renaissance

The imposing mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Design by Anand Balaji.

Butehamun, Opener of the Gates to the Underworld: Dismantling Sacred Places of the Dead

At the very end of the Twentieth Dynasty and through to the beginning of the early Twenty-First Dynasty, one after another, the many royal dead in the Valley of the Kings were divested of their...
The Apennine Colossus by Giambologna.

Man out of Mountain: The Striking Figure of the Apennine Colossus

"… great father Apennine, lifting elate to heaven his snow-crowned head…" At the feet of the Apennines, Aeneas and his men defeated the Latins in one of the first victories of the early Romans. Amid...
Remains of the house of scribe Butehamun at Medinet Habu, design by Anand Balaji.

The Hunt for Herihor: Butehamun and the Death of the Royal Necropolis–Part II

Sometime around Regnal Year 17 or 19 of Pharaoh Ramesses XI matters took a turn for the worse, due in no small measure to civil unrest and a failing economy. The northern and southern parts of the...
Orcas attacking a whale, from Carta Marina (1539)

Mapping the Menacing Sea Monsters in Medieval and Renaissance Cartography

Until a few years ago, no serious consideration had been made of the many and varied representations of monsters found on world maps from the 10th century through to medieval and Renaissance times...
Gerard van Honthorst's 1623 painting ‘The Concert.’

Band Posters of the Renaissance: How Medieval Music Fans Showed off Their Taste

Tim Shephard / The Conversation Did you once put a poster of your favorite music artist on your bedroom wall? Are there a few faded gig T-shirts in your bottom drawer? Have you ever bought an LP or...
Detail of a self-portrait of Raphael, aged approximately 23.

Raphael: A Renaissance Artist More Versatile than Michelangelo and More Prolific than Leonardo?

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (known more commonly as Raphael) was a painter and architect who lived in Italy between the late 15th and early 16th centuries, during a period known as the High...
Numbers and Nobles: The Magical Tradition of Numerology in Spain

Numbers and Nobles: The Magical Tradition of Numerology in Spain

Spain has always been a country full of contrasts. It is often regarded as heavily Catholic and the place where the Inquisition began. At the same time, there have also been witches and individuals...
A 4 Falus coin from Morocco, dated AH 1290 (1873/4 CE).

The Significance of the Sacred Seal of Solomon and its Symbols

The Seal of Solomon (known also as the Ring of Solomon) is believed to be a signet ring that belonged to King Solomon of Israel. This ring is thought by some to have magical powers, and it originates...
The Royal Ballet of the Dowager of Bilbao's Grand Ball, 1626.

Displaying Sophistication with Masks and Curtsies: The Early History of Ballet

Ballet has been described as an art form created by the movement of the human body . It is a type of dance performed on a stage in front of an audience. The word ballet is derived from the French...
This piece of glass, a footed bowl, was blown about 1500 in Venice and enameled in the late 19th century in France.

Expert Reveals Top Secret Venetian Glassblowing Techniques from the Renaissance

Throughout history, some artists, craftsmen and chefs have carefully protected and concealed knowledge about their processes or recipes. One such art was glass-blowing in Venice, where the process...
Astronomer Copernicus, or Conversations with God, by Matejko. In background: Frombork Cathedral.

Trying to Align Forbidden Love, God, and Science: The Secret Relationship of Nicolaus Copernicus and Anna Schilling

Nicolaus Copernicus is one of the most famous astronomers in history. As a man of the Renaissance, his life and work were never focused on just one discipline. However, a secret relationship also led...
Mona Lisa Meets War Machines: Details on the Driven Life and Lesser-Known Talents of Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa Meets War Machines: Details on the Driven Life and Lesser-Known Talents of Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, known more commonly as Leonardo da Vinci, is arguably one of the most well-known figures of the Italian Renaissance. Leonardo’s primary claim to fame is in the field...
A portrait of Michelangelo flanked by his sculpture ‘Madonna of Bruges’ and a detail of the Redeemed from his painting of ‘The Last Judgement.’

Michelangelo: A Mixture of True Talent Meeting Great Luck

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known as Michelangelo, is one of the most famous figures of the Italian Renaissance period (between the 14th and 16th centuries AD). The Renaissance...
Statue of King Rene House of Valois-Anjou.

Rene of Anjou - the Littlefinger of the pre-Renaissance Game of Thrones

Ask someone of the most notable figures in the 15 th century and they may respond with: Jeanne d’Arc, Cosimo de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Christopher Columbus, or those involved in the War of the...
Leonardo da Vinci inventions

Five da Vinci inventions that could have revolutionized the history of technology

Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most famous artists in history. His genius, however, was not just in his art; Leonardo was also a brilliant inventor in the fields of civil engineering, chemistry,...
Arbatel: An Occult Grimoire with a Positive Message

Arbatel: The Magic of the Ancients – An Occult Grimoire with a Positive Message

The Arbatel de magia veterum ( Arbatel: Of the Magic of the Ancients ) is a Renaissance-period grimoire – a textbook of magic – and one of the most influential works of its kind. Unlike some other...

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Sculpture of a head from 950-1150 AD found at Building Y in the Tajin Chico section. On display at the Tajin site museum, Veracruz state, Mexico
El Tajin is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the North of the state of Veracruz, near the Gulf Coast of Mexico. The city, one of the most flourishing of the Classic and early Post-classic period, was only rediscovered in 1785, immediately capturing the imagination of European travelers with its imposing jungle-covered ruins and unusual architecture.

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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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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)