sacred

Elf Fantasy Fair 2010 hurdy gurdy.

The Hurdy Gurdy Was Essential Medieval Entertainment Enjoyed by Merrymakers Across Europe

The hurdy gurdy is a musical instrument, or more precisely, a string instrument, that traces its origin to the Middle Ages of Europe. The hurdy gurdy was initially used to play sacred music, before...
Externsteine, north-eastern face, across Wiembecke pond.

Worship? Meditation? Sacrifice? What Ancient Ritual Activities Were Held at the Externsteine Sacred Stone Formation?

Externsteine is an unusual sandstone rock formation near Ostwestfalen-Lippe in the northwest of Germany. It is unique among other monolithic sites in Europe because it is a natural formation that has...
A modern depiction of the hellhound Cerberus.

Gate to Hell Guardians Were Used to Ward People Off Deadly Cave

The Gate to Hell, also known as Pluto’s Gate, was the Greco-Roman entrance to the Underworld. When archaeologists found an example of this sacred site in Turkey they also discovered two guardians who...
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...
Oceanides, Gustave Dore (1860-1869).

The Secret of Long Life? It’s All in the Water: Sacred Springs & Holy Wells

The belief in sacred springs and holy waters goes far back into the earliest religious myths of humankind, and is ubiquitous across every continent. An ancient primordial connection between water and...
A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...
‘An alchemist being tempted by Luxuria.’ Oil painting after Marten de Vos.

Spiritual Alchemy – Casting Light on a Secret Science

Spiritual alchemy is closely linked to secret knowledge and many who have attained this level of wisdom later decided to withdraw from it as they found they were not ready to receive it. The purpose...
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...
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...
An aerial view of the aqueduct.

An Enigma Wrapped in a Mystery: The Living, Growing Aqueduct of Alicún de las Torres, Granada

Not far from the Moorish splendors of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain, and close to the troglodyte cave-dwellings of the residents of Guadix, is the spectacular, living, El Toril Aqueduct. It is...
Sticker showing baby Krishna stealing milk from a cow.

Modern Hindus Forbidden From Eating Beef But Ancient Hindus Ate the Sacred Cow

Wendy Doniger / The Conversation Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef...
The Ark Passes Over the Jordan, James Jacques Joseph Tissot (1836 - 1902)

Could the Ark Described at Edessa Be the Biblical Ark of the Covenant?

The year was 165 AD, and the location was the Edessan necropolis at Sogmatar, in what was then northern Syria. In this year King Wa'el of Edessa had an inscription carved upon the sacred hill of...
Borgund Stave Church (Eduardo/CC BY-SA 2.0), pentagram, Vitruvian man, and serpent

The Viking Serpent: Serpent Worship, Sacred Geometry, and Secrets of the Celtic Church in Norway

Dan Brown wrote The Da Vinci Code, inspired by Henry Lincoln and his two co-authors’ The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail . The Norwegian researcher Harald Boehlke was inspired by the same book. Lincoln...
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...
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...
Known as the Sikachi Alyan petroglyphs, the area has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

17,000-Year-Old Sacred Site - Believed to be Gateway to the Underworld – Is Vandalized

The prehistoric petroglyphs near Malyshevo village in Khabarovsk region are among the most remarkable in the world - an ancient art exhibition dating to neolithic times. On the basalt rocks on the...

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Top New Stories

A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century BC. ©Trustees of the British Museum.
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 is pointed at the Christian Roman emperor Theodosius I (AD 379-395)

Myths & Legends

An illustration of Vasilisa the Beautiful, by Ivan Bilibin.
[…] In the evening the girl laid the table and began waiting for Baba-Yaga. It grew dark. The black horseman swept by and it was night. The skulls’ eyes began to shine. The trees creaked, the dead leaves crunched, the earth trembled, and there was Baba-Yaga…

Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

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)