Photograph by Time and Life Pictures/Getty Images
A Siva Linga stands amid the ornate walls of the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. These short, cylindrical pillars are worshipped throughout the Hindu world as symbols of the god Shiva.
Photograph by the Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images
The tomb of Sennedjem, a respected artisan who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs, was found completely intact in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in 1886. Here a brilliant mural in his burial chamber depicts the jackal-headed Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, tending the casket of Sennedjem.
Aztec Sun Stone
Photograph by B. Anthony Stewart
The Aztec Sun Stone, a 24-ton sculpture honoring the sun god Tonatiuh, was discovered in Mexico City in 1790. Currently on display at Mexico's National Museum of Anthropology, this massive artifact was carved in the 15th century. It depicts Tonatiuh (center), the four previous sun gods (in boxes around Tonatiuh), and the 20 days of the Aztec calendar, among many other symbols.
Photograph by Douglas Miller/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
The Aztec goddess Tlazolteotl was a complex deity, known in one aspect for luring people into bad behavior and in another for absolving them of their sins. This figurine at the Tate Gallery in London shows Tlazolteotl during childbirth in her mother goddess aspect.
Eye of Horus
Photograph by Robert Harding
This gold-and-glass pectoral amulet was discovered in the tomb of Tutankhamun near Luxor, Egypt. It depicts the familiar Eye of Horus, a symbol of protection from evil, flanked by the cobra goddess representing Lower Egypt and the vulture goddess representing Upper Egypt.
Photograph by Kenneth Garrett
This ankh-shaped, gold-sheathed mirror case was taken from the tomb of Tutankhamun in southern Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The Ankh form, found in many ancient Egyptian tombs, is the Egyptian hieroglyphic character meaning "life."
Terra-Cotta Warriors, China
Photograph by O. Louis Mazzatenta
Platoons of clay soldiers were buried with China's First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang Di, to accompany him during his eternal rest. These life-size figures, shown here during excavation at the emperor's burial complex near the city of Xi'an in China's Shaanxi Province, are more than 2,200 years old.
The tomb, which extends over 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) and is said to have required a labor force of 700,000 to build, was discovered by a group of peasants digging a well in 1974.
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