shaman

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...
Humanoid figures, Kimberley, Australia.

Shamanic Explorations of Supernatural Realms: Cave Art - The Earliest Folklore

“The neuropsychological and ethnographic evidence that I have adduced strongly suggests that, in these subterranean images, we have an ancient and unusually explicit expression of a complex shamanic...
Are Stone Circles Ancient Pregnancy Calendars?

Are Stone Circles Ancient Pregnancy Calendars?

Even today, giving birth can be one of the most dangerous moments in a woman's life. In ancient times it would have been even more so. Matriarchal societies would have tried to ensure the safest...
One of a Kind Mesolithic Ritual Spear Discovered in Poland

One of a Kind Mesolithic Ritual Spear Discovered in Poland

A unique wooden spear from 7000 BC has been discovered in Bolków near Świdwie lake in Western Pomerania in Poland. It is the only known artifact of its kind in Europe. The spear had been hidden one-...
Photograph of part of the archaeological complex in Vichama, Peru.

New Archaeological Findings Reaffirm the Important Role of Women 4,000 Years Ago in Peru

Peruvian legends speak of a lonely and hungry woman who unleashed her fury against the sun. The star was moved by her situation, and ‘fertilized’ her with its rays. Four days later, the woman gave...
A 1909 illustration of kings in a dark forest peering into mystical realms.

Mysterious Worlds: Travels to the Faerie and Shamanic Realms

There are many accounts of a land of immortality and eternal youth in world myths and legends, as well as shamanic and indigenous spiritual traditions. Mysterious Worlds Writing in his recent work,...

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Myths & Legends

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Places

Male and female cones on the Wollemi pine
A popular idea in science fiction is the resurrection of prehistoric creatures such as dinosaurs, mammoths, and even Neanderthals. In reality, such a resurrection of a prehistoric creature has yet to be achieved, although there is currently an attempt to create a hybrid mammoth-elephant embryo by a Harvard team.

Opinion

The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

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)