shaman

 Illustration of the "Emmons mask", a Mississippian culture carved cedarwood human face shaped object once covered in copper and painted with galena and used as part of a headdress

Adena Axis Mundi & Large Skeletal Remains: Travelling to the Realm of the Dead at Grave Creek Mound - Part II

The large Grave Creek Mound proved to be an irresistible attraction to early antiquarians and curiosity seekers. In 1823, John Haywood mentioned the impressive mound: “of a conical form, 75 feet high...
Santa with pipe and the knowing smile of ancient wisdom.

Santa the Shaman Comes to the New World: The Shapeshifting Magic-Man from the Ancient Past

In 1626, a ship filled with folks from the Netherlands put into what would later be called New York Harbor and went about building a Dutch colony called New Amsterdam. The figurehead on the prow of...
An indigenous person of Peru taking traditional medicine.

Ancient Medicinal Knowledge of Amazon Tribes to Be Recorded in Writing for First Time in History

“That plant will save you from a poisonous snake bite,” my Kichwa guide, Pidru, pointed out as I tried to remove my boot from a foot of mud in the depths of the Amazon jungle in Ecuador. “And this...
China has a very long history of marijuana use.

High Times in Ancient China: 2,700-Year-Old Marijuana Stash Found in Shaman Grave

A 2,700-year-old stash of whole marijuana plants was uncovered in an ancient tomb in northwest China. If marijuana aged like wine, the rare “artifact” may be one of the most wanted objects for all...
Reconstitution of a prehistoric burial. Representative image.

Bones of the Child, Tools of the Shaman: Ritual and Cosmology at the Hopewell Tunacunnhee Mounds

Near Trenton in Dade County, Georgia, is a place called Tunacunnhee , supposedly named after a Native American word meaning “Lookout Creek”. Located just a few hundred yards east of Lookout Creek is...
A Puma in the night

Ghost Talkers and Puma Men: Adena Totemism and the Shamans of the Early Woodland Period

The people of the Adena Culture are widely regarded as the first builders of mounds and earthworks in the Ohio Valley. By conventional dating the culture spans the period of 1000 BC to around 300 AD...
Detail of ‘Shaman’, (1930) by Arman Manookian.

The Real Story of Shamanism: No Need to Don a Headdress or Take Hallucinogens

Over the centuries, many of the world’s natural mystics have succumbed to pogroms of elimination or the steady erosion of traditional practices – witches burnt at the stake, indigenous peoples forced...
The magical night sky

This Haunted World: You’re a Part of It, and You Have Been for Thousands of Years

Where do we come from? A normal life consists of being born into and then living within a world made up of material building blocks such as subatomic particles, atoms, protoplasm, flesh and blood...
Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
Examples of Olmec art.

What Makes the Olmec Culture So Unique and Alluring?

The Olmecs were the first true Mesoamerican civilization. There were small villages and groups of people in the area in which the Olmec developed but these societies are referred to as Pre-Olmec. The...
Reenactment of Mongol battle

How Did They Do It? Masters of the Steppe: Battlefield Medicine and Gruesome Cures—Part III

Much is known about the ancient Mongol military and their incredible victories on the battlefield, but little is ever discussed about their arms, armor, horses, and logistics. What gear did they use...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Researchers traced around the edges of the figures to reveal a hunter, a possible shaman (medicine man) and an ostrich, which are still hunted today by San people of Africa. If you look underneath the image, you can see some faint pecking in the rock that clearly show the prehistoric human and ostrich images.

Ancient Egyptian Ritual Image Predates the Rise of the Pharaohs

The ancient Egyptians built their first great monuments in stone beginning with the step pyramid of Djoser about 4,650 years ago. Well before that, around 6,000 years ago, a fine artist working in...
The rock engravings, found at Qubbet el-Hawa, Egypt and dating to around 6000 years ago, can hardly be seen today.

Where an Ostrich, Dancer, and Hunter Meet: How Common Were Ritual Images in Neolithic Egyptian Rock Art?

Egyptologists at the University of Bonn, Germany have discovered rock art from the 4th millennium BC during an excavation at a necropolis near Aswan in Egypt. The images were carved into the rock in...
Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Pagans in a Modern World: What is Neopaganism?

Modern Paganism (known also as Neopaganism or Contemporary Paganism) is a movement / group of religions / spiritual traditions centered on the reverence of nature. Modern Paganism borrows and adapts...
Figurines discovered in recently-unearthed tomb in Mexico.

Ancient Intact Tomb Unearthed in Mexico with Skulls, Bones, and Shaman Figurine to Protect the Deceased

Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,700-year-old intact tomb in Mexico where they found the skulls and other bones of twelve male adults, as well as pre-Columbian figurines and statues. Each of the...

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Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

Ancient Places

Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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)