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Ancient Ruins We Still Know Almost Nothing About

Much of what we know about ancient cultures today comes from the pictures and written documents left behind.

In some cases, artifacts can leave clues as to who the people were that created ancient monuments that are now ruins, but in other instances, there are more questions than answers.

Historians, archaeologists, and geologists have many theories about the ruins on this list, but they are just that: theories. These ancient ruins most hold more questions than answers and in some cases, experts are not even certain that they are man-made.

1. Lake Michigan Stonehenge


In 2007, Mark Holley was scanning the floor of Lake Michigan in search of shipwrecks. Instead he found what some have dubbed to be the Lake Michigan Stonehenge. 40 feet below the surface are large stones arranged in a circular formation.

There is very little known about who built this structure and why it was built. The location of the site has been kept secret in order to follow the wishes of the Traverse Bay American Indian community who seek to preserve the site.

The stones may not look remarkable, but they are almost perfectly aligned with each other. If they were placed by humans, then the circular rock formation would have to date back between 6,000 and 10,000 years.

It was 6,000 years ago that this area of Lake Michigan was dry and served as a home for hunter-gatherers. The reason why some suggest the rock formation may be older than 6,000 years has to do with what was discovered on one of the outer rings of the rock circle.

Divers found carved into a large block of granite a petroglyph that looks like a mastodon. The ancient elephant went extinct 10,000 years ago, so for an ancient human to have carved it, they would have needed to be alive at the same time.

Unfortunately, petroglyph experts are not typically divers and therefore have not been able to view the carving in person. But if it is verified, it only raises more questions, such as how were the ancient people able to carve so deeply and precisely into granite?

The site stands out because it is understood that humans did not have the capacity for structures such as this until they settled down into villages and moved out of the hunter-gather phase.

While there are very few answers about the site it would not be the first formation or the first petroglyph to be found underwater or found in the Lake Michigan area, so it is possible that the formation is real.

2. Japan’s Underwater Ruins

Off the coast of Japan’s Yonaguni island are mysterious rock formations that have led to intense debate among archaeologists and geologists. These large stone structures appear to be large, stepped monoliths.

Some of the ruins have walls that are 33 feet tall and columns that rise to within 8 feet of the surface. There are square shapes and formations that look like figures, such as the turtle and the giant face have convinced some that the formations are man-made.

The argument that the structures are man-made comes from the presence of right angles as part of the structure and the twin megaliths that appear to have been placed there.

Maasaki Kimura, who first discovered the site, says that he had found traces of animal drawings and people in the rocks and a symbol that he believes to be a character from the Kaida script.

Kimura claims that he can identify castles, roads, monuments, and even a stadium in the rock formations. If true this would be astonishing as some date the ruins back 10,000 years.

Others present more conservative estimates of 2,000 to 3,000 years, which would still be an astonishing find and would lead to questions about who could have constructed the ruins. Kimura theorized that the ruins could be part of the mythical lost continent of Mu.

On the other side of the debate are geologists who claim that all of the formations are naturally occurring. Yonaguni is found in an earthquake prone region and earthquakes have been known to cause sandstone to fracture in shapes similar to those found at the ruins.

They believe the roads are just channels in the rock and the vertical formations are just rocks that were horizontal but fell vertical when the rocks below them eroded. Others say it is unusual to see so many of these types of formations in such a small area but there is no definitive evidence that concludes the formations at Yonaguni are indeed man-made.

3. Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe is an archaeological site that has the potential to completely change how historians and archaeologists understand human history.

It challenges many of the assumptions that were made about hunter-gatherers and what led up to the transition to farming raising livestock. Gobekli Tepe is an ancient site located in Turkey and unlike other ruins on this list, there is no doubt that this one is man-made.

The site was discovered during a survey in 1963 conducted by Istanbul University and the University of Chicago, but it was mostly written off as little more than a medieval burial ground.

In 1994, Klaus Schmidt found the survey information on Gobekli Tepe and decided to take a closer look. Upon arriving at the mound, he recognized that the limestone rocks and slabs had the potential to be more than just gravestone but rather T-shaped pillars.

Excavation began the following year and it was not long before the team uncovered the massive pillars that had been buried beneath the surface.

The site was created by placing a ring of the massive seven-ton stone pillars on the ground. This ring would then be covered with dirt.

Another ring of stone pillars would be placed on top of the dirt and covered. This continued to create a gently sloping mound. The ruins are dated back 11,000 years and were created at a time when the region was only known to have hunter-gatherers.

A structure of this sort would have taken a large number of people working for an extended period. Bones found at the site confirm that whoever built the site did plenty of hunting of wild animals.

This challenges the notion that it was only after hunter-gatherers settled down that they had the manpower and skill to create large structures.

Interestingly enough it was just a few centuries after the construction of Gobekli Tepe that there is evidence of farming and domestication of grain and animals. For some this means that it was the need to create the structure that prompted the hunter-gatherers to settle down.

4. Nan Madol

Nan Madol is an ancient city built atop a coral reef in Micronesia. It is believed to be the only ancient city ever built upon a coral reef, but that is just the beginning of what makes this site fascinating.

To date, no one has figured out how the people who lived here were able to build it, what tools they used to do it, where they got the stone, or even how they were able to lift up the columns used to make the wall.

Construction on the city is believed to have started by the 8th or 9th century with the megalithic architecture starting in 1200 CE. The city was the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur Dynasty which brought together the 25,000 people of Pohnpei.

Pohnpeian legend tells us that Nan Madol was built by twin sorcerers Olisihpa and Olosopha, who used a flying dragon to lift the massive stones.

A single cornerstone of Nandowas, the royal mortuary, is estimated to weigh 50 tons. All the stones moved to the site are estimated to be 750,000 metric tons. An impressive feat for people who had no pulleys, no levers and no metal.

Construction of the site took four centuries as it was built in stages but even over 400 years, 1,850 tons of rock would need to be moved and placed each year. Considering the population was only 25,000 that is a monumental undertaking that has yet to be explained.

The city itself was only meant to house 500 to 1000 people. It was a place of residence for the nobility and ruling chiefs. It was also where commoners who could not be trusted were forced to live so that they could always be watched.

There was no access to fresh water or food for the people of Nan Madol, it all had to be brought to the city by boat. The city became abandoned in the 17th century but was still used for religious ceremonies up until the late 19th century.

5. Puma Punku

Puma Punku is an ancient ruin found in Bolivia that dates back to the 6th century CE. It stands out for a number of reasons, both for its history and for its construction. The site features stonework that is unlike anything of the period.

Precise cuts were made to not only add detail to the ruins but also to precisely fit the massive stone blocks together.

The blocks were cut at exact angles so that they would fit together like a puzzle and not require the use of mortar of any kind. Even centuries later the rocks fit so tightly together that not even a razor blade can slip between them.

The intricate carvings on the rocks with straight lines and angles also stand out. There are no chisel marks of any kind and trying to recreate these cuts with the tools known to be available at the time has yet to be accomplished.

Moving the rocks to the site was even a feat as some weighed as much as 100 tons and were moved from a quarry 60 miles from the site. The ruins exist above the tree line so there were not even any trees to use to make rollers to move the massive blocks.

There is even contention over the dating of the ruins. Some put the ruins at over 10,000 years old, despite the carbon dating. When the Incas conquered the region in the 15th century, they incorporated Puma Punku and the rest of Tiwanku city into their empire.

Puma Punku became a huge part of the Incan culture because it was believed to be the place where Viracocha created the ancestral people of all ethnicities and sent them out to populate the world.

While it is not known for certain, it is theorized that Puma Punku served as a spiritual and religious center.

At its peak Puma Punku and Tiwanaku city supported 400,000 people and had a very extensive infrastructure. By 1000 CE the culture abruptly ended for reasons that are still unknown today.

6. Ggantija

The ruins at Ggantija are the second oldest religious structures in the world, second only to the ruins at Gobekli Tepe.

These temples date back more than 5,500 years which makes them older than the pyramids of Egypt. They are found on the Mediterranean island of Gozo. The temples have become a part of Gozitan folklore which says that the temples were built by giantess.

At the site, there are actually two complete temples and one temple that was abandoned before it was finished. The southernmost temple is the best preserve and the oldest dating back to 3,600 BCE.

The temple’s plan includes five huge apses that still have traces of the plaster that once covered them slinging between the rocks. The temple are arranged in a clover leaf shape. They consist of semi-circular apses connected by a passage down the middle. Today it is believed that the apses would have been covered by roofing.

The building of the temple predates the wheel and metal tools which makes the feat even more impressive. Small round stones were found at the site which have some archaeologists guessing that the small stones were used as ball bearings to transport the massive stones.

Even though the site was discovered in the 17th century very little was done on the site until 1827 when it was cleared of debris.

After the clearing of debris, the site fell into decay and was kept in private hands until 1933 when it was expropriated for public benefit, finally allowing the site to be fully excavated, preserved and studied.

There is still very little known about the site. Findings of animal bones in the apses suggest that it may have been used for animal sacrifice.

A large stone at the entrance with a recess might have been used as a ritual ablution station for purification before anyone could enter the complex. The temple does face to the southeast and the equinox sunrise which adds to the belief it was a religious site.

7. Menorcan Taulas

On the island of Menorca stands a monument with taulas as tall as 3.7 meters. The taulas date back thousands of years to between 1000 BCE and 300 BCE. There is very little known about them or how they were created.

There are numerous theories about the site such as that the stones had religious or astronomical significance. Archaeologist Michael Hoskin has posited the idea that the stones were part of an ancient healing cult.

The island of Menorca is a very small rocky island and it is only 50 km across at its widest point. There are 35 separate stone megaliths found on the small island which makes it a place of great interest for archaeologists.

What continues to intrigue archaeologists is that the stone structures look very similar to those found at Stonehenge in England and Gobekli Tepe in Turkey.

The taulas were built by the Talayotic people who lived on the island since 2000 BCE and thrived on the tiny island until the Romans arrived in 125 BCE.

The people who built the stone megaliths left behind no documentation or information about why they were built which leaves very little for archaeologists to go on. Even the name “taulas” means table in the island’s Catalan language and references how the stone appeared before excavation.

Originally all that could be seen of the megaliths were the flat tops which appeared like tables to the locals.

Some suggest that the taulas were the representation of the ancient God much like the cross is to Christians.

A bronze bull statue found at the site have led some to wonder if the taulas are meant to represent the face of a bull and that the ancients who built the site worshiped a bull god.

Another theory is that the temple was built to be oriented to the Centaurus constellation which support the theory that it was built for the healing cult.

8. Longyou Caves

The Longyou Caves are found near the village of Shiyan Beicun in the Zhejiang province in China. They are believed to date all the way back to 212 BCE during the Qin dynasty. What makes the caves particularly remarkable is that it would have taken a monumental effort to create them but there is no record at all of their construction or existence.

The caves were first found in 1992 and that is the first that anyone had ever heard of the mysterious caves. Since the initial discovery 24 caves have been found and one of them is now a tourist attraction.

The caves are located at Phoenix Hill. They are carved into sandstone and are massive for being completely man-made caves. There average floor space of the caves is 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet). The height of the caves is also substantial reached up to 30 meters (98 feet) and the total covered area is 30,000 square meters (320,000 square feet).

Throughout the caves are pillars that are evenly spaced in order to support the ceiling. The walls, ceiling and columns are decorated with parallel chisel marks. There are also carvings that depict animals such as a horse, fish and bird.

It has been estimated that just to dig out the tunnels would take 1,000 people working around the clock for six years. Added to that the care and precision of the sculpting and the carvings inside the caves would add years to its construction.

The caves are also remarkably preserved. There is no sign of rubble or debris and the carvings are still completely clear and precise. Despite the excellent condition of the caves there remains no evidence of who could have built them.

Only someone like an emperor could have commissioned such a massive project but then there is no explanation for why there would be no record of such a project in the historical records. There is also no explanation for why the caves were built or what they were used for.

9. Underground Italian Pyramids at Orvieto

The Italian city of Orvieto has long been known as a place to view medieval ruins but just recently it has become the focus of archaeologists for another reason. In 2011 it was discovered that there are ruins underneath the city that date back to the Etruscans.

The Etruscans were a sophisticated culture that existed in Italy around 900 BCE. The society would eventually blend into the Roman empire which makes it harder for archaeologists to fully understand their culture today.

Archeologists have been able to excavate 15 meters (49 feet) down to uncover underground pyramids. The site had been intentionally backfilled for reasons that have yet to be understood.

The fill material has been a boon for finding artifacts from the 5th century BCE when the pyramids must have been filled.

What has been of particular interest to archeologists is the number of Etruscan language inscriptions that have been found, more than 150. This could lead to a greater understanding of the Etruscans.

It is believed that there are at least five pyramids below the city but only two of them have started to be excavated.

The process is very slow and painstaking as artifacts need to be preserved and the site itself must be protected as archeologists dig further down. There are still no answers as to the purpose of the pyramids. It is clear that it was not a quarry because the walls are too smooth and precise.

Researchers also do not know why the pyramids were built or what they were used for. Theories about whether they are religious structures or tombs continue but there has been no definitive evidence to point in either direction as of.

Claudio Bizzarri who works at the site believes that they will only find the answer at the bottom of the caverns but no one knows just how far down they will have to dig to get there.

Reference: CoreSpirit.com

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The Book of the Giants: Text with 2,000 years of Antiquity describes the Nephilim

More than 60 years ago, excavations at the Qumran Caves (Dead Sea) revealed almost a thousand ancient scrolls that offered important glimpses of humanity’s past.

Archaeologists were surprised to find so many unusual texts and among them, a roll of paper that offers clues about the Nephilim.

It’s called The Book of the Giants. Let’s review the ancient stories about these beings.

The Bible makes several references to the Nephilim and most can be found in the book of Genesis. Most of the information concerning these giants of antiquity come from the apocryphal book of Enoch. This ancient Jewish religious work is attributed to Noah’s great-grandfather, although some scholars date parts of it to around 300 BC.

Enoch is a disconcerting character. The book of Genesis tells us that he lived on Earth for 365 years, before being taken by God; “He walked with God, and he was gone; because God took him. “During his time here, our planet was also inhabited by” angels “who interacted freely with humans, and eventually crossed paths with the” daughters of men “and gave birth to a race of abnormally strong hybrids and giant called Nephilim.

The origin of the word Nephilim is not fully understood, but scholars have proposed several etymologies: “The fallen”, “apostate”, or “these that cause others to fall.” Regardless of their name, the Nephilim have always been a synonym for giants.

The Book of Giants found in the Qumran caves offer a different perspective from that of the Enoch book. Although incomplete, the fragments of the scrolls paint a grim picture: the Nephilim became aware that, as a result of their violent and deviant forms, they faced imminent destruction, and that it scared them enough to ask Enoch to speak in his name before God.

The text begins by detailing how the Nephilim plagued the Earth and everything that lived in it. But once everyone begins to receive the prophetic dreams of fate, fear seeps into their hearts. The first to have these dreams was Mahway, the titan son of the angel Baraquel. In his dream, he saw a tablet being submerged in the water. When the tablet emerged, all but three names had been removed. This symbolizes the flood and subsequent destruction of all, except the children of Noah.

At that time, this fact had not become evident to the Nephilim so they debated the meaning of Mahway’s dream, but they were not successful in interpreting the signs. Soon after, two more giants, Ohya and Hahya, the children of the fallen angel Shemihaza began to have similar dreams; They dreamed of a tree being uprooted except for three of its roots.

After this, the rest of the group of giants began to have apocalyptic dreams:

Then two of them had dreams and the dream of their eyes had fled before them, and getting up, he came to [… and told him] his dreams, and told him in the assembly of [his companions] the monsters [… En] my dream I was seeing this night [and there was a garden …] the gardeners and those who were watering [… two hundred trees and] great buds came out from its root […] all the water, and the fire burned all [the garden … ] They found the giants to tell them the dream … ”

The giants have realized the prophetic nature of their dreams and sought the help of Enoch. Unfortunately, Enoch had already disappeared from the face of the Earth so the chosen Nephilim, one of its members, made a cosmic journey in order to find it.

[Mahway] poured into the air like strong winds, and flew with his hands like eagles [… left behind] the inhabited world and passed over desolation, the great desert […] and Enoch saw it and greeted it, and Mahway said to him […] here and there for the second time for Mahway […] the giants await his words, and all the monsters of the Earth. If it has been taken […] from the days of […] its and that would be added […] we would like to hear from you its meaning […] two hundred trees that came down from heaven … ”

Unfortunately, parts of the rolls were damaged without possibility of repair, but the description of the text is obvious. One of the Nephilim traveled off the Earth in search of Enoch and his powers of vision-interpretation. The text becomes very interesting if we substitute some terms and consider it not as an allegorical story, but as the description of an actual event whose meaning became confused in time.

If we consider flying “hands like eagles” a metaphor, can we hypothesize that Mahway took off from Earth in a spaceship? In this case, does “desolation, the great desert” refer to interstellar space? It depends on how far we are willing to interpret a fragment of a 2,000-year-old scroll.

Enoch sends Mahway back from where he came from, promising that he will speak to God on his behalf. Unfortunately for the Nephilim, the Enoch tablets sent to them did not bring them good news:

The Enoch scribe […] a copy of the second tablet that [Enoch] sent in the same part of Enoch the scribe observed [… In the name of God the great] and a saint, for Shemihaza and all his companions […]

Let it be known that you have not […] and the things you have done, and that your wives […] them with your children and the wives of [your children] for your debauchery on Earth, and there has been over you […] and the earth is crying out] and they complain that you and your children’s acts […] the harm you have done to him.

[…] Until Raphael appears, behold, the destruction [is approaching, a great flood, and will destroy all living beings] and what is in the deserts and the seas. And the meaning of matter […] about you as evil. But now, untie the bonds [that tie you to evil …] and pray. ”

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1000 Pillar Temple – Impossible Ancient Technology Found

Today we are going to look at one of the strangest ancient sites in India – this is the Thousand Pillar Temple which is at least 750 years old. On first sight, it looks like a regular temple, but there is something fundamentally different about this temple, because there are no visible joints at all between the stone blocks in the walls of this temple.

This is a large temple, but look carefully as I go from the ground to the top, do you see any joints? This makes people wonder if this entire temple is made of one solid rock, like the Kailasa Temple, but archeologists confirm that it is in fact made of many many blocks of stone.

In 1300 A.D , an army of the Muslim King Allauddin Khalji tried to demolish this temple, and they took out many of the stone blocks from the ground and the ceiling, because it was easier to dismantle them, but they could not dismantle the blocks on the walls. If you look at the floor, these are newer stone slabs placed by the Archeology department, and you can see how these blocks are loosely connected.

If you compare the modern day stone masonry with the ancient technique, modern technology appears quite primitive, because you can clearly see the joints. The archeology department has been trying to restore the temple from the destruction and graffiti by Allauddin Khalji’s army.

Now, why is this temple called ‘The thousand pillar temple’? Most visitors wonder why this is known as the thousand pillar temple because it doesn’t have a thousand pillars. It is called so because it is made of one thousand blocks of stone, this is the actual reason why this name is used. But even in most sophisticated temples like the Lepakshi temple, we can see clear evidence of joints between the blocks, but in this temple, the joints are not visible.

What is fascinating is that there was no cement, mortar, or glue used to join these blocks. How did ancient builders achieve such an extraordinary level of jointing, many centuries ago? What kind of technology existed and how was such a temple built?

The underlying technology is this:
Ancient builders created a complex interlocking system with at least a dozen different cuts in each stone block. These complex cuts maximize the amount of surface area shared by the connecting blocks, and will create an extremely tight fit.

This is hard enough to do between 2 stone blocks, but imagine using several stone blocks on all sides and how many cuts would have been needed to connect 4 or 5 blocks together. I mean, this is just an extraordinary technology. This can be done on wood, but how did they manage to make these cuts on large stone blocks many centuries ago? Making these cuts is one thing, but the level of precision, to make these joints invisible can be achieved only with advanced machines.

We can clearly see that building a massive temple with no visible joints is impossible with primitive tools. Did ancient builders use cutting, drilling and polishing tools, just like today? If so, do we have any evidence of these tools in the temple itself?

How about these carvings which resemble modern drilling and polishing tools? In most temples, we usually see carvings of Gods, but in this temple, we can see these tool like carvings, with a conical, striated top with a long shaft, which is remarkably similar to modern day tool bits.
Just compare these carvings with today’s tool bits side by side. You have to admit there is an uncanny similarity. Is this a coincidence, or did ancient builders use tool bits just like us, to make these precise interlocking system?

The pillars in the temple confirm that drilling machines were in fact used. There are very tiny holes drilled on these pillars. My friend is struggling to send a thread through the small holes, but these holes are too small even for a thread. The priest is happy to help us, he picks up something thinner than a thread and inserts it successfully through these holes.

If you think these carvings are not drill bits, how do you explain such tiny holes carved on the pillars? How do you explain the construction of an entire temple with no visible joints? Were they created with advanced machines, or with simple tools like chisels and hammers?

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1,000-Year-Old Mammoth Bone Pendant With A Mysterious Message In Turkic Runes Discovered In Yakutia

An 11-year-old boy in the village of Yakutia has discovered a 1,000-year-old message on a pendant that was carved into a mammoth bone with Turkic runic inscriptions.

The four mysterious words are believed to be in the Orkhon-Yenisei type script. Such writings are normally found in rock art in Yakutia, also known as Sakha Republic, the world’s coldest region.

Academic Ninel Malysheva said: ‘Runes rarely occur on such things as talismans and amulets. ‘If it is confirmed that this bone found in Namsky district is genuine, it will be a great scientific discovery for the republic.  ‘A comprehensive study is now required involving paleontologists, archaeologists and Turkologist. Studies on exact dating and decoding the inscription are underway at the Museum of Writing, part of the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU).

Photo © Michil Yakovlev (Image Source)

Photo ©Michil Yakovlev (Image Source)

Interesting fact:

One of the earliest recorded Turkic language is in the form of a script called “Turkic Runes”, found in Russia’s southern Siberia and the Xinjiang uygur Autonomous Region of China (a region not surprisingly also known as Chinese Turkestan) beginning at around the 8th century CE.

Example of Turkic runes. “Irk Bitig Fal Kitabı” page 7. 9th century. ©The International Dunhuang Project (Image Source)

What are the four mysterious words?

One theory is that the words express ‘good wishes’, but scientists hope to find the exact meaning.

Village where the ancient pendant was discovered is some 100 kilometres north of Yakutsk, the regional capital, and the world’s coldest city. Another example of Turkic runes in Yaktutia is the so-called Petrov inscription. It is a writing made using ocher some 200 km from Yakutsk. It is known as the most northerly rune inscription in the world.

Researchers in the middle of the last century believed that the inscription indicated the location of medieval treasure.

A literal translation is said to read: ‘Pearls of the tribe Az.’ Scientists claim such Turkic scripts date back 1,000 years or more.

The Old Turkic script – also known as variously Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisei script –  is the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic khanates during the 8th to 10th centuries.

The script is named after the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia where early 8th century inscriptions were discovered in an 1889 expedition by Nikolai Yadrintsev. These Orkhon inscriptions were published by Vasily Radlov and deciphered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893. This writing system was later used within the Uyghur Khaganate.

Additionally, a Siberian variant is known from 9th century Yenisei Kirghiz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the Talas Valley of Turkestan and the Old Hungarian alphabet of the 10th century. Words were usually written from right to left.

Yakut runic letters are the least studied in Siberia. They provoke heated discussions among the linguists and Turkologists. But most new finds of inscriptions are made in Yakutia. Now the total number all Yakutian finds is close to 90. Most runic inscriptions of Yakutia have not yet been deciphered.

Source: siberiantimes

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