symbol

Payava's tomb from Xanthos, now in the British Museum.

Culturally Mixed Messages in the Tomb of Payava: Is it Greek or Persian?

The Tomb of Payava is a decorative rectangular tomb that was transported in the 19th century from a site in Turkey to England is one of the most remarkable artifacts related to Lycian culture...
Elaborate Ceremonial Samurai Helmet. The helmet was one of the most important parts of a Samurai’s armor.

The Brutality and Delicacy of Samurai Armor: Superior Protection with a God-like Aesthetic

The Samurai class was officially dissolved over 150 years ago. Nonetheless, the warriors’ elaborate armor is still recognized globally as an iconic emblem of Japanese military strength and virtue...
An Easter postcard depicting the Easter Bunny.

The Very Strange History of the Easter Bunny

While you’re biting the heads off your chocolate bunnies this weekend, you might wonder how rabbits became so central to our Easter celebrations. It’s tempting to assume that because there’s no...
A gold Claddagh wedding ring.

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Claddagh rings are hugely popular both as fashion accessories and as symbolic gestures. The Claddagh design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland, particularly...
Painting of a mermaid by Elisabeth Jerichau Baumann, 1873.

The Secret Life of Melusine: Mysterious Mermaid & Serpent Mother of European Nobility

Melusine is the spirit of fresh water, usually depicted as a woman who is a serpent or fish from the waist down, much like the mythical mermaid. She is also frequently illustrated with two tails. The...
A 13th century, double-edged sword, possibly of German manufacture but discovered in England in the 19th century (British Museum 1858,1116.5)

The Encoded Crusader Sword: Can You Solve the Cryptic Code?

Can you solve the cryptic code engraved into the blade of this 13th century sword? The curious inscription continues to baffle historians, cryptographers ad linguists and last year the British...
Illustration from book in a series of fairy tales. A warning to children. John Lambton fights the Wrym

A Monstrous and Venomous Serpent: Legendary Crusading Heroes and Wyrm-Slaying Symbolism – What Does it Mean?

Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, Aa'll tell ye aall an aaful story, Whisht! lads, haad ya gobs, An aa'll tell ye ‘boot the wyrm. --(C.M. Leumane, 1867) Beasts that Scorch the Land There are more than...
The futhark on the Vadstena bracteate.

Unearthing Ancient Magic in The Runes –Messages with Hidden Symbols and Powerful Numbers

The etymology of the word “rune” means: “to carve, or to cut.” In Low German the word is “raunen.” As the runes were cut and carved into wood, metal or stone, the word “rune” was analogous to the...
What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

What is the Mysterious Handbag Seen in Ancient Carvings Across Cultures and Countries?

One of the more mysterious symbols that has been found in ancient carvings is an image that looks uncannily like a handbag. The shape appears in depictions made by the Sumerians of Iraq, in the ruins...
The Chalice of Magdalene – Is this the Holy Grail?

The Chalice of Magdalene – Is this the Holy Grail?

On January 12th this year BBC News ran a story concerning Mary Magdalene, the woman depicted as a close companion of Jesus in the New Testament. The Vatican has elevated her status amongst the saints...
Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Elephants, Peacocks, and Horses: The Amazing Animals of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great was apparently fascinated with everything that could be seen as a symbol of power. Stories about his interest in animals are well known too. He was probably intrigued by other...
Twins, Kings and Horses: Symbols of the Divine Twins in Ancient Mythology

Twins, Kings and Horses: Symbols of the Divine Twins in Ancient Mythology

The ancient figures of the “Divine Twins” are recognizable throughout the world with minor variations of the same themes. They are usually depicted as the sons of the Sky God, or even having dual...
Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

Ancient Secrets Come into Sight: The Pineal Gland, Pine Cone Symbolism, and the Third Eye

There is an enigmatic gland which seems to be hidden away in the human brain that has fascinated people for centuries. Depictions of pine cones and sacred eyes have been linked to this mysterious...
Striking Pictish Dragon Carving Discovered During Storms in Orkney

Striking Pictish Dragon Carving Discovered During Storms in Orkney

An 8th century carving of a Pictish dragon (also called a Pictish beast) has been discovered on an eroding cliff face in Orkney, Scotland. The stone decoration is one of the most beautiful Pictish...
The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

The Nine Worlds of Norse Mythology

Modern heathenism has been fascinated by the concept of the Nine Worlds of Norse mythology and readily provides the names of these worlds and their meanings. Academics are equally guilty. Whereas...
Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

Hidden in the Hieroglyphs: Is Ancient Egyptian a Lost Language?

The ancient Egyptian language is not just one set of symbols which people find on papyri bookmarks at museums. It's a complicated system of symbols which changed over time. Moreover, the words found...

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Human Origins

The lower jaw of the 7.175 million-year-old Graecopithecus freybergi (El Graeco) from Pyrgos Vassilissis, Greece (today in metropolitan Athens).
A new analysis of two 7.2 million-year-old fossils belonging to a hominin species nicknamed “El Graeco” from Mediterranean Europe, suggests that mankind emerged in Europe and not in Africa. The new study could reshape history, since it openly challenges the “out of Africa theory.”

Ancient Technology

The Antikythera Mechanism, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece
Every time ancient Greece is mentioned most people automatically think of democracy, the Olympic Games, mythology and philosophy. It seems that not many are aware of how advanced the ancient Greeks were on a technological level as well and the Antikythera Mechanism, known as the world’s first analog computer, is the brightest example of all.

Ancient Places

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

Opinion

View of the “Cueva del Pirul”, one of the largest systems of interconnected caves to the East of the Pyramid of the Sun. One can notice the many rough pillars left to support the roof and a number of side passages branching out in different directions.
Few of the modern visitors to Teotihuacan are aware of the vast and mysterious underworld of caves and man-made tunnels that extends under much of the ancient site and for miles around. The existence of these tunnels has been known for centuries, but not even the most recent research has been able to solve the mystery of their origin and purpose. Very much like at Giza, in Egypt, these tunnels are rumored to connect all the main pyramids by means of underground passageways, and perhaps even lead to the records of a lost civilization.

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)