rituals

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...
A funerary garden discovered by CSIC's research team.

A First-Ever Find in Egypt: 4,000-Year-Old Funerary Garden at Tomb Entrance

The Djehuty Project, led by research professor, José Manuel Galán, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered a 4,000-year-old funerary garden- the first such garden ever to be...
All images courtesy of Ashley Cowie

Sex Symbols of the Ancient World: Top Ten Sexually Explicit Caves, Mountains, Temples and Artifacts

If you are sensitive about matters pertaining to sex and sexuality it's probably best that you press the back button now. For those with a more exploratory attitude, what I hope you take away from...
The birthday party of Lazaro Salsita, born 15 years ago, in the body of Lazaro Medina Hernandez, 35, Sculptor. Havana (La Habana), Cuba.

A Unique Mixture of Afro-Cuban Religious Rituals or Witchcraft? The True Story Behind Santeria

Some religious practices can be very surprising because they link aspects from different beliefs which may appear incompatible at first glance. In the case of Santeria, the connection between native...
Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Rediscovering the Story of Egeria, a Remarkable 4th Century Female Pilgrim

Egeria was a young woman who decided to make the trip of a lifetime and go to the Holy Land. But what inspired her to make that journey and walk half of the world all alone? She was born in beautiful...
How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

How the Ancient World Invoked the Dead to Help the Living

Though it may seem as if Halloween is a modern con trick designed to get us spending our hard-earned cash on an American celebration, this is not the case. In fact, dressing up, knocking on neighbors...
Deriv; Inside Temple Edfu and stars

Sky Religion in Ancient Egypt: Temples and Magick - Part I

“In the beginning Egypt was not” The Sky Religion in Egypt: Its Antiquity and Effects by G A Wainwright; published in 1938, is one of the classic enabling texts of Egyptology, and I am going to use...
Ancient horse burial in Gonur Depe.

Ancient Horse Burials of the Bronze Age: Folklore and Superstition

Horses have long been an important aspect in both western and eastern cultures. They are considered common in Indo-European traditions, with Chinese and Turkish traditions providing the most well-...
Two images of Aghori.

Not for the Faint of Heart: The Aghori and Their Unorthodox Path to Enlightenment

The Aghori are followers of a Hindu sect believed to be 1000 years old. These ascetics are often regarded as sadhus (Sanskrit for ‘good/holy man’), and have devoted their entire lives to the...
Life-size Dorset masks. (500-1000 AD) The masks were carved from driftwood and painted. They also once had fur moustaches and eyebrows attached with pegs. Scholars believe that the masks were probably used by shamans in rituals to cure illness, control the weather, or to aid in hunts.

Preserved in Legends and Ice: What Led to the Extinction of the Dorset Culture?

Before the Inuit’s ancestors conquered the Arctic region of what we now call Canada and Greenland, there is evidence of another remarkable Paleo-Eskimo culture– the Dorset. Soon after the arrival of...
The print depicts a samurai fighting snakes, which are conjured by a ghost as the ghosts of Heian court ladies watch. Japan, 1850.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART II

Many ancient civilizations had beliefs surrounding the hauntings of ghosts and malevolent spirits, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. Read Part I...
Ancient legends tell of ghost hauntings.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART I

Ghosts and malevolent spirits haunted the ancients, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. The concept of a spiritual afterlife connects cultures across...
Painting of the second Peacock Throne from the Red Fort in Delhi, India. (1850) The first Peacock Throne was taken as a war trophy by the Persian King Nader Shah in 1739 and has been lost ever since.

Thrones of Gods and Kings: Symbols of Power through History

The Iron Throne from the Game of Thrones is perhaps one of the most iconic objects in 21st century pop culture. The concept of the throne, as many already know, has been in existence for a much...
A University of Haifa researcher holds the unique bronze mask of the god Pan

Bronze mask of orgiastic wild god Pan unearthed in Israel

Around the time of Jesus Christ in the countryside outside the ancient Galilean city of Hippos-Sussita, adherents of the Greek goat-legged god Pan may have gathered at times to worship. Followers of...
Bronze Age cult complex in Judean foothills dedicated to Baal

Bronze Age cult complex discovered in Judean foothills may have been dedicated to Baal

Archaeologists excavating the Tel Burna archaeological site in the Shephelah region of what is now Israel, have unearthed a cult complex dating back around 3,300 years, which may have been used for...
Drug culture in Tiwanaku, Bolivia

New study sheds light on drug culture in Tiwanaku, Bolivia

Unlike modern Man, ancient inhabitants of the Andes did not use mind-altering substances simply for their hedonistic pleasure. The use of alcohol and plant drugs was highly regulated and went hand-in...

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Top New Stories

 “Cadmus Slays the Dragon” by Hendrik Goltzius. The Greek myth of Cadmus fighting the serpent may be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River. In various accounts, the snake is instead referred to as a dragon or serpent.
The ancient Greek myth of Cadmus battling a snake could be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River, said Dr. Enrico Mattievich, a retired professor of physics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. Mattievich wrote a book titled “Journey to the Mythological Inferno” in 2011, exploring connections between Greek myths and South American geographical and historical sites.

Myths & Legends

 “Cadmus Slays the Dragon” by Hendrik Goltzius. The Greek myth of Cadmus fighting the serpent may be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River. In various accounts, the snake is instead referred to as a dragon or serpent.
The ancient Greek myth of Cadmus battling a snake could be an allegory for the discovery of the Amazon River, said Dr. Enrico Mattievich, a retired professor of physics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) in Brazil. Mattievich wrote a book titled “Journey to the Mythological Inferno” in 2011, exploring connections between Greek myths and South American geographical and historical sites.

Ancient Places

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

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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)