Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries We Still Don’t Get


When it comes to defining the world around us, we humans tend to think we’ve figured it all (well, most of it) out. Since the Enlightenment, the Scientific Method has reigned supreme in our quest for knowledge. Despite humanity’s social problems (murder rate and poverty anyone?), 21st century people think they’ve got the universe’s mysteries locked in pretty well. Technology! Math! We can solve anything!

Except we haven’t. We terran-based humanoid beings don’t know squat. Oh, sure Mr. Professor, you think you’ve figured it all out. Ok, you’re on. How do you explain these?

10. The Voynich Manuscript


Ok, so in the Yale University library, there’s this mysterious document, right? And nobody can decode the writing, as it’s no writing system known to humans (we presume). The vellum on which the manuscript was written on was determined to be of 15th Century origin. Naturally, we conclude that the document was created at that time.

But not so fast, buddy.  The manuscript, named after the book dealer who found this “undecipherable text” in 1912, has continued to stump Cryptologists to this day. With the advent of the Internet, professionals and amateurs exchange scores of information in an attempt to “crack the code” once and for all.

The major question is: where did the document come from? Are we able to trace its ownership and/or existence to one or more historical people?  Not all who encounter the Voynich Manuscript are convinced that the document is authentic. Some believe that Voynich himself had knowledge enough to create a false document. But nobody could make up an entire language and system of writing not known to man, right?

Well, Dr. Marc Orkrand DID manage to create the Klingon language…

9. Stone Spheres of Costa Rica


Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the purpose of the Stone Spheres of Costa Rica continues to elude researchers.  Locally known as Las Bolas, these perfectly round balls made from indigenous lava seemingly have no reason to be there. First re-discovered in various parts of the later 19th/early 20th century, all of the spheres pre-date the arrival of the Spanish. There’s speculation that many spheres were destroyed after the Spanish took over the area, leaving researchers with fewer clues than before.

Dr. Sam Lathrop was one of the earlier archaeologists who studied the spheres in situ, who theorized that the stones had some connection to religion and astronomy. (Anthro-speak for “I don’t know.) With much evidence gone due to the Spanish invasion of Costa Rica, will we ever find out?

8. Cocaine and Tobacco Residue On Mummies


In 1992, it was reported that a team of German researchers found both cocaine and nicotine residue on Egyptian mummies, as part of an ongoing study “investigating the use of hallucinogenic substances in ancient societies.”

Nicotine and cocaine are plants that can only be found in the Americas, leading Dr. Balabanova and her team to speculate that Egyptians had cross-cultural contact with people in the Americas. If so, that would mean the Egyptians “discovered” the Western Hemisphere long before the Europeans.  Detractors from this theory state that cross-contamination of the specimens were a logical explanation of the phenomenon.

7. Baltic Sea Anomaly


Here we go with the “aliens from Outer Space” theory again. A fossil found on the bottom of the Baltic Sea in 2011 is obviously a UFO that crashed on Earth. Because what else could it be? Maybe a natural, geographically formed object perhaps? Nah.

Live Science cites that Peter Lindberg, the leader of the dive team claiming to have found this “UFO,” has failed to disclose the exact location of where the “discovery” was made. He has also provided contradictory “evidence” to support his claim and says he will “reveal more” in a planned documentary. However, Stockholm University’s associate professor of geology Volker Brüchert states the anomaly is a piece of basaltic rock, deposited in the location my a glacier.

6. China’s First Emperor’s Pyramid and the Terra Cotta Army

Terracotta army

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The tomb of the First Chinese Emperor  Qin Shi Huang Di, discovered in 1974, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was named upon discovery of an army of soldiers made from terra-cotta clay, numbering in the thousands.  Only four pits in this sprawling complex have been excavated so far,  yet over  8,000 of these soldiers are estimated to exist. Despite the vast discoveries made, the tomb of the Emperor himself has not been excavated. While underground chambers are thought to exist, archaeologists are refraining from opening the cavern due to concerns over disturbing the contents and environment within.

5. Interlocking Stones as Puma Punku


Although these ancient structures are not included in the list of the world’s wonders, they are believed to be the oldest ruins on Earth’s surface. They are located in Tiahuanaco, South America and represent achievement that seems unattainable for the local population, Aymara Indians during those ancient times.

The stone structures amaze and confuse archaeologists, who cannot explain how the separate stones have been created with the techniques for cutting existing in those days. Interlocking Stones as Puma Pinnnku are made of granite and diorite. An interesting fact about them is that only diamond is harder than these two minerals. If the people who built this place have made the stones themselves, they should have used diamond tools.

One more intriguing fact about the stone structures is their weight, which exceeds 800 t per a stone. This is amazing, given that the nearest quarry is about 10 miles away. It is very difficult even for the most modern technology and equipment to lift and move such a heavy load.

4. Shroud of Turin


Shroud of Turin is one of the world’s most famous Christian relics. It is believed that the body of Jesus Christ had been wrapped in it when he has been in the grave. The shroud provoked even greater interest in 1898, when with the help of special tools an image of a human face has been found on it. Now scientists reveal interesting details about how according to them this mysterious image could appear.

Some of the experts believe that the image has appeared as a result of a strong radiating during the earthquake that happened in Old Jerusalem in 33 AD. They also think that the neutron radiation has affected carbon content in the fabric, which changed the results of the artifact date of origin. The researchers explain that when the neutrons interact with nitrogen atoms, the result is protons generation. This can lead to the appearance of an image on the shroud. However, as you may suppose, this is an unconfirmed theory that might be far away from the truth.

3. Great Pyramid of Giza


Being one of the world’s seven wonders, Great Pyramid in Giza is still attracting the attention of dozens of archaeologists, physicists and astrologers, who have worked for centuries and are still working today to unravel the truth and mysteries of this amazing monument.

For the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, workers had to move and stack stone blocks of 6.5 million tons each, some of which weighed even up to 9 tons. All that the workers had to perform this work have been woods and ropes. According to analysis, the stone blocks used to build the Sphinx temples have been taken from a moat that surrounds it on its three sides. Many of these blocks, some of which weighing more than one hundred tons, are so large that they contain two or three different geological layers. There are theories, according to which aliens have built the pyramids.

2. Stonehenge


Undoubtedly, Stonehenge is the most popular European ancient monument that presents a magnificent megalithic composition that impresses visitors not only with its appearance, but also with its mystical past.

The stone ruins of Stonehenge are located in the Salisbury valley. It is believed that some of the rocks have been brought all the way from the South Wales, although some of them weight 4 tons. Most of the stones are equal in size and are grouped in pairs. On the top of each pair of stones, an equal to them stone is placed horizontally. An altar stone is situated in the center of the ancient monument, and the inner circle of two horseshoe-shaped structures is located around it.

What exactly does Stonehenge symbolize and what has been the purpose of its building remains a mystery. There are three main theories, one of which supposes that this is a place for ritual ceremonies and funerals near a city of the dead or probably a Temple of the Sun.

1. Nazca Lines


Nazca Lines are called drawings and represent ancient lines drawn on the ground in the territory of Nazca desert, Peru. They have been discovered in 1927 and were the most extraordinary heritage left from a 2000-year old culture. These lines and figures represent a sequence of complex designs, some of which are many miles long and can be seen in their true dimensions only by plane.

The experts exclude the possibility that the people in the ancient Nazca culture have been able to fly, but the questions how these drawings has been made, what kinds of technologies have been used and what has been their purpose remain.

These lines represent simple lines, triangles, spirals and even more complex drawings of a spider, hummingbird, llama, monkey, fish, etc. The largest ones are 270 meters in length. They are located on 500 square kilometers in total. Lines are made by removing the reddish stones, so the pale, nearly white soil underneath could appear.

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