ritual

A Hopi Hero’s Journey: How the Snake Clan Came to Arizona

Joseph Campbell, in his classic book The Hero With A Thousand Faces explores in depth the universal mythic narrative of the culture-hero (traditionally male) who goes forth not to conquer but...
Chicanná: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

Chicanna: Enter the Maya House of the Serpent Mouth

A menacing serpent-like monster glares down at you as you cross the plaza of Chicanná in Mexico. While it is certainly an unnerving thought, you decide to step inside the gaping serpent’s mouth...
Reconstitution of a prehistoric burial. Representative image.

Bones of the Child, Tools of the Shaman: Ritual and Cosmology at the Hopewell Tunacunnhee Mounds

Near Trenton in Dade County, Georgia, is a place called Tunacunnhee , supposedly named after a Native American word meaning “Lookout Creek”. Located just a few hundred yards east of Lookout Creek is...
16th or 17th century painting of the ‘Dance of Death.’ The living weren’t always scared of the dead.

Dance Macabre: How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Ashby Kinch / The Conversation In the Halloween season , American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as...
Two burials of individuals with signs of trauma found at Pacopampa, Peru.

Peruvian Oracles Threw Stones and Clubs at Commoners in Acts of Ritual Violence

Healed over fractured skulls and limbs and a dislocated elbow – these are signs that archaeologists are interpreting as evidence of ritual violence having taken place in Peru about 3,200 years ago...
About 200 stone statues from the Middle Ages discovered in the Himalayas

200 Unique Medieval Horsemen Sculptures Found in the Himalayas

A combined Russian-Indian expedition that has been searching the Himalaya Mountain’s area bordering India and Pakistan for the past three years, has discovered 200 “Medieval Stone Horsemen” dating...
Kukeri is a type of wild man in Bulgaria. Rituals with this ‘beast’ are believed to scare away evil spirits.

Beasts of the Pagan Wild Man Ritual Come in All Shapes and Sizes

The wild man is a creature found in various pagan traditions across Europe. Generally speaking, a wild man is a man dressed up in a beast-like costume for certain pagan rituals, which were normally...
A Puma in the night

Ghost Talkers and Puma Men: Adena Totemism and the Shamans of the Early Woodland Period

The people of the Adena Culture are widely regarded as the first builders of mounds and earthworks in the Ohio Valley. By conventional dating the culture spans the period of 1000 BC to around 300 AD...
 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...
Elkhound, a Viking Dog.

Viking Dogs Followed Their Masters to Valhalla

By THORNEWS Large amounts of animal bones have been found in Viking Age ship graves. For example, there were eight large sighthounds (Old Norse: mjór) buried on both sides outside the ship In the...
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...

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Top New Stories

Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.
Few visitors recognize that there is a forgotten world below the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The ancient maze of tunnels and quarries date back to the very beginning of this famous city. Locals, on the other hand, remember the existence of the underground pathways every time one of the ancient tunnels collapses, damaging the structures above. Hundreds of buildings and streets have fallen victim to the decaying tunnels.

Myths & Legends

The fall of Icarus, circa 1635.
Daedalus, the legendary inventor of ancient Greek myth, joined the court of Minos, the ruler of Crete, as the king's star engineer. Daedalus was credited with creating myriad marvels, from carpenter's tools to animated statues. It was Daedalus who designed and built the bewildering Cretan Labyrinth as a prison for Minos' monstrous son, the Minotaur. Every year, the Athenians were compelled to send fourteen young men and women to be sacrificed to the cannibal with the bull's head.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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)