sacrifice

Alejandra Molina, an archaeologist with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), works at a site where a sacrificed young wolf elaborately adorned with some of the finest Aztec gold has been discovered adjacent to the Templo Mayor, one of the main Aztec temples, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Sacrificial Young Wolf Adorned with Best Quality Aztec Gold Ever Found is Discovered in Mexico City

Archaeologists have discovered a sacrificial wolf carefully adorned with some of the best quality Aztec gold ever found. It is believed that the wolf was buried more than five centuries ago in the...
Section of skulls at the tzompantli found near the Templo Mayor, Mexico City

Gruesome Remains of Aztec Skull Tower Discovered in Mexico Include Women and Children

Archaeologists have uncovered a tower of human skulls beneath the heart of Mexico City. The new find has given birth to new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after numerous...
Ancient ruins in the rainforest

Was the Amazon Rainforest Once Home to A Massive Lost Civilization?

There is a hill in the Amazon rainforest that stretches out over two acres of land. It is called Montegrande and, to look at it, it seems like nothing more than another hill. A particularly steep one...
A reconstruction of a burial site from prehistoric China. In Yinxu, about 2,500 pits filled with remains of sacrificial victims have been found in addition to other cemeteries were elites and other locals were buried.

Thousands of War Captives Enslaved for Years Before Being Slain as Sacrifice in Prehistoric China

Some archaeologists in China have analyzed the makeup of elements in the bones in a prehistoric cemetery and say the people buried there were probably war captives who were forced into slavery before...
Drawing of what part of Tenochtitlan city (now Mexico City), location of the temple and ball court, may have looked like, based on the Spanish chronicles.

Aztec Temple, Ball Court and 32 Neck Bones Discovered in the Heart of Mexico City

Archaeologists announced on Wednesday that important remains of a significant Aztec temple and a ceremonial ball court have been discovered in downtown Mexico City. According to the experts, the...
The two skeletons that were recently found in Gyeongju, South Korea are believed to have been victims of human sacrifice.

Shocking Discovery Shows Ancient Koreans were Sacrificed for Building Project

Local authorities from South Korea announced recently that they have found proof of human sacrifice for the foundation of buildings for the first time at a Korean site. Experts suggest that the...
The Ill-fated Elling Woman: An Iron Age Sacrifice to Appease the Gods?

The Ill-fated Elling Woman: An Iron Age Sacrifice to Appease the Gods?

Elling Woman is the name given to a well-preserved bog body that was discovered in Denmark during the first half of the 20th century. By then, this type of remains had already been found in Denmark’s...
Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Osterby Man Still Has a Great Hairdo Nearly 2,000 Years On!

Since at least the 18th century AD, there have been discoveries in northwestern continental Europe and Britain of “bog bodies” - human remains which have been preserved in the anoxic environment of...
Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Gods, Goddesses and… Rabbits? The Surprising Ancient Myths of the Moon

Before the first moon landing in 1969, the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e was mentioned in the Apollo 11 Air-to-Ground Voice Transcription between the Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas and the Apollo...
 Excavations at the site of in Siberia. Source: Andrey Plekhanov

Why Would Medieval Siberian Nomads Ritually Sacrifice Their Seriously Ill Companions?

By Tamara Zubchuk/ The Siberian Times Unique crouched burials for this period - comprising a seriously ill quartet - presents archaeologists with a puzzle. The find of four graves from the 11th...
‘Festa di Pales, o L'estate’ by Joseph-Benoît Suvée

The Busy Romans Needed a Mid-Winter Break Too … and it Lasted for 24 days

In the Doctor Who Christmas Special from 2010, Michael Gambon’s Scrooge-like character remarks that across different cultures and worlds people come together to mark the midpoint of winter. It is, he...
Archaeologists Unearth Gruesome Site Where Chinese Emperors Sacrificed Horses

Archaeologists Unearth Gruesome Site Where Chinese Emperors Sacrificed Horses

A large area for animal sacrifices by Chinese emperors dating from the 3 rd century BC to the 1 st century AD in western China has been excavated and found to contain many cultural artifacts. Called...
Sacrifice carvings at Cerro Sechin.

The Gruesome Sacrifice Carvings of Cerro Sechín, 3,600-Year-Old Ceremonial Center of Peru

In 1600 B.C., there was no Internet, no television, and no printing press – how then could someone spread a message? For the ancient peoples of northern Peru, the answer was to carve reliefs into...
Grauballe Man: Ritual Sacrifice or a  2,300-Year-Old Murder Mystery?

Grauballe Man: Ritual Sacrifice or a 2,300-Year-Old Murder Mystery?

Of the many ancient remains found preserved in bogs and marshes, perhaps the most interesting is the Grauballe man. Discovered in a peat bog in Jutland, Denmark in 1952, experts believe that the man...
Terrifying Mesoamerican Skull Racks Were Erected to Deter Enemies

Terrifying Mesoamerican Skull Racks Were Erected to Deter Enemies

A skull rack, known also as Tzompantli in the Nahuatl language, is an object documented to have been used in several Mesoamerican civilizations, including the Aztecs, the Toltecs, and the Mayas...
Ten Unusual Ancient Traditions that Would Not Thrive Today

Ten Unusual Ancient Traditions that Would Not Thrive Today

Cultures evolve or change over the ages; this is an undeniable fact. However, many of the practices of ancient people and cultures would be practically incomprehensible for most people today. Be they...

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Mosaic, shown Gargoyles in form of Theatrical masks of Tragedy and Comedy. Roman artwork, 2nd century AD.
The city of theater was Athens. Athens birthed drama, bred drama, and ultimately was responsible for cultivating it into the premiere art of the Classical world—at least according to Greek philosopher Aristotle. Famous playwrights such as Sophocles, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, and Euripides all came from this city. And from Athens drama spread throughout the Greek world. No city-state ever took the moniker of the "city of theater" from Athens.

Ancient Technology

The Norimitsu Odachi.
The Norimitsu Odachi is a huge sword from Japan. It is so large, in fact, that it was said to have been wielded by a giant. Apart from the basic knowledge of it having been forged in the 15th century AD, measuring 3.77 meters (12.37 ft.) in length, and weighing as much as 14.5 kg (31.97 lbs.), this impressive sword is shrouded in mystery.

Ancient Places

Buckland Rings - artist's impression from gates
A team of archaeologists has detected a conurbation of houses at a hill fort that once hosted some of the earliest occupants of a New Forest town, an area of southern England which includes one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pasture land, heathland and forest in Britain.

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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. 

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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)