Scandinavia

This iron helmet is the only one that is found in Scandinavia dating back to the Viking Age. Why are not more found? (Photo: Museum of Cultural History, Oslo)

Why Is This the Only Existing Viking Age Helmet?

By THORNEWS In 1943, extraordinarily rich finds from the Viking Age were made in Haugsbygd in Ringerike, Eastern Norway. The finds included – among many other objects – the only helmet dating back to...
Example of Roman coins from a hoard at Llanvaches, Monmouthshire, Wales in 2006. Roman coins have been found in a few locations across Scandinavia as well.

Making Money Divine: Roman Imperial Coins had a Unique Value in Scandinavian Cultures

"My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri to which, up to that time, no Roman had ever penetrated either by land or by sea, and the Cimbri and Charydes...
Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.

Ragnar Lothbrok: The Ferocious Viking Hero that Became a Myth

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—...
‘Light and Structure’ - Reconstruction of Viking Longhouse: Central Jutland, Denmark.

Why Would You Cremate and Bury Your Home? A Bizarre Viking Ritual Explained

The Vikings had a very bizarre tradition that might be totally unique: they buried their own homes. From the Bronze Age until the Viking Age, historians have noted that burial mounds were placed on...
Two actors from the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and...
Kivik Kungagraven: A Tomb Fit for a King

Kivik Kungagraven: A Tomb Fit for a King

In 1748, two farmers stumbled upon an ancient stone tomb near the village of Kivik in southern Sweden while digging in a quarry. The tomb, now known as Kivik Kungagraven (‘King’s Grave of Kivik’),...
Archaeologists are Ecstatic that a Major Viking Age Manor is Finally Found in Sweden

Archaeologists are Ecstatic that a Major Viking Age Manor is Finally Found in Sweden

For centuries it has been speculated where the manor of the royal bailiff of Birka, Herigar, might have been located. New geophysical results provide evidence of its location at Korshamn, outside the...
Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries of 2016: From Lost Cities to Ancient Tombs, Shrines, Maps and Unknown Species

This year has provided an array of exciting, and sometimes puzzling, discoveries for archaeologists and ancient history enthusiasts. Looking back to our most ancient ancestors, a few of the...
Two Viking-era brooches found in the grave with the Woman in Blue.

Was the Woman in Blue One of the First Settlers of Iceland?

A recent analysis of the remains of a woman who lived in the Viking era sheds light on the earliest settlers of Iceland. Her short life hadn't been recorded by any written resource, but her bones...
The mummified remains of the 17th-century bishop, Peder Winstrup.

17th Century Mummified Bishop Found with Fetus in his Coffin to be Reinterred

The mummified remains of a 17 th century bishop will be laid to rest once again at Lund Cathedral, Sweden, following 15 months of scientific study on his remains. The bishop caused a stir earlier...
Artist’s depiction of a Viking King

From Olafir Thick-Legged to Ragnar Fur-Pants, Viking nicknames were colorful, descriptive and fascinating

An American scholar did both his master’s thesis and his doctoral dissertation on old Norse nicknames as recorded in medieval literature to reveal a world of people with monikers like Wise of Dreams...
Leif Ericson discovers Vinland, by Christian Krohg.

Not just about the booty: New study sheds light on reasons for Viking raids

The lure of the [Viking] raid was… more than booty; it was about winning and preserving power through the enchantment of travel and the doing of deeds. Thus states a new paper by an archaeologists...
A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

A Window into the Traditional Sami Culture: Reindeer and a Worldview

The Sámi are an indigenous people with a rich cultural history. They have lived in northern Europe for thousands of years. The area they live in, Sápmi, includes the northern sectors of Norway,...
The 5,500-year-old fingerprint (left) and the funnel beaker (right)

Finger print found on ceramic bowl is over 5,000 years old

When Danish archaeologists started to survey the site of the proposed Femern Belt link tunnel, they discovered a 5,500 year old ceramic vessel imprinted with the fingerprint of the craftsman who made...
The mummified remains of the 17th-century bishop, Peder Winstrup.

What is a fetus doing inside the coffin of a 17th century mummified bishop?

Researchers at Lund University hospital were in for a surprise when they conducted a CT scan of a mummified Scandinavian bishop, and spotted the remains of a tiny fetus tucked under the bishop’s feet...
Detail of the runic inscription found on one of the copies of the golden horns of Gallehus housed at the Moesgaard Museum.

Futhark: Mysterious Ancient Runic Alphabet of Northern Europe

The word rune comes from the Norse rún which means mystery or secret . Little is known about the origins of the Runic alphabet and no one knows exactly when, where or who invented it. Runes are the...

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Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)