From a mysterious book of spells older than the Book of the Dead, to some ancient graffiti, here are 9 mysterious things that could rewrite history.
9. Jade Maya Pendant In 2015, archaeologists working in the somewhat remote region of Nim Li Punit in southern Belize discovered a large, T-shaped jade pendant containing mysterious carved hieroglyphs. It’s the second-largest jade Maya artifact ever found in the country, measuring 7.4 inches (19 cm) wide, 4.1 inches (10 cm) high, and 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) thick. Kings wore pendants like this during important ceremonies, and were often buried with them. 8. Guide To The Underworld In late 2019, archaeologists uncovered the oldest known copy of the Book of Two Ways, an Ancient Egyptian guide and map of the underworld. It is so old it is a precursor to the Book of the Dead. The book details the Ancient Egyptian underworld and the two paths to Rostau, the glorious realm of Osiris, the god of death. 7. Out-Of-Place Footprints While examining the ancient footprints of extinct elephants, camels, buffalo, and horses in the preserved sediment of an ancient lake bed in the Nefud Desert in northern Saudi Arabia, archaeologists spotted seven human-like prints that they later determined date back between 112,000 and 121,000 years ago. 6. Sunken Spanish Galleon In Australia Shipwreck hunter and documentary maker Ben Cropp, who has discovered over 100 wrecks throughout his career, is determined to prove that the Spanish arrived in Australia over a century before Captain James Cook reached the east coast in 1770. 5. Viking DNA Much of what experts thought they knew about the ethnicity of Vikings was upended in September 2020, when researchers sequenced the genomes of 442 men, women, and children from archaeological sites throughout Europe and Greenland as part of the largest-ever Viking DNA study. 4. Strange Tomb Inscription Israel’s Beit Guvrin-Maresha National Park is home to two ancient excavated cities situated in the Judean foothills in an area known as the “Land of a Thousand Caves.” Both were founded in the third century and served as diverse multicultural hubs, owing to their placement along trade routes. 3. Cave Tools Earlier this year, an international research team led by paleolithic archaeologist Dr. Jonathon Haws revealed the discovery of ancient stone tools in Lapa do Picareiro, a cave near central Portugal’s Atlantic coast. 2. Corny History of Maize One of the world’s most important crops, corn or maize became a domestic crop sometime around 9,000 years ago. Author Michael Pollan said “There is every reason to believe that corn has succeeded in domesticating us”. We would go where the corn was and stay there! 1. Pompeii Graffiti Researchers have no doubt that Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., burying nearby towns like Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash, but they have long debated what time of year the disaster occurred. In 2018, archaeologists discovered ancient graffiti on the wall of a house that was being renovated during that year, potentially shedding light on this unanswered question.