priestess

Detail of a tomb painting depicting Meretites and Kahai – an ancient Egyptian couple who lived 4,400 years ago.

The Priestess and the Singer: Locked in a Lasting Egyptian Love Story

A beautiful love story bloomed around a tomb painting found in Saqqara, Egypt. The image shows an ancient Egyptian couple in a tender scene. While sweet, this type of image isn’t a common one - so...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

Enheduanna: A High Priestess of the Moon and the First Known Author in the World

The ancient Sumerian poet Enheduanna has a unique claim to fame: she was the first author in the world known by name. While there were previous instances of poems and stories written down, Enheduanna...
Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

Lost in Translation? Understandings and Misunderstandings about the Ancient Practice of “Sacred Prostitution”

In the modern world, the mere mention of “Sacred Prostitution” may receive raised eyebrows or disgusted grimaces. Evidently, this was also the case for the ancients as many ancient authors describe...
Unveiling the Hittite Hasawa – A Forgotten Priestess, Healer, and Oracle

Unveiling the Hittite Hasawa – A Forgotten Priestess, Healer, and Oracle

The term hasawa means ‘ she of birth' , and might have originally been used to refer to midwives. But hasawa is also a name applied to old, wise women. According to the few resources which described...
Eighth Priestess and Precious Grave Goods Unearthed in Famous San Jose de Moro Tomb

Eighth Priestess and Precious Grave Goods Unearthed in Famous San Jose de Moro Tomb

The remains of a Moche priestess have been unearthed at the famous tomb site of San Jose de Moro in Northwestern Peru. She is the fifth Moche priestess to be found at the site (an additional three...
Photograph of part of the archaeological complex in Vichama, Peru.

New Archaeological Findings Reaffirm the Important Role of Women 4,000 Years Ago in Peru

Peruvian legends speak of a lonely and hungry woman who unleashed her fury against the sun. The star was moved by her situation, and ‘fertilized’ her with its rays. Four days later, the woman gave...
Detail of a mural depicting a Moche priestess. Reconstruction of a Moche priestess.

Performance and Power: Moche Priestesses Uncovered

Despite being an agricultural society of ceremonial performance, bold works of art, and innovative irrigation processes, the Moche (100-800AD) are best remembered as one of many Pre-Columbian...
This royal tomb, the eighth discovered in 25 years, is believed to have belonged to a Moche priestess buried 1,200 years ago. The great quantity of artifacts and the complexity of the burial reveal the power and influence this woman wielded in life.

Where Women Once Ruled: Excavated Tombs of Moche Priestesses Provide Archaeologists with Troves of Artifacts

When archaeologists unearthed a large chamber tomb in San José de Moro, a ceremonial center of pre-Columbian Moche civilization on the northern coast of Peru, they found the remains of a woman who...
Omm Sety – A British Woman Whose Life Was Lined by Reincarnation and Connected to a Pharaoh

Omm Sety – A British Woman Whose Life Was Lined by Reincarnation and Connected to a Pharaoh

When Dorothy Eady arrived to Egypt for the first time, it was obvious to her that she had been there before. But her last visit near the Nile may have taken place thousands of years earlier. Dorothy...
Gold earrings, two knives, a collection of shells, and ceramic containers were uncovered from a flooded Lambayeque tomb.

DNA tests to unravel mystery of Peruvian priestess and burial companions

About 800 years ago, a high status Peruvian woman was buried with seven people and a llama. Some theorize that her burial companions were her relatives, while others maintain they were servants. Now...
Hygeia - The Serpent Priestesses

The Serpent Priestesses and Ancient Sexual Rites

Women robed in scarlet sheaths, conducting rituals associated with serpents away from prying eyes, serving Innana, the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War. The color of their clothes was symbolic of...
Ancient Sumerian Love Poem

The 4,000-Year-Old Sumerian Love Poem and the Sacred Ritual of Marriage

'Bridegroom, dear to my heart; goodly is your beauty, honeysweet; lion, dear to my heart'. These are the passionate words of a lover to a king, from more than 4,000 years ago, in the oldest known...
Pythia - The Oracle of Delphi

Pythia, The Oracle of Delphi

Perhaps one of the most famous prophecies uttered by the Oracle of Delphi is that of Croesus’ defeat by the Persian Empire. According to Herodotus, Croesus, the king of the Lydians wanted to know if...
Goddess Hathor

The Tattooed Priestesses of Hathor

She was known as the mother of god and the daughter of god, the eye of god, the creatrix of the rays of the sun, the embodiment of the circular essence of life. She was the Lady of the Limit or the...
Egyptian Love Story

A 4,400-Year-Old Egyptian Love Story

Hidden amongst bedrock and surrounded by a court of tombs in the vast, ancient burial ground of Saqqara , archaeologists made a unique discovery – a 4,400-year-old tomb belonging to a couple, their...

Top New Stories

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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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.

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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)