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Human Origins

Ancient Origins presents how human origins are explained through three different perspectives: a) science and scientific evidence, b) religions and creation stories and c) folklore and mythology.

The original fossils of Java Man, National Museum of Natural History, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Java Man and the Discovery of the ‘Missing Link’ in Evolutionary Theory

The second half of the 19th century was an incredibly exciting and contentious time for exploring the origins of human kind. Darwin’s theory, ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’...
 Illustration of Dante’s Paradise by Giovanni de Paulo.

What is Heaven?

Joanne M. Pierce / The Conversation When a family member or a friend passes away, we often find ourselves reflecting on the question “Where are they now?” As mortal beings, it is a question of...
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...
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...
Two actors from the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and...
Picts, Gaels, and Scots: Exploring their Mysterious (and Sometimes Mythical) Origins

Picts, Gaels, and Scots: Exploring their Mysterious (and Sometimes Mythical) Origins

When the tribe of Chatti arrived in Scotland at the beginning of the Christian era and became the embryonic clan Keith, they assimilated with the people known to us by their Roman name, the Picts...
Glastonbury Tor, and Bull Nandi (Public Domain/Deriv)

Alchemy and Generating Lifeforce —Global Temples Made in the Shape of Lingams: Shaivite Bull Cult Part II

One form associated with the Bull Son of the Bull Cult was the Shiva Lingam, the sacred symbol that unites the phallus, the universal symbol of the male principle, with the ovum, the universal symbol...
Green Man (ElliotBrown/CC BY 2.0) and Bull Nandi (Public Domain)/Deriv.

From Green Man to Bull Son, The Universal Shaivite Bull Cult – Part I

In ancient times a new culture suddenly exploded across the vast terrain of Asia, Europe and Africa that was an evolution of the primeval Goddess Culture of the Neolithic Age that had previously...
Silhouette of a person under an arch. (CC0)  Background: DNA.

Twelve Degrees of Separation: Do Human Haplogroups Lead Us to Adam or Perhaps the Adityas?

From the creation of Adam, until the birth of Noah (as a significant proportion of the world believes), there are eleven generations of his line; Adam, Cain and his brother Abel, Seth, Enosh, Cainain...
Some say maya is a magical creative power of the Brahman

Maya: Science Only Acknowledges Now What Ancient Sages Knew About Reality 5000 Years Ago

Maya is a word which is very familiar to the western world, but very few know what it actually means. It is a word which was used by the rishis (sages) of ancient India to describe the nature of this...
Left: Pictish warrior (public domain) Right: Scythian Warrior with Axe, Bow, and Spear.

Piecing Together the Origins of Ancient Near East Names in Scotland

Thinking of Scotland, as I do from the somewhat similar mountains of northern India, which has been my home for nigh on twenty years, I do so from a rather Indian perspective; I think of families,...
Artists impression of a giant sloth being confronted by human hunters. Credit: Alex McClelland, Bournemouth University

How to Hunt a Giant Sloth – Ancient Tactics Revealed in Human Footprints

Rearing on its hind legs, the giant ground sloth would have been a formidable prey for anyone, let alone humans without modern weapons. Tightly muscled, angry and swinging its fore legs tipped with...
The Abyss of Hell, Sandro Botticelli, 1480s

What is hell?

The recent dispute over whether Pope Francis denied the existence of hell in an interview attracted wide attention . This isn’t surprising, since the belief in an afterlife, where the virtuous are...
A Neanderthal.

More than Brutish Grunting: Can One Bone Prove Neanderthal Speech Existed?

For a long time, the common depiction of Neanderthals was a group of unintelligent subhumans who could only communicate through wild gestures and loud grunts. But many researchers were not convinced...
Solar gods were worshiped in prehistoric Ireland.

Was Prayer to the Ancient Solar Gods enough to Change the Renowned Irish Weather?

Ireland’s history is rich in dramatic myth and mysterious legends. The significance of the natural world, and most importantly the sun, was obvious in the daily lives of the pre-Christian Irish...
Detail of ‘Ashkenazi Jews praying in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur. (1878 painting by Maurycy Gottlieb)

Where are Ashkenazi Jews from? Their Origins May Surprise You

Ashkenazi Jews are a Jewish ethnic group who have their earliest ancestors from the indigenous tribes of Israel…at least on one side of the family tree. A study published in 2013 in Nature...

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