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Cecilia Bogaard

Cecilia Bogaard is one of the editors, researchers and writers on Ancient Origins. With an MA in Social Anthropology, and degree in Visual Communication (Photography), Cecilia has a passion for research, content creation and editing, especially as related to the ability for art to provoke social change, and the dynamics of power in public space throughout history. This has taken her around the world to far-flung places such as Cuba, Spain, Scotland, India, the United States and now southern Ecuador, where she lives with her family.


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Representational image of an ancient Roman historian. Source: Ian / Adobe Stock

Imaginary Roman Emperors Grace the Pages of the Historia Augusta

The Historia Augusta presents a carnival of outlandish stories that have puzzled historians for centuries. But these bizarre fabrications are not limited to irrelevant details. The ancient collection...
Cleopatra’s Needle, better known as Thutmose Obelisk, in Central Park, New York. Source: John Anderson / Adobe Stock

Few Non-visitors Are Aware of the 3,500-Year-Old Obelisk in NY's Central Park

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of Central Park lies the oldest outdoor monument in New York City: Cleopatra's Needle. The tale of how this imposing ancient Egyptian obelisk got there, as well as...
Representational image of a Capybara. Source: Henner Damke / Adobe Stock

Cute and Cuddly Capybaras Are Related to Extinct Colossal Rodents

Native to South America's wetlands, the Capybara is celebrated as the world's largest rodent and revered for its gentle demeanor. Yet, behind its cuddly reputation lies a remarkable connection to an...
London symbols of British culture with Big Ben, a double-decker bus and Red Phone Booths. Source: Tomas Marek/ Adobe Stock

Britain's “Britishness” is Largely an Import Story

Britain's history is a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of diverse cultures, a reality seemingly overlooked by some nationalist standpoints. Contrary to the cosmopolitan makeup of the country,...
The Opening of the New London Bridge (completed in 1831) by George Chambers. Source: Public domain

Oddly Enough, London Bridge is Now Located in the Arizona Desert

In an unexpected twist of history, the famed London Bridge now stands proudly in the Arizona Desert. Its journey from the heart of London to the American Southwest is a testament to the bridge's...
Representative image of hands covered with Maya blue pigment. Source: Generated with Adobe Firefly

Maya Sacrificial Victims Were Painted Blue and Tossed into a Sinkhole

In Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula lies a site which was once central to Maya sacrificial rituals—the sacred cenote of Chichen Itza. This natural sinkhole harbors secrets of human sacrifice and religious...
The reconstructed Ishtar Gate of Babylon at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin / CC BY-SA 4.0

Babylon's Monumental Ishtar Gate Travelled from Iraq to Germany

If you've ever stood in awe beneath the towering 14-meter (46 ft) high Ishtar Gate at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, you might have questioned how on Earth this Babylonian marvel came to be there—6,000 km...
The Gatchina Palace Fabergé Egg. Source: CC0 1.0 Universal

Fabergé Eggs Were Opulent Easter Gifts Created for Russian Royalty

Almost everyone has heard about Fabergé eggs, thanks to their making headlines as they fetch exorbitant prices at auction. In one case, in 2007, the famed Rothschild Clock Egg was sold by Christie’s...
Philip II banned Arabic in an attempt to quash Moorish heritage. Detail from the ceiling of the Hall of Kings at the Alhambra in Granada. Source: Rumomo / CC BY-SA 4.0

Philip II Outlawed Arabic to Try to Erase Moorish Heritage in Spain

The reign of Philip II of Spain stands as a pivotal era marked by religious fervor. In 1566, Philip II issued a decree that reverberated across the Iberian Peninsula. This edict not only outlawed the...
Representational image of the legendary giant Amazonian snake known in folklore as Yacumama. Source: Regys / Adobe Stock

The Legendary Yacumama is a Cryptozoologists Dream Come True

Deep within the heart of the Amazon rainforest, amidst the dense foliage and winding rivers, lies a creature of legend that has captivated the imaginations of indigenous peoples for generations...
Representational image of a Native American dance. Source: Iobard / Adobe Stock

The Peaceful Ghost Dance Movement Was Misconstrued as a Threat

Throughout history, governments have continually feared and misrepresented peaceful resistance movements, none more tragically than the misinterpretation of the Ghost Dance Movement by the United...
Representational image of an ancient octopus. Source: Ariestia / Adobe Stock

Before the Era of Dinosaurs, There Was a Ten-Legged Octopus

Locked away in a drawer in a museum in Canada, scientists rediscovered a fossil that rewrote the paleontological history of the octopus, revealing its earliest known ancestor. To their surprise, not...
Bowl of vichyssoise soup. Source: Michael / Adobe Stock

Vichyssoise Is Served Cold Because King’s Taste-Test Took an Eternity

In the rich casserole of culinary history, few stories are as captivating as the legend surrounding the origin of vichyssoise soup. According to popular lore, the origin of this creamy delight is...
Caricature of Charles Cunningham Boycott, published in Vanity Fair magazine in January 1881. Source: Public domain

Captain Boycott's Abuse of Irish Farmers Sparked the Term “Boycott”

Certain words emerge from peculiar circumstances, leaving an indelible mark on language and society. The term “boycott” is one such example, as it carries a fascinating origin story that intertwines...
Millions of postcards made a mockery of Leap Day traditions which gave women the opportunity to propose to men once every four years on the 29th February. Source: Public domain

Women Have Proposed Marriage to Men on Leap Day for Hundreds of Years

Welcome to February 29th, the Leap day that comes around but once every four years! In the age of viral marriage proposals, the persistence of outdated traditions whereby men inevitably go down on...
The secret staircase at la Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda. Source: Ingo Bartussek / Adobe Stock

‘Moorish King's House’ Had a Secret Staircase to Survive Sieges

Nestled within the rugged landscape of Ronda, Spain, lies a hidden gem of ancient ingenuity: La Casa del Rey Moro, or the House of the Moorish King. While this historic site is renowned for its...