symbol

In the Market Square is Helsinki’s oldest public monument, the Tsarina’s Stone, topped by a globe and a double-headed eagle, the emblem used by the Tsars of Russia

The Double-Headed Eagle: An Everlasting Symbol of Power

The double-headed eagle has been a popular symbol associated with the concept of a powerful Empire. Most contemporary uses of the symbol are exclusively associated with its use by the Byzantine...
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...

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Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Myths & Legends

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

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)