Buddhist

A painting entitled ‘White Lotus Society’

The White Lotus Society and the Demise of Mongol Rule in China

The White Lotus Society / Sect (written in Chinese as 白莲教, and Romanised as ‘Bai Lian Jiao’) was a millenarian movement that existed in imperial China. As a religious movement, the teachings of the...
Asokan pillar at Vaishali, Bihar, India.

Beautiful Dynastic Artistry Shaped the Face of Modern 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...
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,...
Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Can You Solve the Mystery Behind This Intricately Carved Skull?

Experts from a wide array of organizations are examining an intricately carved skull discovered in an antique shop in Vienna in 2011. The skull, believed to be 300 years old, is completely covered...
Finding Zen in the World’s Most Famous Rock Garden

Finding Zen in the World’s Most Famous Rock Garden

Ryōanji, translated as Peaceful Dragon Temple, is a Zen Temple located in the northwestern part of Kyoto, Japan. This well-known temple was built during the 15th century, and is today best known for...
Has the 164-Year-Old Mummy of Buddhist Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov Moved Inside His Palace?

Has the 164-Year-Old Mummy of Buddhist Lama Dashi-Dorzho Itigilov Moved Inside His Palace?

The remains of lama Itiligov in the Republic of Buryatia in Siberia are world famous because their exceptional preservation 79 years after his death seem to defy science. Some have long believed the...
Kuman Thong amulets.

Child Angels, Golden Boys, Supernatural Dolls and Necromancy in Thailand

Recently, reports of a Thai doll craze have been featured at the end of news hours, a spot typically reserved for pop culture tidbits like hijab wearing Barbies (“hijarbies”) or the birthday of the...
The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The Schoyen Collection: 20,000 Ancient Manuscripts from 134 Countries in 120 Languages

The largest private collection of manuscripts is remarkable not just for the number of items it possesses (over 20,000) but for the breadth and depth of human history it encompasses. The Schøyen...
Artwork showing the Dhammazedi Bell.

Lost Treasure: The Search for the Great Golden Bell of Dhammazedi

The Great Bell of Dhammazedi is claimed to be the biggest bell in the world. The creation of this bell was ordered by a 15th century king of the Hanthawaddy Kingdom (a state occupying part of modern...
The Mogao Grottoes in China, the Legendary Home to a Thousand Buddhas and a Hidden Library

The Mogao Grottoes in China, the Legendary Home to a Thousand Buddhas and a Hidden Library

The Mogao Grottoes, known also as the Mogao Caves, the Dunhuang Caves, or the Thousand Buddha Caves, are a network of Buddhist cave temples in China. This site is located near the city of Dunhuang in...
Extraordinary Buddhist Sculptures Unearthed in the Ruins of an Ancient City in Pakistan

Extraordinary Buddhist Sculptures Unearthed in the Ruins of an Ancient City in Pakistan

Archaeologists excavating the ruins of a city of the Kushan Empire in Pakistan have discovered an ancient shrine with statuary depicting the Buddha’s entry into the world of suffering people. After...
Ellora, cave 16, Kailasha Temple.

Breathtaking Ellora Caves Were Preserved by Hemp

In the state of Maharashtra, in India there lies a large breathtaking series of ancient archaeological structures known as the Ellora Caves. The Ellora Caves were used for various religious practices...
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...
Ashoka the Great and an Ashoka Pillar at Tilaurakot, Lumbini, Nepal

Ashoka the Great: From Cruel King to Benevolent Buddhist

The emperor Ashoka is considered to be one of India’s greatest monarchs, and was the third ruler of the Mauryan Empire. Whilst Ashoka’s conquests pale in comparison to his illustrious grandfather’s,...
“Krishna and Balarama Taking the Cattle to Graze” from a Bhagavata Purana Manuscript (1520-1540), Museum Rietberg, Zurich

The Past Teaching the Present: Ancient Sanskrit Texts Discuss the Importance of Environmental and Species Conservation

One of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century is the destruction of the natural environment. Researchers have found that environmental change over the last 60 years is happening...

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Human Origins

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Ancient Technology

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Ancient Places

Entrance from above to the Loltun Cave complex
On the 3rd of January 1931, an article appeared in the Modesto News-Herald entitled ‘Mystery of the Loltun Cave hermit’. The article recounted the encounter between a man by the name of Robert Stacy-Judd and an old Mayan hermit, when the former got lost whilst exploring the Loltun Cave with several native guides.

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.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

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. 

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)