rome

A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Did Christians Ban The Ancient Olympics?

Every two years, when the Winter or Summer Olympics comes around, we hear about how the games staged at Olympia in Greece since 776 BC came to a sudden end in the late fourth century AD. The finger...
‘Lucretia’ by Lucas Cranach the Elder. Lucretia’s suicide is a well-known example of suicide in ancient Rome.

Petitioning for Death: Did Ancient Romans Really Ask for Permission to Commit Suicide?

Cases of suicide are known to have occurred in ancient Rome, as they have been recorded by ancient writers. But there are many questions surrounding this subject that have yet to be fully answered. A...
"Ertränken im Fass oder Sack", a 1560 sketch showing ‘punishment of the sack’.

Mythbusting Ancient Rome: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Early Roman history is full of stories about the terrible fates that befell citizens who broke the law. When a certain Tarpeia let the enemy Sabines into Rome, she was crushed and thrown headlong...
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti

Savoring the Danger: ‘Sugar of Lead’ Was Used to Flavor Roman Food and Wine with Toxic Consequences

How far did ancient people go to enhance the flavor of their food and drinks? Would they consume toxic substances if it made things a little more appetizing? The Romans did, by adding a sweet version...
Relief from a scribe's tomb found in Flavia Solva. (Public Domain) Background: Latin stone inscription.

Acta Diurna: The Telegraph of Ancient Rome, Bringing You All the Latest Gladiator Combat News

‘Roman emperor conquers new lands !’ ‘Five new ways to use your fish paste .’ ‘When do the stars say you will marry ?’ ‘ Viae militares expand our reach to foreign lands.’ These may have been some of...
A soldier from the game Numantia. Credit: RECO Technology

Remembering Numantia: Videogame Reminds Us of Brave Warriors and Their Blood on Roman Hands

The forgotten war between the Romans and the Celtiberians may not ring any bells with most people today, but many historians rank it as one of the most significant wars of the Roman era...
The Colosseum in Rome, once home to the most brutal games in history.

The Colosseum – From Gladiator Fights to Gory Executions and Sea Battles

Gladiatorial fights, sea battles, criminal (and Christian?) executions. These are only a few of the events, if they can even be called such, that happened in the walls of the Colosseum. Known during...
Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.

A Labyrinth of Ancient Tunnels Exist Under Roman Streets

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...
A Tarim mummy

Where the West Actually Meets the East—The Tarim Mummies

Ancient Rome and China were on opposite sides of the world as far as both civilizations were concerned. Although both cultures were aware of each other’s existence because of the Silk Road, each...
Six of the Roman Emperors:

A Succinct Timeline of Roman Emperors—400 Years of Power Condensed

To say that the Roman Empire had its ups and downs would be the understatement of all understatements. No “nation” was more abruptly destabilized or even more abruptly stabilized than that of ancient...
Marcus Aurelius Distributing Bread to the People by Joseph-Marie Vien

The Philosopher-King of Ancient Rome: Marcus Aurelius' Imperium

Marcus Aurelius is famed for various accomplishments—his title as the last of the Five Good Emperors; his extensive study of and literary accomplishments in the field of Stoicism; and, last but not...
The Roman sundial

Archaeologists Uncover Rare 2,000-year-old Roman Sundial and it Tells Them More than Just the Time

A 2,000-year-old intact and inscribed sundial – one of only a handful known to have survived – has been recovered during the excavation of a roofed theatre in the Roman town of Interamna Lirenas,...
The ancient marble mosaic, which has now been returned to the Italian government in New York.

Magnificent 2,000-Year-Old Marble Mosaic from Caligula's ‘Orgy Ship’ Ends up as Coffee Table in NYC Apartment

A valuable piece of mosaic flooring from one of Caligula’s ‘orgy ships’, so-called for the lavish sex parties he hosted on the boats, somehow found its way from the bottom of Lake Nemi to the Upper...
5 Pyramids of the Ancient World that You May Not Have Heard About

5 Pyramids of the Ancient World that You May Not Have Heard About

The Great Pyramid of Giza is undoubtedly one of the most well-known icons of the ancient world. But thousands of other pyramids exist, not just in Egypt, but across the entire globe, including Europe...
‘Marius sitting on the Ruins of Carthage’ (circa 1791-1794) by Pierre-Joseph François.

Banished by Caesar and Executed by Mark Antony: Did the Charismatic ‘Grandson of Gaius Marius’ Have a Legitimate Claim to the Roman Empire?

Long before imposters claimed to be Anastasia of Russia’s Romanov dynasty, a genealogical mystery consumed ancient Rome. No later than 45 BC, a man emerged who claimed to be the famous Gaius Marius’...
Aeneas and Turnus by Luca Giordano 17th century

History Versus Legend: In Search of Aeneas, the Trojan Refugee

Roman mythology designates Aeneas as the founder of the great nation of Rome and ancestor to its peoples. In fact, his story begins long before Rome came into existence. While the Romans lay claim to...

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Human Origins

Celtic Creation Myth – Eiocha and the one tree.
Creation myths are like bubbles of time, and when you pop one, stories of how prehistoric cultures interacted with each other, and nature, are found. Celtic mythology, more so than most folkloric systems, offers a perspective on how people interacted with the land and sea during different seasons of the year.

Ancient Technology

Mammoth in the Royal BC Museum in Victoria (Canada). The display is from 1979, and the fur is musk ox hair.
In Sivershchina, close to the village of Mizyn in Ukraine is one of the oldest and most unique settlements of humans – and it was discovered in a parking lot. The now well-known archaeological site, known plainly as the Mizyn parking lot, dates back 18-20 thousand years.

Ancient Places

The highly-decorated tomb is built in a distinctive ‘L’ shape
A mysterious ancient tomb with “unusual and rare” wall paintings has been discovered in Egypt. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told BBC reporters the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb found during excavation work in Giza’s western cemetery “likely belonged to Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth.”

Our Mission

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.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

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)