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Mysterious Archaeology

17 January 2019

We live in a time of carbon dating, of ancient languages being rediscovered regularly, of genealogy, and miracles of science that can nearly figure out the exact age of the earth itself. Throughout the eons, continents have moved, dinosaurs have roamed, civilisations have risen and fallen, and we can say with some degree of certainty that we know pretty much the general outline of the history of the world. But it seems that the more we learn, the less we know. Things keep popping out of the ground every so often that leaves experts scratching their heads, and the idea of all of what we knew thrown to the wind. Here is a list of a few of the most intriguing (in our opinion) archaeological finds from throughout the ages.

Stonehenge, England

The thing about Stonehenge is, it has pretty much always been there, for the length of modern history. It's never been particularly hidden, it's just been about and available for all to see, so how is it we still don't really know for sure a lot of things about it? The stones are from Wales. That much we know. But how did they find themselves in Wiltshire? How long ago was it built? There's an entire period of 1000 years where it may have come about. What is it there for? Is it a burial ground? An ancient site for worship? What really bothers most people, me included, is that we will never really know what it was there for. It could be for something super obvious. It's methods of construction (another thing that continues to evade archaeologists) could just be that ancient societies were a lot more developed than we thought. Maybe it was built just for the fun of it? Either way, there are hundreds of other sites just like Stonehenge throughout the United Kingdom, but this one is the most famous, so it wins its place on the list.

The Voynich Manuscript, Italy (but it lives in America)

This is the weirdest book anyone would ever read. Or not read at all. Not only does it make no sense at all, it is incredibly creepy. No one knows who wrote it and we can only guess they wrote it around the 15th century in Italy. None of the writing in it is translatable, because no one knows what language it's in, but we can confirm that it does take some words from Latin and High German and the cypher is nearly sort of potentially worked out. There is even evidence that the book has been retouched throughout its unusual life, and it seems to be split into several sections, including Biology, Cosmology, Pharmacology, and a few recipes. Of course, we've only figured this out because there are several odd drawings inside. If this was a horror movie, there would probably be some unexplained deaths following it, but, unlike Tutankhamun's Tomb, no deaths can be linked to this weird text.

Medinet Habu, Egypt

We know what this is. This is the mortuary temple for Ramesses III in Luxor. That is something we don't have an issue with. Thanks to the Egyptian's fantastic record keeping, we know what it was, and what it's there for. There is just one thing we in modern society have a few questions about, and that is the depictions of the Sea People. Why is this? Because we have absolutely no idea who the Sea People are. There are many descriptions by many different nations throughout the world about these people, but nothing from 'their' society. What we do know is that they are a group of people who 'rose from the sea' and viciously attacked ancient Egypt. There are a whole host of clues pointing towards possible identities for these people, including that they may be Trojans or Philistines. Personally, I think they're from the lost city of Atlantis.

The Baghdad Battery, Iraq

Throughout history, those who have lived in the Cradle of Civilization have been known to be innovators of society. The Ancient Egyptians had technology that far outstripped everyone elses at the times, what with their incredible structures, ship building skills, and maritime technology. We can thank the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of advances in science and mathematics (after all, we still use Arabic numbers to this day). However, what we really don't get is the origin of the Baghdad Battery. Consisting of a ceramic pot, a copper tube, and an iron rod, this artefact could date back as far as 150 BC, a time when absolutely no one was using batteries. It has to be said, this isn't something that's just merely described as a battery, but it actually produces volts when it's filled with vinegar. What was it for? No one knows for sure, but it could have been used for electroplating.