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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.
Updated: 41 min ago

Genomes Throw New Light On Origins of Modern Humans

2 hours 54 min ago

Researchers from the University of Huddersfield, with colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the University of Minho in Braga, have been using a genetic approach to tackle one of the most intractable questions of all -- how and when we became truly human.

Read moreSection: NewsEvolution & Human Origins

First Ever Aztec Royal Burial Site Could Be Indicated By Jaguar, Flamingo and Child Sacrifices [New Discovery]

5 hours 44 min ago

Archaeologists working in Mexico City have made a series of amazing finds and these could lead to the discovery of an Aztec Emperor’s long-lost tomb.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Ancient Irish Law - Where You Could Be Fined if Your Bees Stole Nectar From a Neighbor’s Flower

9 hours 52 min ago

During the early 17th century the English completed their conquest of Ireland and English common law was introduced on the island. Prior to this, a set of native laws was used to for the island’s administration. Known as the Brehon Law, this set of laws was first written down during the 7th century.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

The Great Ice Road: Proof of a 2,000 Kilometer Polar Trade Route in Volcanic Glass Dating Back at least 8,000 Years

14 hours 46 min ago

Valuable obsidian travelled during Early Holocene times from Lake Krasnoe in Chukotka to Zhokhov Island deep in the Arctic. But how? 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Atlantis in India: Did Plato’s Lost City Exist in the East?

Sun, 03/24/2019 - 20:01

Available written evidence indicates that a site known as ‘The Lost City of Atlantis’ corresponds to an ancient site in India that has been hidden for millennia. According to this investigation, there has been a major erratum among cartographers resulting in the ancient history of India being hidden.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAsiaUnexplained Phenomena

Who are the Druze and How Might the Shroud of Turin Relate Them to Jesus Christ?

Sun, 03/24/2019 - 12:47

The Druze are a secretive surviving Gnostic community in the Middle East today who publicly claim homogeneity with Islam due to a historical fear of persecution. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous People

The Winged Hussars: An Eerie and Flamboyant Cavalry That Devasted Their Enemies

Sun, 03/24/2019 - 07:57

The Winged Hussars (known also as the Polish Hussars) were a type of shock cavalry used by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Winged Hussars were formed during the 16th century and were used until the 18th century when they became obsolete as a result of the advances in military technology.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

Symbolism of the Mythical Phoenix Bird: Renewal, Rebirth and Destruction

Sun, 03/24/2019 - 06:31

In ancient mythology, the symbolism of the majestic Phoenix bird, which is most often connected with the Sun, dies and is reborn across cultures and throughout time.

Ancient legend paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames. It is then reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. So powerful is the symbolism that it is a motif and image that is still used commonly today in popular culture and folklore.

The legendary phoenix is a large, grand bird, much like an eagle or peacock. It is brilliantly coloured in reds, purples, and yellows, as it is associated with the rising sun and fire. Sometimes a nimbus will surround it, illuminating it in the sky. Its eyes are blue and shine like sapphires. It builds its own funeral pyre or nest, and ignites it with a single clap of its wings. After death it rises gloriously from the ashes and flies away.

Image: Phoenix rising from the ashes in Book of Mythological Creatures by Friedrich Johann Justin Bertuch (1747-1822)

Phoenix Bird Symbolizes Renewal and Resurrection

The phoenix symbolizes renewal and resurrection, and represents many themes, such as “the sun, time, the empire, metempsychosis, consecration, resurrection, life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man”.

Read moreSection: Myths & Legends

Ivar the Boneless: Viking Warrior, Ruler and Raider

Sun, 03/24/2019 - 06:28

Ivar the Boneless was likely the son of legendary Viking king Ragnar Lothbrok, and raided alongside his father and brothers, eventually becoming ruler of York in England in the 9th century AD.

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsEuropeHistoryFamous People

Elaborate Wari Offerings Found At Pikillaqta Ritual Site [New Find]

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 17:05

Sometime around 1100 AD, Pikillaqta, a major feasting and ceremonial site located near Cusco, Peru, was abandoned by the Wari people. The reason behind their sudden departure is uncertain, but the recent discovery of elaborate figurines in ritual Wari offerings may help explain some of the story.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

The Beauty of Death, Dying and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhist Rituals

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 12:55

In Tibet they have a lot of interesting beliefs and rituals regarding death and the world beyond.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

The I Ching: Ancient ‘Book of Changes’ That Provides A Personal Path of Balance and Harmony AND Predicts Your Future!

Sat, 03/23/2019 - 07:55

The I Ching (commonly translated as ‘Book of Changes’ or ‘Classic of Changes’) is an ancient philosophical Chinese text and one of the most important books in world literature.

Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient WritingsNews

Eye-conic Siberian Spectacles: Dazzling Eye Fashion From 2,000 Years Ago Until Today

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 17:00

Siberian goggles are among the world’s earliest eyewear to prevent blindness from the sun’s piercing reflection off the snow. The following remarkable pictures and drawings show a range of ‘eye-conic Siberian spectacles’ in use today as they were in the ancient past.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Highly Trained ‘Watchers’ Positioned At Ancient English Forts Prepare For Game Of Thrones Invasion

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 12:55

English Heritage attempts to distinguish ‘facts from fantasy’ at Hadrian’s Wall as increasing numbers of Game Of Thrones fans visit ‘The Wall’.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

The Wooing of Etain: An Irish Tale of Love, Loss, and Jealousy

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:40

Étaín is a character from Irish mythology with an extraordinary life story. Her immense physical and spiritual beauty enthralled a member of the fairy folk and made her the heroine of the tale ‘The Wooing of Etain’.

Étaín’s Unrivalled Beauty

Daughter of King Ailill of the Ulaid, later of Ulster chieftain King Etar, and future wife of both Midir of the elfmounds and the mortal Eochaid Feidlech, Étaín is often described in literature, particularly the Middle Irish text Togail Bruidna Da Derga,‘The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel’, as having shimmering waves of fire-gold hair, skin as white as snow, and blushing cheeks red as foxgloves. Her eyes are recorded to be a vibrant, unnatural blue, and her shape is considered as wavy as sea foam.

She is, quite literally, the standard of beauty to which all Irish women are held. Because of this beauty, she finds herself in a difficult way—loved by two men a thousand years apart. The chronological tale of Étaín is as follows, beginning with her otherworldly life with Midir of the Tuatha de Danann (‘tribes of the goddess Danu’), and ending with her mortal life with Eochaid.

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsEurope

Seal of Solomon Controlling the Demonic Armies

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 11:23

Did King Solomon possess a magical ring – given to him directly from heaven – with which he could control Astaroth, Prince of Hell? 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

Populating Palmerston Island: One Man, Three Wives and A Desert Island Paradise

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 08:01

Palmerston Island is part of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. This island is one of the six main islands located on a coral atoll and is the only one that is inhabited. Palmerston Island is one of the most isolated places on earth, and almost all of its inhabitants today are related to each other, as they are all descended from one Englishman who settled there about 150 years ago.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAustralia & Oceania

The Black Book - Source of Devils Magic that Wizards Wager Their Soul to Obtain

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 19:49

The Black Book is said to hold within its pages all the magical practices which are in opposition to the divine. The idea regarding the existence of such a book is very old and it appears briefly in various mythologies.

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsEurope

Legendary Claddagh Rings: What are the True Origins of these Symbolic Irish Wedding Rings?

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 16:38

The Claddagh ring design of two hands holding a crowned heart is a recognizable symbol of Ireland and enduring love. It is hugely popular as a fashion accessory and a symbolic gesture. While everyone seems to know the rules of the Claddagh ring that lead up to it being worn as a wedding ring, few people know its history.

The Claddagh ring is, in fact, just one of the more popular iterations of a design used for pledges, vows, and wedding rings that goes all the way back to the ancient Romans.

Specific Symbolism of a Claddagh Wedding Ring

A Claddagh wedding ring represents friendship (the two hands), love (the heart), and loyalty (the crown). The earliest appearance of this design dates back to the early 1700s in an Irish fishing village called Claddagh (thus the name). Since that time, the village has been incorporated into the city of Galway.

Read moreSection: ArtifactsOther ArtifactsNewsHistoryAncient Traditions

Sayyida al-Hurra: Noble ‘Sovereign Lady’ Who Became A Feared Pirate of the Mediterranean

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:57

Sayyida al-Hurra was a notorious female pirate who lived between the 15th and 16th centuries. She was active in the western part of Mediterranean, and frequently targeted the ships of Portuguese and Spanish traders. In addition to being a pirate, 

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous People