scythian

The vertebra of the warrior with an arrowhead embedded in it.

The Warrior Who Survived with an Arrow Embedded in His Spine

In 2015, it was reported that a bronze arrowhead was discovered to have been lodged in the spine of a warrior. Whilst an injury like this would have normally been fatal, it seems that this ancient...
Skeleton of Xiongnu female with coal buckle. Image: Marina Kilunovskaya

Tighten Your Belt: 2,200 year-old Xiongnu Jewelry Made of Coal, Jade and Coral

By Sergey Zubchuk and Anna Liesowska Eyecatching belt buckles worn by Xiongnu female invaders have been found buried on the banks of the Yenesei River in the modern-day Tuva Republic. Another buckle...
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,...

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Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

Ancient Technology

An Ulfberht sword displayed at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, Germany
Ulfberht was like a Medieval luxury brand for swords—but unlike your Gucci purse, the swords were of such high quality they were almost … mystical. Dozens of these swords—made with metal so strong and pure it’s baffling how any sword maker of that time could have accomplished it

Ancient Places

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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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.

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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)