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Who we are

Ancient Origins Team



Dr John Syrigos – Co-Founder, Researcher & Director

Dr Ioannis 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.

Mirka Rossi – Marketing & Communications Manager

Mirka Rossi

Mirka Rossi graduated from ST. GEORGE Independent Studies - Commercial College. Born in Cape Town (South Africa) and having spent her junior years in Kenya, she is fluent in English. Early in her career, she worked in both privately-owned businesses and large multinational companies, focusing on marketing and communication. Her roles included introducing and promoting corporate concepts, ideas, and culture, as well as public relations and organizing exhibitions and events in Greece and abroad.

In 2019, Mirka pivoted to the science communication domain. She managed dissemination and communication activities for various European research and innovation projects at the National Observatory of Athens.

Furthermore, she spearheaded the communication and dissemination strategy of the award-winning from the European Innovation Council (EIC), EarlY WArning System for Mosquito-borne Diseases (EYWA).

Kostas Liampas – Business Development Manager & Director

Kostas is an Electronic and Computer Engineer, with an MSc in Communications and a MBA.

He possesses many years experience as Product/Project Manager and Sales Manager in different technology areas in Germany.

Kostas speaks fluently English and German, Greek is his mother tongue and he speaks also French. He has worked many years as manager in multicultural environments, exploiting his team spirit to achieve his teams goals, while customer`s satisfaction and loyalty is always his focus.

His hobbies include playing guitar, cross fit and swimming.

Petros Koutoupis – Ancient Origins Premium Manager & Director

Petros Koutoupis

Petros Koutoupis is a software developer and electronic engineer working on high performance file systems for Supercomputers.

A long-time contributor to Ancient Origins, he is an author and independent historical researcher passionate about Late Bronze and Early Iron Age periods of the Eastern Mediterranean and general Near East. Fluent in modern Greek, Petros has studied additional languages which include ancient / Biblical Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Aramaic, Akkadian and more.

Gary Manners – Managing Editor & Writer

Gary Manners

Gary is an editor, writer and content manager for Ancient Origins website. 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, gaining insights into different societies and how life was in the past. With this work he gets access to these insights every day!

Cecilia Bogaard - Chief Editor of Ancient Origins Magazine, Writer & Researcher

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 including Spain, Scotland, Cuba, the United States, and now southern Ecuador, where she lives with her family.

Santiago Giraldo Bedoya – Chief 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.

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.

Rahul Aggarwal - Tour curator & manager

Rahul has been in the tourism industry since 2007 when he founded his own tour operating business. With a long-standing passion for adventure travel and a curiosity about diverse cultures and ancient history, he has developed and operated pioneering tours in some of the most remote and challenging places on earth. Rahul has always believed that tourism has the potential to bridge our gaps in knowledge, foster better cultural understanding, sustain livelihoods and preserve traditions. He is a strong advocate of responsible travel and he has a Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism from the GSTC.

Rahul brings years of tour operating experience and enthusiasm to Ancient Origins, where he is responsible for curating and operating Ancient Origins' tours across the world. These inspirational tours showcase the wonders and mysteries of the ancient world which are further brought to life by knowledgeable local guides and the participation of carefully selected guest speakers. He looks forward to welcoming you on one of their adventures.

Dr Micki Pistorius – Editor & Tours Organizer 

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. 

Honorary Past Members

Joanna Gillan – Co-Founder 

April Holloway

Joanna Gillan served as Co-Owner, Editor, and Writer of Ancient Origins for 10 years.

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 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. 

Alicia McDermott – Chief Editor of Ancient Origins Magazine, Writer & Researcher

Alicia McDermott

Alicia McDermott served as Chief Editor, writer, and researcher for Ancient Origins Magazine for nearly a decade. She holds degrees in Anthropology, International Development Studies, and Psychology, and considers herself 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 – Digital Marketing and SEO

Christian Aguilar provided for 10 years 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. 


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