Archeology is an interesting, unusual, and sometimes frightening science. To witness the sensational discoveries, you need to have a lot of luck and professional instinct. Sometimes unusual artifacts are hidden in unexpected places. In this collection, we will talk about the strangest and sometimes frightening finds of archaeologists.
Greece: an echo of ancient myths
We all know a fascinating story about the Odyssey and its amazing adventures. The poem “Odyssey” is one of the most important monuments of antiquity. The earliest finds of this poem date back to the 3rd century BC. Most of them were found in Egypt. In July 2018, during excavations in Olympia (Peloponnese peninsula) in the temple of Olympian Zeus, German and Greek archaeologists found a rather unusual artifact of the 3rd century AD associated with the famous poem of Homer. The find is a clay tablet with a record of seven lines from the 14th song of the Odyssey. Most of all scientists and experienced archaeologists were struck by the material itself. This is what makes the artifact special. The fact is that in the Greco-Roman world clay tablets have never been popular. In ancient Greece they were used to educate children, but since the tablet was found in one of the most revered shrines, many scholars have suggested that such a tablet could be an offering to the gods. Gratitude offerings to the gods in the form of verses were then popular. Perhaps one of the speakers or actors asked the gods for good luck before speaking?
Egypt: The Mummy Returns
In Egypt, 30 kilometers south of Cairo, the village of Saqqara is located. Here was found the oldest necropolis of Memphis – the capital of the Ancient Kingdom. The first burials were made in Saqqara about 4 millennia BC. The name of the village carries an ominous meaning: it comes from the name of the god of the dead – Socar.
This mysterious place has repeatedly surprised archaeologists around the world with unusual and strange finds. First, the tomb of the nurse Tutankhamun Maya was discovered here, later – the tomb of a priest of one of the temples over 4 thousand years old! The most interesting thing is that the last burial belongs to the times of the V dynasty of Ancient Egypt. It was not plundered, which means it has reached us in its original form. On the walls of the tomb, numerous multi-colored frescoes were depicted, on which the priest is depicted with his mother, wife and children. Scientists were able to find out that the priest’s name was Wah Ti.
Recently, a whole workshop was found in Saqqara, in which in the era of Ancient Egypt the bodies of high-ranking persons of the era of the Pharaohs were embalmed. Here, archaeologists have discovered many special tools and bowls. In addition, among the strangest finds were mummies of cats and even … scarab beetles! The latter were considered sacred and symbolized the sun god Ra. The discovery of the mummies of such bugs is considered a rare discovery. Today, some areas of the necropolis in Saqqara remain untouched. And who knows what else can be found there?
Bolivia: the oldest constructor
In Bolivia, near Lake Titicaca, there is a ritual complex of buildings made of huge stone blocks Puma Punku, which is translated from the language of the South American tribe “Quechua” means “Puma Gate”. It is believed that the authors of this unusual building were the masters of the ancient civilization of Tiwanaku, about which almost nothing is known today.
The ruins of Puma Punku are not included in the list of wonders of the world, but many secrets are associated with them. The date of their appearance is not known for certain. Some believe that these structures were created in the VI century, while others – that they appeared in the II millennium BC. The technology of their creation is also not amenable to analysis: the only tribe that was in Bolivia at that moment – the local Aymara Indians – did not own such construction techniques. The stone structures of Puma Punku mostly consist of granite and diorite – they are so durable that they can only be processed with diamond-based tools. But there is another mystery: how could the ancient masters move incredibly heavy stone monoliths? The weight of each of them is about 800 tons! At the same time, the stone quarry closest to Puma Punku is located at a distance of 10 kilometers. Even now, items of this weight are quite problematic to carry.
Now almost the entire complex has turned into ruins, but the remaining samples can be considered the greatest example of ancient architecture – even a razor blade will not pass between some stone blocks. Modern archeology cannot yet find answers to the most important question: who erected these granite walls. Only one thing is clear: in the ancient world there was a civilization that perfectly mastered the technique of complex stone processing and construction. Can we repeat their success?
China: buried army
Not always archaeologists manage to appear at the right time in the right place. Many of the most mysterious finds are discovered by completely random people. So, in early 1974, Chinese peasants near the city of Xi’an began to drill an artesian well. During an ordinary workflow, they discovered one of the most magnificent and at the same time frightening finds, which dates back to the 3rd century BC! Near the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shihuangdi, about 8 thousand clay warriors were buried, which were created to accompany the emperor in the afterlife.
Some archaeologists claim that the heads and hairstyles of statues were molded individually or even from nature. They all depict real fighters from the emperor’s army or people close to him. Among them are foot soldiers, archers, musicians and even officials. The weight of each hollow figure could reach 200 kilograms.
Over 700 thousand people worked on the project of the magnificent tomb of the emperor! It was assumed that the terracotta army would become only part of a whole underground “civilization”. Here, underground, in a tomb, an entire underground China was erected so that the powerful Qin Shi Huang ruled the country even after death. To date, more than 600 figures, including statues of warriors, horses and chariots, have been excavated during excavations.
No one knows how the next great archaeological find of humanity will be accomplished. Many scholars and adventurers have traveled around the world for years in the hope of revealing the secrets of ancient history.
Roman dodecahedrons date back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD and still remain a real mystery to the scientific community. The diameter of these artifacts is usually from 3 to 11 centimeters, they are most often made of bronze and are a polyhedron of 12 regular pentagons with round holes and balls at the top of each corner. According to some versions, dodecahedrons were used either for ritual purposes, or as a measuring device. These were very valuable objects, and archaeologists have already found several hundred such mysterious artifacts throughout Europe.
Among other scrolls found in the Dead Sea, there is one manuscript that is different from all the others. The find was made in 1952, and unlike parchment or papyrus artifacts, this scroll is made of a metal alloy (mainly copper). The manuscript contains approximately the following text: “Nine hundred talents are hidden in a large cistern in the courtyard of the columned hall, in a depression opposite the door, in the corner. In the tank under the wall on the east side are six hundred silver bars. In the southern corner of the columned hall at the tomb of Tsadok and under the column in the assembly hall is a spruce jar for incense and the same jar made of cassia wood. ” Yes, this is a real treasure map. Historians and simple treasure hunters have been trying in vain to find this treasure for many years. Some experts have even begun to suggest that the text is metaphorical in nature or is rather a recommendation than a description of an already implemented cache.
Rongo-rongo letters were found on Easter Island in the 19th century. They are a collection of wooden planks covered with mysterious hieroglyphs of unknown origin. No one was able to decipher the meaning of these ancient letters, but some scholars believe that deciphering these texts would help shed light on the mysterious disappearance of the ancient civilization that once inhabited Easter Island.
Stone slab Cochno
In Scotland, archaeologists unearthed a 5,000-year-old stone slab, decorated with unusual geometric patterns. Kokno stone (from the name of the farm near which the artifact was found) is 13 meters long and 7.9 meters wide, and the scientists carved the drawings on its surface as “bowls and ring marks”. Similar patterns are found around the world and in other prehistoric locations. The significance of these drawings remains unknown until now, as well as the one who created them. In addition, it is not clear how exactly the ancient people managed to leave these marks in places so remote from each other. The Kochninskaya plate was transported to another place not only for further research, but also to protect it from the attacks of vandals.