The Most Important Archaeological Discoveries

Archaeology opens up windows to the past by discovering unique artifacts that show us how our fellow human’s once lived. In some cases, however, certain archaeological findings have actually changed past beliefs and rewrote history. Certain findings have actually changed the way we understand humanity and ancient civilizations as a whole. Prepare to be amazed.

 

1. Pyramids Weren’t Built By Slaves

 

 

Although it has always been believed that the ancient pyramids were built by slaves, new findings have shown that this might not be the case. Several old burial plots found in 1990 show that those who built the pyramids might have actually been paid workers, who were given beer and bread, something no slave would ever be given.

 

 

2. The World’s First Computer

 

 

The Ancient Greeks are known as the founders of many modern creations, however researchers had no idea that they were responsible too for the Antikythera Mechanism, a form of an analog computer, which allows users to predict the orbits of the planets. The machine was found in a 1900 shipwreck.

 

3. Incan Children Were Drugged And Sacrificed

 

 

We have knowledge about the human sacrifices of the ancient Inca Empire, however we never fully understood their process of sacrifice. That is, until three mummies were discovered in 1999 in Argentina. Forensic research showed that these children were given cocoa leaf and maize beer prior to their death, leaving us with the understanding that they were drugged.

 

 

4. A 2 Million-Year-Old Skull Changed Human Evolution

 

 

This 1.8 million year old skull is known as Skull 5 and was found in Georgia. It is special due to the fact that is was preserved completely in tact. Research suggests that our beliefs on human evolution may not be correct, since the skull contains details that are not usually related to early humans. 

 

5. The Lost City of Atlantis

 

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Archaeologists are still puzzled when it comes to Atlantis. Where is the city located? What caused it to sink to the ocean floor? Is there anything we can learn from this ancient city to prevent future disasters? Scientists continue to research the myths surrounding the lost city to this day.

 

 

6. The Screaming Mummies

 

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Many ancient Egyptian mummies appear to look like they are “screaming”. Archaeologists have concluded that the ancient Egyptians didn’t take into account an important aspect of modern burials: strapping the chin to the skull. Without this step, the chin will eventually detach, causing a permanent ‘scream-like’ face.

 

7. Dead Sea Scrolls

 

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The Dead Sea Scrolls are regarded as one of the most important manuscript discoveries of all time. While only fragments of text have been recovered from caves near the Dead Sea in the Judaean Desert of Israel, experts have been able to piece together ancient Hebrew to make fascinating conclusions about ancient and modern life.

 

 

8. 3.2 Million-Year-Old Ancestors

 

 

She’s known only as “Lucy” and is one of the most significant evolutionary discoveries of all-time. Lucy was of the hominin species Australopithecus afarensis, and is one of the oldest ancestors of modern humans.

 

9. A Perfectly Preserved Ancient Roman City

 

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The ancient city of Pompeii, located not far from modern-day Rome, was destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago. On August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted only miles from the doomed city. Ash and lava rained down, completely covering (and perfectly preserving) the city of Pompeii. About 1,600 years later, the first discovery of this ancient city was made and archaeologists were able to closely examine ancient Roman life like never before.

 

 

10. The Mount Owen Moa

 

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A perfectly intact claw of the ancient Moa was discovered in New Zealand only a few decades ago. The Moa was a wingless, flightless bird that stood nearly 12 feet (3.6 m) tall. While this ancient species has been extinct for centuries, its discovery opened new doors for scientists in the fields of evolutionary development and a broader understanding of ancient human development.

 

11. James Cook Wasn’t The Founder Of Australia

 

 

Historians have long believed that James Cook discovered Australia in 1770, however several archaeological findings in recent years have created some doubt. Mainly due to a collection of African coins that were found, showing that Australia had inhabitants long before Cooks arrival. It appears as though Australia had traders from Africa, India, China and Europe before he made his way over.

 

 

12. The Grauballe Man

 

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The Grauballe Man was recovered perfectly preserved, even having his finger nails and hair still intact. It’s believed that he is one of the only physical discoveries of human sacrifice and offers shocking insight into the religious practices of our ancient ancestors.

 

13. The Rosetta Stone

 

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The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 and is one of the greatest discoveries of the written word in history. It has three versions of the same text written in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and ancient Greek. This discover was the key to understanding and translating ancient text that were previously untranslatable.

 

 

14. Ötzi The Iceman

 

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Otzi was discovered in the Italian Alps in 1991, and archaeologists estimate he lived about 5,000 years ago. Researchers have studied the Iceman in depth, and they have even figured out where he lived, what he did for a living, and how he died (he bled to death after an arrow struck his shoulder).

 

15. The Earliest Humans

 

 

Olduvai Gorge, located in northern Tanzania, is one of the most significant archaeological finds, showing evidence of the earliest humans. Paleontologist found Homo habilis, our two million year old ancestor. It was also found that humans evolved out of Africa. 

 

 

16. Ancient Honduran City

 

 

This place could be straight from a Star Wards movie. Archaeologists have found an ancient city, with abandoned homes and statues in the forests of Honduras.  Most of the historical treasures were destroyed, and therefore scientists still haven’t figured out which civilization it once belonged to.