Unsolved Ancient Mysteries of the World

For years, scientists and archaeologists have tried and failed to figure out these ancient mysteries. The best they could do is form theories. Who knows, maybe someday we might uncover the hidden secrets of these ancient mysteries.

1. Plain of Jars

The Plain of Jars is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Southeast Asia. Essential, it’s a megalithic archaeological landscape in Laos and dates back to the Iron Age, from 500 BC to AD 500. It consists of thousands of these strange jars scattered around the central plain of Xiangkhoang Plateau. More than 90 jar sites were found, each has from one to 400 stone jars. All jars are hewn from rock and differ in height and diameter. Some sites, such as Site 52, Ban Phakeo, have animal carvings on the lids. The carvings are believed to portray monkeys, tigers, and frogs.[1]

Madeleine Colani, French geologist and amateur archaeologist, excavated a cave at Site 1 and found material evidence that of a crematorium. She found colored glass beads, burnt teeth, and bone fragments from several individuals. Around the stone jars, she also found pottery fragments, human bones, and iron and bronze objects. Colani concluded that the Plain of Jars was a burial site in the Iron Age.

Professor Eiji Nitta of the Kagoshima University and Lao archaeologist Thongsa Sayavongkhamy support that theory. Nitta believed that the jars were a symbolic mark for the surroundings burials. Laos legend has it that the area was occupied by a race of giants whose king, Khun Cheung, won a battle against an enemy. The story goes that he created the jars to brew and store alcohol.

2. The Emerald Tablet

The secrets that the Emerald Tablet supposedly contains are astounding. It’s said to be associated with creating the philosopher’s stone, mystic psychosis, phase transition, cosmic consciousness, successful child conception out of pure love, the classical elemental system, and many more.

The cryptic text is written in Arabic and believed to have been published between the sixth and eighth centuries. The first mention of the tablet was in Book of Balinas the wise on the causes. Balinas claimed he discovered the ancient Hermetic wisdom in a vault below a statue of Hermes in Tyana. Inside, a corpse on a golden throne held the tablet.[2]

3. The Lady of the Spiked Throne

The Lady of the Spiked Throne is a mysterious artefact from the Indus Valley civilization that dates back to the 3rd millennium BC.

The artifact is a type of vehicle with something resembling a bull’s head at the front. Fifteen individuals act as the crew of what is believed to the cart of a chariot. The team sits in rows of males and females with large almost shaped eyes, elongated heads or headdresses, and beak-like noses. The most significant features of this artifact are the female figure seated on a throne. The Lady of the Throne is more massive than her crew and is surrounded by four males.[3] Her throne has seven spikes, and the armrests are shaped as standing bulls.

Massimo Vidale, an Italian archaeologist, refers to the artifact as a ‘cow-boat’ and questions. He reported that similar figurines had been found at Mehrgarh and Nausharo dating back to 2800-2700 BC in the Kacchi plain, northern Balochistan. To this day, the origins and purpose of the artifact is a mystery.[4]

4. The Stone Spheres of Costa Rica

The stone spheres of Costa Rica are a collection of over 300 spheres in Costa Rica located on the Diquís Delta and Isla del Caño. Their purpose is unknown.[5] The stone is estimated to have been made around the year 600 and after 100 — the culture of the people who made the spheres disappeared after the Spanish Conquest.

The spheres are thought to be near perfect in roundness. Most are made from gabbro, shell-rich limestone, and sandstone. Local legends state the natives had a potion with the ability to soften the rock. They were first discovered in the 1940s as the United Fruit Company was clearing the jungle for banana plantations. A few spheres were damaged by the workers before there was any intervention.[6]

The history behind the stones is a mystery. There is a myth that claims the stone came from Atlantis, the mythical lost civilization. According to the cosmogony of the Bribri, the stone spheres are Tara’s cannon balls. Tara, the god of thunder, used a giant blowpipe to shoot the balls at the gods of winds hurricanes, also known as the Serkes, to drive them out of the lands.

5. Paracas Candelabra

The Paracas Candelabra is a geoglyph located on the northern face of Paracas Peninsula, Pisco Bay in Peru. It’s 595 feet tall and could be seen 12 miles at sea.[7] The candelabra shaped design is cut two feet deep in the soil, with stones placed around it. It’s thought to be a representation of a hallucinogenic plant named Jimsonweed, or of the trident, a lightning rod of the god Viracocha, the great creator god in pre-Inca and Inca mythology. Some believed it was created as a symbol to guide him to the people of the Paracas so that he would help them in times of crisis. Other think it was built as a sign to sailors.[8]

6. The Map of the Creator

The Dashaka slab, also known as the Map of the Creator, is a stone tablet that could date back 120 million years. Others believe it’s 3000 years old. A group of Russian and Chinese specialists in cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese, discovered that the slab shows an extremely accurate map of Bashkiria, an area of the Ural Mountains, 2457 miles of channels, dams, and hieroglyphic notations of unknown origin.[9]

The map is so accurate that it’s believed to have been made from an aerial point of view. It consisted of three levels and measures 58 inches high, 42 inches wide, 6 inches thick, and weighs one ton. It’s thought to be related to an ancient form of Chinese, though nothing is certain.

7. The Voynich Manuscript

The Voynich Manuscript is a handwritten, illustrated codex in unidentified writing. It was created around 1404 -1438. It’s named after the Polish book dealer Wilfrid Voynich, who bought it in 1912. The text in the manuscript is in an unknown language, running left to the right, but a few pages were written in Latin script.[10] It contains illustrations and diagrams and no punctuation. The first section of the books is thought to be herbal, but no one could identify the plants illustrated. Because of that, the manuscript is most likely meant to be a pharmacopeia.[11]

In their 2004 book, Gerry Kennedy and Rob Churchill theorize that it may be a case of speaking in tongues, channeling, or outsider art. The words in the manuscript could also be codes meant to be looked up in a codebook or a dictionary. The author behind the manuscript is believed to be Voynich himself, as well as a list of other people like Roger Bacon, John Dee, Edward Kelley, Giovanni Fontana.

8. The Nazca Lines

The Nazca Lines are a series of geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. They believe the lines were created the Nazca culture between 500 BCE and 500 CE. There are hundreds of lines. Some are simple lines while others are more complex. Designs of birds, fish, llamas, monkeys or human figures reach up to 70 lines. The largest line is 1,200 ft. The lines can only be seen from an aircraft and high places. The first historian to study them is Paul Kosok, who flew over them in 1940 and realized one was shaped like a bird.[12]

German mathematician and archaeologist, Maria Reiche, joined Paul Kosok in the cause to find out the purpose of the Nazca Lines. She believed some of the shapes represented constellations. Another theory is that the Nazca people created the lines to be seen by deities in the sky. Phyllis Pitluga, a senior astronomer at the Adler Planetarium and a protégé of Reiche, thought the animal figures were a representation of heavenly shapes. In 1994, the Nazca Lines became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[13]

9. How the Egyptian Pyramids Were Built

One of the oldest Seven Wonders of the World is located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. The Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops, took 20 years to build (2560 – 2540 BC). It impressively stands at 481 ft. It was built over a tomb for the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. Three smaller pyramids are lined up next to him dedicated for Khufu’s queens and a tomb containing the empty sarcophagus of Khufu’s mother, Hetepheres. A few hundred meters to the Great Pyramid is the smaller sized Pyramid of Khafre, also known as Chephren who ruled from c. 2558 to 2532 BC. The Pyramid of Khafre stands 448 ft. in the air and appears to be taller than the Great Pyramid because it sits on a bedrock 33 ft. Higher than it, when it is smaller in height and volume. Part of Khafre’s pyramid complex is the oldest monumental sculpture in Egypt, the Great Sphinx. The half man, half lion Sphinx, is believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre.[14]

Khafre’s son, Menkaure, has the shortest pyramid out of the three. Initially, it stood 215 ft tall. It now stands at 204 ft with a base of 108.5 m. Some of the blocks of local stone in the walls of the mortuary temple weighs about 220 tons. Because Menkaure’s reign is not specified, it is unknown when the pyramid was constructed, but it’s believed it was completed in the 26 century BC. The mystery around the pyramids is how they were built. There are many theories, the most popular is that the stones were carved with copper chisels and later dragged and lifted into place. To this day, no evidence explains how the massive blocks were moved. Another curious thing is that all three sides of the pyramids are astronomically oriented to the north-south and east-west.

10. Stonehenge

stonehenge

Stonehenge is a British cultural icon and one of most ancient mysteries and most mysterious structures. It’s located in Wiltshire, England. It is believed that it took roughly 1,500 years to build. The structure overall is comprised of approximately 100 upright stones in a circle layout. Archaeologists concluded that it was built over several stages, the first one dating back almost 5,000 years ago.[15] The big question is: who built Stonehenge?

Geoffrey of Monmouth, the 12th-century writer responsible for the tale of King Arthur, that the wizard Merlin is behind Stonehenge. His story goes like this: King Aureoles Ambrosias wanted to make a memorial for thousands of nobles killed by the Saxons. He sent an army to Ireland to retrieved what was known as the Giants’ Ring. After defeating the Irish, they couldn’t move the stone that they believed were magical African bluestone. Merlin then used his magic to run the rocks across the sea to Britain. The legend goes that King Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon are buried there.

Others potential candidates for building Stonehenge are the Saxons, the Danes, the Romans, the Greeks, or the ancient Egyptians.[16] Some theorize that Druids, who were Celtic high priests, built it. Another theory suggests that glaciers moved the stones. The other baffling question behind Stonehenge is the purpose of it. It’s believed it was once used as a burial ground, as over 5,000 bones were buried there. Evidence shows that in the second stage of building, Stonehenge was used as an enclosed cremation cemetery. It is also believed that it functioned as a ceremonial site, an astronomical calendar, a final resting place for royalty, a memorial, a ritual passage from life to death, or as a religious pilgrimage destination.

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