A stūpa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics, used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a chaitya, a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa. In Buddhism, circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, stupas always have a pradakhshina path around them. Stupas may have originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli in which śramaṇas were buried in a seated position called chaitya; some authors have suggested that stupas were derived from a wider cultural tradition from the Mediterranean to the Indus valley, can be related to the conical mounds on circular bases from the 8th century BCE that can be found in Phrygia, Lydia, or in Phoenicia. Religious buildings in the form of the Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, started to be used in India as commemorative monuments associated with storing sacred relics of the Buddha. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers.

The relics of the Buddha were spread between eight stupas, in Rajagriha, Kapilavastu, Ramagrama, Pava and Vethapida. The Piprahwa stupa seems to have been one of the first to be built. Guard rails —consisting of posts, a coping— became a feature of safety surrounding a stupa; the Buddha had left instructions about how to pay homage to the stupas: "And whoever lays wreaths or puts sweet perfumes and colours there with a devout heart, will reap benefits for a long time". This practice would lead to the decoration of the stupas with stone sculptures of flower garlands in the Classical period. According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka recovered the relics of the Buddha from the earlier stupas, erected 84,000 stupas to distribute the relics across India. In effect, many stupas are thought to date from the time of Ashoka, such as Sanchi or Kesariya, where he erected pillars with his inscriptions, Bharhut, Amaravati or Dharmarajika in Gandhara. Ashoka established the Pillars of Ashoka throughout his realm next to Buddhist stupas.

The first known appearance of the word "Stupa" is from an inscribed dedication by Ashoka on the Nigali Sagar pillar. Stupas were soon to be richly decorated with sculptural reliefs, following the first attempts at Sanchi Stupa No.2. Full-fledged sculptural decorations and scenes of the life of the Buddha would soon follow at Bharhut, Bodh Gaya, again at Sanchi for the elevation of the toranas and Amaravati; the decorative embellishment of stupas had a considerable development in the northwest in the area of Gandhara, with decorated stupas such as the Butkara Stupa or the Loriyan Tangai stupas. The stupa underwent major evolutions in the area of Gandhara. Since Buddhism spread to Central Asia and Korea and Japan through Gandhara, the stylistic evolution of the Gandharan stupa was influential in the development of the stupa in these areas; the Gandhara stupa followed several steps moving towards more and more elevation and addition of decorative element, leading to the development of the pagoda tower.

The main stupa type are, in chronological order: 1) The Dharmarajika Stupa with a near-Indian design of a semi-hemispheric stupa directly on the ground surface dated to the 3rd century BCE. Similar stupas are the Manikyala stupa or the Chakpat stupa. 2) The Saidu Sharif Stupa and quincunxial, with a flight of stairs to a dome elevated on a square platform. Many Gandhara minutiures represent this spectacular type. 3) The Loriyan Tangai Stupa, with a elongated shape and many narrative reliefs, in many way the Classical Gandharan stupa. 4) The near-pyramidal Jaulian stupa. 5) The cruciform type, as in the Bhamala Stupa, with flights of stairs in the four cardinal directions. 6) The towering design of the second Kanishka stupa. It is thought that the temple in the shape of a truncated pyramid may have derived from the design of the stepped stupas which developed in Gandhara; the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is one such example, formed of a succession of steps with niches containing Buddha images, alternating with Greco-Roman pillars.

The structure is crowned by the shape of an hemispherical stupa topped by finials, forming a logical elongation of the stepped Gandharan stupas such as those seen in Jaulian. Although the current structure of the Mahabdhodi Temple dates to the Gupta period, the "Plaque of Mahabhodi Temple", discovered in Kumrahar and dated to 150-200 CE based on its dated Kharoshthi inscriptions and combined finds of Huvishka coins, suggests that the pyramidal structure existed in the 2nd century CE; this is confirmed by archaeological excavations in Bodh Gaya. This truncated pyramid design marked the evolution from the aniconic stupa dedicated to the cult of relics, to the iconic temple with multiple images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas; this design was influential in the development of Hindu temples. Stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a

Little Waltham

Little Waltham is a village and civil parish just north of Chelmsford. It is adjacent to the village of Great Waltham; the Domesday Book refers to the two villages as Waltham. The site of an Iron Age village was excavated before upgrading the main road north between the current villages; the village straddles the River Chelmer. Its main street has a number of old houses near the bridge, notably a rare Essex example of a Wealden hall house, now divided into three cottages. A footpath leads south alongside the river to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, part of, a nature reserve; the countryside is under continued threat from road development. The parish church, St Mary the Virgin, is dedicated to St Martin of Tours, has a Norman south door with a window above, its East window features local landmarks shown at the foot of the cross. There is a United Reformed Church in The Street. There is a pub in the centre of The White Hart; this has undergone extensive renovation in recent years to turn it from a traditional pub into a more modern "gastro-pub" serving quality food.

It has an overall 4/5 rating on trip advisor. The village has a doctor's surgery in Brook Hill, with a pharmacy on site. There are two main halls in Tufnell Hall and the Memorial Hall. Tufnell Hall is home to the Little Waltham Sports and Social Club, which hosts the village football team as well as badminton. Tufnell Hall has a main hall, used by the Montessori Nursery School during term times and is available for hire for functions, plus a separate bar area open to members and visitors; the Memorial Hall is used by the village playgroup and is used as the polling station for elections. The United Reformed Church has a smaller hall, used for church functions plus the Applepips nursery school; the village has a cricket team, the ground is in the centre of the village opposite the White Hart pub and Tufnell Hall. A short lived greyhound racing track was opened in the spring of 1930 on the main Braintree-Chelmsford Road; the racing on Friday evenings was independent and was known as a flapping track, the nickname given to independent tracks.

The grass track held races over 550 yards races and had a covered stand with refreshments available on site. The four acre site near Ash Tree Corner was put up for sale in Feb 1931, meetings after this were organised by the Waltham Greyhound and Whippet Club. Equipment from the track at New Writtle Street Stadium was installed here in March 1936. Most Primary School age children in Little Waltham attend either Little Waltham Church of England Primary School, with some attending Great Waltham Church of England Primary School nearby. High School age children attend Chelmer Valley High School in nearby Broomfield. There are nursery schools in the village including: a Montessori Nursery School, Rainbow Little Waltham, for 2-5 year olds. Essex Walks - Little and Great Waltham Media related to Little Waltham at Wikimedia Commons


Humans are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina. Together with chimpanzees and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae. Terrestrial animals, humans are characterized by their erect bipedal locomotion. Early hominins—particularly the australopithecines, whose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to ancestral non-human apes—are less referred to as "human" than hominins of the genus Homo. Several of these hominins used fire, occupied much of Eurasia, the lineage that gave rise to Homo sapiens is thought to have diverged in Africa around 500,000 years ago, with the earliest fossil evidence of evidence of early Homo sapiens appearing around 300,000 years ago; the oldest early H. sapiens fossils were found in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco dating to about 315,000 years ago. Discovered in 1967, Omo-Kibish I from southern Ethiopia is, as of 2017, the oldest anatomically modern Homo sapiens skeleton known. Humans began to exhibit evidence of behavioral modernity at least by about 100,000–70,000 years ago and as far back as around 300,000 years ago, in the Middle Stone Age, with some features of behavioral modernity beginning earlier, in parallel with evolutionary brain globularization in H. sapiens.

In several waves of migration, H. sapiens populated most of the world. The spread of the large and increasing population of humans has profoundly affected much of the biosphere and millions of species worldwide. Advantages that explain this evolutionary success include a larger brain with a well-developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, which enable advanced abstract reasoning, problem solving and culture through social learning. Humans use tools more and than any other animal: they are the only extant species to build fires, cook food, clothe themselves, create and use numerous other technologies and arts. Humans uniquely use such systems of symbolic communication as language and art to express themselves and exchange ideas, organize themselves into purposeful groups. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families and kinship networks to political states. Social interactions between humans have established an wide variety of values, social norms, rituals, which together undergird human society.

Curiosity and the human desire to understand and influence the environment and to explain and manipulate phenomena have motivated humanity's development of science, mythology and numerous other fields of knowledge. Though most of human existence has been sustained by hunting and gathering in band societies, many human societies transitioned to sedentary agriculture 10,000 years ago, domesticating plants and animals, thus enabling the growth of civilization; these human societies subsequently expanded, establishing various forms of government and culture around the world, unifying people within regions to form states and empires. The rapid advancement of scientific and medical understanding in the 19th and 20th centuries permitted the development of fuel-driven technologies and increased lifespans, causing the human population to rise exponentially; the global human population was estimated to be near 7.8 billion in 2019. In common usage, the word "human" refers to the only extant species of the genus Homo—anatomically and behaviorally modern Homo sapiens.

In scientific terms, the meanings of "hominid" and "hominin" have changed during the recent decades with advances in the discovery and study of the fossil ancestors of modern humans. The clear boundary between humans and apes has blurred, resulting in biologists now acknowledging the hominids as encompassing multiple species, Homo and close relatives since the split from chimpanzees as the only hominins. There is a distinction between anatomically modern humans and Archaic Homo sapiens, the earliest fossil members of the species; the English adjective human is a Middle English loanword from Old French humain from Latin hūmānus, the adjective form of homō "man." The word's use as a noun dates to the 16th century. The native English term man can refer to the species as well as to human males, or individuals of either sex; the species binomial "Homo sapiens" was coined by Carl Linnaeus in his 18th-century work Systema Naturae. The generic name "Homo" is a learned 18th-century derivation from Latin homō "man," "earthly being".

The species-name "sapiens" means "wise" or "sapient". Note that the Latin word homo refers to humans of either gender, that "sapiens" is the singular form; the genus Homo evolved and diverged from other hominins in Africa, after the human clade split from the chimpanzee lineage of the hominids branch of the primates. Modern humans, defined as the species Homo sapiens or to the single extant subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, proceeded to colonize all the continents and larger islands, arriving in Eurasia 125,000–60,000 years ago, Australia around 40,000 years ago, the Americas around 15,000 years ago, remote islands such as Hawaii