ritual

Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
Haifa University Prof. Danny Rosenberg holds the 7,200-year-old model clay grain silo found at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley.

7,200-year-old Vessel Tells of the Rise of the Elites

The oldest evidence of food storage rituals has been found by researchers from the University of Haifa and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Berlin during excavations at the prehistoric...
Five of the sacrificed children were found in a multiple burial. (Flory Pinzón) Grave goods, including obsidian, were found in a burial of two more sacrificed children.

Mayan Child Sacrifices with ‘Divine’ Obsidian and Jade Discovered in Guatemala

The bodies of nine sacrificed children have been found at the Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala. Some of the children were buried with obsidian tools, a fact which research suggests shows the enhanced...
The 800-year-old skeleton found in Bulgaria stabbed through the chest with iron rod.

People Practiced Anti-Vampire Rituals in Bulgaria Until Three Decades Ago

Thanks to Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror novel Dracula, many people associate vampires with the region of Transylvania in Romania. However, it was only around 25 years ago that anti-vampire rituals...
Magu, Goddess of Longevity and immortal hemp maiden.

Magu: The Hemp Goddess Who Healed Ancient Asia

"Cannabis" and "criminal" are synonymous in many countries. While cannabis has been steadily weaving onto the "right" side of the law in recent years, the "high" people get from the plant is still...
Tel Burna, Structures of Libnah

Archaeologists Discover a 3,200-Year-Old Pagan Ritual Hall in Israel

Excavators from Israel have announced the discovery of three millennia-old pagan ritual evidence, which supports the hypothesis of pagan worship at Tel Burna back then. Experts suggest that the new...
Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
Loutrophorai: Greek, Attica, c.440BC, (Penn Valley); Greek, Classical Period, 450–425 BC (MFA);Greek, South Italian, Early Hellenistic Period c.320–310 BC

From Cremated Ashes to Holy Water for a Bride’s Ritual Bath, The Loutrophoros Was No Ordinary Vase

A loutrophoros is a distinctive type of Greek pottery characterized by an elongated neck with two handles. It is a specific type of amphora , which was a type of Greek container used as early as the...
‘La Doncella’ (the Maiden), one of the mummified ‘Children of Llullaillaco’ in Salta province, Argentina.

Analysis Shows Children were Given Drugs and Alcohol before Ritual Sacrifice 500 Years Ago

The remarkably preserved mummified remains of three children were found on the summit of Volcan Llullaillaco in Argentina over a decade ago. The ‘Maiden’ was 13 years old when she met her demise and...
A pair of dogs/wolves and the moon

Butchered Dogs Consumed by Bronze Age Wolf Warriors in Rites Ceremonies

Archaeologists claim that remains of dogs and wolves found at the Srubnaya-culture settlement of Krasnosamarskoe in the Russian steppes, dating back to 1900–1700 BC, indicate that a ritual took place...
Monument of the pilgrims, Burgos

Following Symbols and the Bones of a Dead Sorcerer: Mysteries of the Camino de Santiago – Part II

The popular 500-mile-long pilgrimage road, the Camino de Santiago (specifically the French Way that leads from the French Pyrenees across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela) seems like a...
Santiago el Mayor’ Saint James the Great (Public Domain), and sign on the Camino de Santiago (Manuel/ CC BY 2.0);Deriv.

Pilgrims Flock on an Ancient Road to the Ends of the Earth: Mysteries of the Camino de Santiago – Part I

The Spanish poet, Antonio Machado wrote, “Caminante, no hay camino; se hace el camino por andar.” (Walker/Seeker, there is no path; the path is made by walking.) Rarely has this been truer than with...
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...

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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

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

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.

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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. 

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)