hindu

A mandala.

The Mandala: Mapping the Cosmos and the Soul

Human cultures are replete with ways to depict or represent some aspect of the universe. Calendars, ordinary maps, star charts, and other diagrams are all examples of ways to make sense of or map...
Elephant-headed goddess Vinayaki is often mistaken for a female Ganesha. Statue of Ganesha

Goddess… or Demon? Hidden History of Vinayaki, the Mysterious Elephant-Headed Woman of Hindu Myth

In one of the shrines of the Thanumalayan temple in Kanyakumari district, India, is the stone sculpture of a four-armed deity sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana (“easy pose” - similar to sitting in a...
‘An alchemist being tempted by Luxuria.’ Oil painting after Marten de Vos.

Spiritual Alchemy – Casting Light on a Secret Science

Spiritual alchemy is closely linked to secret knowledge and many who have attained this level of wisdom later decided to withdraw from it as they found they were not ready to receive it. The purpose...
 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...
An image of the goddess Meenakshi.

Meenakshi: The Warrior Goddess Who Could Not Be Defeated by Any Man …Until She Met Shiva

Meenakshi is a goddess in the Hindu pantheon who is worshipped mainly in the southern part of India. This goddess is believed to be an avatar of the goddess Parvati, the wife of Shiva. The most...
Krishna driving a chariot with Arjun behind in Mahabharata

The Supernatural Weapons of the Mahabharata and Their World Destroying Power

In many world mythologies, the characters in the myths are often given supernatural weapons. In Greek mythology, for instance, Zeus has his thunderbolts, whilst the Norse god Thor has his magic...
Images from the manuscript ‘Seventy-Two Specimens of Castes in India.

The Controversial Indian Caste System Has Been Dividing India for 2000 Years

A study of genetic populations in India suggests the Indian caste system, a traditional method of social organization into a hierarchy of hereditary groups, has been prevalent in the South Asian...
Sticker showing baby Krishna stealing milk from a cow.

Modern Hindus Forbidden From Eating Beef But Ancient Hindus Ate the Sacred Cow

Wendy Doniger / The Conversation Just this past June, at a national meeting of various Hindu organizations in India, a popular preacher, Sadhvi Saraswati, suggested that those who consumed beef...
Kailasa Temple: How Was This Massive Hindu Temple Carved out of a Single Rock?

Kailasa Temple: How Was This Massive Hindu Temple Carved out of a Single Rock?

The Kailasa Temple has been dubbed as ‘Cave 16’ of the Ellora Caves, and is notable for being the largest monolithic structure in the world that was carved out of a single piece of rock. Apart from...
Ganesha

Understanding Ganesha: Legendary Wise Hindu God who Removes Obstacles, Ensures Success

Ganesha is one of the most distinctive Hindu deities. His role is to remove obstacles and ensure success as well as creating obstructions for those whose ambition has become destructive. He is also...
Khmer temple ruins at Phnom Kulen, a sacred mountain range in Cambodia.

Phnom Kulen: Sacred Mountain and Hidden Temples Hold Forgotten Treasures in Cambodia

In Cambodia, some 40 kilometers (24.85 miles) northeast of Angkor, is the mountain range of Phnom Kulen. This sandstone plateau is a sacred site to Hindus and Buddhists. In addition to a giant statue...
Countless Devotees Are Drawn to It, What Makes the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple So Special?

Countless Devotees Are Drawn to It, What Makes the Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple So Special?

Kanchi Kailasanathar Temple is a beautiful Hindu temple located in Kanchipuram (known also as Kanchi), a city in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This magnificent temple is claimed to be the...
Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

Saraswati: Hindu Goddess of Aesthetics and Protector of the Universe

A deity with as many attributes as arms, Saraswati (or Sarasvati) is the Hindu goddess of aesthetics. These include music, the arts, wisdom and learning. She can be compared, in many ways, to the...
Tezcatlipoca: How Does the Supreme God of the Aztecs Compare to Other Omnipotent Deities?

Tezcatlipoca: How Does the Supreme God of the Aztecs Compare to Other Omnipotent Deities?

The god Tezcatlipoca was a major Aztec deity who was worshiped in east-west facing temples in many Mesoamerican city-states under the influence of the Aztecs, particularly Texcoco. He was considered...
Impossible Quest to Have the Perfect Man? The 5 Imperfect Brothers of the Mahabharata

Impossible Quest to Have the Perfect Man? The 5 Imperfect Brothers of the Mahabharata

The two major Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, still appear widely in popular folk drama, tales and art all over Southeast Asia with slight adaptations in all the myriad cultures of the...

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The excavation of the Oseberg Ship, Norway. 1904 - 1905.
In the autumn of 834 AD, two elderly women were buried together in the magnificent Oseberg ship discovered in 1903 near Tønsberg in Vestfold, Southeast Norway. Ever since the ship was excavated in 1904-1905, many theories have been put forward about who these women were. The objects they took with them to the grave may provide the answer to this Viking Age mystery.

Human Origins

Kalash girls with traditional clothing.
The Kalash (known also as the Kalasha) are an indigenous people living in what is today Pakistan. Although Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, with more than 95% of its population being adherents of Islam, the Kalash hold on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.

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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.

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)