prison

Tower of London as viewed from across the River Thames.

Tower of London: A Palace, a Prison and a Place of Execution

The White Tower, most commonly known as the Tower of London, is situated on the north bank of the river Thames in central London and is one of the oldest, long-standing edifices in England. It is...
 ‘An Arab Caravan outside a Fortified Town, Egypt.

Inside Rhinocolura, The City Of Noseless Criminals

Near the city of Gaza, 3,000 years ago, laid a city unlike any other in the world. The Greeks called it Rhinocolura, named for strange faces of the people who lived there – because every person there...
French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) releasing lunatics from their chains at the Salpêtrière asylum in Paris in 1795.

Gunpowder, Prostitutes, and Neuroscience: What is the Explosive History of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital?

The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a well-known historical hospital located in Paris, France. But it wasn’t always a hospital. The oft-forgotten beginnings of this building may be traced back to the...
Traditional architecture and modern shops in Pingyao, Shanxi Province, China.

Pingyao: What Gems of Architecture are Housed in this Traditional Imperial Chinese City?

The ancient city of Pingyao is a county-level city located in the center of China’s Shanxi Province. This ancient city has been described as an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional...
Figurines representing three of the ten judges of Diyu and Red Maw

Journey to Hell, Featuring Torture and Never-ending Bureaucracy: Understanding the Underworld in Chinese Mythology

“Each of the criminals is bound to an iron pillar and the ox-headed demon is in the process of administering punishment—using iron or copper blades he peels the skin of the person's face, just as a...
King John: The Worst Monarch in English History?

King John: The Worst Monarch in English History?

When it comes to Kings (and Queens) of England, there is strong competition as to who can claim the title of being the worst in the nation’s long history. There is Ethelred the Unready, whose chaotic...
Aeneas and the Sibyl in the Underworld.

The Hell of Tartarus, Ancient Greek Prison of the Damned

In Greek mythology, Tartarus is the name both of a deity and of a place. The deity by the name of Tartarus is a primordial being that existed before the Olympian gods, and their predecessors, the...
Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle

The Dramatic History of the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in Ukraine: From Castle to Prison

It has been claimed that Kamianets-Podilskyi is the city with the most places of architectural interest in Ukraine after Kyiv and Lviv. This city is located on the Smotrych River in western Ukraine,...
15th century the basement of a "market house" used as a prison

Prisons and Imprisonment in the Ancient World: Punishments Used to Maintain Public Order

One of the most well-known forms of punishment today is imprisonment. One could argue that for any society to function properly, public order has to be maintained. This is an important function of...
The iconic features of Mont Saint-Michel in the evening light.

Medieval Mont St-Michel: The Sacred Castle in the Sea

Considered one of the wonders of the Western World, Mont St-Michel is a medieval fortress in France, sitting on top a rocky island in the ocean. Floating like a mirage on the horizon, this sacred...
Elmina Castle, Elmina, Ghana

Elmina Castle and its Dark History of Enslavement, Torture, and Death

Elmina Castle is a white-washed Medieval Castle on the coast of Ghana. It was the first – and for many centuries – the largest, European building constructed in tropical Africa. Yet its grandeur, as...
The altar in the lower chamber, Mamertine prison  Rome, Italy

The Infamous Mamertine Prison and the Supposed Incarceration of Saint Peter

The Mamertine Prison (a.k.a Carcere Mamertino in Italian) is an ancient prison located in Rome at the foot of Capitoline Hill overlooking the ruins of the Roman forum. When it was built, this was...
Gladiator School

Gladiator School Discovery Reveals Hard Lives of Ancient Warriors

Archaeologists have revealed the almost complete remains of a Roman school of gladiators on the banks of the Danube in Austria and have used sophisticated 3D reconstruction techniques to bring to...

Top New Stories

Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Name one civilization located in the Americas that pre-dates the arrival of Europeans. You probably replied with the Aztecs, the Inca or perhaps the Maya. A new paper, published in De Gruyter's open access journal Open Archeology, by Michael E. Smith of Arizona State University shows how this view of American civilizations is narrow. It is entitled "The Teotihuacan Anomaly: The Historical Trajectory of Urban Design in Ancient Central Mexico."

Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

Ancient Places

The Tsar Bath of the Babolovo Palace
Babolovo (known also as Babolovka) Palace is a historical building located near the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. This palace was built in towards the end of the 18th century, during the reign of Catherine II of Russia (also commonly known as Catherine the Great).

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)