Scandinavia

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...
A man with leprosy rings a bell to warn of his approach.

1500-Year-Old Skeleton of Scandinavian Man Might Be Patient Zero in Spread of Leprosy to Britain

The fear and stigma attached to the terrible disease of leprosy has endured for millennia. Answers have long been sought regarding this mysterious ancient ailment, and now archaeologists have...
800-year-old message carved into Rune Stick Shows Ancient Code still used in Middle Ages

800-year-old message carved into Rune Stick Shows Ancient Code still used in Middle Ages

An 800-year-old enigmatic message has been found inscribed on a small wooden stick which was dug out of the ground in Odense, Denmark. The delicate stick is marked with 13 th century runic...

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Human Origins

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Ancient Technology

Water for Camp, depicting the everyday life of Native American women, Charles M. Russell
According to Wired, scientists believe that ancient Native Americans living in California made their own plastic water bottles. However, they probably didn’t know how toxic the manufacturing process of these bottles may have been for their health. In a recent study published in the journal Environmental Health a few days ago, scientists attempt to find out if bitumen, a material derived from petroleum, could have had a negative impact on the health of ancient Native Americans who lived in California.

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)