woman

Portrait of a Woman by Bartolomeo Veneto, traditionally assumed to be Lucrezia Borgia – an infamous femme fatale.

Femme Fatale: Seduced by the Ancient Sex Crafts of History’s Most Alluring Women

The seductress, or femme fatale (French for “Deadly Woman”), is one of the oldest female archetypes and although there has been great diversity in "how" she has been portrayed, she has some core...
Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got a lot of ninja qualities right: their preference for sticking to the shadows, the emphasis on reconnaissance and espionage, and, of course, their choice of weapons...
Painting from the Ajanta Caves, India.

The Venomous Visha Kanyas Versus the Thugs: Which Would You Prefer Were Real?

Even a touch can kill. The Visha Kanyas were supposedly poisonous young women who operated as executioners in ancient India. Any contact with these toxic ladies would mean death. However, no one can...
Detail of a modern depiction of the goddess Ishtar.

Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War

Louise Pryke / The Conversation As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield . Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to...
The tumor with teeth was found in a cemetery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Archaeologists Found a Medieval Body With a Tumor That Was Growing Teeth – But That’s Not the Whole Story

Digging up a graveyard in Lisbon, Portugal, archaeologists found the remains of a woman who had died sometime between the 15th and 18th century. They can’t be sure what killed her, but it may have...
Deriv; The Adena Female. [Image copyrighted © by MARCIA K MOORE CIAMAR STUDIO. The use of which is prohibited unless prior written permission from the artist is obtained.

A Portrait of an Adena Female and Women in Adena Society

The Adena Culture emerged in the Ohio River Valley sometime between 1400 and 800 BC, and persisted until around 300 AD. Adena raised earthen mounds ranging from just a few inches to nearly 70 feet...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
‘Die Amazonenschlacht’ by Anselm Feuerbach, 1873.

Who was the Powerful Amazon Queen Orithyia and What Drove Her to Launch a Fated Attack on Athens?

Orithyia was one of those dangerous women whose beauty was so often described by terrified and excited men that it became legendary. For centuries, the Amazons were believed to be nothing more than a...
Pandora, lifting the lid of the ‘pithos’. By Nicolas Régnier

Pandora: The Tale of a Good Girl Gone Bad?

When Pandora opened her box, as the Ancient Greek myth goes, all manner of evil was released into the world - ending the Golden Age of man and forsaking them to a life of death and rebirth. Being the...
A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

A Mother-Daughter Power Team: How Did Two Faustinas Transform Roman Society?

If you think that girl power is a modern idea from songs created in the 90s, you should read the story of a mother and daughter whose bright minds and dose of independence had a remarkable impact on...
Not Just an Urban Legend: The Terrifying Ghostly Tales of the Lady in White

Not Just an Urban Legend: The Terrifying Ghostly Tales of the Lady in White

There is a famous “ghost” of a long-haired woman in a white dress in Quezon City, Philippines. According to legends, she died in a car accident while driving along Balete Drive. Her stories usually...
 Excavations at the site of in Siberia. Source: Andrey Plekhanov

Why Would Medieval Siberian Nomads Ritually Sacrifice Their Seriously Ill Companions?

By Tamara Zubchuk/ The Siberian Times Unique crouched burials for this period - comprising a seriously ill quartet - presents archaeologists with a puzzle. The find of four graves from the 11th...
Chaco Canyon Pueblo Bonito Ruin.

Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?

Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful...
Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi (1785) by Angelica Kauffman.

Who was Cornelia Africana and How Did She Become the Prototype of the Virtuous Roman Woman?

The life of Cornelia Africana could be the basis for a fascinating Hollywood super-production. Since the beginning, her tale was nothing but an adventurous story about a woman whose extraordinary...
Mavia: A Powerful Warrior Queen Who Struck Fear in the Hearts of Ancient Male Rulers

Mavia: A Powerful Warrior Queen Who Struck Fear in the Hearts of Ancient Male Rulers

A woman whose life isn't confirmed by any archaeological evidence is recognized as one of the most famous ancient Arab queens. Next to Zenobia of Palmyra, Queen Mavia is one of the heroines from the...
Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Seers, Women of Action: The Sibyls of the Ancient World

Virgil, in his Aeneid , describes Deiphobe, better known as the Sibyl of Cumae, as coming from “a hundred perforations in the rock, a hundred mouths from which the many utterances rush” (43-5, 163)...

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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.

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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)