religious

 Ardhanarishvara, a composite androgynous form of the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati (also known as Devi, Shakti, and Uma in this icon).

Find Out the Real Story Behind Tantra. Hint, It’s Not All About Sex

You may have heard that Tantra is full of obscenities or that it has something to do with black magic. Forget that. As a matter of fact, Tantra involves practices such as yoga, meditation, and the...
A reindeer. Credit: Wallpaperscraft

12,000-Year-Old Engraved Reindeer Antler May Be One of the Oldest Gifts in the World

Found in Central Poland but originating from northern Scandinavia or north-western Russia, an engraved reindeer antler has piqued researchers interest. The reasons behind its long journey, purpose,...
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.

Ancient Greek Vase Artists Painted Images of Biblical Figures Noah and Nimrod Over 2,000 Years Ago

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...
Ruins of the Ani Cathedral by Gevorg Bashinjaghian (1901)

The Sacred Ghost Town of Ani, City of 1001 Churches: Deserted By Man, Destroyed By Nature

First mentioned in the 5th century by Armenian chroniclers, the “Ghost City” of Ani was described as a strong fortress on a hilltop that was a possession of the Armenian Kamsarakan dynasty. From this...
A map of the Nazca lines, showing all the figures, as well as the Panamerican Highway crossing the area.

Sacred Roads, Spirit Animals or Water Sources? The Perplexing Purpose of the Nazca Lines

The Nazca civilization thrived from 200 BC to about 600 AD in the arid plains of southern Peru. The Nazca practiced extensive irrigation at their main population centers and built two major urban...
Aerial view of circular henge remains and burials

Archaeologists Discover a Stone Age “Cult” Henge Site and 4,000 Year-old Human Remains

A team of archaeologists has discovered a Stone Age “cult” henge site and human remains that are estimated to be nearly 4,000 years old. Experts suggest that the human remains, found near Stratford,...
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...
Cro Magnon diorama showing a mammoth bone shelter.

Did Man and Mammoth Ever Live in Harmony? Not Quite…

Humans and mammoths coexisted in Europe for about 30,000 years. As a result, it makes sense that humans would have used mammoths and their remains for food and possibly for making clothing and even...
Mythbusting Ancient Rome – Throwing Christians to the Lions

Mythbusting Ancient Rome – Throwing Christians to the Lions

CHRISTIANS TO THE LIONS! rang without end through all quarters of the city. So writes Henryk Sienkiewicz in his novel Quo Vadis (1895). By the end of the 19th century, the image of cowering...
Opening from the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, 1440. The Morgan Library & Museum.

Beautiful, Decorative, and Sometimes Crude: Illuminated Manuscripts and Marginalia

Illuminated manuscripts are manuscripts that are covered with painted ornaments presented under several forms. These documents are perhaps most commonly associated with the European Middle Ages...
The rediscovered leather manuscript has been compared to the Egyptian Book of the Dead (pictured). Book of the Dead papyrus of Pinedjem II, 21st dynasty, circa 990-969 BC. Originally from the Deir el-Bahri royal cache.

4,000-year-old Ancient Egyptian manuscript measuring more than 8ft has been rediscovered in Cairo

The oldest known Egyptian leather manuscript, dating back some 4,000 years, has been rediscovered at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo after it was pulled from a dusty, old storage box, where it had been...
Small grave at the Children’s Fort in Tullycrine, Ireland

The Graveyard of the Lost: Why Hundreds of Children were Buried in an Old Irish Ring Fort

Inside the ring fort at Tullycrine in West Clare, Ireland, visitors can see the graves of hundreds of children dating from a period in Irish history when those who had not been baptized were banned...
St. Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt (Wikimedia Commons)

The Monastery of Saint Catherine: A Controversial Agreement Across Faiths

At the foot of Mount Sinai is Saint Catherine’s Monastery, described as ‘the oldest Christian monastery still in use for its initial function’. It is officially known as the Holy Monastery of the God...
Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

Paro Taktsang: The Breathtaking Himalayan Cloud Monastery

Bhutan is a small country in South Asia and the home of many sacred sites and monasteries associated with Buddhism. One of these sacred monasteries is called Paro Taktsang or Taktsang Palphug...
Craco Italy

Craco: The Abandoned Medieval Ghost Town of Italy

For nearly fifty years, the town of Craco in southern Italy has stood uninhabited. Here, dark windows look out at potential travelers like empty eye sockets and the streets and buildings of this...
Team of eight unbridled donkeys walk past a mud mosque laden with a load of gravel.

Tombs and Shrines in the City of 333 Saints Restored after Violent Destruction in Timbuktu

Efforts to restore the ancient monuments of historic Timbuktu have been successful after several years of violent strife in the region. The reconstruction of the city’s monuments is both a practical...

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Top New Stories

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.

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)