Saga

The Nightmare, circa 1790 by Johann Heinrich Füssli; Deriv

The Night Mare and Being Ridden by the Hag

Most people today who have heard that ‘the Nightmare’ is an actual being in European folklore and not just a certain type of dream-state, associate the being with horses. A mare is indeed a horse—but...
King Haraldr hárfagri receives the kingdom out of his father's hands. From the 14th century Icelandic manuscript Flateyjarbók.

Icelander Sagas May Have More Truth to Them than You Think

Myths and legends – purely the creation of creative and imaginative minds, right? Not necessarily. Numerous stories, sagas, and texts from the ancient past have been proven to hold facts. For example...
Elkhound, a Viking Dog.

Viking Dogs Followed Their Masters to Valhalla

By THORNEWS Large amounts of animal bones have been found in Viking Age ship graves. For example, there were eight large sighthounds (Old Norse: mjór) buried on both sides outside the ship In the...
Ior Bock.

The Ior Bock Saga: Is Everything We Know about History Wrong?

There are many disagreements among scholars regarding historical events and individuals, however there is a consensus that most historians follow - a mainstream view of world history. At the same...
Depiction of Surtr – a powerful fire giant mentioned in the Viking age.

A Viking Flame Reborn: Myths and History Hidden in the Depths of Blackener's Cave

Forged by the mythological fires of Muspell, the Blackener's Cave lives up to its name as a cavern of fiery mystique. The volcano to which the cave is attached has long been silent, but Blackener...
The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Vikings’ next step out into the Atlantic – the discovery and settlement of Iceland – is one of the best documented events of the Viking Age. Medieval Icelanders were fascinated by genealogy, not...
The Norse spearhead from Charles Point on an image of a Viking Ship.

A 1000-Year-Old Nordic Spearhead Raises the Question - Were The Vikings in New York?

A 20th century find suggests that the Vikings may have explored North America as far south as New York. Although the reasons for its presence in Charles Point are contested, no one can deny the fact...
'Leif Eriksson Discovers America’ by Christian Krohg (1893).

A Lucky Viking Who Found Vinland then Fought Over the Canadian Coastline

Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus was not the first European to establish an outpost in the Americas – some 500 years earlier, a Viking named Leif (“the lucky”) Erikson established a...
The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

Iceland’s strong love of literature is a source of amazement to many people. In an era of declining book sales around the world, this small North Atlantic island continues to publish and sell more...
Sigurd and Fafnir (Public domain). Fáfnir was a son of the dwarf king Hreidmar. After being affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold, Fafnir became a dragon and was slain by Sigurd.

Outlaws, trolls and berserkers: Meet the hero-monsters of the Icelandic sagas

Iceland’s medieval literature is rich in many regards: in Eddas and sagas, it tells us about early Scandinavia and its expanding world-view, ranging from the mythology of the North, the legends and...
Siegfried's Death

Song of the Nibelungs: The Epic Germanic Tale of Love, Death, and Revenge – Part 2

Like many ancient poems and epic tales, the 13 th century saga of The Nibelungenlied, or "The Song of the Nibelungs", is based on both myth and history. Written by an unknown author, the tale remains...
The Royal Mounds of Gamla Uppsala, Ancient Pagan Site of Sweden

The Royal Mounds of Gamla Uppsala, Ancient Pagan Site of Sweden

The 11 th century writer and historian, Adam of Bremen described Gamla Uppsala (meaning ‘Old Uppsala’) in Sweden as a pagan site where a temple dedicated to Thor, Odin and Freyr stood. Adam wrote...
Manuscript of the Prose Edda - Norse Mythology

The Saga of Norna-Gest: Does Man Control His Destiny?

The tale of Norna-Gest goes down in literary record as a tale of destiny and a character’s attempt to fight it. Not one of the titular Icelandic sagas, Norna-Gest’s story was recorded around the year...
Ingólfr Arnarson, the first settler of Iceland, newly arrived in Reykjavík.

The Haensa - Thorir Saga: A tale of law in Medieval Iceland

One of the more political Icelandic sagas, the tale of Hænsna-Þórir remains an interesting view into the legal proceedings of Iceland in the ninth century. The legal conflict woven throughout the...
Photo of Viking figures before a great fire. Would flames await Pagans in Hell?

The Tale of Thorstein Shiver: Hell Confirmed for Pagans during Iceland Saga Age

Short and succinct, the tale of Thorstein Shiver is one of the more comedic sagas and can be interpreted in at least two different ways: as religious or cultural propaganda. The saga tells the brief...
From the Gisla Saga

The Gisla Saga: an Icelandic Tale of Love, Family, and Revenge

Considered an outlaw saga, the Gisla Saga survives in thirty-three manuscripts, first written in the 13 th century. It is notable for its psychological treatment of characters and its blatant...

Human Origins

Map of sites and postulated migratory pathways associated with modern humans dispersing across Asia during the Late Pleistocene.
Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research

Ancient Technology

Detail of a star chart dating to the Middle Kingdom.
The calendar is one of mankind’s most important inventions. Calendars allowed societies to organize time for religious, social, economic, and administrative purposes. The calendar, or rather, two sets of calendars, were invented by the ancient Egyptians. One of these was a lunar calendar, which was used mainly for the organization of religious festivals.

Ancient Places

Smuts house
The farmstead of General Jan Smuts on the outskirts of Pretoria, is reputed to be one of the most haunted private homes in the country, according to Mr Mark Rose-Christie, raconteur and social scientist, who regularly takes brave visitors on a tour of haunted sites on his mystery ghost bus.

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)