islam

An artistic representation of Al-Muqanna, the Veiled Prophet.

Second Moon Uprising: How Science and Skullduggery Helped an 8th Century Prophet Raise a Revolt

“The 'Moon of Nakhshab' was an artificial moon which Hakim Ibn-e 'Ata, known as Muqanna' (the Veiled One), caused to arise from the Pit of Nakhshab. This moon had been prepared by means of [magical]...
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...
Imam Ali Mosque - Shrine of: 1st Shia Imam - Ali ibn abi Talib; Prophet Adam; and Prophet Nuh (Noah).

Is this the Final Resting Place of Noah? It is Certainly One of the Contenders

The tale about a huge ship (of Biblical proportions) that enabled the survival of all of the species of animals around the world sounds impressive, but also quite unbelievable. Nonetheless, its...
The Harem Dance, Giulio Rosati

The Imperial Harem of the Ottoman Empire: More than Just Beautiful Women

The term “harem” brings to mind an image of a room full of beautiful women whose sole purpose in life was to please their captor sexually. This image may have been inspired by the 16 th and 17 th...
Can Different Religions Peacefully Share a Sacred Site? A Temple Mount Tragedy

Can Different Religions Peacefully Share a Sacred Site? A Temple Mount Tragedy

One of the major points of contention between Israel and the Arab/Moslem world is over the most sacred piece of real estate on the planet. At 37 acres, the Temple Mount is the focal point of prayer...
Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Eliminating the Competition: Selim I, A Grim Conqueror Who Vastly Extended the Ottoman Empire

Selim I (known also by his epithet ‘Yavuz’, which, translated from Turkish, means ‘the Grim’) was the 9th sultan of the Ottoman Empire who lived during the second half of the 15th century and the...
Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

Sweet Ancient Melodies of the Ney: One of the Oldest Musical Instruments Still in Use

For proof that the ney (also spelled nay) is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use, you need look no further than the great Sumerian city of Ur. Archeologists have found the delicate...
A Question of Faith: Is the Tomb of the Legendary King David Really on Mount Zion?

A Question of Faith: Is the Tomb of the Legendary King David Really on Mount Zion?

There is a famous tomb located on Mount Zion in the ancient city of Jerusalem. A part of the Diaspora Yeshiva, this tomb receives thousands of visitors every year. Many of them go to the site with...
Introduction of Christianity in Poland, by Jan Matejko, 1888–89, National Museum, Warsaw.

Faith or Economy? Why Pagan Religions Lost Their Position in Europe

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of followers of pagan religions, the old beliefs haven't survived enough to be included in the group of the five major religions of the world. Officially,...
Deriv; Wayang kulit figure, representing Semar (CC BY-SA 3.0) and Mask of Semar for traditional Javanese theater performance (CC BY-SA 3.0), and sarong from Java, c. 1880.

Semar: The Fallen God and Divine Jester of Indonesian Mythology

Semar is probably one of the oldest characters in Indonesian mythology who was said to not have been derived from Hindu mythology. He was made famous by performances of Wayang (Shadow Puppets) in the...
‘The Harem’ by Gustave Boulanger

In a Forbidden Place: Hidden Lives in a Harem

The term harem comes from the Arabic haram meaning forbidden place . This defines the sphere of women in a polygynous household and makes reference to their enclosed quarters being forbidden to men...
Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258.

Palms Over Baghdad: Riches and Fear during the Mongol Invasion – Part I

In 1253 CE, a breeze began to blow into Baghdad from the east. Unbeknownst to Al-Musta'sim, the Abbasid Caliph, this breeze would soon turn into a violent shamal (wind). This shamal was gaining...
A photo showing some stelae found with Arabic inscriptions.

Archaeologists Discover that Earliest Known Arabic Writing Was Penned by a Christian

The oldest known Arabic writing found in Saudi Arabia, from ca. 470 AD belong to a Christian context and predates the advent of Islam with 150 years. In December 2015, researchers from a French-Saudi...
3: The Perfect Number - Trinity Symbolism in World Religious Traditions

3: The Perfect Number - Trinity Symbolism in World Religious Traditions

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...” The concept of a Trinity or triadic nature of the divine has been a part of our psyche for thousands of years, and has appeared in creation...
Assembly of twenty gods, predominantly the Twelve Olympians, as they receive Psyche (Loggia di Psiche, 1518–19, by Raphael and his school, at the Villa Farnesina).

Disbelieve it or Not, Ancient History Suggests That Atheism is as Natural to Humans as Religion

People in the ancient world did not always believe in the gods, a new study suggests – casting doubt on the idea that religious belief is a “default setting” for humans. “Early societies were far...
Part of the seventh-century Quran manuscript held by the University of Birmingham.

Dating of manuscripts controversially suggests Quran may be older than Prophet Mohammed

Recent tests conducted on the oldest known pages of the Quran in existence have determined they were written nearly 1,400 years ago, between 568 and 645 AD. Reports raise the possibility that the...

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Ancient Technology

All images courtesy of Dr Rita Louise
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 and indestructible state of knowledge and enlightenment.

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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)