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Ancient Origins articles related to General in the sections of history, archaeology, human origins, unexplained, artifacts, ancient places and myths and legends.

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Top Stories This Week: Child Snatchers, Haunted Mirrors & A Pharaoh’s True Face

In this top story overview, we highlight our most read articles this week, including a look at the Erkling, a strange mythical snatcher of children, and the fascinating mythology and superstitions...
The 10 Most Exciting and Extraordinary Artifact Finds Of 2021

The 10 Most Exciting and Extraordinary Artifact Finds Of 2021

2021 was a bumper year for the discovery of obscure, odd and unexpected artifacts all around the world – and even beyond! From the golden tongued mummies of Egypt, a bullet-shaped metal anomaly in a...
An ancient classic Greek poem taught to first year classics student at the University of Reading in England has been censored to avoid upsetting some students. Greek caryatids pillars depicting Greek women on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. 		Source: Dimitrios / Adobe Stock

UK University Censors “Domestic Violence” in Ancient Greek Poem

English university chiefs censored an ancient Greek poem because it “seemed” like it “might” offend snowflake students - very sensitive students who are easily hurt or offended. Snowflakes that the...
Weekly Wrap Up - Witch Trials, Tunisian Atlantis & Hallucinogenic Tea!

Weekly Wrap Up - Witch Trials, Tunisian Atlantis & Hallucinogenic Tea!

As we begin the first days of 2022, we highlight our most popular articles of the last week, from the tragic Pendle witch trials of 1612, to new research on hallucinogenic tea, a theory that the...
The battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in 1299, depicting Mongol archers and the Mamluk cavalry.		Source: Public domain

A Brief Overview of the Mamluks, the Elite Slave-Soldiers of the Islamic World

It is a sad fact that our ancient history was filled with slavery and injustice of all kinds. Great empires and powerful rulers often relied on their slave forces both for building of cities and for...
Fireworks are popular in New Year's traditions around the world

Amazing New Year’s Traditions Around the World

In many countries around the world, New Year’s Day is celebrated on January 1st with fireworks and festivities the evening before. But this is not the only type of New Year’s celebration and not...
Imperial succession in Japan is up in the air as the choices get more complicated: could be a woman or a young man. Japanese Emperor Naruhito at his enthronement ceremony in Kyoto, October 2019.		Source: Imperial Household Agency / CC BY 4.0

Japan’s Succession Crisis: No Male Heirs Means Ancient Monarchy May Soon Disappear!

The Japanese monarchy is the oldest continuous monarchy in the world, but it faces a clear succession crisis in the 21st century. Imperial descendance and inheritance is only passed through male...
Declaration of Christmas Peace in 2014 in Porvoo, Finland.	Source: CC BY-SA 3.0

Christmas Peace: Finnish Criminals, You’ve Been Warned For Over 600 Years

An ancient Finnish law promising harsher sentences for Christmas criminals was read out to an empty town square. Christmas is nearly upon us, and if you haven’t already outright cancelled family...
The purest traditional Indian cuisine is created by following the principles of the ancient yogic saatvik diet.		Source: Dash / Adobe Stock

Health Concerns Drive Revival of Ancient Saatvik Foods in India

India, particularly when viewed from the Western lens, has always occupied a particular place in popular imagination. The Indian subcontinent was a land of mysticism, yoga, ayurveda, alternate...
Part of the Upper Tote Cairn that has been destroyed by the landowner.	Source: Crown Office

Scottish Farmer Fined For Destroying Prehistoric Burial Cairn

A Scottish island farmer has been charged for ripping apart a Neolithic burial tomb to build a new shed. You might think the judge’s £18,000 fine sounds quite stiff, but the cairn is damaged beyond...
Detail of ‘Pollice Verso (Thumbs Down)’ by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Source: Public Domain

Ancient Rome Didn’t Exist, Claims a Qualified Bachelor of History

Teens might tell you that TikTok is a comfort zone where they can discuss relevant issues free from adult judgement because all other teens are going through the same thing. Closer to reality perhaps...
Study finds effects of ayahuasca tea match that of placebo. Source: agsandrew / Adobe Stock

Study Finds Hallucinogenic Ayahuasca Tea Trip Matches That of Placebo

About ten years ago, interest in hallucinogenic ayahuasca tea attracted thousands of European and North American tourists to South America, all looking for a trip in the high Andes or steamy Amazon...
Artists representation of the small Caudipteryx dinosaur specimen in the Jehol Biota, from which dinosaur DNA could be extracted. Source: Zheng Qiuyang

Scientists in China May Have Found 125-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur DNA

The idea that scientists might be able to recover dinosaur DNA from fossilized remains seems absurd. But now, the concept has moved beyond the realms of the absurd to the absolutely possible, thanks...
Fireworks at the Opet festival at Luxor’s Sphinx Avenue opening. Source: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities – Egypt

Opet Festival Extravaganza Marks Reopening of Avenue of Sphinxes

Egypt hosted the re-enactment of the ancient Egyptian Opet festival last night. The grand ceremony was held to mark the reopening of the 1.7-mile-long (2.7 km) road which links the Temples of Karnak...
Steven Haddock viewing a mammoth tusk on a screen on the Western Flyer, an MBARI research vessel. Source: Darrin Schultz / MBARI

Why Is This Mammoth Tusk In Deep Water Off the Californian Coast?

A 100,000-year-old mammoth tusk has been discovered by a robot more than 10,000 feet below sea level. But rather than in Arctic wastes, where they’re usually found, this one was uncovered in the...
Nicole Wilson had Ötzi the Iceman’s tattoos replicated on her body. Source: TJ Proechel / Nicole Wilson. Inset: Two tattooed bands can be seen around Ötzi the Iceman’s wrist. (South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology)

Artist Recreates Tattoos of Ötzi the Iceman in Her Own Blood

In an unusual performance, even by today’s standards of contemporary, process-driven art, artist Nicole Wilson has been replicating on her own body and in her own blood the tattoos discovered on the...
Hothouse Earth cycles, as proven by Harvard University's latest study, are extreme in heat and in rain with one following the other. Our near future will not be so extreme, but similarities are already apparent in droughts and deluges in many regions of planet Earth. 			Source: Günter Albers / Adobe Stock

Extreme Heat Followed by Downpours Once Characterized ‘Hothouse Earth’

New research has found that the so-called hothouse Earth periods in our planet’s remote past were actually periods of extreme hot dry temperatures, hotter than today by 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit (17...
Do you have royal genes? Source: master1305 / Adobe Stock

Do You Have Royal Genes? Almost Certainly, Statisticians Say

For the past 18 seasons, viewers of the BBC television show “Who Do You Think You Are?” have been watching with interest as guests from all walks of life discover surprising facts about their genetic...
The Hembury Iron Age Hillfort which has come on the market in Devon, England. Source: savills

Own Your Own Piece of Ancient History - Buy an Iron Age Hillfort!

Incredible as that may sound, it’s no less than the truth. What’s on offer for a guide price of £100,000 ($138,000) is a freehold on Hembury Fort Cross, a multivallate Iron Age hillfort with 38.8...
Danaë from the workshop of Titian at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. (Deriv.) Source: Public Domain

Why is Social Media Afraid of the Naked Truth in Art?

Many countries, including Austria, Germany, and France, have laws prohibiting Holocaust denial. This means every year several thousands of posts are blocked by algorithms and employees of social...
Left: Kim Kardashian. Right: The stolen Nedjemankh sarcophagus. Source: Left: Nicole Alexannder / CC BY 3.0. Right: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kim Kardashian Unwittingly Helped Find Stolen Nedjemankh Sarcophagus

A ring of illegal antiquities dealers was exposed and their shocking relationship with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City revealed, thanks to an apparently innocent picture taken of a...
Order of the Dragon Source: Taily / Adobe Stock

The Chivalric Order of the Dragon, the Medieval Shield of Christendom

Medieval chivalric orders are the fabled and idealized stuff of legend. Upstanding knights , standing in defense of their faith and of the innocents, with their sophisticated manners and shining...
A chimpanzee named Woodstock with leprosy in Ivory Coast. Source: Tai Chimpanzee Project

Squirrels, Armadillos and Now Apes Have Leprosy

Two colonies of apes have been discovered suffering from leprosy. The so-called “Leper Apes,” some with gruesome skin lesions and rotting body parts, were found in Guinea-Bissau's Cantanhez National...
Eagle Raptors were the alpha hunters of Australia 25-million-years-ago. 	Source: © Jacob Blokland / Flinders University

25-Million-Year-Old Raptor Dominated Land and Sky At Australian Lake

Dating to 25 million years ago, the ‘oldest and most-complete’ raptor skeleton ever found has been unearthed in Australia. The eagle-like remains are distinctive and indicate a hunter that was top of...

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