weapon

 Illustration of a Viking shield wall (unknown artist)

Dissolving Myths: Vikings Did NOT Hide Behind Shield Walls

By ThorNews According to Rolf Warming, an archaeologist and researcher at the University of Copenhagen, the Vikings did not use shield walls in combat. A typical Viking shield was relatively small...
Caltrops of WWI

Watch Your Step! Don’t Tread on the Caltrop, A Weapon with a Pointed History

There is a cunning and deadly device that used by armies in the past, and up to the present day. It’s a weapon mostly overlooked but is yet brilliantly effective—the caltrop. The caltrop (or calthrop...
The Medieval ring found in Kavarna, Bulgaria (Image: Kavarna Municipality)

Jewelry to Die For: 14th-Century Bulgarian Ring with a Killer Dose

When a medieval ring was uncovered by Bulgarian archaeologists excavating the remains of the medieval fortress on Cape Kaliakra, near the town of Kavarna on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, they were...
All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise

The Vajra: An Ancient Weapon of War

The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable...
10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!

10 Innovative Medieval Weapons: You Would Not Want To Be At The Sharp End Of These!

Long before modern warfare, there was a time of knights in shining armor atop equally armored horses fighting for the hand of a maiden or in pitched battle. However, the weapons that these knights...
Model of the Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant: Destruction, War & Plague – Part II

One of history’s most intriguing ancient mysteries remains the elusive and legendary Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Ark of the Testimony. According to Biblical sources, it was constructed...
‘The Ark Passes Over the Jordan’

Ark of the Covenant: A Weapon, A Throne, A Temple – Part I

The Ark of the Covenant, also known as the Ark of the Testimony, is one of history’s most intriguing ancient mysteries. According to Biblical sources, it was constructed after Moses had freed the...
The Norimitsu Odachi.

Norimitsu Odachi: Who Could Have Possibly Wielded This Enormous 15th Century Japanese Sword?

The Norimitsu Odachi is a huge sword from Japan. It is so large, in fact, that it was said to have been wielded by a giant. Apart from the basic knowledge of it having been forged in the 15th century...
Detail; The entry of Sultan Mehmed II into Constantinople, painting by Fausto Zonaro (1854-1929)

Orban’s Colossal Cannon: Holding a Tiger by the Tail – Part II

Sultan Mehmed II was so pleased with Orban’s massive, destructive cannon that he wanted another twice its size! Orban headed back to his foundry in Edirne (Adrianople) acquiring more timber and...
Modern painting of Mehmed and the Ottoman Army approaching Constantinople with a giant bombard, by Fausto Zonaro

Orban: The Man Whose Cannon Brought Down the Walls of Constantinople – Part I

For 53 days, starting on Friday, 6 April, the forces of the Ottoman Empire shook what was left of the Eastern Roman Empire (known as Byzantium, or the Byzantine Empire) until they were able to breach...
Catapulta by Edward Poynter

Were Catapults the Secret to Roman Military Success?

The Roman Empire conquered the known world in large part due to its army. The Roman Army was a formidable force of training and discipline led by military minds who established organizational and...
A Sri Lankan version of the urumi, with multiple blades.

A Flexible and Deadly Blade: The Dangerous Urumi

The urumi (which may be literally translated as ‘curling blade’,) is a type of weapon from India. This weapon is known also as ‘surul vaal’, which means ‘spring sword’). As its name suggests, this...
Reconstruction of a polybolos, ancient Greek repeating ballista.

An Ancient Greek Machine Gun? The Innovative Catapult of Dionysius

The polybolos (which may be translated literally as ‘multiple thrower’) was a type of weapon used in the ancient world. The polybolos has been described as a sort of ballista / catapult that was...
2,300 Years and Still Shining: Archaeologists Unearth Brilliantly Preserved Chinese Sword

2,300 Years and Still Shining: Archaeologists Unearth Brilliantly Preserved Chinese Sword

A team of Chinese archaeologists have excavated a brilliant sword that is still sharp and shining despite its age of more than 2,300 years. The amazing discovery was made in an ancient tomb in the...
3,000-Year-Old Pressed Flower Found Inside Axe Handle at Bronze Age Burial Site

3,000-Year-Old Pressed Flower Found Inside Axe Handle at Bronze Age Burial Site

Archaeologists have discovered a remarkable set of Bronze Age ritual offerings, which they described as ''absolutely jaw-dropping”, including jewelry, ornaments, weapons, and a pristine pressed...
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-...

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Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

Myths & Legends

Sak K'uk'/Lady Cormorant – Public Domain, Palenque, Mexico, Jiuguang Wang - CC BY SA 2.0
In the mountain rain forest of Chiapas, México, sits the ruins of Palenque, considered the most beautiful ancient Maya city. Silhouetted against a backdrop of natural hills and valleys, the elegant pyramids and palace offer fine Maya bas-relief carvings of high-grade limestone and stucco.

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

Himmerod Abbey and Church building
Himmerod Abbey, a Cistercian monastery that's existed for almost 900 years in what is now western Germany is closing down for good, due to running expenses and also a shortage of monks. Notably, the monastery was used during the 1950’s in a distinctly non-monastic capacity, as a secret meeting point of former Wehrmacht high-ranking officers discussing West Germany's rearmament.

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)