witch

One of the pages from The Book of Magical Charms. Credit: The Newberry Library

Do You Have the Magic Touch? Chicago Library Appeals to Public for Help Transcribing Magical Manuscripts

Do you have a talent in solving magical puzzles and manuscripts? Do you have a penchant for casting spells? Well, if that’s the case, Chicago's Newberry Library is offering the right job for you as...
‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
Rhineland Master. Love Magic, 1470s. Museum für bildende Künste, Leipzig.

A Patriarchal Portrait of a Witch: Warning of Witchcraft in the Female Wiles

Early modern Europe was a period of patriarchy, in which men were in control and women only truly had a say in the household affairs. Power and regulation lay in the hands of men, while the care of...
A Visit to the Witch by Edward Frederick Brewtnall

Bubbling Brews and Broomsticks: How Alewives Became the Stereotypical Witch

"Brewing", "herbs," "broomsticks," "woman." When one hears these words together, most often the assumption is that the person in question is a witch. Yet brewing has a very human meaning as well, one...
Witch of Eye was burned at the stake. Fire and witch

Witch of Eye Burned Alive at the Stake: Did She Use Black Magic to Bewitch a King in a Game of Thrones-Style Plot?

For over 900 years, people have been telling stories of wicked witches who have used Black Magic to overthrow kings. Morgan Le Fay in Arthurian legends of the early 12th century is thought to have...
Prophetess by Alphonse Mucha

The 17th Century Seer, Janet Douglas: Being A Gifted Child Isn’t Always A Good Thing

Janet Douglas was a 17 th century Scottish teenager reputed to have a paranormal gift known as ‘Second Sight’. It may be pointed out that there was another well-known Janet Douglas, a Scottish...
Cairn T, at Loughcrew in Ireland, the site of the Prophet Jeremiah’s tomb. Source: © Laurence O’Bryan

Could Ireland’s Cairn T Really Be the Tomb of the Prophet Jeremiah?

Cairn T is at a junction of the Road of the Chariots in County Meath, in the Boyne Valley, Ireland. Unfortunately, it’s not on Google Maps yet, but nearby Loughcrew House is. Cairn T is nearer to the...
Antique portrait of a woman, Austria

Bodies Left Behind - A Cruel History of Persecution, Shamanic Ecstasies & the True Witches Sabbath

‘The witches are carried sometimes in their bodies and clothes, at other times without, and the examiner thinks their bodies are sometimes left behind. Even when their spirits only are present, yet...
Margaret Murray Unwrapping the Khnum-Nakht Mummy

Margaret Murray - Mother of Egyptology, Grandmother of Wicca, or Fairy Godmother?

Margaret Murray is one of the most mysterious Egyptologists. Although many researchers criticize her research, the story behind her writings scares anyone who is wary of the powers of witchcraft...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Was it Love or Witchcraft? The Magical Practices of Chinese Empress Chen Jiao

Usually, the Empress of the Han Dynasty was invincible, untouchable, and protected by the law more than anyone else. However, in the case of Empress Chen of Wu, the accusation of practicing black...
Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Santa Compaña: A Procession of Souls That Spreads Fear Through the Villages of Iberia

Picture a group of the dead passing down the street next to your house. They sing out deathly stories and spread a creepy energy that makes you feel your skin crawl. You want to escape, but you can’t...
YouTube screenshot of what Maria Solina may have looked like

The Powerful Woman Known as Maria Solina - The Most Famous Witch of Galicia

Witchcraft has a very special place in the culture of Spanish Galicia. One of the most famous people related to the old magical traditions is Maria Soliña, a Galician witch who lived during the 17th...
Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Victims of Arrogance and Cruelty: The Pendle Witch Trials of 1612

Witch trials are amongst some of the cruelest events in European history. Thousands of innocent women were murdered by fake accusations. In England, one of the most famous trials took place in 1612,...
Where the Fairies Dwell: Irish Ringforts in Our World and Theirs

Where the Fairies Dwell: Irish Ringforts in Our World and Theirs

A cloud of mystery looms over the ringforts that speckle the countryside of Ireland. More than 45,000 ringforts have been documented throughout Northern Europe and yet little is known about the date...
The Legend of the Blair Witch: Myths that Created an Infamous Curse

The Legend of the Blair Witch: Myths that Created an Infamous Curse

When most people hear about the Blair witch, images come to mind of a horror film which was released in 1999 with a very low production budget. The movie was directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo...

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Myths & Legends

A vase-scene from about 410 BC. Nimrod/Herakles, wearing his fearsome lion skin headdress, spins Noah/Nereus around and looks him straight in the eye. Noah gets the message and grimaces, grasping his scepter, a symbol of his rule - soon to be displaced in the post-Flood world by Nimrod/Herakles, whose visage reveals a stern smirk.
The Book of Genesis describes human history. Ancient Greek religious art depicts human history. While their viewpoints are opposite, the recounted events and characters match each other in convincing detail. This brief article focuses on how Greek religious art portrayed Noah, and how it portrayed Nimrod in his successful rebellion against Noah’s authority.

Human Origins

Sumerian creation myth
Sumer , or the ‘land of civilized kings’, flourished in Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq, around 4500 BC. Sumerians created an advanced civilization with its own system of elaborate language and...

Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
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 and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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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. 

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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)