Archaeological discoveries give us an insight into ancient societies. But sometimes there are things discovered that leave the scientific community in utter confusion. These are truly special occasions that can completely change history. Here are some archaeological finds you may never have read about in history class but will change the way you look at past civilization.
The Unfinished Obelisk
The left behind obelisk was carved directly from bedrock, but after cracks appeared in the granite it was disregarded.
Stone Age Tunnels
This massive network of underground tunnels dates back to the Stone Age. How were they able to create and build such an extensive system given the primitive tools of the time?
Costa Rica’s Stone Spheres
Hundreds of granodiorite balls are near Gulfito on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The balls range from three or four centimeters to three meters in diameter. Archaeologists have been able to explain their purpose.
Terra Cotta Army
The vast terracotta army that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, is a full army with horse and all. Apparently these soldiers are standing gaurd to protect the emperor in the afterlife.
The Voynich Manuscript
This manuscript is a book that contains illustrations and diagrams that are in a language that is still unknown. The entire manuscript is a mystery from beginning to end.
The Grauballe Man
Not only is he amazingly well preserved with his hair and fingernails still intact, it is possible to reconstruct his demise from the pristine condition of the body. Judging from a large wound wrapping around his neck from ear to ear it seems he was sacrificed, probably in an attempt to turn a better harvest.
This Archaeological site is on top of a mountain ridge in Turkey. This site helped change the understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human society. Archaeologist determined temple was built prior to the city, it shows religion was highly valued.
L’Anse aux Meadows
Located in Newfoundland, Canada, this 1000-year-old site was a viking settlements in North America that far predate Columbus.
Discovered in Sindh, Pakistan, this site was one of the world’s earliest largely populated urban settlements. Showing signs of city and social planning, the area held an estimated population of 40,000 and included a draining system.
This gigantic underwater structure can be found off the coast of Yonaguni, Japan. Containing flat edges and 90° angles, there is still much debate as to whether this underwater structure is natural or man-made formations.
The Longyou Grottoes
These elaborate artificial caves found in China are carved from siltstone, their origins are still a mystery. They are thought to date to a period before the Qin Dynasty in 212 BCE; The lack of historical documentation referring to the caves has left many questions about their origins
The Gate of the Sun
Located in Bolivia and standing at 13,000 feet. The gate is decorated in engravings that are believed to represent astronomical and/or astrological significance.
In Peru lies this fortress of polished dry stones and boulders stacked together tightly without mortar to hold them together. These stones fit so tightly that not even a sheet of paper is able to slide between them.
Discovered in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera around the turn of the 20th century, it is considered the world’s first scientific calculator. With multiple gears it can measure the position of the sun, moon, and planets simply by adjusting the gears accordingly. It is a great example of early civilizations knowledge of mechanical engineering.
Archaeologists were on site for years before they actually saw the lines from the sky in the early 1900′s. While there have been numerous theories as to how the lines came to be ranging from UFO’s to technically advanced ancient civilization, the most likely explanation is that the Nazca people had mastered the ability to survey the land. The purpose of the lines still remains a mystery.
Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are one of the major archaeological finds of the last century. They are the earliest known surviving records of biblical text that date all the way back to 150 BC.
In the mid 1930′s several plain looking jars were unearthed near Baghdad, Iraq. Later a German museum curator published a paper claiming that the jars may have been used as galvanic cells, or batteries.
Headless Vikings of Dorset
While digging a railroad in Dorset workers came across a small contingent of viking warriors buried in the ground, all missing their heads. At first archaeologists thought that maybe some villagers had survived a raid and exacted their revenge but upon closer inspection things got a little less clear. The beheadings looked too clean and seemed to have been done from the front rather than the back. They are still not sure what happened.
Discovered in 1799 by a French soldier searching through the Egyptian sand, the Rosetta Stone has been one of archaeology’s greatest discoveries to date and the backbone for the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The stone is a actually a fragment of a larger stone that contained a decree issued by King Ptolemy V around 200 BC with the decree inscribed in 3 languages – Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and Ancient Greek.
Mount Owen Moa
In 1986 an expedition led into the cave system of Mount Owen in New Zealand came across this huge claw. It was so well preserved it appeared as if the animal had just died. Upon removal it was determined to belong to an Upland Moa, a large flightless prehistoric bird that apparently had a nasty set of claws.