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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: 2 hours 39 min ago

Massive Polish Fort Walls Over 100 Feet Wide Indicate Medieval Capital

Sun, 07/05/2020 - 11:59

The discovery of three rings of fortification walls have provided archaeologists with startling new information on Medieval Poland. The find of the massive Polish fort walls...

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Ireland as Atlantis – Ancient Egyptian and Greek Clues

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 18:13

Scientists used to work on the assumption that Ireland was completely frozen over during the Ice Age, and therefore uninhabitable, until around 10,000 years ago.

Read moreSection: Unexplained Phenomena

Atlantis as Ireland - The Emerald Enigma

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 15:06

Could the answer to one of the world’s greatest mysteries have been under our noses all this time? The legendary lost island of Atlantis. Everyone’s heard of it and everyone’s got an opinion.

Read moreSection: NewsUnexplained Phenomena

Divers Find Oldest Ocher Mines in the Americas

Sat, 07/04/2020 - 10:15

Experts in Mexico have discovered what they believe to be the oldest ocher mines in all the Americas. They date back an astonishing 10-12,500 years ago. The discovery is helping researchers to better understand the Paleoindian era...

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Everything Changes at Stonehenge as Pivotal Theory is “Totally Destroyed”

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 22:21

Scientists in England have determined Stonehenge's huge blocks were transported over land, rejecting the theory that Neolithic builders “floated” the huge slabs from Wales to the construction site at Salisbury Plain.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

The Extraordinary and Ancient Entrance Grave of Bant’s Carn

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 20:05

The five inhabited islands of the Scilly Isles, an archipelago located off the south-west coast of England, is popular with visitors because of the warm climate and beautiful beaches. There are, however, a number of historic sites on the islands to entice those who love ancient history. 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

Golem: A Legendary Clay Beast Created to Protect Jewish People

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 17:52

The gothic horror novel, Frankenstein, is one of the most well-known stories in which man tries to play god by attempting to manufacture a living being. A similar story, that of the golem, exists in Jewish folklore and legend, albeit with some obvious differences. For instance, the Frankenstein monster is popularly depicted as an amalgamation of body parts from cadavers, while the golem is said to be made from clay. Additionally, it was science that gave life to the Frankenstein monster, whereas the golem is said to have been given life by mystical means.

The Golem in the Bible

The word ‘golem’ is said to appear once in the Bible (Psalms 139:16), and means ‘shapeless mass’ or ‘unfinished substance’ in Hebrew. According to a Talmudic legend, Adam was a golem for the first 12 hours of his existence, indicating that he was a body without a soul. In another legend, the prophet Jeremiah is said to have made a golem. Some believe these legends regarding the creation of golems are merely symbolic in nature, and may refer to a person’s spiritual awakening.

A Rabbi creates a golem. (Public Domain)

Read moreSection: NewsMyths & LegendsAsia

Mice Remains and A Viking Visit to Madeira

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 16:42

In a recent article on the Vikings in South America, it was indicated how scientists had put forward an untenable theory to account for the presence in Chile of the Bundsö dogs from Denmark before Columbus.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

Mount Nemrut Magnificent Monument To Megalomania

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 15:31

In 1881, a German engineer by the name of Karl Sester was surveying transport routes through what was then the Ottoman Empire. Some local people who lived in the area and worked for him shared some interesting news which he subsequently reported. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

Unique Painting of Extinct Giant Sloth Discovered in Madagascar Cave

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 13:23

A team of scientists exploring a cave in western Madagascar have discovered an ancient painting which they are calling the “only known drawing of an extinct giant lemur” that once lived in the island’s remote western forests until at least 1,000 years ago.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Understanding the Swinging Seismographic Gavazan Column at Tatev Monastery

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 08:00

The Gavazan Column, called the Gavazan Siun, is a unique monument located in the compound of the Tatev Monastery in Armenia. During the Middle Ages, the monastery was a great center of learning in Armenia

Read moreSection: ArtifactsAncient TechnologyNewsAncient Places

Chichen Itza: Ancient Maya City Built Above A Gateway to the Underworld

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 20:07

Chichen Itza is an ancient Mayan city located in the northern part of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The city is though to have been founded around the 6th century AD. 

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesAmericas

New Digs Provide Insights into the Median Empire and Capital

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 17:00

The Median Empire and the Medes people are one of the most important in the ancient world. However, relatively little is known about them or their capital city, thought to be Ecbatana.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

The Honorable Death: Samurai and Seppuku in Feudal Japan

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 14:51

While martial suicide is a practice found in a lot of cultures, the act of seppuku, or ritual self-disembowelment, is peculiar to Japan. The earliest known acts of seppuku were the deaths of samurai Minamoto Tametomo and poet Minamoto Yorimasa in the latter part of the 12th century. Seppuku is known in the west as hara-kiri. However, the term seppuku is considered a more elegant usage.

As the human spirit was believed to reside in the stomach, slitting the stomach open was considered to be the most straightforward, and bravest, way to die. Therefore, this act was a privilege reserved for the samurai. Commoners were allowed to hang or drown themselves, and samurai women could slit their own throats, but only a male samurai was allowed to commit seppuku.

Onodera Junai's wife (one of the 47 ronin) preparing for jigai (female version of seppuku) to follow her husband in death : legs are bound as to maintain a decent posture in agony ; death is given by a tanto cut at the jugular vein. Kuniyoshi woodcut, Seichu gishin den series ("Story of truthful hearts"), 1848. (Public Domain)

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

First Ice Age Underwater Aboriginal Sites Found Off Australia

Thu, 07/02/2020 - 12:58

For the first time, scientists in Australia have discovered ancient archaeological underwater Aboriginal sites and artifacts, but a new gas pipe line threatens to destroy similar undiscovered sites.

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

A Rare Ancient Dutch Castle Has Been Uncovered in the Netherlands

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 22:19

The Netherlands isn’t known as a country that announces weekly archaeological discoveries. However, there are countless ancient sites of medieval interest in the Netherlands ranging from Anglo-Saxon holy wells, churches, cathedrals and missionaries

Read moreSection: NewsHistory & Archaeology

Pont Du Gard - Is This Mighty Engineering Feat in Danger of Collapse?

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 20:03

Some of the most remarkable Roman remains are its roads, amphitheaters, and bridges. Perhaps the most awe-inspiring of all their aqueducts is the astounding Pont du Gard found in Nimes, France.

Read moreSection: NewsAncient PlacesEurope

The Kievan Rus’ – When Vikings and Slavs Cooperated to Shape History

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 16:56

The history of the Slavs is a long and ancient tale. Their roots reach far into the past, deep into the oldest beginnings of Europe. These culturally, linguistically, and genetically connected peoples inhabited great swaths of Europe, and they inhabited these lands for many centuries.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryAncient Traditions

The Ghosts and Superstitions of Ancient Rome

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 15:36

The history of the military conquests of the ancient Romans has often neglected to highlight some characteristics, which are still typical of the citizens of the Urbs Aeterna (Eternal City). The Romans have always shared an undisputed love for a salacious joke and for witty phrases. 

Read moreSection: NewsHistory

Queen Elizabeth I: The Controversies and the Accomplishments

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 13:06

Elizabeth I was one of England’s most famous and powerful queens and an iconic figure in world history. Known also as ‘The Virgin Queen’ and ‘Good Queen Bess’, she belonged to the House of Tudor – a golden age in English history – and reigned for a total of 45 years. Elizabeth’s reign became known as the Elizabethan era, and some of its achievements include the unification of her subjects who were divided along religious lines, the emergence of England as a major European power, and the flourishing of the arts. But her life was not without controversy.

Elizabeth’s Place in the Royal Family Tree

Elizabeth I was born on September 7, 1533. She was the daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn . Before Elizabeth reached the age of three, her mother was charged with adultery, incest, and high treason and executed. By the time of her father’s death in 1547, Elizabeth was third in line to the English throne, behind her younger half-brother Edward and older half-sister Mary. Although she was not expected to inherit the throne, she was not neglected by her father and received an education that would have customarily been reserved for male heirs at the time.

Read moreSection: NewsHistoryFamous People

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