Baffling ancient finds have a way of capturing the public, maybe because it has long been a dream to get an interesting explanation for how and why things exist.
Here are 25 archaeological discoveries that have left people astonished – and left and new scientists scratching their heads, year after year.
Stone spheres in Costa Rica
These Giant stone spheres are dating as far back as A.D 600. It is known locally as Las Bolas which translates as ‘The Balls’. It has been believed that these monuments were the works of a Pre-Colombian civilization. It is mostly made of gabbro, a rock that forms from a molten magma. According to archaeologists who studied the ancient rocks, that the stones that were used to carve the monument into a perfectly spherical shape are small stones.
There are a lot of non-expert people speculated that the so-called Diquis Spheres were used for astronomical purposes. Some say that it may have pointed the way to significant places. But no one knows the truth for sure. When the Chibchan, who once populated Central America and Costa Rica vanished during the wake of the Spanish conquest, the purpose of the sphere vanished with them, according to John W. Hoopes, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas.
The discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism remains a major archaeological head-scratcher, it is something that you find in a fantastical treasure movie.
It was found in a sunken wreckage Greek cargo ship that is at least 2,000 years old. The circular bronze artifact contains a maze of interlocking gears and also it has a mysterious character engraved all over. It was thought to be some kind of navigational astrolabe. When archaeologist continued their investigation, they have uncovered that it is actually a highly intricate astronomical calendar.
It is known to be the most sophisticated device that was found from that period, followed by the next appearance of the same devices by 1,000 years.
Cleopatra VII was the last ruler of Egypt called the Ptolemies. She ruled between 305 and 30 B.C. She is known for her beauty, intelligence and romantic relationships; she had children with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Her burial place is the one fact about Cleopatra that is still buried in mystery.
When their former ally, Octavian defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C, both of them committed a suicide. The two were buried together at a site that is described by the writer Plutarch as a “lofty and beautiful”. The monument is located near a temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis, but no one knows where is the exact location of the tomb.
Grave robbery was not uncommon in ancient times, so if anyone got lucky to find the lover’s tomb it would possibly be empty.
Qin Shi Huang’s tomb
China’s Shaanxi province farmers accidentally discovered one of the biggest archaeological finds of the 20th century – Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s life-size terracotta army. It was discovered in the year 1974, the terracotta army is dated 259 B.C – 210 B.C.
The sophisticatedly carved figures are not a mystery to many. Historians know that the clay army was created to defend the China’s first emperor in the afterlife, but what is not known is where exactly the emperor was buried, or that contains the chamber.
The first emperor’s resting places us the most extravagant tomb ever constructed in China. A pyramid-shaped mausoleum is located a mile in the northeast of where the terracotta army was discovered. The mausoleum is made up of a chain of caves and even included a state of the art drainage system.
It has been called the lost city of Atlantis, it has been first described by the ancient Greek historian Plato in 360 B.C. The mythological island was supposedly a great naval power before it sank into the sea 10,000 years ago due to a catastrophic event.
There has been a claim that it was discovered in the Bahamas, Greek Island, Cuba and even in Japan.
Up until now, some senior citizens of Greece still debate on the actual existence of the island as well as its possible location. But even without categorical proof, Atlantis is still the most popular images.
Forming up in a gentle English field, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monument landmark.
The massive stone was built approximately 4,000 years ago. It was an impressive accomplishment for the primitive people who constructed it, and that is all about the archaeologist know. There are no theories proved the original purpose of the Stonehenge.Theories are ranging from an astronomical observatory to a religious temple of healing.
Ancient animal traps
The low stone walls that are crisscrossing the deserts of Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, have made archaeologist baffled since its discovery in the early 20th century.
The walls lined up to 64 kilometers long and were given a nickname by the scientist as “kite” due to its appearance in the sky dated 300 B.C ago.
Thanks to a recent study, the mystery has somewhat got a little bit clearer now. A study is claiming that the main purpose of the kites was to channel wild animals towards a small pit where they could be easily captured and killed. This efficient system suggests that the local hunters may have known more about the behavior of local fauna.
If you are looking from the ground, the Nazca lines of Peru are nothing sensational. However, if it is seen from the air, which was spotted by a commercial aircraft in the 1920s and 30s, they are amazing.
Archeologists agreed that there are hundreds of the enormous shapes, ranging from geometric lines to complicated depictions of animals, plants and imaginary figures, that were made over 2,000 years ago by the people of the pre-Inca Nazca culture.
Asking why they did it remains ambiguous, urging conspiracy theorist to make ideas about alien landings and ancient astrology.
The Great Pyramids
The Great Pyramids of Egypt is enormously fascinating to say the least. It was built almost 5,000 years ago in what is now Cairo. The three pyramid complex with the largest, Khufu, dominating the site is believed to a testament of the ancient Egyptians admiration for their Pharaohs and their belief in the afterlife.
Shroud of Turin
The cryptic Shroud of Turin is one of the most debated archeological discovery. Many believed that it is the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The long piece of twill cloth carries traces of blood and also a darkened imprint of a man’s body.
In the year 1353 A.D the Catholic Church officially recorded the existence of the shroud when it showed up in a church in Lirey, France. Legend has it that, the shroud was transported from Judea to Edessa Turkey and later to Constantinople. The cloth was moved to Athens, Greece when the crusaders attacked Constantinople in A.D 1204.
The researchers got their hands on the cloth in the 1980’s. They are trying to determine its true age using the so-called radiocarbon dating. They discovered that the alleged burial cloth of Jesus was actually made between A.D 1260 and A.D 1390, which determined that the cloth is most likely a medieval forgery. The critics however, argued that the scientist may have dated the newer piece of the shroud that was stitched together centuries after Jesus’s death.
It is known that in the year 8,000 B.C humans first settled into permanent towns, farmed and built temples.
Gobekli Tepe, a rural area in turkey, had made an amazing discovery in the year 1994. This discovery had made hypothesis blown apart, propelling new questions about the evolution of civilization.
Gobekli Tepe, is considered the world’s oldest place of worship, containing multiple rings of big stone pillars carved with scenes of animals dated 10th millennium B.C. Evidence suggest that the people who built it were semi-nomadic hunters and is likely unaware of agriculture. Because of Gobekli Tepe, the archaeologist now is asking which came first.
The Copper Scroll treasure
An ancient copper scroll is one of the archaeological mystery that we’d really to solve. It is discovered in the site of Qumran in the year 1852, it describes to have a massive amount of hidden gold and silver, but no one can actually tell where the treasures might be.
The copper scroll was found together with the Dead Sea Scrolls in the West Bank in the Palestinian territories.The scroll dates back nearly 2,000 years ago when the Qumran settlement was controlled the by Roman Empire. Researchers believe that the scroll might describe a hidden treasure that was made by the locals to keep it out of the hands of Roman forces.
King Tut’s death
The Egyptian boy Pharaoh Tutankhamun makes archaeological mysteries a very exciting topic.
The tomb of King Tut was discovered in 1922 by a British Egyptologist Howard Carter. There is a tale that is called the “pharaoh’s curse” which says that it kills those who come near the tomb. Archaeologist believe that the boy king died unexpectedly, maybe from an infection or from injuries he sustained from a chariot accident.
King Tut appears to have caught fire after his body was mummified. A speedy burial was likely behind the mismanaged embalming job that caused the fire.
The Ark of the Covenant
According to the book Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant is a gold-encrusted wooden chest that contains the stone tablets of the 10 commandments. This holy box was kept in the First Temple, a Jewish place of worship in Jerusalem.
Until today, no one has actually found the holy relic. Recent reports hinted that the ark might be residing in a monastery in Ethiopia.
In the 20th century, there is one book that is highly talked about, it contains an ancient text that no one could read.
The Voynich manuscript was discovered by a bookseller in 1912, it is a 250 page book written in an unknown text and illustrated with a range of images, from female nudes to medicinal herbs and zodiac signs. It is now housed at Yale University.
The Hobbit was discovered on the remote Indonesian island of flores in 2003. They were able to uncover the bones of the petite ancient hominin Homo floresiensis, which is dubbed “the Hobbit”.
Hobbits are not just a tiny human – it is its own species. The first H.floresiensis skeleton ever discovered belongs to a 3.5 foot tall, 30-year-old adult female.
Disappearance of the Sanxingdui
Not every discovery is made by an archaeologist. In 1929, a man repairing a sewage ditch in Sichuan province in China discovered a treasure trove of jade and stone artifacts.
Researchers believe that member of the Sanxingdui civilization made the artifacts. Sanxingdui once inhabited a walled city along the banks of the Minjang River, but abandoning the city and leaving many artifacts made a lot of speculations among the researchers.
Noah’s Ark, many people are saying that they have discovered this biblical boat.
For centuries, the amateur archaeologist from around the world had made a claim that they have found an evidence of the ark on and around the Mount Ararat in Turkey. Though it might not exist, Noah’s ark is an archaeological mystery that will continue to be solved.
The lost Maya
How does a civilization that worked for the better in six centuries just disappear? That is the mystery that archaeologist from southern Mexico and northern Central America has been working to solve for decades.
The flourishing Mayan Civilization collapsed around A.D 900. But the real reasons for its downfall are unclear. Some scientific studies suggest that drought may have played a roe in the fall of the Maya. Other researchers hypothesized that soil degradation and a decline of prey population contributed to the end of the Maya.
The Khatt Shebib
The mystery wall in Jordan was first reported in 1948, archaeologist still are not sure why, when and who built it.
The wall runs north to northeast, to the south to southwest. It contains the section where two walls run side by side. Today the wall is in ruins, it can only stand about 3.3 feet on its heyday. It is believed that Khatt Shebib was not built to keep out invading armies.
The Big Circles
Simply know to be the “Big Circles,” 11 of these structures have been spotted in Jordan. The circles has a diameter of 1,3112 feet and are just a few feet high.
According to archaeologist, none of these short walled circles have opening for people or animals to walk through, so it is impossible that they are an ancient example of livestock corrals.
Today, researchers are comparing the Big Circles with other circular stones structure that can be found in the Middle East, to try to figure out their mystery.
The Cochno Stone
In 2016, archaeologist excavated a 5,000-year-old stone slab in Glasgow, Scotland. It is called Cochno Stone, it measures around 43 feet by 26 feet, it contains swirling patterns also known as “cup and ring marks”.
According to Kenny Brophy, an archaeologist and senior lecturer at the lecturer at the University of Glasgow, the slab may be an example of ancient artwork. In the 1930s, the researchers who studied the Concho Stone believed that the inscriptions of the stones have been linked to astronomical phenomena.
Super-Henge is a massive stone monument located just 3.2 kilometers from the Stonehenge in the U.K.
It was unearthed in 2015, which is made up a collection of stone monoliths. Archaeologist are not sure of the stones true purpose. But 15 foot tall slab was believed to be standing upright before they were pushed over some 4,500 years ago.
An enormous stone structure beneath the Sea of Galilee was discovered in 2003. It is made out of many giant stones placed on top of one another, it weighs an estimated 60,000 tons.
The scientist have no idea what the underwater rock pile or cairn had been used for. Though in other parts of the world, rocks were made as burials mark.
It is believed that the aquatic monument could date back more than 4,00 years ago.
Many archaeologists has discovered a lot of important artifacts, but uncovering a holey jar was a first for researchers. It was initially recovered from a bomb crater outside London after the end of the World War II, it dates back to Roman Britain.
This strange artifact is now on display at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology in Canada.