winter

Artists impression of Norse giantedd , Skaði or Skadi

Skaði, The Norse ‘Giantess’ with a Godly Vendetta

In Norse mythology, Skaði (also anglicised as Skadi, Skade, or Skathi) is a giantess and goddess. She is most often associated with winter. Apart from that, Skaði is also connected with hunting,...
Italian Archaeologists Find a rare solar observatory hewn into rock to highlight the winter solstice

Italian Archaeologists Find a Rare Solar Observatory Hewn Into Rock to Highlight the Winter Solstice

A group of friends surveying World War II bunkers in Sicily, Italy, uncovered something much older—a rock on a hill with a circular hole that was apparently carved into it through which the winter...
5,000-Year-Old Calendar Rock Found in Sicily Excites Archaeologists

5,000-Year-Old Calendar Rock Found in Sicily Excites Archaeologists

A team of researchers exploring the southern coast of Sicily have found an intriguing prehistoric calendar rock. After conducting some empirical observations, they discovered the rising sun of the...
‘Festa di Pales, o L'estate’ by Joseph-Benoît Suvée

The Busy Romans Needed a Mid-Winter Break Too … and it Lasted for 24 days

In the Doctor Who Christmas Special from 2010, Michael Gambon’s Scrooge-like character remarks that across different cultures and worlds people come together to mark the midpoint of winter. It is, he...
The Holly and the Ivy: How Pagan Practices Found Their Way into Christmas

The Holly and the Ivy: How Pagan Practices Found Their Way into Christmas

Every year, almost without thinking about it, we incorporate certain plant species into out Christmas celebrations. The most obvious is the Christmas tree, linked historically in England to Prince...
Odin Riding Forth on the Cover of "Legends and Lore"

Gold Pendant Found in Denmark Depicts Norse God Odin, and May Have Been a Sacrifice to Avert the Disastrous Weather of 536 AD

Odin, the high god of Norse mythology, rode his eight-legged horse Sleipnir through the nine worlds dispensing ecstasy to all those who invoked him. Now an image of a man with a horse depicted on a...
A Cycle of Life and Death: Slavic Goddesses Morana and Vesna

A Cycle of Life and Death: Slavic Goddesses Morana and Vesna

Forever intertwined, Morana, goddess of winter and death, and Vesna, goddess of spring and rebirth, could not exist without each other. However, they could not possibly exist in the same place at the...
Beira, Queen of Winter

Beira, Queen of Winter

In Scottish folklore, Beira is said to be the goddess of winter. According to some sources, she is known also as the Cailleach, a name which is said to be translated literally into English from...
December 21, the longest night and shortest day of the year, is a special event at Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland. This photo was shot August 24, 2014.

Winter Solstice: Stone Age people in Ireland built a Fantastic Monument to the New Year

Today, the Irish and visitors celebrated the Winter Solstice as they did thousands of years ago at Newgrange, a huge Stone Age megalithic monument into the deepest part of whose main chamber the sun...
Painting of Snow Maiden (1899) by Viktor M. Vasnetsov.

The Snow Maiden of Slavic Folklore: Magical Characters of Winter from Russia

Ded Moroz, translated to (Grand)father Frost, or Old Man Frost, is a legendary Slavic character that makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. Along with his companion, Snegurochka (Snow Maiden), he...
Ded Moroz and Snegurochka in the sleigh

Meet Father Frost and his Fairy Goddaughter Snow Maiden: Magical Characters of Winter from Russia

Ded Moroz, translated to (Grand)father Frost, or Old Man Frost, is a legendary Slavic character that makes his rounds every New Year’s Eve. Along with his companion, Snegurochka, he brings delight to...
Mithras - Sun God

Shab-e-Yalda - an ancient winter soltice celebration that commemorates the triumph of Mithra

For Iranians around the world, the winter solstice is not just the longest night of the year, it is also the time to commemorate the triumph of Mithra , the Sun God, over darkness in an ancient...

Top New Stories

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.

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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)