Sex

India, Rajasthan, 13th-14th century (Public Domain) and A 12th-century sandstone statue of a dancing Apsara from Uttar Pradesh, India.

What Really Happened in the Celestial Palace? Daughters of Pleasure, Courtesans of the Gods

It takes much willpower to resist the temptation of the asparas ; beautiful dancing women in the court of Indra, king of the gods, in the celestial palace in Hindu mythology. They are the heavenly...
Some Saxon Queens had killer reputations. (Public Domain);Deriv.

The Wicked Queen and Her Scandalous Daughter: How Murder & Mayhem Took a Saxon Princess from Palace to Poverty

While we might be gripped by the intrigues, the machinations, and the violence of the Lannisters and the Starks in the Game of Thrones television series and the Song of Ice and Fire series of novels...
A man in traditional Scottish attire

Willies, Ghillies and Horny Highlanders: Scottish Gaelic Writing has a Filthy Past

Think of Scotland’s Highlands and islands and you probably think hills, glens, tartan, shortbread, bagpipes, caber-tossing, whisky, haggis, stags in the mist, grandiose aristocrats, bearded ghillies...
A page from the Kama Sutra

The Kama Sutra: Setting the Record Straight

Out of all the necessities in the world, three come to the forefront: food, water and reproduction. While the former two are necessary for the survival of the individual among the many, the latter is...
Medieval-themed illustration of a young woman; representative image only

Putting the Sex Back in Wessex: The Scandalous Reign of Queen Elgiva & Her Clash with a Demon-Fighting Bishop

The Queens of England (as in the consorts of Kings) during the early Medieval periods of English history rarely receive any coverage in the history books. Hands up anyone who can name the wife of...
Hansanlu Lovers skeletons close up of torsos and skulls

The Eternal Kiss of the Hasanlu Lovers Throws Up Questions of Ancient Love: Romance, Bromance or Something More Familial?

Have you ever heard of the “The Hasanlu Lovers?” If not, don’t be too quickly seduced by the exotic and romantic sounding moniker this phenomenon has been awarded. Colorful and amorous images are...
Model of two ancient humans. Credit: Genetic Literacy Project

Hominid Hanky Panky Led to 'Ghost' Species of Ancient Human

In saliva, scientists have found hints that a "ghost" species of archaic humans may have contributed genetic material to ancestors of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa today. The research adds to a...
Helen of Troy

Achieve Your “15 Minutes of Fame” & Ancient Lessons on How to be Famous: Celebrity Culture in the Ancient World

An early third century CE Greek inscription recovered from the ancient town of Oinoanda in southwest Turkey reveals that the Roman army relied on the services of Lucius Septimius Flavianus...
Detail; Prince Hanzoku terrorized by a nine-tailed fox

Quick as a Fox, Powerful as a Demon: Legendary Foxes and Their Trickster/Temptress Ways

The fox plays a wide range of roles in 42 out of the 358 of Aesop’s fables. It is generally described as a quick, intelligent and adaptable animal which no doubt led to its importance as a symbol of...
Pan

The Failed Sex God: The Horned God Pan and His Unrequited Lusts

"The bounteous Pan, the god of rural scenery, shepherdi, and huntsmen," as the poet Milton calls him, is the Greek god of woods and fields. Originally a pastoral god from Arcadia and depicted as a...
Two youths engaged in sex, one of them holding a hoop. Detail from an amphora

The Truth About Sex in Ancient Greece

An exhibition at the British Museum promises to lift the lid on what beauty meant for the ancient Greeks. But while we gaze at the serene marble statues on display – straining male torsos and soft...
All images courtesy of Ashley Cowie

Sex Symbols of the Ancient World: Top Ten Sexually Explicit Caves, Mountains, Temples and Artifacts

If you are sensitive about matters pertaining to sex and sexuality it's probably best that you press the back button now. For those with a more exploratory attitude, what I hope you take away from...
Friedrich Paul Thumann, (1834-1908), "Cupid (Eros) and Psyche."

Four Ways to Love: How the Ancient Greeks Used Magic to Fulfil Hopes, Dreams, and Desires

For the ancient Greeks, 'love' was categorized into distinct words, each representing a different kind of infatuation; which is considerably different from our ideas of generalizing all aspects and...
Ancient Jade and Copper Sex Toys and Drinking Vessels Reveal Randy Chinese Royals

Ancient Jade and Copper Sex Toys and Drinking Vessels Reveal Randy Chinese Royals

You might call ancient Chinese royalty of the Han Dynasty jaded. Some aristocrats of around 2,000 years ago enjoyed a lusty sex life that included bronze dildos and jade butt plugs. And the presence...
Erotic temple art at Khajuraho

Khajuraho: The Sexiest Temples in India

The Khajuraho temple complex is a series of beautifully built and decorated buildings in Madhya Pradesh. Of the 85 temples originally built by the Chandela dynasty between 900 AD and 1130 AD, only 25...
Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Researchers Want to Get the Dirt on How Much Neanderthals and Modern Humans had Sex

Would you have sex with a Homo sapiens neanderthalensis if they hadn’t gone extinct? Your ancestors may have. Scientists are testing cave dirt for the presence of Neanderthal DNA from disintegrated...

Pages

Top New Stories

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)