It is normal for archeologists to find common artifacts such as scrolls, tablets, and ancient tools as they go about their activities. However, there have been a few cases where they have encountered mysterious artifacts whose origin and purposes are hard to explain. Here is a list of the top 10 mysterious artifacts ever to be discovered in history.

1. The Antikythera Mechanism

Discovered in a shipwreck on the Greek island of Antikythera, the Antikythera mechanism is an ancient computer believed to be too advanced for its time. After examining it, experts highlighted that it was as complex as an 18th-century clock.

That’s strange because the Antikythera Mechanism was 2100 years old when it was discovered. Its purpose was to calculate astronomical positions, and it had dials on the box’s surface. Interestingly, the ancient artifact is not mentioned in any text or writings on ancient Greek engineering.

2. The 500-Million-Year-Old Hammer

Historians claim hammers were invented 3.3 million years ago during the Paleolithic Stone Age. This can be true because a couple in London, Emma and Max Hahn, found an ancient artifact inside a rock in 1936.

According to their story, they spotted a piece of wood protruding from a rock, and upon opening it, they found an ancient hammer. Upon further examination by archaeologists, they dated the London hammer as over 500 million years old. The hammer was so old that the wood had turned into coal. More surprisingly, its head was made out of 96% iron, unlike anything archeologists had ever seen.

3. The Dropa Stones

When archeologist Dr. Chi Pu Tei and his team stumbled across the Dropa Stones, there wasn’t a lot of excitement. However, upon further examination, the Dropa Stones, which were circular disks engraved with tiny hieroglyphics, turned out to be ancient versions of record players or phonographs.

The team of archeologists’ carbon dated them to 10,000 years ago. When translated, the hieroglyphics narrated how people who called themselves the Dropa flew spaceships that crashed into the mountains. The translations by Dr. Chi were ridiculed, forcing him to seek asylum in Japan.

Unfortunately, not much is known about the Dropa stones as they mysteriously disappeared; they are not in museums or archeological facilities.

4. The Saqqara Bird

While it is widely agreed that the Wright Brothers were the first to invent a practical engine-powered aircraft, the Saqqara Bird makes us rethink how old the aviation concept is. Discovered in 1898 in Saqqara, Egypt, hence the name, the Saqqara bird is a small wooden bird carving that perfectly resembles an airplane.

What makes it mysterious is that it dates back to 2200 years ago, when aviation was unheard of (or so we think). This ancient artifact has made many researchers assume Egyptians were already familiar with aviation. However, there is no scientific proof to back up these claims.

That said, given what the ancient Egyptians achieved with the pyramids, is it possible they had some aviation knowledge?

5. The Baghdad Battery

In Baghdad, archeologists discovered a huge clay vessel with a copper cylinder smeared with asphalt on the inside. The German Director of the National Museum of Iraq, Wilhelm Konig, concluded that the Baghdad Battery was used for electroplating silver or gold onto surfaces.

However, many conflicting opinions remain regarding the primary use of the Baghdad Battery, with some scientists claiming it wasn’t a source of energy but a storage vessel. Also, even if it were an actual battery, how would civilization from the Parthian period, almost 2000 years ago, know how to create/use such a device?

6. Neolithic Stone Balls

Archeologists in Scotland ran into Neolithic stone balls at Ness of Brodgar in 2013. Though small, these balls are sculpted with various patterns and designs. They were dated to be from the circa era, which was from 3200 to 2500 BC.

None of the balls are similar, which indicates high levels of pottery skills. Also, archeologists could not identify whether they were used for decoration, as toys, weapons, or ball bearings. Their purpose remains to be a mystery.

7. The Ancient Planes of Quimbaya

Besides the Egyptians, the Quimbaya civilization that occupied modern-day Colombia may have had aviation knowledge before it became a thing. Archeologists have found some artifacts from the region dating back to 1000 AD.

They contain all the major aspects of a plane, such as the propellers and tail struts. As usual, these discoveries have often attracted varying theories, including one that states the Quimbaya community interacted with aliens.

8. The Judean Stone Masks

Excavated in the southern desert of Judea about 9000 years ago, archeologists have yet to identify and prove the purpose of the Judean Stone Masks. So far, only 16 have been discovered, and people can only speculate what they were used for. Many are convinced the stones were used for rituals or as personal collections to be worn during ceremonies.

9. Ubaid Lizard Sculptures

As researchers were excavating the Tell Al’Ubaid archeological site in Iraq, they found 7,000-year-old lizard sculptures. They were human sculptures but with lizard heads. What surprised these archeologists the most was that these curves had a lot of modern details, such as they appeared to have clothes on and wore headgear, which is common with the military.

While that might be puzzling, the fact that the Ubaidan civilization bore the Sumerians who invented many of the items still used today might help.

10. The Nazca Lines

To date, there is no consensus on why the Nazca lines were drawn, leaving room for divided opinions and speculations. For instance, experts like Johan Reinhard claim that these lines led to places of rituals or crops and water, while others believe the Nazca Lines were drawn for astronomical purposes.

Some theories speculate the locals drew Nazca lines to show the gods they were desperate for water. That said, the Nazca lines, which cover an area of 450 square km, are unique. They are images of animals, geometric shapes, and others do not represent anything the modern human being is familiar with. The only known fact is that whoever drew these lines had the intention of them being seen from the sky.

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Last Update: June 26, 2024