Who we are

Ancient Origins Team



Dr John Syrigos – Co-Founder and Researcher

Dr John Syrigos

Dr Ioannis (John) Syrigos is the co-owner and Managing Director of Ancient Origins.

Ioannis is a computer & electrical engineer with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, a lecturer, explorer and researcher.

He has a personal passion for Ancient History, Mythology, Anthropology and Astronomy, with a particular interest in the folklore surrounding ancient sites, as relayed by the local indigenous people.

Ioannis has undertaken expeditions and research in remote areas of Ecuador, Colombia, and Peru, including Ciudad Perdida (The Lost City) in the Colombian jungle, and the Tayos Cave system in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador, a vast underground network of caves where ancient artifacts have previously been found but very little of which has been officially explored. One of his expeditions resulted in him and a colleague being kidnapped by a tribe after they inadvertently strayed into their territory. They were put on trial but managed to negotiate their release. 

Ioannis currently investigates ancient sites throughout Ireland, where he is currently based.

Joanna Gillan – Co-Founder and Chief Editor

April Holloway

Joanna Gillan is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. 

Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) degree in Australia and published research in the field of Educational Psychology. She has a rich and varied career, ranging from teaching children with autism in an early intervention program, owning and operating an online English teaching business, working as a research and project officer for the British Royal Family, as well as co-owning a website design and development company.

Joanna co-founded Ancient Origins with her husband Dr Ioannis Syrigos. Together they immersed themselves in their personal passion for ancient history, mythology and human origins.  She loves learning about and experiencing other cultures and has spent time living in Australia, UK, Greece, Ecuador and Ireland and travelling to hundreds of historic sites around the world.

Joanna has written over 1,000 articles for Ancient Origins, some of which have been mentioned in the New York Times, CNN, Fox News, The Guardian, The Times, Spiegel and The Daily Mail. She regularly appears on radio and TV programs to discuss historical subjects. Her latest appearances include RTE’s Today Show, Ireland AM, and Newstalk Radio. 

Dr Micki Pistorius – Editor and Membership Co-ordinator

Micki Pistorius is a South African psychologist, author and journalist. After completing her BA degree, she worked as a journalist in printed and television media for 8 years, when she was elected in the University of Pretoria’s psychology programme. She completed her doctorate’s degree in psychology and was immediately appointed as psychological profiler in the South African Police Service. After resigning from the SAPS, she returned to journalism and worked for a television production company, writing scripts and producing documentaries for a few years. Then she opened her private practice as psychologist. She continued training and presenting lectures on international podia. Micki never gave up on her calling as a writer and authored 7 books, and her autobiography, 'Catch me a Killer' became a best seller. By 2010 her passion for ancient antiquity inspired her to undertake an Honours degree in Biblical Archaeology. 

Santiago Giraldo Bedoya – Graphic Designer

Santiago Giraldo Bedoya is the graphic designer for and the Art Director of Ancient Origins Magazine.

He is an industrial and graphic designer with more than eight years’ experience in content design. A Colombian living in Argentina, Santiago worked as Head of Art for Buenos Aires City Government.

Santiago is passionate about graphics, art and music. His vocation has always been linked to the study of creative tools, art, logos and branding. One of his favourite activities is to guess the typography of signs, playing with colors and compositions in his mind as he walks down busy city streets.

Alicia McDermott – Editor, Writer and Researcher

Alicia McDermott

Alicia McDermott is one of the researchers, editors, and writers at Ancient Origins. She has degrees in Anthropology, International Development Studies, and Psychology and sees herself as a lifelong learner with an open mind.

Alicia has worked in various fields such as education, tourism, and anthropology. Traveling throughout Bolivia and Peru, as well as all-over Ecuador, Alicia has increased her knowledge of Pre-Colombian sites as well as learning more about modern Andean cultures and fine-tuning her Spanish skills. Alicia has had a passion for writing since she was a child and apart from creative writing, she has written various essays about Latin American social issues and archaeological sites.

Christian Aguilar – IT, SEO and Social Media

Christian Aguilar provides IT Support for the Ancient Origins team. It has been his dream to work for an organization with interesting and valuable goals in a web administration role, which led him to study systems engineering at the Catholic University of Cuenca. Christian enjoys every aspect of his job and at the same time is developing new knowledge toward his career.

Gary Manners – Editor and Content Coordinator

Gary is an editor and content manager for Ancient Origins. He has a BA in Politics and Philosophy from the University of York and a Diploma in Marketing from CIM. He has worked in education, the educational sector, social work and personal development. Gary has an interest in societies and social order, people’s values and social structures and generally how societies work. He has experienced life in several types of social order, from Liberal Western Democracy (mainly), to Socialist, Communist and even a Buddhist life style in China. Each has its merits and charm. His first taste of a different style of living was on an Israeli Kibbutz when he was just 17. He has lived in 4 countries and visited more than 30, always trying to gain insights into society, people how life was in the past. With this work he gets access to these insights every day.

Umesh Kumar Jangid – Lead Developer 

Umesh Jangir is a Full stack Lead Developer at heart and love working with PHP related technologies. He is passionate about Drupal, Magento and WordPress and advocate using open source technologies. More than 9+ years of experience. Umesh Jangir completed his Masters degree in INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.


Ancient Origins has had more than 80 contributing writers , dozens of whom continue to contribute to the website with articles covering a wide range of fascinating subject-areas.  However, we’d like to introduce you to three regular members of our writing team.

Ashley Cowie

Ashley Cowie is a Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems, in accessible and exciting ways. His books, articles and television shows explore lost cultures and kingdoms, ancient crafts and artefacts, symbols and architecture, myths and legends telling thought-provoking stories which together offer insights into our shared social history - The People's History.

Wu Mingren (‘Dhwty’)

Wu Mingren (‘Dhwty’)

Wu Mingren has a Bachelor of Arts in Ancient History and Archaeology. Although his primary interest is in the ancient civilizations of the Near East, he is also interested in other geographical regions, as well as other time periods. He has been an active participant in archaeological fieldwork, and has been on excavations around the world, including the UK, Egypt and Italy. 

Riley Winters

Riley Winters is a recent graduate from Christopher Newport University with a degree in Classical Studies and Art History, and a Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor.  She will be attending the University of Glasgow in 2015 for Celtic and Viking Archaeology, and has aspirations to begin her Ph.D. in Classical art and archaeology the following year.


Ancient Origins has more than 50 guest authors, who are researchers, experts, and published authors from a variety of different fields that have generously given their time to share their knowledge and experience with Ancient Origins’ readers.

Here is just a small selection of the authors who contribute their expert opinions to Ancient Origins. You can view the full list here.

Dr Rita Louise Dr Theodoros Spyropoulos Liana Souvaltzi
Dr Rita Louise , Founder of the Institute of Applied Energetics & Naturopathic Physician Dr Theodoros Spyropoulos , Archaeologist, Official of Central Archaeological Council of Greece Liana Souvaltzi , Archaeologist, Greece
Graham Hancock Charles Christian Dr Ken Jeremiah
Graham Hancock , is an author and researcher

Charles Christian is a professional writer, editor, award-winning journalist and former Reuters correspondent.

Dr Ken Jeremiah , is an author and researcher
Dr Sam Osmanagich Professor Giovanni Pastore Dr. Sachin Kumar Tiwary

Dr Sam Osmanagich , Anthropology Professor

Professor Giovanni Pastore , Mechanical Engineer

Dr. Sachin Kumar Tiwary , Assistant Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India

Andrew Collins Dr Nickos Poulianos Dr Massimo Bonasorte

Andrew Collins , Author, Investigator

Dr Nickos Poulianos , Palaeoanthropologist, Greece

Dr Massimo Bonasorte , Investigative journalist

Chet Van Duzer Walter Cruttenden Gary A. David

Chet Van Duzer , Historical Geographer

Walter Cruttenden , Director of the Binary Research Institute and Documentary Producer

Gary A. David , Author and Archaeo-astronomer

Ralph Ellis Hugh Newman Brien Foerster

Ralph Ellis , Historian of Biblical and Egyptian History

Hugh Newman , Author, Researcher

Brien Foerster , Author and Expert in South American Cultures