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Some Intriguing Archaeological Findings

There has always been something tempting in archaeology. It’s like watching Sherlock Holmes solve another riddle. The clues are there, underground, they just have to be found and identified correctly

Moreover, archeology has often been accused of “diverting attention” from the work of historians. But, this is not surprising. For example, the discovery of the remains of the body of Richard III in a parking lot in Leicester (Leicester) in 2014, removed many years of academic research.

In this article, we will not address discoveries related to “uncomfortable artifacts”, but we will list some of the strangest scientifically validated archeological discoveries.

Lloyds Bank coprolite

This coprolite ( fossilized human excrement ) was called Lloyds Bank because it was found at the site where a branch of that bank was built in 1972 in the British city of York.

The coprolite was dated to the Viking Age. It’s hard not to feel sorry for the man or woman whose body it came out of. It is huge – 20 cm long and 5 cm wide. It is one of the largest human coprolites discovered in history.

In addition, the wretch suffered from worms, parasitic worms that live in the large intestine. Hundreds of eggs were found in the stool.

However, the study of coprolite gives scientists a unique opportunity to study what the Vikings used to eat when they sailed to conquer England. It turned out that they ate a lot of cereals, in the form of bread and cereals. Currently, this coprolite is stored at the Jorvik Viking Center in York.

Oak bark shield

In 2015, archaeologists working in the British province Leicestershire ( Leicestershire ), find something unique for Europe – a shield from the bark of the Iron Age. The shield was made in the years around 395-255 BC. This turns upside down all the ideas for shields at the time.

Archaeological finds

Prior to this discovery, such shields were thought to be too unreliable and used for training, but not in real battles. But the same shield was worn and survived about 10 years of active use.

When archaeologists try to use the same technology to recreate such a shield from modern crust, it turns out that it is so durable that it can even withstand arrows. At the same time, it was much lighter than a metal shield or traditional wooden.

Buddha in ancient Sweden

Now we all know that the Vikings have not gotten anywhere, even to a future America, including Ireland, Russia, Baghdad and Egypt. However, the findings on the Swedish island of Helgo are very surprising for archaeologists.

In ancient times, Helgo was a large Viking trading village where goods were traded around the world. Somehow, they reached a Buddha statue, as well as an elegant decoration from an Irish church and a spoon from North Africa.

With the decoration and the spoon, everything is clear, but how did the Buddha statue got there? Have the Vikings sailed to India? This figure was Indian, from Kashmir ( Kashmir ).

According to scientists, the statuette was obtained as a result of an exchange with traders from the territory of Russia or the Middle East. Another version takes into account that some Vikings could be hired in other countries and could even visit Constantinople. Maybe they got that statue somewhere out there.

Ancient Egyptian tobacco and cocaine

One of the strangest discoveries of the last 30 years is happening in Munich ( Munich ), Germany, in 1992, when Dr. Svetlana Balabanov explores an Egyptian mummy from Bavaria and conducts a chemical analysis in it’s contained substances.

To her surprise, she finds traces of nicotine (tobacco) and cocaine in the mummy. In ancient Egyptian times, both substances could only be found in America.

Many versions have been suggested about how these substances got into Ancient Egypt and how they ended up in the body of this mummy. Some scientists say that in those years, cocaine-related plants grew in Europe and may have ended up in Egypt.

Other researchers have suggested the ancient Egyptians could have sailed their ships to the Indians of ancient America. For example, they take the maritime voyage of the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut to the mysterious country of Punt, whose whereabouts have never been established.

There is the fact that the Egyptians had excellent seaports and very large ships. They had a 21-meter-long ship that could carry 200 people.

The Govan Stones

The Govan Stones are one of the most unusual artifacts of ancient Britain. It is believed that they were created in the era of the kingdom of Strathclyde ( Strathclyde ), around 870 AD In the 19th century, when dug from the earth are gathered together, there are 46 of them, but now there are only 31. Others were accidentally destroyed in 1973.

The stones are carved like sarcophagi or coffins found in Cumbria ( Cumbria ), Scotland and Yorkshire ( Yorkshire ). The stones are elaborately decorated with various patterns and images of animals. Each stone weighs half a ton.

Archaeological finds

They are supposed to be used at funerals of nobles and approached by the king. Although where the bodies themselves are, it is not indicated anywhere.

Roman rock inscriptions in Scotland

In the early 200’s AD, the Romans worked stones in a stone quarry in Cumbria, which were used to build the Hadrian’s Wall. In the intervals between labor, they rested, and some of them made messages on the stones.

These inscriptions were first discovered in the early 16th century. They were then reported twice more – in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At the same time, no inscriptions were given, and by the twentieth century, when scientists began examining them, the inscriptions were badly affected by erosion.

Archaeological finds

In the 1980s, the approaches to the wall where the inscriptions were located collapsed. Now, to see them, it is necessary to decent 9 meters down. Fortunately, in one of the recent dives, archaeologists have made three-dimensional models of these records, which makes it possible to study them.

According to the translations, the Romans simply wrote their names and positions. There was also a caricature of a man, probably their boss, and a penis image.

Orkney Temple

Before the arrival of the Picts ( Pikten ) of the Orkney Islands ( Orkney Islands ), in the northeast of Scotland, they were sparsely populated. Earlier in the Iron Age, there was one of the most developed settlements in Britain and Scotland. The remains found there are still controversial and lively discussions are taking place.

The whole place is officially called Ness of Brodgar, which is a cluster of stone buildings. The largest and most mysterious structure is codenamed “Structure 10”. It was 27 meters long and 20 meters wide. By Iron Age standards, this is a gigantic structure, compared to other structures that were typically 5 meters thick.

Archaeological finds

The records show that the building was built around 3300 BC. This means that this “temple” is more than 5 thousand years old.

Another mystery is that despite the thick walls, the interior of the building was only 6 meters. What was inside, no one knows, maybe some relic. Fragments have been found, which are probably remnants of furniture, but these are just assumptions.

Reconstruction

Another striking detail is the local roofs made of various stone slabs, arranged in rectangles. However, it is difficult to say what the whole complex is. It has been identified by scholars as a temple, but it has not yet been proven that it was a religious site.

The tomb of Philip I Arab in Bulgaria

There are many ancient mounds in the landscape of modern Bulgaria, which look like small neat hills. They are often excavated by treasure hunters (black diggers) who search for rare artifacts and gold treasures. Each year, $ 1 billion worth of artifacts are sold on the black market in Bulgaria.

Because of this, archaeologists are beginning to actively excavate in 2018, discovering the country’s largest mound, Maltepe. Inside, they find something much more valuable than gold – a great burial place since Roman times.

It is now believed that the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Philip I Arab ( Marcus Julius Philippus ), who lived in the 3rd century AD, is also discovered in Bulgaria. Unfortunately, the black diggers also found it. Archaeologists have found their tunnel.

Prof. Kostadin Kisyov leads the Meltepe excavations

Inside the tunnel, coins were found from the time of Suleiman I, i. the tunnel was dug in the 16th century. At the same time, the entire tomb was not searched and archaeologists discovered many coins and pottery. The remains of the emperor himself have not yet been discovered.

The “glue” of the Neanderthals

For a long time it was thought that the Neanderthals ( Homo neanderthalensis ) are a pretty stupid human species and cannot be compared to the Homo sapiens . But recent studies have proven more than once that this is not the case. Including the relatively new discovery that came out in the media in June 2019.

Archaeologists have discovered that Neanderthals used a special “glue” in the manufacture of tools. The substance is made of pine resin and beeswax. The mixture was kept at high temperature, then placed on a wooden or bone handle before fixing a stone on it.

The oldest houses in England

In archeology, during the excavation of the remains of homes, the concept of “national border” appeared. It means the age of the oldest ordinary people’s house. While castles and the various structures of temples have been sustainable for millennia, the homes of ordinary people are usually made of less durable material. These homes rarely survived to be seen in the modern day.

In England, the ‘people’s frontier’ is usually valued at the end of the 17th century. It was believed that the houses built earlier had simply not survived because they had been demolished long ago.

However, a 2013 survey shows that this is a misconception. The houses in Wales and the west of England were built between 1260 and 1550, at least 100 years earlier.

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Ancient

A possible grave of Nefertiti was found in the tomb of Tutankhamun

A hidden cell was discovered in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, which may be the resting place of his mother, Queen Nefertiti. She is one of the most famous women of ancient Egypt. Nefertiti ruled the country in 1353-1336 BC. The place of her burial has not yet been found,The Daily Mail reports.

Archaeologists, examining the tomb, used a georadar so as not to damage the fragile walls. The device indicated that a few meters from the room where the mummy of the pharaoh lay, there were corridors that lead to a room about 9.5 meters wide and 180 cm high.

Scientists have long assumed that Tutankhamun and Nefertiti were buried nearby. The Queen during her life had great influence, and her last refuge should have been the Valley of the Kings.

In addition, the tomb of Tutankhamun is too small for the pharaoh. According to archaeologists, some of its premises were walled up, and they still have not been able to open. Perhaps in one of them is the mummy of the ruler.

The georadar did not show whether the mysterious room is connected with the tomb of Tutankhamun. But they are located at the same depth, so they probably dug through at the same time.

Recall that the burial of Tutankhamun was discovered in 1922. This discovery has caused a sensation and is still considered one of the largest in Egyptology. But many experts believe that the leader of the expedition, Howard Carter, didn’t do his job very well – carried away by the export of gold treasures, he did not fully explore all the premises and could “overlook” another sensation.

Georadar research, according to Egyptologists, is not very reliable, but this is the only way to find out the hidden secrets of the tomb without drilling through historical walls. Scientists intend to continue to work and uncover new secrets of the ancient pharaohs.

Earlier, experts established a possible cause of Tutankhamun’s death . He could die from blood poisoning that developed after a leg fracture.

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Scientists have found traces of a “super-ancient” human population in the DNA of Denisovans

Paleogenetics from the United States found in the DNA of Denisovans and Neanderthals traces of an extremely ancient population of people that separated from the general tree of human evolution almost 2 million years ago. They met with a common ancestor of Denisovans and Neanderthals about 750 thousand years ago, scientists write in the journal Science Advances.

Alan Rogers, a professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (USA), and his colleagues writes:

“Recently, we learned that the ancestors of the modern inhabitants of Eurasia came into contact with ancient people, Neanderthals and Denisovans. We managed to show that hundreds of thousands of years before that, both came into contact with an even more archaic population of people who first settled in the territory Europe and Asia”

10 years ago, Russian anthropologists and paleogenetics, announced the discovery of the so-called Denisovans, a previously unknown species of people whose remains were found in the Denisova Cave in Altai. Scientists were able to make this discovery due to the fact that they were able to extract and study fragments of the Denisov genome, preserved inside the teeth and knuckles.

Initially, their discoverers believed that the ancient inhabitants of Altai were relatives of Neanderthals living in the Denisova Cave about 50 thousand years ago. Subsequently, it turned out that Denisovans appeared much earlier and were a separate subspecies of people whose traces of DNA were preserved in the genomes of modern Polynesians, Indians of South America and some peoples of Southeast Asia.

The similarities in the DNA structure of Denisovans and Neanderthals, Rogers says, led many scientists to believe that they were close relatives, whose common ancestor left Africa about 600-800 thousand years ago. In the past five years, scientists have been fiercely arguing about what happened next and when the “purebred” Homo neanderthalensis and their Altai “cousins” appeared.

In particular, Rogers and his colleagues suggested three years ago, comparing the DNA of Neanderthals and Denisovans, that their ancestors split unexpectedly early, about 700 thousand years ago. Their opponents, anthropologists believe that this happened much later, referring to the fact that the small size of the populations of ancient people distorted the results of Rogers calculations.

First people of the earth

These discrepancies and disputes, as Rogers found out, were caused by the fact that the DNA of Neanderthals and Denisovans hides traces of another, much more ancient population of people, which is extremely distant in genetic terms from all other known representatives of the genus Homo.

Paleogenetics came to this conclusion using a new technique that allows us to find common features and differences in the genomes of modern Eurasians, Africans, as well as Neanderthals and Denisovans. Comparing how often common and unique mutations occurred for each of these representatives of the genus Homo, scientists tried to understand whether traces of previously unknown groups of ancient people were hidden in their genomes.

A large number of common mutations in the genomes of Neanderthals and Denisovans, as well as their absence among Europeans and Africans, indicated that the common ancestor of the first two species came into contact with a previously unknown and very ancient population of people. The number of this group of ancient Homo was quite large, reaching a mark of 20-50 thousand individuals.

Scientists’ calculations show that its representatives separated from the general tree of human evolution about 2 million years ago. This suggests that these ancient hominids are among the Homo erectus, bipedal people, the oldest “Eurasian” remains of which were found in Georgian Dmanisi at the end of the last century.

Representatives of this ancient species of hominids, as shown by the calculations of Rogers and his colleagues, have existed in Eurasia for a very long time. According to researchers, they should not have disappeared earlier than 750 thousand years ago, when they met with the first populations of common ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans who left Africa. Subsequently, as scientists suggest, these people could additionally contact the Altai Homo.

According to researchers, these ancient people survived about the same fate as the Neanderthals and Denisovans, who disappeared about 50 thousand years ago under the onslaught of new “migrants” from Africa, the ancestors of modern Homo sapiens. Studying their genetic heritage, as Rogers and his team hope, will help uncover the mystery of their disappearance and reveal their role in the evolution of mankind.

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The legendary giants of Peru, whose skeletons were seen by conquistadors

There is one special area on our planet where there are especially many stories and legends about people of very large stature. Moreover, these stories are not thousands of years old, but only a few hundred.

Stories about the Peruvian giants have been known since the 16th century, when the first Spanish conquistadors reached this region.

One of the earliest reports of the Peruvian giants is the story of conquistador Pedro Ciez de Leon, described in the folio Royal Inca Commentaries, Volume 1. This man apparently did not see the giants with his own eyes, but talked with those who saw them.

In his report, he described that once people of great growth sailed on their large rafts from reeds to the shore where the village of local Indians stood. The village was located on the peninsula of Santa Elena, which is now the territory of Ecuador.

The giants landed from the rafts on the peninsula and set up their camp near the conquistadors. They apparently decided to settle here for a long time, because immediately they began to dig deep wells in order to extract water from them.

“Some of them were so tall that a man of ordinary size would barely reach their knees. Their limbs were proportional to the body, but their huge heads with hair to their shoulders were monstrous. Their eyes were huge like plates and their faces had no beards.

Some of them were dressed in animal skins, but some were in their natural state (without clothes). Not a single woman was visible among them. When they set up the camp, they began to dig deep wells for water. They dug them in stony soil and then built strong stone wells. The water in them was excellent, always cool and tasted good. “

As soon as the giants set up their camp, they immediately made a bloodthirsty raid on the village of local Indians. According to the description of de Leon, they robbed everything they could grab and ate everything they could eat, including people!

It was a terrible sight when these huge people hung over the trees and the Indians fleeing from them, who practically could not defend themselves from them. Then, on the site of the devastated village, the giants built their large huts and stayed here to fish and hunt in the local forests.

This story ended with a completely surreal story, when a “shining angel” appeared in the sky and drove all these giants away.

Despite this, de Leon himself believed that this story was completely true and described that he personally saw the huge stone wells constructed by the giants. He also writes that other conquistadors saw the wells and the remains of huge houses that could not be built by local Indians.

Further, de Leon writes about even more curious things. He writes that the conquistadors found in this area human bones of very large sizes, as well as pieces of teeth that were large and heavy.

“In 1550, in the city of Lima, I heard that when His Excellency Don Antonio de Mendoza, the viceroy and governor of New Spain was here, some bones were found of people who were huge and could belong to giants.

I also heard that whole deposits of giants’ bones were found in an ancient tomb in the city of Mexico City or nearby. Since many locals claim to have seen them firsthand, we can assume that these giants really exist and can belong to a single race. “

Another proof of the existence of the Peruvian giants can be found in the records of Captain Juan Olmos, who in 1543 dug up ancient burials in the Trujillo Valley and allegedly discovered bones of people of very large stature there.

Later, another giant skeleton was found in the province of Tucuman by conquistador Augustine de Zarate and his people. In general, similar stories came from the Spaniards who visited Peru throughout the 16th century and continued to appear in the 17th century.

In 1620, the Jesuit priest and missionary Pablo Jose Arriaga in his manuscript “On the Eradication of Idolatry in Peru” wrote the following:

“They (representatives of the Spanish inspectors) led us to the other side of the village, where there was a very large cave and the remains of Giants lay in it. Among them were three giant bodies with deformed heads (elongated skulls) wrapped in combi (ceremonial fabric). These giants were considered the ancestors of all these people in the village who worshiped and worshiped them, even sacrifices were made in their honor. Then they (Spaniards) burned all these bodies.”

In the 18th and 19th centuries, stories about Peruvian giants also appeared, but they were becoming smaller and they were already perceived as myths and legends, and not something real.

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