Archaeological discoveries do not only mean excavating thousands of years old buried civilisations. The archaeologists have found many more archaeological artefacts which tell a tale about that past era. Some of them are still a mystery or unexplained but the findings of these ancient artefacts are astounding. This could be an ancient computer, horrible corpses, geometrical lines or anything other than a civilisation.
Let’s look at the 15 most amazing archaeological discoveries
These terracotta sculptures are the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. It is believed that the armies were there to protect the emperor in the afterlife. The structures were dating from about the last third century BCE. The local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province first discovered it in 1974.
Headless Vikings of Dorset
The workers when dug a railroad in Dorset they saw Viking warriors buried in the ground but all were beheaded. The archaeologists did a close study and they were sure that the warriors were beheaded and it seemed to have been done from the front rather than back. But still, the archaeologists are not sure what was happened to them.
In 1900 this 2000-year-old shipwreck was discovered off the Greek island of Antikythera. This mechanism has often been referred as the world’s first scientific calculator. A science historian Derek J. De Solla Price described the mechanism as an astronomical calculator. The two faces device has dozens of gears which could exactly measure the position of the sun, moon and planets simply by entering a date. It also has a crank on the outside that controls the gears. But researchers have a doubt over its exact use.
It is a citadel on northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru the historic capital of the Inca Empire. The stone walls were built by huge stones. The mysterious part is that the workers fit the stones in a way that there is not a single gap. They cut the stone slabs without any mortar. It would be impossible to slide even a hair between them.
The Ark of the Covenant
It is the gold-covered wooden chest which contains the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, according to the Book of Exodus. This box was kept in the ancient time in the First Temple, a Jewish place of worship in Jerusalem. But a Babylonian army led by King Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the First Temple in 587 BC. Since its disappearance, there have been a number of claims of having possession of the Ark. The Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum claimed they have the original Ark. Also, there is a report that said the Ark is in a monastery in Ethiopia. But no one knows its exact location. Ancient Hebrew text hints that the Ark of the Covenant will not reveal itself “until the day of the coming of the Messiah son of David”.
The Nazca Lines are the large designs on the ground in the Nazca desert in Peru. The lines weren’t discovered until the early 1900’s as they are impossible to see unless you are directly above it. It stretches more than 80 km. It is believed that the Nazca people created these Lines between 500 BCE and 500 CE. Some of the Nazca Lines are simple geometric shapes or designs of different animals such as monkeys, birds, human figures etc. The lines can be seen from an aircraft, nearby foothills or any other high places. Since its discovery, researchers aren’t sure why those lines were made. But there are many theories like astronomy, agriculture or religion.
A group of French soldiers when rebuilding a military fort in the port city of Rosetta in Egypt in 1799, they unearthed the famous Rosetta Stone. It has been one of the greatest archaeological discoveries till date. The stone was carved in 195 BC. It is actually a royal decree issued by priests on behalf of Ptolemy V. However, the stone is not famous for its message but for its scripts. It was written in three scripts: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian demotic script and ancient Greek. Egyptologist Jean-Franҫois Champollion interpreted the hieroglyphs on the stone. This translation helps the future interpretation of other texts written in hieroglyphs.
This world’s most mysterious manuscript was discovered in 1912. Researchers believe the manuscript is 600 years old. The 250-page book features unknown plants, nude paintings of women, herbal recipes. The book was written in an unknown language which no researchers were successful in deciphering. But some scholars believe this manuscript is simply a hoax.
Popularly known as Easter Island. This isolated island located in the thousands of miles off of the Chilean coast in the South Pacific. This place is famous for its giant head statues. There are almost 900 moai on the island. The statues were carved in between the 11th and 17th centuries AD. A group of Eastern Polynesian settlers built the moai and the ceremonial platforms. According to the Easter Island Statue Project, the people of the island worshipped their ancestors and depended on these ancestral gods for their good fortune.
Dead Sea Scrolls
This is also an important archaeological finding. A shepherd found seven scrolls inside a ceramic jar in a cave near the ancient site of Khirbet Qumran. It located near the Dead Sea. According to the archaeologists, the scrolls were written between 250 BC and 68 AD. The scrolls include Exodus, copies of Genesis, Kings and Deuteronomy, Isaiah, hymns, calendars and psalms.
Mount Owen Moa
In 1986, archaeologists started an expedition inside a large cave system on Mount Owen in New Zealand. They then discovered a dinosaur-like claw which still intact with flesh and scaly skin. It was so well preserved that it seemed like that the animal had just died recently. After the research, the archaeologists were just surprised as the claw was the 3,300-year-old mummified remains of an upland moa, a large prehistoric bird.
This archaeological site dates back more than 11,000 years. Since its discovery in 1963, only a small portion of the site has been excavated. This place contains multiple rings of huge stone pillars. These are T-shaped limestone blocks which line the site’s stone rings. The largest has a diameter of 100 metre. The blocks were carved with images of people and animals. The purpose of this structure is still a mystery. Some believe this served as a place of pilgrimage.
The Copper Scroll Treasure
It is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls which was unearthed at the site of Qumran. But it is different from the other scrolls. The other scrolls were written on papyrus where this one was on copper. The scroll might depict a huge amount of gold and silver. But no one knows where the treasure might be. Scholars believe that the treasure could be that of the Qumran community and they hid out the treasure from the Roman forces during their revolts against the empire.
Diquis Spheres or the stone spheres of Costa Rica are the perfect spheres which were carved around the turn of the millennium. They are the best-known stone sculptures of the Isthmo-Colombian area. The stone balls expected to have been placed to houses of the chiefs but their actual purpose remains unknown.
The Grauballe Man
The Grauballe Man is a bog body found 1952. The body is dating from the last 3rd century BC, during the early Germanic Iron Age. This mummified body is a bit unique as his hair and fingernails are still intact. It seems like he was sacrificed as in his neck there is a large cut which says his throat was slit. His body was then deposited in the bog where it was naturally preserved for over two millennia.