Religions

Every major world religion has an account of the creation of the Universe, Earth, and the living beings within it. Some religions have isolated these creation stories and collected them in completely separate sections of their religious literature (like Genesis for Christians), while in other religions the information is scattered among different holy texts.

In this section we will investigate the creation beliefs of the major world religions. We will present each account as related by the religion, then address the controversies surrounding the account.

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

How plentiful it is, what you have made, Although they are hidden from view, Sole god, without another beside you; You created the earth as you wished, When you were by yourself, Mankind, all cattle...
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...
Detail of ‘God creating the Sun, the Moon and the Stars’ by Jan Brueghel the Younger.

Is the Universe Only 6,000 years old? Young Earth Creationists Say Yes!

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...
God the Father (represented by an old patriarch with white hair) by Cima da Conegliano, c. 1515

Arguments Why God (Very Probably) Exists

The question of whether a god exists is heating up in the 21st century. According to a Pew survey, the percent of Americans having no religious affiliation reached 23 percent in 2014. Among such “...
Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Return of the Ancient Gods: The Resurgence of Paganism

Over the past two centuries, Europe has become increasingly secular. Scholars in fact no longer talk of the Christian West when they speak of Modern Europe and North America, but of the Secular West...
Beltane Fire Festival Celebrations.

The Pagan Wheel of the Year: What Elaborate Rituals and Events Mark this Sacred Cycle?

As more and more people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, experts expect eco-friendly pagan movements will continue to grow. Already there are perhaps a million pagans in the...
Detail of The Adda Seal. The figures can be identified as gods by their pointed hats with multiple horns. The figure with streams of water and fish flowing from his shoulders is Ea (Sumerian Enki), god of subterranean waters and of wisdom. Behind him stands Usimu, his two-faced vizier (chief minister). At the centre of the scene is the sun-god, Shamash (Sumerian Utu), with rays rising from his shoulders. He is cutting his way through the mountains in order to rise at dawn. To his left is a winged goddess, I

The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon

The Sumerian religion was polytheistic in nature, and the Sumerians worshipped a great number of deities. These deities were anthropomorphic beings, and were meant to represent the natural forces of...
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...
Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

Sky Burial: Tibet’s Ancient Tradition for Honoring the Dead

The tradition of Sky burials, which is also known by the name of ‘Celestial burial’, is particularly associated with the Tibetan culture, although it has existed in other civilizations throughout...
Viva La Muerte! Santa Muerte, Folk Saint and Holy Personification of Death, Healer and Protector

Viva La Muerte! Santa Muerte, Folk Saint and Holy Personification of Death, Healer and Protector

Some people become devotees on their own initiative, actively seeking out Santa Muerte upon the recommendation of friends or family members. Others receive an unexpected call or visit from the Skinny...
Mithra slaying the bull. Royal Ontario Museum

The Cult of Mithra: Sacred Temples, and Vedic Legends, and Ancient Armenian Understanding

Mithra was the god of light, purity, goodness, truth and occupied an important place in the faith of the ancient Aryans. The Spread of Mithra There are various opinions on the spread of the Mithra (...
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,...
Solar deity bronze relief, Deriv.

Those Who Once Reigned: Experts Name Famous and Forgotten Ancient Gods

Ancient Origins asked experts to weigh in on the topic of ancient deities. Some ancient gods get all the attention - but which gods are largely forgotten… and why? The following is their views on...
Folio 7v contains an image of theVirgin and Child.

The Golden Age of the Christian Picts: Evidence for Religious Production at Portmahomack- Part 2

(Read Part I) The "Golden Age" of artisan efforts at the Tarbat monastery did not last nearly as long as the monastery of Iona; the industrial locations were burned in a site wide fire in the eighth...
Abbey of Kells - Scanned from Treasures of Irish Art.

The Golden Age of the Christian Picts: Evidence for Religious Production at Portmahomack

Situated on the edge of the Tarbat peninsula on the northeastern coast of Scotland, Portmahomack carries a legacy of a long buried Golden Age of religious industry that was devastatingly altered by...
The painting of Saints Cosmas and Damian that shows the reported miraculous healing of a man by amputating his leg and transplanting the healthy leg of a dead man onto his body, then placing the diseased leg in the casket of the deceased.

14th Century Painting Depicts Limb Transplant That Occurred 1,500 Years Ago

Researchers say they have found the earliest representation of transplant surgery in a painting that depicts a scene from somewhere around the 5 th century AD, at least 1,400 years before modern...

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Top New Stories

The interior of a private library in Chinguetti.
During the Middle Ages, Sahara outposts often found themselves filled with travelers, traders, and pilgrims passing through with their differing tasks. The pilgrims in particular interest us here, as they would sometimes meet and share religious scriptures amongst each other and with their hosts.

Myths & Legends

The Last of the Siberian Unicorns: What Happened to the Mammoth-Sized One-Horned Beasts of Legend?
Elasmotherium, also known as the Giant Rhinoceros or the Giant Siberian Unicorn, is an extinct species of rhino that lived in the Eurasian area in the Late Pliocene and Pleistocene eras. They have been documented from 2.6 million years ago, but the most recent fossils come from around 29,000 years ago.

Ancient Technology

Yacouba Sawadogo planting.
Desertification is a serious problem facing numerous countries in the world today. Various measures have been taken to counter the negative effects, with some providing better results than others. A farmer in Burkina Faso looked to his ancestors and came up with an innovative solution.

Ancient Places

Stonehenge at night.
In the 1960s, a portion of a ditch excavated into chalk bedrock west of the henge at Stonehenge was discovered during construction for the pedestrian underpass that provided access to Stonehenge until a year ago. By 2014, geophysical testing confirmed that the ditch stretches over 900 meters (2952.7 ft.) from southwest of the Stonehenge henge to a point near the south ditch line of the Greater Cursus, northwest of Stonehenge.

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)