sacrifice

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...
Artist's rendering of the hof, a pagan temple, in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Heathen Hof: Resurrecting a Germanic Pagan Temple

A heathen hof, also referred to as a Germanic pagan temple, is the name given to a place of worship in the Germanic religion. These were pre-Christian temples found in various parts of Northern...
Two views of the broken skull of a young girl who was a probable victim of human sacrifice

Dismembered Remains Tell Horrifying Tale of Ritual Human Sacrifice in Ancient Crete

In the distant past, earthquakes shook not only lands, but also the ancient perspective on how to interact with the world, the gods, and each other. During a recent lecture at the Archaeological...
Rice goddesses are found across cultures

Rice Goddesses - Earth Mothers who Influenced Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld

For centuries, rice has been a staple diet and plays an important role in Asian culture. Although rice farmers have found their lives becoming more difficult due to climate change, Bloomberg states...
Collection of Egyptian Busts and Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Nefertiti and the Perfect Serenity of Death: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun —Part II

Archeological records and a trove of recovered specimens inform us that shabtis (funerary figurines) produced from different materials were placed in the tombs of Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh...
Collection of Egyptian Shabtis, design by Anand Balaji

Deputies of the Dead from Amarna to Thebes: Mesmeric Shabtis of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun—Part I

Among the most important items that made it into the crypts of both kings and commoners alike were shabti figurines that served to ensure that the Afterlife was one long holiday for their masters...
Andromeda Chained to the Rock by the Nereids

Throwing Virgins into the Sea and Other Ways to Appease the Gods: The Ancient Reasons behind Virgin Sacrifice

When the going got tough, it was believed sacrificing a virgin to the gods—by throwing them into the sea, burying them alive, or leaving them for hungry monsters—was the best plan. Virgin sacrifice...
Some of the remains of ancient Egyptian pets unearthed in Berenike.

2,000-Year-Old Ancient Egyptian Cemetery Containing Dozens of Pets Unearthed in Berenike

A team of archaeologists have discovered a nearly 2,000-year-old pet cemetery holding the remains of dogs, monkeys and scores of cats at the site of Berenike, an Egyptian town on the Red Sea that...
Reconstructed heads of the children that may have been sacrificed for a double burial in Sunghir, Russia.

The Sunghir Burial Site: Were these Two Children Sacrificed in a Form of Prehistoric Scapegoating?

One of the clearest signs of behavioral modernity in the archaeological record is the appearance of art and religion. Once we see indications of creative and speculative minds at work trying to...
The Purusha or ‘cosmic man’, which has a thousand heads and permeates the earth and universe in all directions.

The Real Reason Ancient Indo-Europeans Carried Out Human Sacrifice

The ultimate aim of the original Indo-European sacrifices, modelled after the cosmic sacrifice of the Purusha [a cosmic man whose sacrifice by the gods created all life] … must have been the...
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...
Statue of the God Chac-Mool, located inside a chamber in the pyramid of Kukulcán in Chichén Itzá, Mexico

A Rogue Archaeologist, Atlantis, and the Chac-Mool

In the late 1890s, as America was developing into an industrial heavyweight, its scientists and explorers were rediscovering Earth’s ancient past and charting forgotten civilizations around our...
‘La Doncella’ (the Maiden), one of the mummified ‘Children of Llullaillaco’ in Salta province, Argentina.

Analysis Shows Children were Given Drugs and Alcohol before Ritual Sacrifice 500 Years Ago

The remarkably preserved mummified remains of three children were found on the summit of Volcan Llullaillaco in Argentina over a decade ago. The ‘Maiden’ was 13 years old when she met her demise and...
Skull in Actun Tunichil Muknal.

Would You Dare to Visit an Ancient Maya Cave of Human Sacrifice? If So, Head to Belize

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Natural Monument, or the “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” in Belize is where archaeologists have uncovered evidence of human sacrifice rituals dating back to 3rd century...
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...

Pages

Top New Stories

An ancient skull (public domain). Note: This image is representational only, and is not a photo of one of the skulls recently-discovered in Mayo, Ireland. Photos have not yet been released of the Neolithic Mayo bones.
The remains of at least ten adults, adolescents and children that were positioned in a 5,500-year-old cave-like structure over the course of 1,200 years during the Neolithic Period, have been found in Ireland. All of them show signs of having their heads smashed in after death, as part of a mysterious funerary ritual.

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

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

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)