ritual

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...
Painting of Father General Saint Francis Borgia, SJ, performing an exorcism, by Goya.

Modern Possessions: What Evil is Behind the Resurgence in Demand for Exorcisms?

Less than five years ago, a new army of exorcists was created by the Roman Catholic Church. They were trained to deal with the “unprecedented rise” in requests for help in battling evil spirits. The...
Stone reliefs found at Göbekli Tepe

A Monumental Cover Up? Why did Gobekli Tepe End Up in the Dirt?

In the farmlands of southeastern Turkey there is a hill that rises out of the landscape. Unlike the surrounding plateaus, it has a gentle slope like a mound. At its top is a depression which looks...
Images A, C and D show incisions while B shows the hole drilled into the skull.

Evidence of the Earliest ‘Skull Cult’ Activity: Drilled and Carved Skulls Found at the World’s Oldest Temple

Just as people at the world’s oldest known temple site in Southeast Turkey began to make the transition from hunter-gatherers to a more settled lifestyle, they also started a “skull cult” in which...
The 5000-year-old burial chamber at Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey

Multiple Previously Unknown Prehistoric Burial Sites Detected Around Bryn Celli Ddu

A team of archaeologists has conducted a geophysical survey that has revealed what appears to be a cairn cemetery at the prehistoric ritual area around Bryn Celli Ddu on the Welsh island of Anglesey...
Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines

As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind...
Detail of one of the pits found in Sunnsvära, Sweden.

Over 80 Strange Bronze Age Holes Discovered in Sweden. Why Did People Gather there 3000 Years Ago?

If preliminary analyses of the excavations are right, it appears food preparation and large gatherings have gone hand in hand in Sweden for millennia. 82 holes of varying sizes and a more modern...
Detail of two ancient Egyptian 'gate spells'. On the top register, Ani and his wife face the ‘gates of the House of Osiris'. Below, they encounter the 'mysterious portals of the House of Osiris in the Field of Reeds'. All are guarded by unpleasant underworld protectors.

Through the Twelve Chambers of Hell: The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

Death, the ancient Egyptians believed, was not the end of our struggles. They believed in an afterlife and that the worthy would go on to paradise, but their dead didn’t simply pass over to the other...
Ancient Remains: Iron Age Necromancy on the Bones of the Dead?

Ancient Remains: Iron Age Necromancy on the Bones of the Dead?

In 2012 ancient remains were discovered in a bog in Denmark – not an uncommon occurrence. However, after examining the bones, archaeologists were startled by what appeared to be a brutal desecration...
Depiction of Surtr – a powerful fire giant mentioned in the Viking age.

A Viking Flame Reborn: Myths and History Hidden in the Depths of Blackener's Cave

Forged by the mythological fires of Muspell, the Blackener's Cave lives up to its name as a cavern of fiery mystique. The volcano to which the cave is attached has long been silent, but Blackener...
Enlarged entrance to Carn Euny fogou.

Caves and Portals: The Hidden World Beneath Us & Rites of Passage

To enter the famous European caves of Lascaux, Chauvet, Altamira, Pech Merle and many others is to enter another world. You are greeted by a whole menagerie of hauntingly beautiful representations of...
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,...
Yorkshire Photo Walks (Tom Marsh/CC BY 2.0), and Grey Lady. (CC BY 2.0); Deriv.

Staked Through the Heart and Buried at the Crossroads – The Profane Burial of Suicides

I uncovered a curious tale about a scrubby patch of land while writing a book on the folklore and history of East Anglia. Marked on modern maps as Lushbush, you pass it heading eastwards out of the...
Diagram of the Seqe/Ceke system of Cusco, a believed system of energy lines radiating from Cusco that connected through the cities, shrines, temples and sacred sites of the Incan empire. Planned intricately, the temple of Coricancha sat at the center.

Rediscovering the Lost Code of the Inca Cosmic Power Matrix

The National Museum in Quito, Ecuador exhibits an otherworldly collection of sheet-gold masks representing the Andean sun god Inti. Zig-zag rays of golden light burst from his face and some end in...
Deriv; The Adena Female. [Image copyrighted © by MARCIA K MOORE CIAMAR STUDIO. The use of which is prohibited unless prior written permission from the artist is obtained.

A Portrait of an Adena Female and Women in Adena Society

The Adena Culture emerged in the Ohio River Valley sometime between 1400 and 800 BC, and persisted until around 300 AD. Adena raised earthen mounds ranging from just a few inches to nearly 70 feet...
The night sky (E SO/H.H. Heyer/CC BY 4.0), Night display at an ceremony of Inca Heritage at the Pachacama Complex

Viracocha's Astronomical Creation Engine

3,500 years ago, the southern shores of Lake Titicaca, situated in La Paz, Bolivia, were inhabited by the Tiwanaku culture who built stone super-structures such as; the Akapana, Pumapunku, the...

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Alexander on his deathbed, surrounded by mourners, and dictating his will to his notary, Unknown Flemish artist
It might be a surprise to learn that Alexander the Great was only 32 when he died in Babylon in June 323 BC. In a short period of 12 years as ruler he managed to create an empire stretching from modern Albania to Pakistan. As much as we know of his achievements as a fearsome general, we still have no conclusive cause of his untimely and unexpected death.

Ancient Places

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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.

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.

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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. 

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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)