Buddhism

A Buddhist monk creating a mandala

Intricacy and Reflection: Transforming Mandalas from Sacred Designs to Art Therapy

Although the word ‘Mandala’ simply means “circle” or “discoid object” in Sanskrit, the significance is far more complex. Traditionally, mandalas represented the intricacy of the universe and served...
 Ardhanarishvara, a composite androgynous form of the Hindu God Shiva and his consort Parvati (also known as Devi, Shakti, and Uma in this icon).

Find Out the Real Story Behind Tantra. Hint, It’s Not All About Sex

You may have heard that Tantra is full of obscenities or that it has something to do with black magic. Forget that. As a matter of fact, Tantra involves practices such as yoga, meditation, and the...
Detail of a statue of Ganesha.

Ganesha: How He Lost… And Gained His Head

“Lord Ganesh of curved elephant trunk and huge body, Whose brilliance is equal to billions of suns in intensity, Always removes all obstacles from my endeavours truly...” ― Munindra Misra, Chants of...
Lord Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama: How The Father of Buddhism Walked From Suffering to Enlightenment

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha or “Enlightened One,” is probably one of the most influential individuals to come out of India through the incidental founding of Buddhism. Siddhartha...
Borobudur Temple is surrounded by mountains nearby

One of the Greatest Monuments in the World but Who Built it? The Strange Origins of Borobudur and the Lost World of Cham

Borobudur is one of the great monuments of Southeast Asia. It is a colossal Buddhist stupa that rises out of the rice paddies and palm trees with the nearby volcano Gunung Merapi in the distance...
The archaeology team were delighted to find the large statue. (Image: Apsara Authority)

Unexpected Find of Impressive Ancient Statue at Cambodia's Angkor Complex

A team of archaeologists has uncovered a large ancient statue that is thought to have once stood as a guard over an ancient hospital to the north of Cambodia’s Angkor Thom city complex. Impressive...
All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise

The Vajra: An Ancient Weapon of War

The vajra is the most important ritual implement of Vajrayana Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the word vajra is defined as something hard or mighty, as in a diamond. It symbolizes an impenetrable, immovable...
The Spiritual Center of Taxila: One-time Jerusalem and Alexandria of the Buddhist World

The Spiritual Center of Taxila: One-time Jerusalem and Alexandria of the Buddhist World

For centuries, ancient Taxila in Punjab, modern Pakistan, was revered as a center of learning and a holy city in the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. It hosted one of the earliest institutions which...
Remains of the famous Fugan Temple that was recently discovered in Chengdu, China.

Buried for Almost a Millennium, Archaeologists Recover Over 1,500 Religious Artifacts at Lost Chinese Temple

A team of archaeologists has uncovered more than 1000 tablets inscribed with Buddhist scriptures and over 500 pieces of stone sculpture, as well as glazed tiles with inscriptions, at the site of a...
Bayron Temple, the most notable temple in Angkor Thom

Walking in Shadows of Serenity: The Great Sacred City of Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom (which means ‘Great City’) was the last capital of the mighty Khmer Empire, which was based in modern day Cambodia. This typically intricately decorated Khmer city, which is located in...
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...

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Top New Stories

Inside one of the tunnels under Rome, Italy.
Few visitors recognize that there is a forgotten world below the Roman Colosseum and Forum. The ancient maze of tunnels and quarries date back to the very beginning of this famous city. Locals, on the other hand, remember the existence of the underground pathways every time one of the ancient tunnels collapses, damaging the structures above. Hundreds of buildings and streets have fallen victim to the decaying tunnels.

Myths & Legends

The Smelliest Women of Ancient Greece: Jason and the Argonauts Get Fragrant
We all know Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty, made sure that she was worshipped by punishing those who ignored her altars. One brief appearance of this wrath in the tale of Jason and the Argonauts turned into a particularly fragrant episode.

Ancient Places

Inside one of the tunnels under Valetta, Malta.
Hordes of tourists visit the Mediterranean island of Malta each year to enjoy the above ground attractions the country has to offer such as breath-taking sandy beaches, historical buildings, and traditional cuisine. Yet, there is also a subterranean world hidden beneath the island’s surface. These are the rumored secret tunnels of Malta.

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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.

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Ancient Image Galleries

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)