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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Famous People

In this section, we shed light on some of the most famous and infamous people known throughout history, from powerful pharaohs, to emperors and empresses, acclaimed military leaders, or just regular civilians who’ve been thrown into the spotlight for great crimes or for heroic actions, leaving an indelible mark on the world.

The Mother of all Gods: The Phrygian Cybele

The Mother of all Gods: The Phrygian Cybele

A goddess of ecstatic and chthonic reproductive mysteries, Cybele was the primary mother goddess of ancient Anatolia, and Phrygia's only known goddess thus far. She was a "Mistress of Animals", "...
Bluetooth: Why Modern Tech is Named After Powerful King of Denmark and Norway

Bluetooth: Why Modern Tech is Named After Powerful King of Denmark and Norway

Harald “Blåtand” Gormsson was a King of Denmark and Norway who lived during the 10th century AD. He was responsible for the unification of Denmark. Following this feat, Harald set his sights beyond...
Revealing the Identify of the First Female Ruler of Egypt. Hint: It Was NOT Hatshepsut

Revealing the Identify of the First Female Ruler of Egypt. Hint: It Was NOT Hatshepsut

Today it is known that women appeared on the throne in ancient Egypt more often than many people believed just decades ago. The first known influential queens appeared with the first kings. This was...
Theagenes of Thasos: From Legendary Olympic Fighter to God-Healer

Theagenes of Thasos: From Legendary Olympic Fighter to God-Healer

Theagenes was born in Thasos around 500 BC (or 505 BC according to some sources) and was meant to become one of the most dominant and famous competitive fighters that ever lived. His impact while...
Fresco by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo of Rachel sitting on the idols.

The Tomb of the Biblical Matriarch Rachel, Entwining Faiths and Generations

The tomb of the Biblical matriarch Rachel became the basis for many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim stories. The remarkable chamber located in Bethlehem is not only a part of cultural and historical...
Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha: The Comely and Quick-Witted Queen of the Ostrogoths Whose Life Ended in Tragedy

Amalasuntha was a regent of the Ostrogoths who lived during the Late Antique period, i.e. the 6th century AD. This was the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, when Italy was under the...
The Heroic Story of Roland: A Valiant Knight With an Unbreakable Sword

The Heroic Story of Roland: A Valiant Knight With an Unbreakable Sword

Roland (Hruodland in Frankish) also called "Roland the Valiant," was born in 736 AD and died in 778 at Roncevaux. He was a Frankish knight, Earl of March of Brittany, responsible for defending the...
The Atheist Martyr: Rebellious ‘Knight’ Inspired the French Revolution

The Atheist Martyr: Rebellious ‘Knight’ Inspired the French Revolution

During the first half of the 18th century, the Catholic Church’s authority and religious intolerance had reached new heights in France, which in many cases led to irrationally harsh punishment for...
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...
Imagination vs Reality: What if Nefertiti Was Not as Lovely as We are Expected to Believe?

Imagination vs Reality: What if Nefertiti Was Not as Lovely as We are Expected to Believe?

Nefertiti is one of the most iconic persons of ancient Egypt. She is still extremely famous and faith in her great personality is visible in pretty much any book that mentions the queen. But who was...
Pedro Madruga: Galician VIP…and Another Name for Christopher Columbus?

Pedro Madruga: Galician VIP…and Another Name for Christopher Columbus?

Pedro Madruga is remembered as one of the most important Galicians. His life was full of adventure and also created one of the greatest mysteries of this region. According to many researchers and...
Agesilaus II, King of Sparta and Commander of Warriors

Agesilaus II, King of Sparta and Commander of Warriors

Agesilaus II was a king who ruled over the ancient Greek city state of Sparta during the 4 th century BC. Agesilaus was from the Eurypontid family, one of the two royal dynasties of Sparta (the other...
Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Royal Bonds: How the Mother, Wife, and Daughter of Darius III Became Family of Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great abruptly ended the reign of Darius III, and with it he saw the demise of the Achaemenid kings. However, while conquering new lands Alexander gained not only territory, but also...
Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Standing in the Shadow of Alexander the Great: Cleopatra of Macedon and Her Life of Danger

Cleopatra of Macedon stood in the shadow of her more famous brother, Alexander the Great. In fact, she was one of his three known sisters, apart from Cynane and Thessalonica. However, Cleopatra was...
Queen, Warrior, and a Symbol of a Forgotten Dynasty – The Powerful Matriarch Ahhotep

Queen, Warrior, and a Symbol of a Forgotten Dynasty – The Powerful Matriarch Ahhotep

A few surviving records show that Ahhotep was a woman who was stronger, braver, and a more powerful ruler than the average man. Her thrilling story starts in the Egyptian Middle Kingdom and ends in...
Cannibalism in Scotland: The Dark Legend of Sawney Bean

Cannibalism in Scotland: The Dark Legend of Sawney Bean

Sawney Bean is a legendary figure from Scotland, who is said to have been a prolific cannibal. Together with his equally cannibalistic family, Sawney Bean murdered and robbed unfortunate victims from...
Pythagoras: One of the Greatest Minds of His Time

Pythagoras: One of the Greatest Minds of His Time

Pythagoras was one of the greatest minds and philosophers of his time and his unquestionable influence can be felt even today in mathematics. It is believed that he was the first man who referred to...
Ahuitzotl: Powerful Ruler in the Aztec Golden Age

Ahuitzotl: Powerful Ruler in the Aztec Golden Age

Ahuitzotl was a tlatoani (meaning ‘speaker’) of the city of Tenochtitlan, and the eighth ruler of the Aztec Empire. This emperor reigned from 1486 AD to 1502 AD, a period which is regarded by some...
Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita and Ishtar: Connections to the Planet Venus

Anahita was a goddess associated with water, fertility, wisdom, warfare, and eventually the planet Venus. During the Achaemenid dynasty in Persia, she became incorporated into the Zoroastrian...
Kenneth MacAlpin: King of the Picts and Legendary Founder of Scotia

Kenneth MacAlpin: King of the Picts and Legendary Founder of Scotia

There is scarcely any concrete information about the man widely credited with the foundation of medieval Scotia, the precursor to today’s Scotland. There are facts about battles that occurred and...
The Bold Story of Benito de Soto, One of the Last Spanish Pirates

The Bold Story of Benito de Soto, One of the Last Spanish Pirates

The history of the Spanish coast is full of legends about famous pirates. Some of them were real, and others imaginary. There were some pirates who became famous figures for the regions they came...
Detail from Chariot Race by Jean-Leon Gerome

Gaius Appuleius Diocles, The $15 Billion Athlete of the Ancient World

There is much discussion about today’s highly paid athletes, be they football stars or Olympic competitors. According to Forbes, the top five highest-paid athletes in 2016 were Cristiano Ronaldo ($88...
The Time When Alexander the Great was ‘Defeated’

The Time When Alexander the Great was ‘Defeated’

Alexander the Great is widely known as one of the greatest military generals and conquerors of all time, and his name became synonymous with greatness and invincibility throughout the ages. Alexander...
Gone Without a Trace? Searching for the Tomb of the Famous Artist Diego Velazquez

Gone Without a Trace? Searching for the Tomb of the Famous Artist Diego Velazquez

Diego Velázquez was a standout artist amongst iconic Spanish painters and his artwork is famous around the world. As a painter in the court of King Phillip IV of Spain, Velázquez is best known for...

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