Strange and Inexplicable Archaeological Discoveries - History Key

Strange and Inexplicable Archaeological Discoveries

Archeology is one of the difficult missions in the world. Having only a small bone, a lost papyrus or a tool buried a few meters underground, the researchers have to read the past of human civilization. They combine all of the elements found, just like a puzzle, and the story is starting to make sense.

However, sometimes they discover pieces that don’t fit anywhere in the conventional overview. In those moments, their job becomes even more difficult, because they have to “unlock” the place and the role of those elements. Below you’ll find five strange and inexplicable archaeological discoveries that instead of providing answers, they open a huge list of questions.

5. Khatt Shebib Wall

The wall is located in Jordan’s desert and is 150 km long. The structure was discovered by a British diplomat, Sir Alec Kirkbride in 1948 during an airplane trip. Today, historians and archaeologists are still amazed by the scale of the wall.

Khatt Shebib
Khatt Shebib © Robert Bewley, Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

Though nowadays is only a small trace of the wall at the ground level, in the past it seems that it had a height of 3 meters. A normal question would be when was the wall built, but the archaeologists don’t have a clear answer.

One of the towers from the Khatt Shebib wall can be seen here
One of the towers from the Khatt Shebib wall can be seen here © Robert Bewley, Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East

They estimate that the wall was built between 300 BC and 750 AD. Also, the utility of the wall is not clear. Some believe that Khat Shebib was used as a shelter of hunters and travelers or as an observation point. Other claims that the wall would serve as a dividing line between two types of tribes: the farmers and the nomadic hunters.

4. The Starving of Saqqara

Grotesque or wonderful? Priceless or worthless? An ancient piece or a fake? For over a decade, the Concordia University from Canada has attempted to establish the origins of this mysterious sculpture. Once, a part of the Diniacopoulos Family Antiquities Collection, this statue is now in possession of the Concordia University since 1999.

The Starving of Saqqara
The oversized heads of the Starving of Saqqara ©

The sculpture is 67 cm high showing two nude characters with oversized heads, facing each other. It also features indescribable inscriptions in an unknown language. Certainly, the statue is one of those strange archaeological discoveries that will spark long debates.

The full statue
The full statue ©

So far no one could establish the origins of this statue. Some specialists believe that the statue dates back to the time when the Jews had not been expelled from Egypt. On the other hand, others believe that the statue comes from an Egyptian tomb. And of course, there are also believers that consider it a fake. What do you think?

3. The Stone Statues from Indonesia

In the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, some strange archaeological discoveries have been made which can’t be explained. Researchers have discovered about 400 megaliths in the Bada Valley. Nobody can explain the meaning of those stones. Some of them have only a few centimeters while other megaliths are 4.4 meters tall.

Langke Bulawa, one of the statues found on the island
Langke Bulawa, one of the statues found on the island ©

The stones are shaped in different forms such as humanoid forms, pools, and shelter-form. Unfortunately, the information about the builders and the purpose of this mysterious valley is still unknown.

The civilization that created it left nothing behind, except the stones, but they don’t contain any writings or inscriptions. The strange part is that no human remains were found.

Badang Kaya
Badang Kaya ©

Since radiocarbon dating is impossible, it can’t be estimated when those strange sculptures were built. However, recently, archaeologists have discovered on the island some tools that are more than 110,000 years old. They suppose those who made them could have been an isolated tribe.

2. The Copper Scroll

The Copper Scroll is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Third Cave near Khirbet Qumran. Among the other discoveries from that cave, the Copper Scroll is different because isn’t written on a papyrus. It is written on a copper tablet.

The Copper Scroll
The Copper Scroll ©

Also, unlike the others, the copper manuscript is not a literary work, but a treasure map. The manuscript lists several places where great value objects can be found. According to the text, 64 treasures were hidden in Jerusalem and in the Judaean Desert to protect them from invaders. The treasures include religious artifacts and huge amounts of gold, silver, and coins. No one knows exactly how much these objects value because the manuscript could not be translated entirely.

However, archaeologists estimate that if those treasures really exist, their value would be very large. The pieces that have been translated provide accurate indications. The problem is, in fact, that they are too precise, referring to basins, reservoirs and underground passages.

Unfortunately, these landmarks no longer exist today and the treasures are almost impossible to find.

1. The Sword in the Stone

In the Montesiepi Chapel in Italy is an artifact that no one can explain it: a heavy iron sword stuck in a stone. According to the legend, the sword would have belonged to a 12th-century nobleman named Galgano Guidotti.

Guidotti was a knight in his youth, but in 1180 he decided to follow the teachings of Jesus. It is said that one day he began to have visions with Archangel Michael. In one of those visions, Michael would have told Guidotti to give up to all of his material belongings.

The Sword in the Stone
The Sword in the Stone ©

Guidotti would have responded that doing this is almost as difficult as breaking a stone in two. To prove his claim, Guidotti would have “stabbed” the rock. To his surprise, the sword went through the stone “like butter.”

According to the locals, many people have tried to steal the sword, but without success. Moreover, at the chapel can be seen the mummified hands of a thief who tried to pull the sword out of the stone, but he was killed by the wolves.

Our world is still covered in thousands of thousands of mysteries. What other archaeological discoveries or place do you believe are still in mystery?

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