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Alicia McDermott

Alicia McDermott holds degrees in Anthropology, Psychology, and International Development Studies and has worked in various fields such as education, anthropology, and tourism. She is the Chief Editor of Ancient Origins Magazine. Traveling throughout Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador, Alicia has focused much of her research on Andean cultures – past and present.


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Father Christmas enjoying the Christmas tradition. Date: circa 1860. Source: Archivist / Adobe Stock

Favorite Christmas Traditions PLUS Those You May Never Have Heard About

Every year as December rolls in, some 2 billion people start to feel the Christmas cheer. While the celebration is now primarily a Christian one honoring the birth of Jesus, its traditions merge with...
The Book of Deer contains notes in the margin which are the first written examples of Scottish Gaelic and hinted at the location of the monastery where they were written. Source: The Book of Deer Project

Lost Monastery Tied to Oldest Scottish Text “Book of Deer” Unearthed

A monastery, where the earliest surviving Scots Gaelic text was once noted within the margins of a significant Scottish manuscript called the Book of Deer , disappeared from the pages of history...
A carving of six sculpted figures in a small funerary chapel discovered at Saqqara, Egypt. The chapel’s owner has yet to be identified, however the carving depicts two men in the center, each accompanied by their wives holding the hands of children. Source: Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Burial Secrets Uncovered! Underground Tomb Complex and Chapels Found at Saqqara

After two years, Dutch and Italian archaeologists returned to work at an impressive site in Saqqara, Egypt. Their excavations were delayed by the pandemic, with the team only being able to return to...
The Pre-Maya human remains were found in a cenote near a section of the Maya Train route. Source: Peter Broger/ INAH

Will a Pre-Maya Skeleton be Destroyed by the Maya Train?

A cave-diving archaeologist has made a remarkable discovery in Mexico – a Pre-Maya human skeleton which may date to as far back as the end of the last ice age. It’s a fascinating find, but the human...
Detail from Helios on His Chariot, a 17th century depiction of Helios the sun god of Greek mythology, by Hans Adam Weissenkircher. Source: Public domain

Deciphering the Role of Helios, the Sun God of Greek Mythology

An unpunished second-generation Titan of Greek mythology, Helios was a deity who was important, but not always recognized for his powers. Until his role was usurped by a newer god, Helios was the...
Two of these South American mummies were victims of violent deaths. Source: Begerock et al. 2022/ Frontiers in Medicine

Death Detectives Discover South American Mummies were Brutally Killed

There are cold cases, and there a really, really, cold cases. The story of two South American mummies falls into the latter category. When researchers analyzed the remains of three pre-Columbian...
Representation of the ancient Greek goddess Artemis in the wood hunting. Source: gilitukha/ Adobe Stock

Don’t Mess with the Chaste Huntress and Greek Goddess Artemis

The ancient Greek goddess Artemis was many things to many people. A huntress, virgin, midwife, twin, independent woman, protector, plague-bearer… the list goes on and on. Her appearance did not...
Ancient Egyptian mummy photographed at the archaeological museum of Florence. Source: Massimiliano / Adobe Stock

Ancient Egyptian Worker Took Sick Leave to Embalm his Mother

The British Museum houses a tablet which provides a peek into work-life balance in ancient Egypt. It documents the number of sick days and why 40 workers took time off from their workplace in 1250 BC...
Mansa Musa’s travels through Egypt changed the country’s economy for over a decade. Source: HistoryNmoor/CC BY-SA 4.0

Mansa Musa, History’s Richest Man, Wrecked Egypt’s Economy Just by Passing Through

In 2022, Forbes has named Elon Musk as the richest person in the world today. But his $219 billion is said to be nothing compared to the tremendous wealth of a 14th Century West African ruler named...
John King was the youngest pirate known to history. Source: Fxquadro / Adobe Stock

Child Pirate of the Caribbean: John King Was Just 11 When he Joined Infamous Pirate Crew

Nearly 300 years before the first Pirates of the Caribbean film fuelled the imagination of young, modern minds with exciting pirate adventures, a young boy named John King was living the life of a...
George Spencer was hanged in 1642 for allegedly fathering an ugly pig. Source: Jo / Adobe Stock

17th-Century Scandal! One-Eyed Man Hanged for Fathering an Ugly Pig

George Spencer has gone down in history for being the second person executed in Connecticut, USA. His crime? Allegedly fathering an ugly piglet.Records paint an unflattering image of George Spencer...
Oxford University overlaid with Aztec sun stone. Source:  luisrsphoto / Adobe Stock / ryanking999 /Adobe Stock

The University of Oxford is Older than the Aztec Civilization!

The University of Oxford is so old that its existence predates the Aztec civilization by more than 200 years! Here are the facts: People were learning at the University of Oxford by 1096 and the...
The Hellenistic tomb of a woman found in the Kozani region of Greece. Source: Kozani Ephorate of Antiquities

Hellenistic Elite was Buried on a Bronze Bed with Gold in Her Mouth

Ancient tombs are fascinating finds, especially when they’re intact. They can provide us with clues on how a person died, social status, burial styles, and funerary rites. The last of these is...
A new study shows that the Black Death mortality rates were not the same across Europe. Source: illustrissima /Adobe Stock

Black Death Mortality Wasn’t as Widespread as Everyone Thinks

The Black Death (1347–1352 AD) is the most infamous pandemic in human history. Advances in ancient DNA research have enabled researchers to identify the bacterium behind this terrible historical...
Large ceramic funerary urns discovered within a mound found in the Los Ríos province of Ecuador. Source: Instituto Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural/YGV Prensa Digital

Ancient Indigenous Funerary Urns Unearthed in Ecuador [Images]

This week an unassuming Ecuadorian hacienda became a site of archaeological interest. Workers accidentally discovered a mound containing multiple Pre-Hispanic ceramic funerary urns while using heavy...
Bakeneko or Nekomata types of wicked Japanese yokai

Beware of the Cat: Tales of the Wicked Japanese Bakeneko and Nekomata – Part 1

Who knew innocent little Fluffy could be so devious? Cats’ reputations have often swayed from good to evil over the years as they have been both revered and feared around the world. One of the most...