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Some Of The Most Intriguing Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Puzzling ancient discoveries and archaeological finds  have a way of captivating the humankind, perhaps because it’s just too easy to dream up interesting explanations for how and why things exist.

These five mysterious figurines collections have left people in awe and made scientists searching for explanations year after year. The origin and production date of these ancient artifacts is still a source of numerous speculations.

1. ‘Nomoli’ Sapi Stone Figures

Discovered in Sierra Leone, West Africa

A superb collection of stone figurine antiquities known as “Nomoli” found buried in the ground in southeastern Sierra Leone and presumed to have been made by the original inhabitants of the country. They depict kind of semi-human beings and are characterized by large heads cantilevered forward from the neck, prominent eyes, broad fleshy nose and full lips.

Unexplained Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Left: Soapstone figure depicting semi-human being © John Atherton Right: Nomoli stone carving of a man holding a crocodile. (Brooklyn Museum)

The date of their production has been a source of speculation. These figures are extremely old, with some estimates dating them as far back as 17,000 BC. However, some aspects of the figures – namely the high melting temperatures that would have had to have been used to create them, and the presence of steel manipulated into perfectly spherical balls – suggest they were constructed by a civilization that would be considered highly advanced for its time if they were indeed constructed around 17,000 BC.

2. Dogu Figures

Discovered in Japan

Collection of ceramic human- or animal-like figurines dated from Japan’s late Jomon period (14,000–400 BC). Constructed of clay, and typically 10 to 30cm high, around 15,000 have been discovered all over the country in various styles.
Shakoki or goggle-eyed doku are named after the figure’s eyes which bear a resemblance to traditional Inuit snow goggles. They described by scholars as looking like “spacemen,” because their eyes are exaggerated and they resemble some sort of humanoid wearing a space suit.

Unexplained Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Shakōki-dogū (1000–400 BC), “goggle-eyed type” figurine. Tokyo National Museum. (Image Source)

Most are female and feature big eyes, small waists and wide hips. They are often covered in patterns suggesting tattoos. Many also appear to have pregnant stomachs and swollen breasts.

The purpose of the Dogu remains unknown although theories abound.
Some experts believe they are linked with fertility rituals and shamanistic rites. Others think they were used in a similar way to Voodoo dolls and the illnesses or misfortunes of the living would be transferred to the figurines.

3. Lizard-Like Figurine Of The Ubaid Culture

Discovered in Iraq

A number of Ubaid statues found in at Al Ubaid, archeological site in Iraq, depict strange, lizard-like humanoid figures in unique, unceremonious poses that seem to indicate they were not gods (such as the animal-headed deities of Egypt), but rather a kind of race of lizard people. Of course, the statues have been drawn into stories and theories of reptilian aliens that used to roam the earth (and perhaps still do, according to conspiracy theorists). Although this seems unlikely, their true nature remains a mystery.

Unexplained Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Female lizard looking figurines. Photographed at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. ©Mary Harrsch (Image Source)

The figurines are presented with long heads, almond shaped eyes, long tapered faces and a lizard-type nose. What exactly they represent is completely unknown. According to archaeologists, their postures, such as a female figure breast-feeding, does not suggest that they were ritualistic objects. So what did these lizard figures represent? Whatever they were, they appear to have been important to the ancient Ubaidian people.

4. Mysterious Vinca Figurines

Discovered in Serbia

The culture that flourished from about 6000 BC to 3000 BC, was named Vinca-Tordos Culture of Yugoslavia and western Romania and derived its name from the village of Vinca located on the banks of Danube river, only 14 km downstream from Belgrade.

Unexplained Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Vinca clay figure ©Michel wal (Image Source)

One part of the Vinca legacy are curious masks and the most informative costumed figurines depicting strange looking men and women in extremely modern clothes like narrow skirts, and sleeveless upper-body panels, complimented with hip belts, aprons, jewelry pieces, shoes, caps, hairstyles etc.

Since the language of the Vinca still remains undeciphered, unearthed artifacts constitute the only source of knowledge about this culture.

5. Ancient Terracotta Figurines Of Ghana

Ancient terracotta figurines found in Ghana, which were created by an unknown civilisation and have become iconic representations of prehistoric African art.

Unexplained Figurines Left By Prehistoric Civilizations

Prehistoric terracotta figurine discovered in Ghana, Africa

Researchers believe that most of the figurines which were dug rep represent some of the ancestral figures or people and even animals. The most significant part of these discoveries is that they reveal a lot about the weapons, hairstyles and clothing used by the ancient civilization to a large extent.

There are various indications of high scale of spiritual and ritual activities which were carried on in these areas which was inferred from studying the figurines. Many of these ancient forms of art are having hollow cavities, which suggest that these substances were used for pouring certain religious items during the rituals.

Featured image: Dogu Figurine ©Davide Ferro

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Ancient

Figures of mysterious creatures found in 10,000-year-old graves in Jordan

Photo: Kharaysin archaeological team / Antiquity Publications Ltd

When excavating in Jordan, an international team from the Kharaysin archaeological team research project discovered dozens of strange Neolithic figures who were in burials about 10 thousand years old.

An article about this discovery is published in Antiquity magazine. Figurines are found which date from the middle of the ninth millennium BC. This era is known as the Early Neolithic. At that time, iconography was just beginning to spread in the Middle East. New research will help to understand how it developed.

The burials mentioned above are located on the archaeological site of Haraisin in the Zarka River Valley. A group of archaeologists from Spain, France and the UK worked there. It was led by Dr. Juan José Ibáñez.

“We were digging burial grounds, a cemetery,” Ibáñez said. “We know very well the tools that were made in that period.”

Discovered artifacts look like flint tools of ancient people. However, most of these items were found in burials, which is not typical of flint tools. Scientists have suggested that artifacts were sacred. That is, they were deliberately laid in the graves along with the deceased during funeral rituals.

The artifacts were carefully analyzed. As a result, the researchers saw them as “human forms.” The upper pair of recesses is a narrowing to indicate the neck, and the lower one to indicate the waist. A similar “violin-shaped contour” was previously observed in two figures of the same period, found in Haraisin and made of fired clay. This indicates that artifacts are Neolithic figurines. Who exactly did they represent?

“When one of the team members first suggested that artifacts are figurines depicting people, we were skeptical,” says Ibáñez. However, the team has since been convinced that these are images of people, although rude. “They made two notches on one side, one probably representing the neck and the other representing the thigh.”

There is a version that these were primitive images of deities. In subsequent periods of time, the practice of making anthropomorphic figures of deities became widespread. For example, in Europe during the excavations, “Venus” figures were found more than once, whose age was estimated at thousands of years.

Perhaps the statuettes found in Jordan were the result of the first attempts to create divine sculptures. By the way, all the Neolithic figurines found by this mission have various shapes and sizes.

In their article, the authors write that artifacts could be cult objects, including “vehicles of magic,” which were used in rituals. But they pay attention to the fact that some of the finds were made not in the graves, but in ordinary pits.

It is possible that these figurines were for some reason thrown away. For example, they could be thrown out after the rite is completed. Or they were simply rejected. There is one more explanation – the figures could be used as children’s toys or as visual exhibits when teaching rituals.

The discovery also proves that “psychological and social shifts” occurred in people upon transition to a sedentary lifestyle and farming. In particular, they probably had ideas about the afterlife.

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Ancient

Who are the Guanches? How isolation did not save civilization

For many years, the origin of the Canaries of the Guanches remained a mystery. A mystical suggestion was made that they could be descendants of the legendary Atlanteans.

Who are the Guanches?

The subtropical climate of the Canary Islands, the southernmost region of Spain, attracts crowds of holidaymakers. Last year, the Canaries were visited by 15 million tourists. In the V century BC e. the Roman writer Pliny the Elder wrote about deserted islands with the ruins of large structures. However, not all seven islands were empty. Archaeological finds indicate that from about the middle of the first millennium BC, the Phoenicians and Punians arrived here. The Carthaginians periodically explored the Canary Islands. And only after the 4th century AD e. the guanches, who knew nothing about shipbuilding and navigation, were completely isolated.

Long before the arrival of the first Spanish settlers in the 1470s, another civilization flourished in the Canary Islands. The islanders called themselves Guanches, Guachinec or Guachinet, which translated means “man of Tenerife.” The written evidence of the Guanches dated 1150 reached the King of Sicily Roger II in a book written by Arabian geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, “Entertainment of the Exhausted in Traveling by Region”.

Fair-haired and blue-eyed, they were strikingly different from the native inhabitants of North Africa , to which the expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stretched. The natives were taller than the Castilians of that time (tall men (165 – 171 cm) and women whose average height reached 160 cm). Even the shade of their skin was lighter than that of the then Spaniards.

The language, despite some similarities with the Berber-Libyan languages, also differed from them. It was even more surprising that the Guanches could talk to each other, only moving their lips or issuing a whistle that they understood and answered from long distances.

The mystery of the origin of the guanches

The origin of the Guanches has long been an object of discussion between archaeologists and historians. According to some assumptions, they were descendants of the Celts or the Vikings. The most daring suggested that they could be descendants of the mythical inhabitants of the sunken Atlantis. Hypotheses were expressed about the similarity of Aborigines with Cro-Magnons.

A study of the DNA of the ancient mummies preserved on the islands in 2019 showed that the Guanches are most likely Berbers from North Africa, who arrived there around 100 AD. e. or even earlier.

The question of how the Guanches reached the archipelago remains open. According to one theory, the people of Tenerife crossed the ocean in small boats and landed on the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The number of potential settlers also remains a subject of scientific debate, but studies show that 14 pairs would be enough to populate the archipelago.

Guanche culture

As archaeological finds show, the Guanches were organized into a tribal society under the leadership of leaders. They were engaged in agriculture, hunting and gathering, their diet included:

  • milk;
  • goat meat;
  • pork
  • fruits.

Mostly they threw on goatskirts woven from the leaves of cattail, goat skins. They lived in natural caves or simple stone houses with a low ceiling .

The guanches adapted their caves and grottoes for use as storages and temples. Some of these structures have survived to the present day and point to the advanced astronomical knowledge of this people. Holes in the walls of the caves let sunlight into certain places at different times of the year, marking the dates of the solstice and equinox.

One of the most noteworthy of these structures is the Risco Caído . This is a settlement consisting of 21 caves, which were hollowed out in volcanic tuff about a hundred meters above the Barraco Hondo River on the island of Gran Canaria. It is believed that this place was used as a storehouse for grain, a temple and an astronomical observatory. Sunlight and moonlight penetrate the cave holes, which illuminate the symbolic paintings on the walls. In 2019, Risco Caído became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Canary Islands.

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Ancient

Traces of the great shocks of the past – nuclear ruins and star wars of antiquity

Scientists often say that modern civilization is threatened with death as a result of a global war using weapons of mass destruction. What is curious, ancient epics and archaeological finds sometimes testify in favor of the fact that something similar has already happened on our planet.

Glass fields

The land of ancient Egypt is full of mysteries. And they are associated not only with the pyramids and burials in the Valley of the Kings. One of these mysteries is associated with huge fields of fossil green glass, spread over hundreds of square kilometers in the Libyan desert, near the Saad Plateau in the border area of ​​Libya, Egypt and Sudan, where the dunes of the Great Sandy Sea stretch.

Some pieces of this glass of natural origin weigh up to 26 kilograms, but most are much smaller and resemble fragments of a giant green bottle.

For the first time this natural glass in the form of small glass pebbles was found in the Libyan Desert as far back as 1816, but became widely known after Patrick Clayton, an employee of the Egyptian Geological Herald, saw the glass fields themselves.

200 kilometers away from these deposits. numerous pieces of the same glass were found, along with spearheads made of it, axes and other tools that were in use among the ancient inhabitants of the area. Some of the products are about 100 thousand years old.

Ancient Egyptians knew about these deposits. Not only they knew, but also used for their own purposes, for example, for the production of jewelry. So, the scarab beetle, one of the elements of the famous necklace of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter during excavations in the Valley of the Kings, is skillfully carved from volcanic glass. Where did it come from in the desert?

It is well known that the transformation of sand into glass occurs as a result of heat treatment. The temperature is required high, the sand melts at 1700 ° C, so that matches and brushwood can not do here. What heat source will be required to turn hundreds of tons of sand into glass?

There are several theories about this. According to one, for example, the whole cause of fulgurites is sand, sintered from a lightning strike, whose electric charge is enough to melt it.

However, it is completely incomprehensible how the dunes of the Libyan Desert pulled so many lightning bolts. According to another theory, the originator of the formation of deposits of glass is a meteorite that exploded over the desert in time immemorial.

Many scientists agree that the reason for the appearance of glass in the desert was the invasion of a hundred-meter asteroid into the atmosphere, rushing at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour. This would perhaps be an impeccable explanation, if not for one “but”: on the surface of the Great Sand Sea there is neither an impact crater, nor its traces.

Meanwhile, back in the 1940s, after testing a nuclear bomb in the state of New Mexico in the United States, desert sands also turned into molten green glass. Is it possible to conclude on this basis that the glazed sands of the Libyan desert appeared under similar circumstances, only over 100 thousand years ago, as a result of a nuclear bombardment, after which the Sahara desert occupied most of North Africa?

Mohenjo Daro – Radioactive Ruins

In 1922, the Indian archaeologist R. Banardji discovered the ruins of an ancient city in the Indus Valley. Excavations showed that it was flawlessly planned and equipped with plumbing and sewage systems that are superior to those used in India and Pakistan today.

The ancient city received the name Mohenjo-Daro. Among its ruins were found scattered fused pieces of clay, which at one time under the influence of high temperature turned into black glass. An analysis of the samples, carried out at the University of Rome and then at the laboratory of the National Council for Research of Italy, showed that the fusion occurred at 1500 ° C.

Such an ancient temperature could have been obtained in the furnace of a metallurgical workshop, but not in a vast open area. Moreover, archaeologists drew attention to one gloomy feature of the ancient city.

After carefully examining the ruins, they came to the conclusion that the degree of destruction of buildings and structures decreases as they move away from the city center or, rather, the epicenter of the explosion, which completely swept away individual quarters.

The skeletons found among the ruins suggested that death found people suddenly. Finally, the bones, as it turned out over the years, were radioactive.

The mysterious and ominous picture found an explanation only after the Americans during the Second World War launched nuclear attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The same eerie pictures of destruction were observed there. So did Mohenjo Daro die in a nuclear strike?

Witness of the Mahabharata

The Sanskrit texts of the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, consisting of 18 books and numbering over 200,000 verses, which is seven times more than Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, contain information about religion, worldview, customs, history of ancient India, as well as legends about her gods and heroes.

A significant part of the epic is devoted to the description of hostilities involving gods, demigods, and people. Researchers believe that these events relate to the semi-legendary history of the invasion of Hindustan from the north by the Aryan tribes, pushing the indigenous inhabitants – Dravids – into the southern part of the peninsula.

However, among the episodes of ancient battles that were common for those times, there are also detailed scenes in which it is easy to recognize the use of … artillery, rockets, combat aircraft, locators, smoke screens, poisonous gases and even nuclear weapons.

For example, in Dronaparva, one of the books of Mahabharata, the battle is described, during which explosions of shells, like huge fireballs, cause storms and storms, incapacitate entire armies.

As a result of these explosions, many enemy warriors, together with weapons, fighting elephants and horses, fly up in the air and are carried away by a powerful whirlwind, like dry leaves from trees.

This text also describes the process of the emergence of a mushroom cloud characteristic of a nuclear explosion. It is compared to the opening of a giant umbrella. After these explosions, the food became poisoned, and the surviving people fell ill.

Symptoms of the disease exactly corresponded to the main signs of radiation sickness – people had bouts of vomiting, hair and nails fell out, and then death occurred.

In Indian epics, ancient planes are also described in detail – flying vimaana cars. In the book of Samarangan Sutradharan, various types of vimanas are compared among themselves, the advantages and disadvantages of each variety are mentioned, flight characteristics, landing methods are given.

Particular attention is paid to the characteristics of structural materials such as wood, light metals and their alloys. Also referred to are materials used to create a driving force. Strange as it may seem, mercury is among the latter.

Star Wars Antiquity

A.V. Koltypin in his work “The Earth’s Disappeared Dwellers” draws attention to the fact that in the Mahabharata, Bha-gavata-purana, Vishnu-purana and other ancient Indian texts space travel on airplanes is repeatedly described by gods, demons, heroes and various mythical creatures.

“Chitraketu, the lord of the Vidyadharas (demigod class, good air spirits. – Ed.), Went on a journey through the vast expanses of the universe … on his dazzlingly shining aerial ship …”, “Rushing through space, Maharaja Dhurva saw all the planets one after another. I saw the solar system on the way of the demigods in the chariots of the heavens … “,” So Maharaja Dhurva passed the seven planetary systems of the great sages known as sapta-rishi … “,” A descendant of the Kuru dynasty, King Vasu could travel outside the Earth in the upper regions of our Universe , and therefore, in those distant times, he became famous under the name of Upari-chara, “Wandering through the higher worlds.”

One of the episodes of Mahabharata tells how the great warrior Arjuna, after the battle with the underwater inhabitants of the nivatakavachs, returned to heaven on his flying amphibian chariot and discovered a city flying in space:

“On the way back, I saw another huge and amazing city that could move where whatever. He shone like fire or the sun. ” In this flying city called Hiranyapur, there were Danavan demons (daityas). Arjuna was ordered to smash them. Noticing the approach of his aircraft, the dans began to fly out of the city in their celestial chariots – well, exactly the “Star Wars” by George Lucas! Then Arjuna “a powerful avalanche of weapons … blocked this formidable stream. He awed them, plowing the battlefield with a chariot, and … the Danavas smashed each other.”

Subjected to a powerful attack from Arjuna, the Danavians lifted their flying city into the air. Then Arjuna “with a powerful shower of arrows … blocked the daitians and tried to stop their movement.

The gift of the daityas was directed wherever they wanted, this heavenly, floating in the air, marvelously sparkling city, moving at will: it either went underground, then rose again, then quickly moved to the side, then plunged into the water. ” Ultimately, Arjuna hit the heavenly city with iron arrows, so similar to modern kinetic ammunition. And when the 60 thousand surviving demons rushed to Arjuna in their flying chariots, he incinerated them with a weapon called Raudra, obviously a kind of nuclear weapon.

So, the findings of archaeologists and ancient epics really testify to the fact that a long time ago on our planet and even in outer space unbelievable wars raged with the use of the most advanced weapons. And it is very likely that such events happened repeatedly.

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