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Ancient Origins Premium offers a wealth of knowledge and a variety of learning methods (articles, eBooks, webinars, expeditions and more) that will help you embark on a journey you will never forget!

Tramin (South Tyrol. )Saint James church in Kastelaz: Romanesque frescos (1210s ) showing fantastic creatures. (Public Domain)

Hiding in Plain Sight: Medieval Mermaids in Churches

Why would an ancient, folkloric, but non-Biblical, character such as a mermaid find its way into so many medieval European churches? And can such mermaid imagery and symbology be correlated with the...
Cicero proudly shows his discovery of the 'Tomb of Archimedes' by Martin Knoller (1775) (Public Domain)

The Tomb of Archimedes, Genius of Syracuse, Concealed by a Naiad

First century AD Roman statesman and orator, Cicero’s claim that he had found Archimedes’ tomb may be refuted. In Greek mythology Ciane is a freshwater nymph, who tried to save Persephone from being...
Panoramic view from the summit of the Pyramid of the Moon, with the Pyramid of the Sun on the far left (Rene Trohs /  CC BY-SA 4.0)

Orion: Archaeoastronomy Inspiration for the Pyramids of Giza and the Pyramids of Teotihuacan

As ancient Egyptian architects gazed up at the night sky and built the three pyramids of Giza based on the celestial plan of the Constellation of Orion , so millennia apart and at the other side of...
Qilin (kongkiatnt/ adobe stock)

Chinese Unicorns: Harbingers of Good Omens

Considering that fanciful animals, which the Chinese collectively dub pixiu ( pi hsieh ), typically stem from a real creature, the question must be asked: Were there once horses with horns? Although...
Göbekli Tepe PIlars in the Sanliurfa museum. (Cobija / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Common Cosmic Symbolism: Is Göbekli Tepe Ancestral to Ancient Egypt?

Since its discovery in 1994, 10,000-year old Göbekli Tepe has been an enigma, gradually revealing its ancient secrets to archaeologists and scientists. Meticulously excavating the site from soil that...
Druid greets the dawn at Stonehenge (heywoody  / adobe stock)

Who Kept the Ancient Wisdom of Stonehenge?

Stonehenge is one of the most famous monuments in the world. Although it stands in isolated countryside in south-central England, miles from any major town, it is one of Britain’s most popular...
Architecture Karnak Temple Luxor Travel Egypt (CC0)

Questing the Most Impressive Ancient Religious Temples in the World

What is the largest temple ever built on earth and do these man-made structures reveal secrets relating to the cosmos? To begin the quest for the largest religious temple, one needs to establish what...
Peace between Hamilcar and Rome by Jacopo Ripanda. Musei Capitolini - Rome (José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Hunting Hamilcar: The Battle of the Saw Uncovered

Hamilcar Barca , the father of the battlefield genius, Hannibal , is considered even today as one of the greatest military commanders of all time, yet so little is known about the man and his battles...
the forbidden city in Beijing (chungking/ adobe stock)

Chinese Fantastic Beasts: The Taotie Demon Who Eats Humans

A strange animal that preys upon unsuspecting travelers, who devours them but cannot swallow them, may be representative of the human sin of gluttony, as the taotie, a Chinese mythological fantastic...
Hecate: Procession to a Witches' Sabbath by Jusepe de Ribera  (1591–1652) (Public Domain)

The Fate of English Witches: From Water Torture to Divine Retribution

During the Early Modern period of European history – from the Renaissance (1500) to the French Revolution (1800), hundreds of thousands of witches suffered the terrible fate of being burned at the...
Sack of Rome by Alaric - sacred vessels are brought to a church for safety in Augustine, La Cité de Dieu (circa 1475) (Public Domain)

The Enigma of the Tomb of Alaric, King of the Visigoths

Legends tell that Alaric, King of the Visigoths, who sacked Rome in the fifth century AD, was buried along with his horse and a vast amount of treasure, in the bed of the Busento River in the Cosenza...
Sketch for 'The Battle of Trafalgar, and the Victory of Lord Nelson over the Combined French and Spanish Fleets, October 21, 1805' by Clarkson Frederick Stanfield  (1793–1867) (Public Domain)

The Age of Sail Recaptured: Model Maritime History in Mauritius

Gazing at model replicas of the HMS Victory and the Bucentaure one conjures up the naval Battle of Trafalgar; breathing the toxic gun smoke, gagging on the smell of gun powder, deafening booms of...
Orpheus Charming the Animals by Jacob Hoefnagel (1613)

Legendary Ancient Musicians Charmed Beasts, Sirens and Even Hades Himself

Music has had the magical power to charm wild animals, seduce shrewd sirens and even sway Hades himself. Music provides the notes for mythology, where mortals melt the frozen hearts of ancient gods...
Portrait of Jesse James. (Deriv) (pict rider / Adobe Stock)

Jesse James’ Secret Map May Lead to Templars’ Treasures

Descendant of Jesse James, author Daniel J Duke , uses a template, encoded with Kabbalah gematria and provided by the American Civil War secret society, Knights of the Golden Circle, to link sites of...
Macbeth by John Martin  (1789–1854)

Landscape of Scottish Mythological Gods, Goddesses and Giants

Scottish mythology and folklore make a finely woven tartan (travel) rug threaded with a collection of colorful and sometimes dark tales that have emerged from the long history of Scotland; each one...
Avebury Stone Circle and Henge at sunrise Wiltshire England UK By Gail Johnson (Adobe Stock)

The Power of Sound Rediscovered in Prehistoric Barrows and Coves

The science of archaeoacoustics reveals that some prehistoric barrows were potentially used for frightening and mysterious rites. Surrounded by decomposing bodies, initiates may have been exposed to...
Scene from the Shahnameh. Afrasiyab (standing figure) executes Nauzar (lying down), while two groups look on.

Persian Poets’ Fabled Family of Heroes

Star-crossed lovers, fathers killing sons and a warrior bride shackling her newlywed husband to the bed, all play a role in the legendary folklore of Persia’s most famous fabled family; that of...
El Panteón de los Héroes (The Panthenon of Heroes) by Oleo de Arturo Michelena, (1898)

Eight Heroes and Heroines Whose Names Are Immortalized

Why do the names of some men and women survive the wearing effects of time, living through centuries of recorded history as ‘heroes and heroines’ while other people’s names vanish like dreams upon...
The Great Court of ancient Heliopolis's temple complex

Finding Canaan: Ancient Roots of the Lost Phoenician Civilization

Of all the seafaring civilizations who, to our knowledge, first explored the vast oceans, none are more mysterious than the ancient Phoenicians. How far did their voyages take them? What lands did...
Freud the Sleuth, Investigates Who Killed Moses?

Freud the Sleuth, Investigates Who Killed Moses?

Sigmund Freud’s article ‘Moses an Egyptian’ caused an outcry as he was taking the radical view that Moses was not a Jew and ascribing an Egyptian ancestry to the prophet, amid a time when Nazi’s were...
Juno in the Underworld by Jan Brueghel the Elder  (1568–1625)

Hungry Ghosts and Spirits of the Underworld

Ghosts, specters and the souls of the dead have always held a fascination for mankind who believe they return to haunt the living to satisfy their hunger in the Underworld. In the first century AD,...
American Indian legend with wolf and eagle

Mysterious Medicine Wheels of the American West

A hundred stone constructions dotting the landscape of the American north-west, called ‘Medicine Wheels’ by the ignorant, may be pre-dating the Egyptian pyramids to 5,000 years ago. At first glance...
At the Monastery Gate by Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1846)

The Plight of the Poor: Monastic Charity and Almonries in Medieval England

Until recently, it was believed that monasteries were lax and inefficient in distributing alms to the poor, but Dr. Neil Rushton ’s research indicates that monastic almonries in medieval England were...
The Witch Trial  by William Powell Frith (1848)

The Controversy Surrounding Witches’ Familiars and Religious Judgement

How come religions glorified certain Biblical characters’ - such as Jesus and Mary - communication with spirits or angelic entities, yet it condemned witches’ conferring with familiars, to the point...

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