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News from Ancient Origins website - Ancient Origins seeks to uncover, what we believe, is one of the most important pieces of knowledge we can acquire as human beings – our beginnings.
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The Fall of the Giants and Their Fate According to Ancient Texts

Wed, 04/25/2029 - 17:44

Giants were here. In using the term giants, I am referring to persons at least 7 feet (2.1m) and up to 13 feet (4m) in height. Given that pre-modern man was significantly shorter on the average than we are today

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsAmericas

The Arch and Rotunda, Remains of a Vast Palace Complex Built by Galerius

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 20:02

One thing gastronomists, sun worshipers and historians can agree on is that Greece has more than a little of something for everyone. Regarded as the birthplace of democracy and the cradle of Western Civilisation, the country has no shortage of fascinating monuments and archaeological sites.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

AI Technology Used to Recreate the Face of Biblical Pharaoh

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:55

Technology is changing almost every aspect of our lives. It is also transforming how we understand and relate to our past and heritage. A new initiative, ‘My Colorful Past’ is using facial recognition technology to reconstruct the faces of people from history. 

Read moreSection: NewsGeneral

Exploring the True Origins of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 15:23

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of the most famous fairy tales in the world, first related in 1812 when the Grimm brothers published their collection of tales that had been gathered from old European folk stories. Like many of the Grimm tales, it is believed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has been in existence since the Middle Ages, passed down through word-of-mouth over the centuries.

In 1937, Walt Disney’s animated feature film of Snow White popularized the story worldwide, and since then, it has generally been regarded as purely a tale of fiction. However, recent research suggests the famous fairy tale may have an element of truth to it after all.

Plot Summary of the Fairy Tale

The story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tells the tale of a beautiful princess born with skin so fair and pure that her mother named her Snow White. After the Queen’s death, her father married a woman who was vain and wicked, and who would stand in front of a magic mirror asking who was the fairest woman in the land. The mirror always replied, “My Queen, you are the fairest one of all”, until one day an answer came that threw her into a rage – Snow White was now the fairest woman in all the land.

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & Legends

Deciphering the Truth Behind the Moors in Spain

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 12:53

Al-Andalus is the name given to the Iberian Peninsula when it was under Muslim rule. Islam arrived in that region with the arrival of the Moors during the 8th century AD, and succeeded in conquering almost the entire peninsula in less than a decade. The rule of the Moors in Spain lasted until 1492, when the last surviving Muslim state in the Iberian Peninsula, the Emirate of Granada, was conquered by the Christians.

Between the beginning and the end of Moorish rule in the Iberian Peninsula, Al-Andalus underwent much political change, transforming from a province of the Umayyad Caliphate into an independent emirate, and then fragmenting into smaller independent principalities known as taifas. The period of Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula is often described as La Convivencia (meaning ‘The Coexistence’), a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews were living peacefully side by side. The reality, however, may be a little more complicated than this.  

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryImportant Events

Long Before Face Masks, Islamic Healers Tried to Ward Off Disease With Talismans

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 00:00

Just as many now don face masks and do breathing exercises to protect against COVID-19 – despite debates around the science behind such practices – so too did the Islamic world turn to protective devices and rituals in premodern times of trouble.

Read moreSection: NewsGeneral

Trials of Germany’s Impregnable Königstein Fortress

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 19:33

Due to its turbulent history, Germany has many impressive military fortresses. One of the best known and most spectacular is the Königstein Fortress, located in the free state of Saxony Switzerland and therefore also known as the ‘Saxon bastille’. 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

Legacies of Otherworldly Celtic Faerie Kings

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 19:24

The Fairy Queen is a famous mythological figure featuring in Irish and British folklore for at least 1000 years, who after Shakespeare's influence, was often named Titania or Mab. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

A Deadly Formula - Why Viking Weapons and Armor Were So Effective

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 17:07

Nothing continues to be so inspiring and thrilling from early medieval history such as the Viking Age. This exciting historical period turned the nations of Europe upside down, and ushered in a new, revolutionary age.

Read moreSection: HistoryAncient Traditions

Neanderthal Gene Makes Women More Fertile

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 12:47

Are you in the “one in three” group of European women with the special Neanderthal gene required for fewer pregnancy issues?

Read moreSection: NewsEvolution & Human Origins

How the German House of Hanover ruled Britain for 200 Years

Mon, 06/01/2020 - 08:01

The House of Hanover (formally known as the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Hanover line) is a German royal house that came to rule Great Britain. The Hanoverians, as they are known, gained the British throne in the 18th century, and held on to it until the early 20th century. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous People

The Rosetta Stone: One of Archaeology’s Greatest Treasures

Sun, 05/31/2020 - 16:45

The Rosetta Stone is one of the most significant discoveries in the history of archaeology. This artifact was created during the Ptolemaic Period, and was rediscovered at the end of the 18th century. 

Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient WritingsNews

2300-year-old Anchor Devoted to Goddess of Love Hauled Up

Sun, 05/31/2020 - 12:56

Marine archaeologists have made many important ancient discoveries in the Mediterranean and now an Italian team have uncovered an anchor at the bottom of the sea.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

5 Lone Standing Stones of Europe – Our Old Menhir Warriors

Sun, 05/31/2020 - 08:06

When it comes to the ancient beliefs and rituals of our earliest ancestors, nothing can be more captivating than standing stones and similar megalithic structures. 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

The Mound Builders' Moon Goddess: Grandmother of the Eastern Woodlands

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 19:50

During a period spanning roughly 500 BC—500 AD, the Eastern Woodlands of North America were the location of the most ambitious earthworks construction episode in world history. 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAmericas

Do Akhenaten’s Links With Shavuot Shed New Light on Moses? – Part 2

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 17:01

Buried beneath the themes of first fruits and wheat offerings lie deeper connections between Shavuot and Akhenaten. These are suggestive and persuasive and go far beyond delicious foods and agricultural traditions. They involve Shavuot’s other central feature: the giving of the Hebrew law by Moses.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient TraditionsImportant EventsFamous People

Ancient Swan Pot Yields Mystery Liquid in Chinese Tomb

Sat, 05/30/2020 - 11:10

In China, archaeologists have found a mysterious liquid in a bronze pot discovered in a Chinese tomb. The pot is in the shape of a swan and it contains an unknown substance that is over 2000 years old. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

2,700-Year-Old Cannabis Ceremonies Performed on the “High-Way” to Yahweh

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 22:05

According to a new paper published in the journal Tel Aviv, ancient esoteric worshippers at a Jewish temple at the fortress mound in Tel Arad in Israel “likely smoked cannabis during cultic ceremonies.” 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

An Akhenaten Connection to the Harvest Festival of Shavuot - Part 1

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 20:06

The Jewish festival of Shavuot is taking place around the world. It is an ancient celebration of the spring harvest of grains and first fruits. It is the year’s first wheat harvest, and Jews around the world mark its occasion by parading their produce and bounty of the land, and joyously giving thanks to God for his blessings. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient TraditionsImportant EventsFamous People

Viking Grave Found Under the Floorboards of a Home in Norway

Fri, 05/29/2020 - 16:57

A Norwegian couple made an unusual historic discovery during renovations of their home. They found a number of Viking era artifacts, and now archaeologists believe that they have found a Viking grave, right there, under their floor. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

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