in the middle...
Artists impression of Norse giantedd , Skaði or Skadi

Skaði, The Norse ‘Giantess’ with a Godly Vendetta

In Norse mythology, Skaði (also anglicised as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi) is a giantess and goddess. She is most often associated with winter. Apart from that, Skaði is also connected with hunting,...
Ragnarök battle

Epic Battle Equals Doom or Twilight for Norse Gods? Ragnarök: The Real Message in the Myth

In Norse mythology, Ragnarök encompasses a series of events that will come to pass. It foretells an epic battle which leads to the death of numerous gods, natural disasters, and the death of the...
Drinking from a Viking drinking horn

No One Questions that Vikings Drank; But Did They Make Wine?

Further evidence that the Vikings weren’t just beer-swilling, raping, and pillaging savages comes out of Denmark with the discovery of two grape seeds that may indicate the Norsemen didn’t just drink...
‘Light and Structure’ - Reconstruction of Viking Longhouse: Central Jutland, Denmark.

Why Would You Cremate and Bury Your Home? A Bizarre Viking Ritual Explained

The Vikings had a very bizarre tradition that might be totally unique: they buried their own homes. From the Bronze Age until the Viking Age, historians have noted that burial mounds were placed on...
Two actors from the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and...
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...
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...
 Krampus, the Christmas Devil

Krampus, Son of Hel: The Ancient Origins of the Christmas Devil

It is well known in America that Santa Claus maintains a Naughty and Nice list for when he comes to town. Good kids get presents; bad kids get coal. This makes for a great Christmas carol but it is...
Illustration from book in a series of fairy tales. A warning to children. John Lambton fights the Wrym

A Monstrous and Venomous Serpent: Legendary Crusading Heroes and Wyrm-Slaying Symbolism – What Does it Mean?

Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, Aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story, Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, An aa'll tell ye ‘boot the wyrm. --(C.M. Leumane, 1867) Beasts that Scorch the Land There are more than...
‘Blenda’ by August Malmstrom.

Blenda: The Cunning and Courageous Swedish Woman Who Defeated the Danish Army

Blenda is a heroine found in Swedish myths and legends. It is unclear as to exactly when she lived, but according to the legends, her heroic deeds took place during the time when Alle was the King of...

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Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)