We humans living in the 21st century would like to believe that we’ve got everything figured out. Sure enough, we do have quite a bit going on, from our smartphones, to robots, to space exploration and even to new modes of transportation. But, for as much as we know about ourselves and our place in the world (and universe), there’s still so much we don’t know.
In fact, there are still many things about human history that archaeologists and scientists fail to understand. When you think about it that is absolutely incredible! Even crazier, it’s something that – at least to us – deepens the mystery of what it means to be a live and breathing on this little blue orb we call home.
Do you have a thirst for the unexplained? Are you a student of history that’s hungry for new mysteries of human existence to dive into? If so, then you’re in for a real treat below. Let’s take a look at 20 ancient artifacts that remain mysterious to this day! Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to finally decode their meaning.
1. Qin Shi Huang’s Tomb
Protected by terracotta warriors, no one has ventured into this tomb, as it’s believed to be heavily booby-trapped and is contaminated by extreme amounts of mercury.
2. Noah’s Ark
Over the years, some archaeologists have come forward with “proof” that they’ve discovered pieces of the mythical ark. But, have they? Or is this another never-to-be discovered things like #20 on our list?
3. King Tut’s Death
Historians largely do not know what caused King Tut’s death thanks to the fact that his mummy caught fire after being interred in its tomb, likely due to a rushed embalming process.
4. Nazca Lines
Why would a society that existed long before flight make symbols, shapes and patterns in the land that can only be seen from the air?
5. Gobekli Tepe
Located in the rural areas of Turkey, this recently discovered Temple was built centuries before historians had originally thought early humans did such things…
6. Voynich Manuscript
This 600-year-old book, which was discovered in 1912, contains strange drawings and writing in an unknown alphabet. It’s purpose is still unclear.
A popular destination in the rolling hills of England’s countryside, no one really knows what the purpose of this monument was…
8. Homo Floresiensis
And you thought hobbits were the stuff of fairy tales! It turns out bones for an ancient human-like species with hobbit-like features were discovered on the island of Flores.
9. Las Bolas (Costa Rica)
Dating back to the 600s, these stone spheres can be found all throughout the Diquis Delta. To this day, no one knows their purpose.
10. The Khatt Shebib
Discovered at the end of the 1940s, this 93-mile-long wall in Jordan, which could not have been used to keep out invading armies, continues to puzzle scholars.
11. Cleopatra’s Resting Place
To this day, historians do note know where Cleopatra and here paramour Antony are buried. All that’s known is that it was near a temple to Isis.
12. The Great Pyramids
While we know that they’re tombs, we still don’t the how and why of their building…
13. The Big Circles of Jordan
Also in Jordan, archaeologists have uncovered 11 large, circular walls with no entrances or exits. What could they have been used for?
14. The Cochno Stone
Discovered in Scotland, this giant stone slab, which is over 5,000 years old, contains markings and etchings that continue to confound scholars.
15. Antikythera Mechanism
Found inside the wreck of a Greek ship that’s over two millennia old, as best scientists today can tell, this was some kind of highly sophisticated astrological calendar.
16. The Copper Scroll Treasure
Here’s one for Indiana Jones. Discovered along with the Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeologists believe that this ancient 2000-year-old copper scroll describes the location of treasure hidden from invading Roman forces.
17. The Ark of the Covenant
A real-life Indiana jones could also help with locating the Ark of the Covenant. Although there’s a temple in Ethiopia that claims to have it, many remain skeptical.
18. The Shroud of Turin
Though scientists dated this back to only a handful of centuries ago, many still believe that this is, in fact, the shroud that Jesus was buried with.
19. The Collapse of Mayan Civilization
To this day, historians and archaeologists continue to examine all manner of Mayan artifacts to determine what led to the fall of this once-mighty civilization.
A real place or the subject of tall tales from millennia ago? To this day, archaeologists, historians and scientists disagree about the answer…