traditions

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...
A painting by Charles Le Brun depicting Alexander and Hephaestion (in red cloak), facing Porus, during the Battle of the Hydaspes.

What was the REAL relationship Between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion?

Alexander the Great was known as a womanizer – his list of romances quite extensive. However, some researchers suggest that he also fell in love with at least two men, one of them being Hephaestion,...
Mount Shasta: Sacred Mountain and a Strange Destination for Many

Mount Shasta: Sacred Mountain and a Strange Destination for Many

Mount Shasta is not the tallest or most beautiful mountain in the Cascade Range; but it is the most legendary. In terms of weirdness and high strangeness, the unusual stories surrounding the mountain...
Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Unfolding the Golden Nuggets of Early Chinese Paper Folding and the Art of Origami

Paper folding is a form of art that most people today associate with Japan. Indeed, Japanese origami is arguably the most well-known type of paper folding today. What is perhaps less well-known is...
A set of skulls found buried in a stone cist inside a prehistoric house at Shkārat Msaied in Jordan.

9,000-Year-Old Skeletons Found in Jordan had been Dismembered, Sorted, and Buried in Homes

Archaeologists have made an unusual discovery in a prehistoric village in Jordan – the skeletal remains of more than 70 people that had been allowed to decay and then dismembered. After this, their...
A Māori warrior.

Mokomokai: Preservation of the Tattooed Maori Heads of New Zealand

Mokomokai are preserved heads that are produced by the Māoris of New Zealand. These are not just any heads, but heads that have been decorated by moko. Moko is a traditional art form practiced by the...
Deriv; Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona.

Palatkwapi-Sedona: City of the Star People

A legend among the Hopis states that there was once a great temple city of wisdom built by the Star People, the Kachinas. Many of the Hopi clans visited this city during their respective migrations...
Defleshed human bones in ancient religious complex in Bolivia

Archaeologist finds defleshed human bones in ancient religious complex in Bolivia

Archaeologists investigating a religious complex in Bolivia have discovered an ancient mortuary where human body parts were boiled, stripped of their flesh, and cleaned. Experts believe the practice...
Ancient Chickasaw Culture & the Muskogean Clan System

Ancient Chickasaw Culture & the Muskogean Clan System

Native American philosophy is centered on observations of the world and is an integral part of deeply held spiritual beliefs. For the Muskogean tribes of the southeast United States and the Chickasaw...
Origins of Christmas Customs

The Ancient Roots of Christmas Customs

Christmas is a very popular holiday tradition that is celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. This popular celebration is of course linked closely to Christianity and is intended to honour the...
Dalai Lama

Chinese government says Dalai Lama must reincarnate to respect tradition

The Dalai Lama has said that he may choose not to reincarnate inside Tibet if it is not free, and that no one has the right to choose his successor for political ends. However, the Chinese government...
The Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

The Unique Hanging Coffins of Sagada, Philippines

The Igorots are an indigenous tribe living in Sagada, Luzon Island, Philippines. The Igorots practise unique funerary customs, in which the dead are buried in coffins which are tied or nailed to the...
Cliffside tombs of the Tana Toraja

Five incredible funerary practices from the ancient world

Evidence for burial rituals has been found dating back 100,000 years and since then numerous examples of funerary customs have been from the ancient world, from Egyptian mummification to bodies...
Toraja People - Funeral Rituals

The Toraja people and the most complex funeral rituals in the world

The Tana Toraja is a regency of South Sulawesi in Indonesia, a picturesque mountainous region that is home to an indigenous group known as the Torajans. For the Toraja people, life very much revolves...
Dolphin Masacre in Japan

Ancient customs used to justify dolphin slaughter

Most of the articles published on Ancient Origins advocate for the preservation of ancient cultures and customs around the world. But what happens when ancient customs conflict with modern-day...
Akitu Festival

New Year’s Traditions around the World and Their Origins

In many countries around the world, New Year’s Day is celebrated on 1 st January with fireworks and festivities the evening before. But this is not the only type of New Year’s celebration and not...

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Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

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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.

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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)