Buddhism

A photo of the White Temple, Chang Rai, Thailand

Nothing Else Like It! Ancient Meets Modern in the White Temple of Thailand

When the rebirth of an ancient building is assumed by a modern thinking artist, strange elements might appear. This is what has happened at the site of Wat Rong Khun, now the White Temple, Thailand...
Orant, Catacomb of Priscilla. It has been argued that these catacombs provide evidence for women having a stronger role in early Christianity, perhaps even in the priesthood.

No Girls Allowed? Debate for Women in the Christian Priesthood Rages On

In many countries, laws prohibit employers from discriminating based on sex. However, exemptions to this law are often made for religious orders. The Roman Catholic Church is adamant that women...
Potala Palace in the winter.

Closer to Enlightenment? Potala Palace, the Highest in the World

Potala Palace is an ancient palace located in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. This palace once served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Tibetan seat of government. Additionally,...
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda: Sacred Boulder Teeters Terrifyingly on Cliff Edge

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (known also as the ‘Golden Rock’) is a Buddhist pilgrimage site located in the Mon State, an administrative region in the southern part of Myanmar / Burma. The site consists of a...
Illustration of Unknown Hooded men.

The Mysterious Secret Society of Ancient India and The Nine Unknown Men of Ashoka

There is a pervasive legend in India of a secret organization that allegedly has a vast amount of advanced knowledge in their possession. Believed to have been formed over 2000 years ago, the Nine...
22 Ancient Gold Plates Inscribed with Names of Gods Unearthed in Stone Box in Java

22 Ancient Gold Plates Inscribed with Names of Gods Unearthed in Stone Box in Java

Twenty-two small gold plates with divine symbols and characters have been unearthed in central Java, a large island in the Indonesian archipelago. When archaeologists went to investigate, they found...
Bodhisattva Guanyin; 11th/12th century AD.

The Great Powers of Guanyin: An All-Seeing, Compassionate Inspiration

Buddhism is usually regarded as a religion which is led by one master – Buddha. However, there are many more ancient legendary masters in this belief system and both male and female characters are...
A painting depicting a scene from the Chinese classic, Journey to the West. The painting shows the four heros of the story, left to right: Sun Wukong, Xuanzang, Zhu Wuneng, and Sha Wujing.

The Monk and the Poet: Meet the Rebels behind the Legendary “Journey to the West”

Hsi-yu chi , or Journey to the West, is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century, during the Ming Dynasty. The novel adds elements from a bewildering array of Asian cultural lore, as well as...
Buddhism in Ancient Egypt and Meroe – Beliefs Revealed Through Ancient Script

Buddhism in Ancient Egypt and Meroe – Beliefs Revealed Through Ancient Script

Did Buddhism exist in Upper Egypt and the Lower Meroitic Empire? The answer appears to be yes. It was in Memphis that English Egyptologist and archaeologist W. M. Flinders Petrie found evidence of...
The Resurrection. (c. 1715-1716) By S. Ricci.

Hidden Beliefs Covered by the Church? Resurrection and Reincarnation in Early Christianity

Is it possible that early Christians believed in reincarnation? Although some may find this idea unbelievable, several Christian sources (including the Bible) suggest that many centuries ago, it was...
Aztec burial of a sacrificed child at Tlatelolco

Bizarre Rituals of Blood and Death That Are Rooted in the Ancient World

Throughout history, there are many rituals that individuals and groups participate in which could be considered strange or unusual by others. The following is a short overview of some of the uncanny...
The Dunhuang Diamond Sutra.

The Diamond Sutra: The Oldest Known Printed Book in the World

The Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra has been translated from Sanskrit into English variously as the Diamond Sutra , the Diamond Cutter Sutra , the Vajra Sutra and the Vajra Cutter Sutra . This...
Kathmandu: How Religion and Trade Flowed into an Ancient Water-Filled Valley

Kathmandu: How Religion and Trade Flowed into an Ancient Water-Filled Valley

The city of Kathmandu is today the capital of Nepal. This status, however, was only conferred on it during the 18th century. 1769 is traditionally regarded as the year that Nepal was unified by...
Hellenistic culture in the Indian subcontinent: Greek clothes, amphoras, win,e and music. Detail from Chakhil-i-Ghoundi Stupa, Hadda, Gandhara, 1st century AD.

What Does Alexander the Great Have to Do with Buddhist Imagery?

When Alexander the Great arrived in Pakistan and India two very different civilizations confronted and were influenced by each other. The first anthropomorphic representations of Buddha were...
Kanheri Caves, Mumbai

Shelters from the Storm: More Ancient Buddhist Caves Found in Mumbai

Seven caves that served as shelters from monsoons for Buddhist monks more than 2,000 years ago (and even into the 1990s) have been discovered in the forests of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in...
The Pyama stupa, which may date to the Pyu period.

Over a Millennium of Influence: The Pyu Civilization and Ancient City-States

The Pyu civilization, known also as the Pyu city-states, is an ancient entity located in present day Myanmar (also known as Burma). One reason this civilization/group of city states is important is...

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Asokan pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India.
Centuries removed from the prehistoric Indus Valley Region, the Mauryan and Kushan dynasties are among the most significant cultural and artistic regimes in Indian history. The prominence of the Mauryan's longest leader, and the interactions of the Kushan with their Persian, Chinese, and Greek neighbors creates distinctive visual narratives that have shaped the culture of India as it is today.

Human Origins

Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.
Although most mainstream scientists and most of the developed world now accept the theory of evolution and the scientifically established age of Earth and the universe, there is still a group of people that resist the status quo and insist, based on a particular literal interpretation of Genesis 1-11 in the Hebrew Bible

Ancient Technology

Representation of an ancient Egyptian chariot.
The wheel can be considered mankind’s most important invention, the utility of which is still applied in multiple spheres of our daily life. While most other inventions have been derived from nature itself, the wheel is 100% a product of human imagination. Even today, it would be difficult to imagine what it would be like without wheels, since movement as we know it would be undeniably impossible.

Opinion

El Caracol Observatory at Chichen Itza (Wright Reading/CC BY-NC 2.0) and Composite 3D laser scan image of El Caracol from above
In 1526, the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Montejo arrived on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and found most of the great Maya cities deeply eroded and unoccupied. Many generations removed from the master builders, engineers, and scientists who conceived and built the cities, the remaining Maya they encountered had degenerated into waring groups who practiced blood rituals and human sacrifice.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

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View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)