Although the year 2018 has long passed and we’ve even got used to the new 2019 and we are moving forward, it’s never too late to recall the past and the amazing things that happened. In 2018, many important discoveries were made, but we will tell you about 11 incredible archaeological finds that may change our understanding of the history of mankind forever.
At the bottom of the Black Sea discovered the oldest ship
Scientists believe that the Greek merchant ship is about 2400 years old, which means that it is the oldest of the ships found, known to man. It was found off the coast of Bulgaria by the research team of the Black Sea Marine Archeology Project. Since there is not enough oxygen at a depth of 2000 meters, the ship is perfectly preserved, which will allow scientists to study it and learn more about the ancient world.
Scientists got to the last unexplored part of Pompeii
Over the years of exploring the ancient city of Pompeii, one third of the area was still untouched, but in 2018 this changed. The excavation area was in danger due to ash and hardened lava pieces from an unexplored area that threatened to collapse into artifacts. Then archaeologists with special zeal began to dig up the last untouched zone. There they discovered a series of preserved frescoes, as well as a room built as a temple for the deities of Lares, who were considered the guardians of houses and families in ancient Roman culture.
People started baking bread before agriculture
It turns out that 14,400 years ago, 4 thousand years before the emergence of crops, people were already trying to find the perfect bread recipe. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen discovered a small parking lot of ancient people belonging to the Natuf culture. Leftovers very similar to bread were found there. It turned out that the Natufians had ovens and what scientists found in them was evidence that they collected cereals and tubers to make flour for bread.
It is believed that these were the remains of not ordinary bread, but rather a treat, which was prepared on special occasions. Moreover, scientists from Stanford University found evidence proving that Natufians brewed beer 13,000 years ago. These findings suggest that our ancestors were bakers and brewed beer long before the advent of agriculture.
Ancient Egyptian Funeral Home
German and Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient funeral home in Egypt. Initially, scientists stumbled upon a rectangular building, which they mistook for a workshop, since ceramic vessels with oils and substances that were used in mummification were stored there. An open workshop courtyard led to a 30-meter tunnel, which ended with funeral chambers with dozens of mummies.
One of the main finds in the burial chambers was the sarcophagus of a woman named Tadihor. The sarcophagus was surrounded by protective sculptures on which her name was written. The woman’s mummy had a silver mask on her face, which, according to historians, carries a deeply religious meaning, since the ancient Egyptians believed that the bones of the gods consist of gold and silver. So the mask of Tadihor meant the beginning of the transformation into a goddess after death.
The plague killed long before the Middle Ages
We all know about the terrible misfortune – the plague, which claimed the lives of more than 50 million people in Europe in the XIV century. The plague is still considered one of the most deadly and catastrophic diseases in the history of mankind. Recently, archaeologists have discovered on the skeletons that were buried 3800 BC, the bacteria Yersinia pestis or Plague stick.
This finding suggests that the bacterium already existed in the Bronze Age. This means that there was an earlier outbreak of the disease than the Middle Ages, and it affected the migration of people through Europe and Asia.
The oldest traces of man
Traces were discovered on Calvert Island, Canada, in March. The footprints are about 13 thousand years old and they belonged to three people – a child and, possibly, two adults. They have survived to this day due to the fact that people first stepped on wet clay, which was then filled with sand.
The oldest drawing of man
In a cave of South Africa, scientists found a stone with red lines, drawn by a man. The age of the find is about 73 thousand years, which makes the drawing the oldest evidence of a person’s creative thinking. The pattern is a crossed line made by red ocher.
The oldest image of the human body
In Switzerland, treasure hunters discovered a bronze arm with a metal detector and gave it to the archaeological service. At first, the experts were not sure that the find was historical. But now Swiss scientists are confidently declaring that the artifact dates back to the middle of the Bronze Age. The fact is that metal objects for that time were extremely rare, and the gold found on the hand was never found on objects and in burials belonging to the Bronze Age. So this part of the sculpture is really unique.
Our ancestors started drinking beer much earlier than we thought.
Excavations in Israel revealed the remains of beer – it was made for burial more than 13 thousand years ago, which makes it the oldest alcohol in the world. Scientists found a brewery at the burial place of the Natufians.
Huge black sarcophagus
The discovery of this sarcophagus produced the effect of an exploding bomb in the media in 2018. It was discovered in Egypt and was huge in size. When archaeologists uncovered it, they discovered the remains of three people floating in a strange reddish liquid. Mummies belonged to a woman 20-25 years old and two men 30-40 years old. The sarcophagus until that moment remained untouched, so many were interested in the question of how the liquid got there. Now scientists believe that it is sewer water that has seeped into the cracked surface of the burial.
The sarcophagus is considered the largest among those that have ever been found in Alexandria.
Archaeologists have discovered an ancient structure with an age of 4,500 years that could answer the question of how the great pyramid of Giza was built, for example. Researchers managed to find a system of inclined planes, which was used to lift alabaster stones up a steep slope.