scythian

A gold plaque depicting a Scythian rider with a spear in his right hand. One of the artifacts currently on display.

A Warrior’s Face Frozen in Time, Gold, Hemp, Tents and Cheese Tell the Scythian Tale

The Scythians were a mysterious and fascinating people. They were nomads and left no known writing, yet their elaborate burials and tattoos have given up some of their story. A new exhibition at the...
‘Die Amazonenschlacht’ by Anselm Feuerbach, 1873.

Who was the Powerful Amazon Queen Orithyia and What Drove Her to Launch a Fated Attack on Athens?

Orithyia was one of those dangerous women whose beauty was so often described by terrified and excited men that it became legendary. For centuries, the Amazons were believed to be nothing more than a...
A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

A Match Made in Greek Legend: What Happened When Heracles Met the Snake Woman?

While completing his Twelve Labors, the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) got up to tons of mischief—and that included bedding a lot of women. In the process, he fathered a whole host of...
Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes: Master of Asia, Historical Enigma

Madyes, the mysterious Scythian stepped onto the world stage. There is not a great deal of information about him, nor has his name turned up in any of the Assyrian tablets. Herodotus and Strabo are...
The Man who Assyria Feared: Demon Gallu and King of the Universe

The Man who Assyria Feared: Demon Gallu and King of the Universe

In 660 BCE, mighty Assyria was about to be shaken. A Scythian named Dugdammi united many nomadic tribes into a confederation. This nomadic confederation pushed at the borders of Assyria which so...
Cyrus the Great’s Last Campaign: Who Killed Cyrus? - Part II

Cyrus the Great’s Last Campaign: Who Killed Cyrus? - Part II

According to the popular Greek historian Herodotus, Cyrus went on his last campaign to subdue the Massagetae, a tribe located in the southernmost portion of the steppe regions of modern-day...
The Secret Strategic Plans of Darius the Great

The Secret Strategic Plans of Darius the Great

To the north of the Persian Empire, around both sides of Caucasus Mountain, various Scythian (Palaeo-Slavian / Staroslavianskje) tribes lived. They were nomadic, i.e. not yet permanently settled in...
Deriv; 5th century BC Achaemenid-era carving of Persian and Median soldiers in traditional costume and eclipse

Kings of the Umman Manda (Media): Warnings and Omens – Part II

Once Cyaxares had finalized the conquest of Urartu, he handed it over to a certain tribe of Scythians who had inhabited the region of Armenia beforehand and thus extended their domain. It is said...
Apadana Hall, fifth-century BC carving of Persian archers and Median soldiers in traditional costume (Medians are wearing rounded hats and boots)

Kings of the Umman Manda (Media): Their Hidden Origins and History – Part I

The term Medes, as a single ethnic group that encompasses all Media, is generic. It seems that the region of Media encompassed many smaller and independent principalities ruled by chieftains instead...
Attila and his Hordes

The Hunnic War Machine: Horsemen of the Steppe – Part II

The steppe has produced many notable horse archers who brought terror and devastation to the known world during ancient times. But of the many steppe peoples who penetrated the civilized world, none...
Reenactors of Hunnic Warriors of the Steppe

The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I

The steppe has produced many notable horse archers who brought terror and devastation to the known world during ancient times. But of the many steppe peoples who penetrated the civilized world, none...
Mummy of the Ukok Princess/Siberian Ice Maiden. Tattoos line her arms.

Ancient Ink: Mummies and Their Amazing Tattoos

Tattoos have played a role in the lives of prehistoric and modern man alike. Societal status, art, religion, and medicine all create a tradition in tattoo design that spans across centuries and...
The tomb of Cyrus the Great

The Possible Origins of the Early Persian Kings: Inscriptions Reveal a Pattern - Part II

Cyrus I of Anshan Cyrus I was the second king of Anshan and son of Teispes. The name Cyrus in Old Persian is Kurush; in Elamite, Kurash; in Akkadian, Kuraha (u); and in Hebrew, Koresh. Cyrus I is...
Mosaic depicting Persian Archers. (Pre 4th Century BC)

The Possible Origins of the Early Persian Kings: Mystery Men - Part I

I have written on the origins of the Arsacid Dynasty (Parthian Empire) and that of the Sassanid’s in previous articles. However, one dynasty often gets much attention in terms of its social,...
"Tomyris Plunges the Head of the Dead Cyrus Into a Vessel of Blood"

Tomyris, The Female Warrior and Ruler Who May Have Killed Cyrus the Great

Tomyris was an ancient ruler of the Massagetae, a Scythian pastoral-nomadic confederation in Central Asia. She became famous for her bravery and especially for the greatest battle she ever fought –...
Divers from Tomsk State University say they have located another 'previously unknown' outpost of the ancient world.

One more ancient civilization found in Lake Issyk-Kul: could this be where St Matthew is buried

By Olga Gertcyk | The Siberian Times Siberian scientists have made a discovery of a 2,500-year-old Saka settlement in up to 23 meters of water in Kyrgyzstan. The new find at this mysterious lake is...

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Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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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.

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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)