Ancient Origins Magazine

AO Magazine - December 2018

Christmas is just around the corner, so we couldn’t let December go by without shining a spotlight on the ancient origins of an occasion celebrated by an estimated two billion people every year.
Christmas preserves our roots as we live out the traditions our forebears started so long ago – gift-giving and feasts from the Romans; wreaths and evergreen trees from the pagans; cooked turkey from Native Americans; Santa Claus from an ancient Greek saint; and the Yule log from Old Norse traditions. 

From the Celts to the Christians and the Vikings to the Victorians, they have all added traditions to the rich tapestry of the holiday we call Christmas. 

And while we are talking about the endurance of old customs, we also turn to a particular luxury item beloved by many – chocolate. A rich concoction created in South America over 3,000 years ago, and once seen as a gift from the gods, chocolate has made its way from the hands of Aztec nobles to the pockets of children across the world. 

Along with beliefs and ritual, ancient wisdom has been passed down through the ages to help make the wintertime a little more bearable. We’ve included some easy-to-do traditional remedies that have been used since time immemorial to help you beat those winter bugs.

You will also find a feature on a very unique Australian town, where 80 percent of residents live underground. Plus, we examine the bizarre and unexplained phenomenon of raining objects, from frogs to fish, snakes, rocks, and even money!
No matter how you observe or relive ancient traditions, we hope you will enjoy our last issue for 2018 and join us in celebrating the season of new beginnings.

Not a member yet? Enjoy our 20-page teaser of the magazine here.

Become a member to view more OR login here
AO Magazine - November 2018

Our ability to change perspectives and accept new interpretations of past events is what makes history vital and meaningful. Just when a consensus is reached about how our ancestors once lived and what knowledge they possessed, another discovery occurs that upends it all. 

A key example of this was the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, now recognized as one of the most important archaeological and architectural discoveries of the 21st century. Massive carved stones, some 11,500-years-old, were crafted and arranged to precisely align with astronomical phenomena by prehistoric people who had not yet invented the wheel, let alone agriculture. They were hunter-gatherers, yet they had constructed the first, largest, and most complex religious sanctuary the world had ever seen. In this issue, we unravel the secrets of Göbekli Tepe. Through an exclusive interview with Dr Robert Schoch, we learn about the sophisticated science behind its construction and how its builders sought to cope with cataclysmic disasters, while Freddy Silva throws a spotlight on the site’s astronomical alignments. 

In the spirit of shaking up old ideas and seeking new perspectives, we also turn to Thanksgiving, an annual celebration in November that is considered a vital part of American history and identity. We share the traditional story that is taught across schools, from podiums, and around dinner tables, but we also challenge this familiar narrative by relaying the perspective of the Wampanoag native people who encountered the newly arrived colonists all those generations ago, presenting a very different outlook on this famous historic holiday!

Elsewhere, you’ll find features on the samurai warriors of Feudal Japan, and one of their most shocking practices – ritual self-disembowelment.  We also take you back to ancient Greece, where you’ll hear about one of the most bizarre deaths in history – it involves an eagle, a tortoise, and one very unfortunate chap with a bald head! And don’t miss our mouth-watering Medieval recipe – cinnamon chicken soup. 
In this issue, we hope to spur some new perspectives in our readers, as well as ignite excitement about our ever-changing understanding of our past. Happy reading! 

Become a member to view more OR login here
AO Magazine - October 2018

Given the insatiable appetite for all-things ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it is somewhat of a surprise that so little is known or shared about a mysterious civilization that emerged in the Indus Valley at least 5,000 years ago in what is now Pakistan and India. With impeccably-planned cities such as Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, advanced hydraulic engineering, precise measuring systems, impressive metallurgy, and an intriguing writing that remains undeciphered, the Indus Valley civilization was every bit as impressive as their ancient Egyptian counterpart. Yet, without being able to read the records they left behind, much about this ancient civilization remains a giant mystery. 

In this issue, we investigate one of the greatest puzzles to emerge out of the Mohenjo Daro excavations: the shocking case of more than 40 skeletons found scattered in the streets of the ancient city. What caused such seemingly instant mass death? Was it a gruesome massacre? A powerful ancient weapon? It turns out the truth is something else altogether! 

And while we are throwing a spotlight on the Indus Valley civilization, we also turn to a country and culture shaped by its people – India. From marvellous megaliths to mystical mudras, and even a plant cultivated in India thousands of years ago that most of us still have on hand in our own kitchens. 

Readers who hear the call of the Norsemen in their hearts will enjoy the account of the ‘mythical’ Viking sunstone that turned out to be very real. Speaking of hearing – have you heard of the perplexing archaeoacoustics in Malta’s Hypogeum? And you’re not alone if you’ve ever had difficulty with a salesman; you’ll appreciate the oldest known customer service complaint ever found.

Never fear! We couldn’t let October go by without delving into the ancient origins of this month’s most famous holiday and tradition – Halloween! Did you know that this night-time festival, most popularly celebrated in North America, can trace its deepest roots to the Celts who lived 2,000 years ago? Become a ghost hunter, and track Halloween back through the millennia. 

Not a member yet? Enjoy our 20-page teaser of the magazine here.

Become a member to view more OR login here
AO Magazine - September 2018

In creating this very first issue of Ancient Origins Magazine, we scoured the planet to showcase unique histories, inspiring stories, and incredible experiences. We constantly seek to break down boundaries into research, exploring all aspects of history. Our vision is to collect stories from all over the world to deliver inspiration and challenge you to keep asking the questions, ‘how?’, ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ 

Issues will be chock-full of interviews and news from experts in the field, articles on intriguing finds and theories, thought-provoking reviews and notable authors, tasty and surprising ancient recipes, ancient puzzles and mysteries, and expeditions and journeys for the adventure-lovers.

This magazine has come about as a result of requests from you, our readers, and the passions of our dedicated team. So, welcome to the first edition of Ancient Origins Magazine! 

Become a member to view more OR login here