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Roman Emperors Running the Family Business
Thursday August 22, 2019 4:00pm EST
by Barry Strauss
Roman Emperors Running the Family Business

In this summation of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire as seen through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine, author Barry Strauss tells the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople.

During these centuries, Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. Rome’s legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Barry examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business—the government of an empire—by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost.

Barry StraussBarry Strauss is the author of the bestselling books, Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine (2019), The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination (2015), The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece – and Western Civilization (named a best book of 2004 by the Washington Post) and several other books. His books have been translated into 15 languages. He teaches History and Classics at Cornell University where he is also Director and co-founder of the Program on Freedom and Free Societies.

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Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure
Saturday July 20, 2019 5:00pm EST
by Daniel J. Duke
Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure

In his book, Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure—author and direct descendant of the infamous American outlaw Jesse James—Daniel J. Duke initially set out to uncover his ancestors’ lost treasures but unraveled a tapestry of secrets leading centuries back to the Knights Templar. To introduce the topic of this Interview with an Expert, we can do no better than the following endorsements:

“Daniel J. Duke has successfully cracked open part of the mystery surrounding Templar treasure from Jerusalem that had been moved to the Americas to help establish a free nation. Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure goes beyond just theorizing that treasure was moved to the Americas and in fact demonstrates the connections and methods utilized to hide certain treasures. There have always been those who have sought to shape history to ensure that freedoms and artifacts could be preserved in the Americas. Daniel J. Duke’s book is on the cutting edge of revealing some of what has remained hidden. Anybody who is interested in the Templar legacy and their connection with the Americas will find true gems in this book!”   

--Timothy W. Hogan, Templar Grand Master, author, and lecturer.

“Having inadvertently fallen down one of the many hidden wells of esoteric knowledge dotted across the North American landscape, author Daniel J. Duke--the great-great-grandson of the outlaw Jesse James--weaves a wonderful tale of Southern intrigue and mysterious treasure. His familial connection enables him to explore the ancient mysteries within the Tree of Life and Veil templates and their connections over time to the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, the Knights of the Golden Circle, Francis Bacon and the Rosicrucians, and Sovereign Grand Commander Albert Pike. Where he travels next on his personal journey of discovery will be the key.”  

-- William F. Mann: officer of the Knights Templar of Canada’s Grand Executive Committee, a member of its Grand Council, and serving as the Sovereign Great Priory’s Grand Archivist, author of The Knights Templar in the New World, The Templar Meridians, and Templar.

Daniel DukeDaniel J. Duke, the great-great grandson of Jesse James, grew up surrounded by stories of lost outlaw treasures. For more than two decades he has researched the mysteries involving his family, Freemasonry, and the Knights Templar. He lives in Texas. Daniel is the author of Jesse James and the Lost Templar Treasure.

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The Hittites - Hidden History of Hattusa
Sunday June 2, 2019 2:30pm EST
by Marco Vigato
Ancient Origins Premium Webinar

Who were the Hittites that the Bible speaks of?

Sometimes they are referred to as the ancestors of the Canaanites, and the founders of Jerusalem… but were they? The Hittites were considered a mighty Bronze Age Civilization, with their capital at Hattusa (modern-day Bogazkale in Turkey). The Hittites are most famous for their peace treaty with Egypt after the Battle of Kadesh (1259 / 1258 BC). By the time the Hittites – of Indo-European descent – moved into the region during the 17th and 18th centuries BC, Hattusa had already existed since 2000 BC and was beset by the Hatti people.  At its zenith, some 40 000 to 50 000 people lived in the city and the walls stretched for 6.5 kilometers – the largest Bronze Age settlement. The Hittites established an ancestry of 28 Hittite kings, and the empire reached from the Black Sea in the north, the whole of Anatolia, including the Mediterranean coast, down the Levant including parts of modern Syria. It fell at the end of the Bronze Age (circa 1200 BC).

The ruins of Hattusa were discovered in 1833. Evidence is clear that the city was destroyed by fire, but archaeologists are perplexed that the fire was so violent; it made limestone explode in fragments and other cities were also destroyed at the same time.  Evidence of cultures in the Near East, including Palestine, fortresses in Syria, and even cities in the Nile Delta that were also incinerated may point to ‘fire from heaven’ or a meteor strike. 

Marco M. Vigato, an independent researcher into ancient mysteries and megalithic civilizations, takes us on a tour of Hattusa, enhanced by his own photographs. The Hittites were known as a people of a thousand gods, and Marco explores the Great Temple complex which bears an uncanny resemblance to Inca masonry and the great Sun Temple of Qorikancha in ancient Cuzco.  Another enigmatic feature of the temple which one also finds almost everywhere amidst the ancient ruins of Hattusa, is a large number of perfectly circular drill-holes cut deep into the rock. There is also a large green-stone boulder (probably nephrite or jadeite) which has been the subject of much speculation. The city gates are especially remarkable as they show a polygonal style of masonry not unlike that of Mycenaean Bronze Age walls. The most famous gates are the “Gate of the Lions” and the “Gate of the King”, which took their name after the bas-reliefs decorating the frames. He discusses the enigmatic staircase leading up the Yerkati rampart, the so-called “Hieroglyph chamber” and many other architectural features of this once-great city.

Marco M VigatoMarco M Vigato, a native of Italy, lives in Mexico City and has traveled extensively across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia, North and South America. He is also a passionate photographer, dedicated to documenting the evidence of ancient advanced civilizations and sacred sites around the world. Much of his recent research has focused on the megalithic remains of ancient Mexico and Mesoamerica, leading him to the discovery of several little-known sites showing evidence of advanced engineering and architecture in the central Mexican highlands. He is currently working on a more comprehensive study of the origins and development of megalithic civilizations around the world, which will focus on cultural and historical aspects, as well as on the relationship of ancient megalithic sites with sacred geometry, astronomy, and geodesy. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. and M.Sc. in Finance from Bocconi University. | To see more, visit Uncharted Ruins


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Exploring Avebury: Voices of Ancestor
Saturday April 27, 2019 4:15pm EST
by Steve Marshall
Exploring Avebury: Voices of Ancestors - Ancient Origins Premium

Avebury in Wiltshire is best known as the world’s largest stone circle, but surrounding it is a wealth of ancient monuments. Captivated by its unique atmosphere, many visitors form a personal, often spiritual, connection to Avebury and its ‘sacred landscape’. What was it that first attracted people to the Avebury area more than 5,000 years ago? Why was Avebury built where it is? Where did the sarsen stones come from? How does Silbury’s ditch fill with water each winter? What was the Avebury landscape like in prehistory?  Sound engineer Steve Marshall explains the complicated but fascinating archaeoacoustics of the site, and invites us on a journey of discovery. For the first time the importance of water, light and sound is revealed, and we begin to see Avebury through the eyes of those who built it. Steve has found musical resonances, and an infrasonic resonance too low to be heard, but with the potential to produce altered mental states.

Steve MarshallFor 20 years, Steve Marshall was a busy and successful film composer and sound engineer. He worked for a time in the famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and co-curated an electronic music exhibition at the London Science Museum.

After taking a break from music he became fascinated by ancient monuments and landscape, eventually becoming a full-time independent writer, researcher and photographer. His best-selling book Exploring Avebury: The Essential Guide is the result of a decade spent living close to Avebury conducting his own research.

Eventually Steve combined his love of music and archaeology by delving into archaeoacoustics – particularly the acoustics of the West Kennet long barrow, near Avebury. Inside the stone monument Steve has found musical resonances, and an infrasonic resonance too low to be heard, but with the potential to produce altered mental states. This work resulted in his acclaimed album Avebury Soundscapes, where he combines music with 3-D recordings made in and around Avebury and its monuments.

For more, visit

Experience 'Avebury Soundscapes' - A new album of music by Steve Marshall

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The Transcendent Wisdom of the Maya
Sunday March 17, 2019 5:00pm EST
by Gabriela Jurosz-Landa
The Transcendent Wisdom of the Maya

Can you think like the Ancient Maya?

Gabriela Jurosz-Landa, a cultural anthropologist and Maya shaman, explains the spiritual wisdom of the Maya calendar as a living entity, its cycles of time, and the significance of “the counting of the days,” which helps keep time itself alive. She examines Maya spiritual and cosmological concepts such as how the universe is shaped like a triangle over a square. Exploring other Maya secret knowledge, she also details Maya ritual attire, Maya future-telling with the calendar, the reading of the Tzi’te beans, and how the Maya communicate with ancestors through the sacred fire.

Illustrating how contemporary Maya life is suffused with spiritual tradition and celebration, Gabriela shares the teachings of the Maya from her initiate and anthropologist point of view in order to help us all learn from the ancient wisdom of their beliefs and worldview. Because, to truly understand the Maya, one must think like the Maya!

You don’t want to miss this!

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Gabriela Jurosz-LandaGabriela Jurosz-Landa is a cultural anthropologist and Maya shaman-priestess initiated by her teacher Tomasa Suy Tomin in Guatemala. She has researched Guatemala for more than 20 years, living there for 6 years, during which she participated in ceremonies with Maya spiritual and political authorities, including the 2012 New Era celebrations. Founder of the Forum of World Cultures and shamanic coach, she lectures internationally. She lives in Connecticut.

For more, see Transcendent Wisdom of the Maya

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Star-Crossed Consciousness
Sunday February 24, 2019 4:00pm EST
by Walter Cruttenden
Star-Crossed Consciousness - Ancient Origins Webinars

Can celestial electro-magnetic fields influence the rise and fall of civilization and man’s mental wellbeing?

Walter Cruttenden’s Great Year hypothesis* entails that subtle celestial influences, produced by the electromagnetic fields of planets and stars, can impact not only human consciousness but also the rise and fall of civilization. There is enough evidence that humans are affected by magnetic fields, exposure to light, and the ionization of the air we breathe. Solar flares of planets 45,000 light years away cause ionization changes on earth, and it has already been established that man is sensitive to negative ions (an anti-depressant) which can cause a change in consciousness.

The Conscious Electro Magnetic Information Field Theory (CEMI), shows that the brain’s weak, but complex, electromagnetic field (EM) allows each cell instant access to the information contained in every other cell in the brain. In essence, it suggests that consciousness is related to the EM fields that the body produces—especially those produced by the brain. The latest neuropsychological non-invasive therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), involves an electrical current running through a coil placed on the scalp. Already research is indicating that it counters the effects of depression in 60% of patients for whom nothing else worked.

Arguably, TMS involves the use of a pulsed electromagnetics in close proximity to the brain, creating a much more intense localized field than we would experience from the Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields, but it is possible that the waves generated by celestial objects in distant space may also have a rhythmic or “pulsing” effect due to the resonant nature of orbital physics – the very mechanism that keeps space orderly and causes the cycles of nature.

Eastern philosophies about life and consciousness date to prehistory and are fundamentally different from those in the West, especially in the field of medicine. According to Eastern healing philosophy, man has an energy or spiritual body that supports and transcends the physical vehicle. This predates Western physical medicine and stretches far back into the distant past of the Asian cultures, with acupuncture and acupressure being two examples. The ancient Chinese 64 I Ching code is identical to the genetic code of DNA, which describes the entire living world and was discovered by the West less than 50 years ago.

 *Watch Walter’s previous interview on the Lost Cycle of Time and the Golden year theory HERE.

Walter Cruttenden is a financial markets innovator, an active founder investor in growth companies that serve a social need, and is incredibly passionate about human history and astronomy. Currently, Walter serves as Chairman of Acorns, a micro-investing company, which he co-founded with his son, Jeff Cruttenden, Jason Martell, and Mark Dru. Acorns is an app that enables people to save and invest in incredibly small increments, with high frequency, requiring little or no conscious effort. Walter also serves as CEO of Blast, a gamification company operating at the nexus of the Fintech and Game industries. Blast's app features a new game dynamic that improves the financial outcome for both gamers and game companies alike.

When he is not engaged in Fintech, Walter acts as the Director of the Binary Research Institute in Newport Beach, California, which researches the cause and consequences of solar system motion. As part of his cosmological work Walter authored the book Lost Star of Myth and Time, the award-winning documentary film, The Great Year (narrated by James Earl Jones) and the children's book, The Great Year Adventures: with Tommy the Time-Traveling Turtle.



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The Power of the Black Madonna and Her Still-Living Shamans
Saturday January 26, 2019 5:00pm EST
by Alessandra Belloni
The Power of the Black Madonna and Her Still-Living Shamans

Was a goddess born when a black meteorite struck Earth?

The mysteries of the Black Madonna can be traced to pre-Christian times, to the ancient devotion to Isis, the Earth Goddess, and the African Mother, to the era when God was not only female but also black. Sharing her more than 35 years of research and fieldwork at sacred sites around the world, Belloni explains how her love for Italian folk music led her to learn the ancient tammorriata musical tradition of the Earth Goddess Cybele and the Moon Goddess Diana and discover the still-living cult of the Black Madonna in the remote villages of Southern Italy. Belloni shows that the shamanic traditions of the Black Madonna are still alive today—and just as powerful as they were millennia ago. 

Discover the surprising ancient connections of the Black Madonna in this fascinating In-Depth interview with Alessandra Belloni.

Alessandra Belloni is a world-renowned percussionist, singer, dancer, and actress born in Rome. Voted one of the best female percussionists in the world by Drum Magazine, she designed a signature series of tambourines for REMO, Inc. She is the founder and lead performer of “I Giullari di Piazza,” an Italian music, theatre, and dance ensemble, and is an Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. She teaches workshops and healing retreats around the world, and is the author of: Healing Journeys with the Black Madonna – Published by Inner Traditions. The book explores the many sacred sites of the Madonnas and connects them to other Great Goddesses, such as Isis, Aphrodite, Cybele, and the Orisha Yemanja and Ochun. 




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Whales in the Egyptian Desert? Discover Wadi-al-Hitan - Valley of the Whales
Saturday December 8, 2018 3:30pm EST
by Prof Fanie Vermaak
Whales in the Egyptian Desert?  Discover Wadi-al-Hitan - Valley of the Whales

How on earth did whales come to swim in the deserts of Egypt?

Join Professor Fanie Vermaak, archaeologist and expert on Ancient Egypt and the Near East on a walk-through of Wadi-al-Hitan and explore how the fossils of these whales landed up in the desert.  Surprisingly, there are also a larger number of shark fossils with them!

The ‘Valley of the Whales’ — often called the ‘Bay of Whales’ — has a large number of fossilized whales (more than 500 fossil skeletons and five different species) in a relatively small area at different strategic levels roughly 60 kilometres south-west from the Fayum, in the Western Desert of Egypt.  

Wadi al-Hitan was declared a World Heritage Site in 2005. The number, concentration and quality of the fossils from the Eocene era in this protected area have no comparison across the globe. The fossils of the Basilosaurus and Dorudon are only some of the species from around 40 million years ago.

Besides the abundant mangrove and several crystal logs of beached shipworm-bored wood, a large variety of sawfish, bony fishes, several kinds of turtles, sea snakes were also found in the area. Scholars have now been questioning whether it should rather be called the “Whales in the Valley of the Sharks” because the remains of the whales have tremendous bite marks from shark and even shark teeth remained on the skeletons of the whales!

Discover how this happened and the current research in this fascinating In-Depth interview with Fanie Vermaak.

Fanie VermaakDr Fanie Vermaak is a professor in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of South Africa. With an initial background in theological studies (also ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church) he focuses on various cultural activities in the Ancient Near East, specializing in Sumerian and Egyptology.

Vermaak studied Theology and various Semitic Languages at the Universities of the Free State (Bloemfontein) and Stellenbosch, South Africa.  He specialized (PhD) in the cuneiform (Sumerian) studies of the Ur III period (2100-2000 BC) on the activities of the temple administrators of Southern Mesopotamia and published also extensively in this regard. He extended further studies with the various ancient gateways of the Near East towards also the outside world so far as the Indus Valley. Vermaak is also the chairperson of the Ancient Egypt and Near Eastern Society (AENES) who is responsible for the monthly evening lectures for the public sector (15 years). He served eight years on the national academic society called Southern African Society for Near Eastern Society. He is a founding member of International Society of Cuneiform Studies. Fanie often acts as a Middle East analyst on various media and has a special interest in the ancient and modern Near East or Middle East.

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Journey into Darkness: The Fossil Discovery that Changed History
Wednesday November 28, 2018 1:00pm EST
by Rick Hunter
Journey into Darkness: The Fossil Discovery that Changed History

In the bowels of Mother Earth laid Naledi…

Join our expert caver and explorer, Rick Hunter as he takes us down the narrow chute into the bowels of Mother Earth to find Naledi, long-forgotten by time.

September the 13th fell on a Friday in 2013, a date reputed for bad fortune, though it proved one of the luckiest days in the history of palaeoanthropology. Within the unexplored compartment ~ 30 meters underground, now known as “Dinaledi Chamber,” Rick Hunter and his caving partner Steven Tucker discovered such an incredible surface collection of hominin fossils that even without training, they knew that both their lives and the face of an arcane field of inquiry were irretrievably changed. The long shadow of good fortune cast from that cavern has extended into all aspects of Rick’s life, both professional and personal.

Evolutionary Studies InstitudeRick (as a “small space specialist”) and Steven went on to form the core of a dedicated five-member exploration team employed by Professor Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa to expand the list of known hominin fossil sites within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site (CoH WHS). This has led to the discovery of scores of new sites, new fossils, and new skill sets. Always one to push the boundaries, Rick has pursued advanced off-road driving, rope work, venomous snake identification and handling, and recently received his RPL (remote pilots license) that will help pioneer a new level in exploration.

This exclusive interview will detail the discovery, recovery, analysis and interpretation of the newly discovered hominin species Homo naledi, as well as a spine-tingling ride through exploration deep within the depths of ancient caverns full of secrets.

Perhaps most remarkably, the context of the find has led the researchers to conclude that this primitive-looking hominin may have practiced a form of behavior previously thought to be unique to humans! Join Rick to find out.


Rick HunterA native of Johannesburg and alum of Randpark High, Rick Hunter showed an early interest in dark and dangerous activities, much to his mother’s chagrin. Rick’s daunting resume includes rock climbing, abseiling, bouldering, technical rope work, Rap jumping, venomous snake-handling, and motorcycling.  Rick Hunter’s passion for exciting, outdoor activities brought him to caving in February 2013. By September 13, 2013, he had already logged over 50 underground trips, though the one that date was to become by far the most memorable. On that evening, along with colleague Steven Tucker (caver), Rick undertook the exploration of an unknown, tiny chute within the well-traveled Rising Star cave system, Cradle of Humankind, some 50 kilometers north-west of Johannesburg, South Africa.  |  University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


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O My Prophetic Soul! A History of Paranormal Activity in South Africa
Sunday October 21, 2018 6:15pm EST
by Mark Rose-Christie
O My Prophetic Soul! A History of Paranormal Activity in South Africa

‘O my prophetic soul!’, cries Hamlet when he encounters the ghost of his murdered father in Shakespeare’s play.

31 October marks Halloween, All Hallows' Evening or All Saints' Eve, originally a three-day observance dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs, and all the faithful departed.  The roots of Halloween may be traced back to the Pagan Gaelic harvest festival of Samhain which had been transformed by the church to commemorate the deceased.

Whatever its origins, the festival has morphed into a fanfare of ghosts, witches, goblins, zombies and other macabre underworld creatures roaming the streets begging for sweets. During the Middle Ages, churches that were too poor to display the relics of martyred saints at All Hallows’ Evening invited parishioners dress up as saints instead and from there came the custom to dress up in costume. Globally the dead are celebrated on this night, and haunted places attract the brave and the curious like moths to a candle.

Paranormalist Mark Rose-Christie takes an In-Depth look at the phenomena of paranormal manifestations and especially their activities in South Africa. Join us for the night and share Mark’s encounters with residual ghosts, crises ghosts, single apparitions and everyone’s favorite, the poltergeist. He also discusses some of South Africa’s most famous haunted historic homes, like the Erasmus Castle, St Aidan’s Jesuit College and a Feather Baron’s Palace in Oudtshoorn.

O My Prophetic Soul! A History of Paranormal Activity in South Africa

Mark Rose-Christie is academically a sociologist, a professional TV/film-maker, theatrical producer/director, entertainer and illusionist, as well as being South Africa's leading paranormalist, his work appearing in several ghost books.

As a sociologist he lectured at the University of Port Elizabeth (today NMMU), and continued studying at Rhodes University, whilst also producing the shark movie “White Death” (a parody of the movie “Jaws”), plus magazine programs for the launch of the SATV-2 Xhosa-Zulu channel back in its day in South Africa, under the mentorship of the late Bill Faure. 

Mark prematurely launched the Mystery Ghost Bus of South Africa, a 'Theatre-On-Wheels' production which remains unparalleled to date in that it offers more than any other known ghost production in the world. It has become the longest running ‘production-on-wheels’ in the country, winning the esteemed International Luxury Travel Guide Awards three years in a row. |

Join us for a spooky and thrilling In-Depth Interview, and get a sneak-peek at Mark’s paranormal investigations in the Ancient Origins article, “Former Home of South African Statesman Rumored To Be Haunted”!


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