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Portrait of Saint Nicholas. (BigStockPhoto) Relic of St Nicholas (pelvis fragment) at St. Martha of Bethany Church/Shrine of All Saints, Morton Grove Ill., USA.

Bone Analysis Takes Us One Step Further to Confirming the Santa Claus Legend

The legendary nature of Santa Claus is mostly understood. However, the existence of Saint Nicholas, often said to be the inspiration for the jolly Christmas character, has been less agreed upon. With...
A depiction of Peter using his sword to strike Malchus (circa 1520, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon).

Is the Sword of St. Peter in Poland The Real Deal?

The Sword of St. Peter is an artifact believed to have once been in the possession of St. Peter, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. Bible stories say the right ear of one of the high priest’...
Exhibit in the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.

Saint Brendan and His Epic Voyage: Was the Irish Saint the First European in the New World?

Saint Brendan (also referred to by his various epithets ‘the Navigator’, ‘the Voyager’, ‘the Anchorite’, and ‘the Bold’) was an Irish saint who lived between the 5th and 6th centuries AD known for...
Portrait of Saint Nicholas

True Remains of the Saint Behind the Santa Myth Believed Found in Turkey

Researchers suggest that they have found the almost fully intact temple and burial grounds of Saint Nicholas in Antalya, Turkey. In case the name Saint Nicholas doesn’t ring any bells, keep in mind...
Edmund killing Sweyn by Matthew Paris, 13th century (Cambridge University Library MS Ee.3.59 p. 4)

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 2: Did the Martyred Saint Rise from the Grave to Kill a Viking King?

King Edmund was the man who died, indeed was martyred by the Vikings after enduring a tortuous death which ended in his beheading. He thus became St Edmund and was the England’s original heavenly...
Martrydom of St Edmund.

The Strange Death and Afterlife of King Edmund Part 1: The Unfortunate Friendship With Ragnor Lodbrok that Led to Edmund’s Beheading

Over the past decade, there have been two major public campaigns in the UK to drum up support for removing St George as the patron saint of England and replacing him with St Edmund, the man who was...
Monument of the pilgrims, Burgos

Following Symbols and the Bones of a Dead Sorcerer: Mysteries of the Camino de Santiago – Part II

The popular 500-mile-long pilgrimage road, the Camino de Santiago (specifically the French Way that leads from the French Pyrenees across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela) seems like a...
Santiago el Mayor’ Saint James the Great (Public Domain), and sign on the Camino de Santiago (Manuel/ CC BY 2.0);Deriv.

Pilgrims Flock on an Ancient Road to the Ends of the Earth: Mysteries of the Camino de Santiago – Part I

The Spanish poet, Antonio Machado wrote, “Caminante, no hay camino; se hace el camino por andar.” (Walker/Seeker, there is no path; the path is made by walking.) Rarely has this been truer than with...
Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans

The Sicarii: The Jewish Daggermen With a Thirst for Roman Blood

The Sicarii - which may be translated as ‘daggermen’ from the Latin - were a group of Jewish zealots who lived during the 1 st century AD. The Sicarii intended to expel the Romans and their...
Image from ‘Vikings’, a medieval drama series airing on The History Channel.

Vikings Beheaded English King and Patron Saint Edmund, but What Happened to his Body?

It’s a 9th century tale involving Vikings, their beheading of a famous English king, and upheaval that led to the burial and reburial of the king’s remains in an unknown spot. And the story is still...
Saint Margaret and Olybrius. Margaret herds sheep when Olybrius arrives by Fouquet 15th Century.

She Met the Devil, Escaped a Dragon, and Survived Several Attempts on Her Life: The Remarkable Story of St. Margaret of Antioch

St. Margaret of Antioch is a Christian saint venerated in both the Churches of the West and of the East. In the latter, she is known as Saint Marina the Great Martyr. Little is known for certain...
Silver reliquary with skull purportedly Saint Agnes' - Santa Agnese in Agone Church at Piazza Navona in Rome.

The Fascinating Catacomb of Saint Agnes, a Young Christian Martyr Who Died for her Beliefs

Beneath the city of Rome, among its ancient remains, lie many complexes of catacombs. One of the oldest of these is the one dedicated to Saint Agnes. Agnes (or Agatha) was a beautiful young woman who...
A painting of 14th century St. Roch shows the dracunculiasis worm exiting the upper part of his leg.

A Medieval Painting Depicts the Chilling Image of a Worm Eating Its Way Out of the Body of a French Saint

Imagine a 2- to 3-foot long (0.6- to 1-meter) worm slowly working its way out of your body… with the possibility of other worms doing so in the future. Such is the horror of the guinea worm, which...
Some Top Tips for Valentine’s Day … from Medieval Lovers

Some Top Tips for Valentine’s Day … from Medieval Lovers

If you’d asked someone to be your Valentine before the 14th century, they’d probably have looked at you as if you were mad. And checked you weren’t holding an axe. There were two saints by the name...
Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Who Was St Dwynwen and How is She Associated with St Valentine?

Dylan Foster Evans / The Conversation February 14 is the day marked for lovers in many countries around the world, but in Wales there is another date traditionally associated with romance: St Dwynwen...
An image showing the story of St. Guinefort.

Have You Ever Heard of An Animal Being Made a Saint? It Really Happened!

Saint Guinefort is perhaps one of the most unusual saints in Christianity. This unique 13th century saint was not even a human being, but a greyhound. Following his brave protection of a baby, which...

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A painted relief shows Ramesses III making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Design by Anand Balaji.
The reign of Ramesses III proved to be unprecedented in more ways than one. While most of his predecessors often had to thwart the designs of Egypt’s enemies one at a time, he had to quell invasion attempts by a coalition of savage forces on land and water. As the marauding Sea Peoples set their sights on the grandest prize, Ramesses realized that he had to make a bold statement as Pharaoh and prove that he was God on earth by annihilating their foes.

Myths & Legends

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

Ancient Places

Pictorial representation of Pyramid in Teuchitlán Guachimontones Museum.
Guachimontones (known alternatively as Huachimontones) is an archaeological site located in the western Mexican state of Jalisco. This is an important site of the Teuchitlan tradition, which was a pre-Columbian complex society that flourished in the western part of Mexico (occupying territories in the modern Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit).

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)