Archaeology is critical to our understanding of how civilization and mankind evolved. But sometimes, people dig up things that we would really rather not know about.
Each of these discoveries is clearly from the darker side of human history, and quite frankly, they probably should have been left in the ground. Get ready to be creeped out…
1. This Persian soldier was killed in an early use of chemical warfare during the Ancient Roman era. Tossing bitumen and sulfur on a fire created deadly sulfurous gas.
2. This peat farmer from northern Europe is astonishingly well preserved thanks to a lack of oxygen, low temperature, and high acidity.
3. Archaeologists discovered thousands of small bones in an ancient Byzantine sewer in Israel. They determined that the bones (all male) were those of the unwanted children of the women who worked at the brothel above the sewer.
Little girls could be brought into the business, but little boys were just a hindrance. More than 100 infant bodies were counted.
4. In 2009, archaeologists uncovered about ten 8,000-year-old skulls on a dig site in Sweden. What made them so special aside from their age? Several of the skulls were found with stakes driven through them.
All of the skulls contained fragments of another human skull inside. Were these warriors displaying their macabre trophies, or did they put one skull inside the other for safe keeping?
5. The upland moa was a large flightless bird discovered in a New Zealand cave in 1986.
Prior to the arrival of humans, the moa was the dominant herbivore on the island of New Zealand, and looking at one of these amazingly well-preserved talons, it’s easy to see why.
6. Archaeologists in Dorset, England were perplexed when they found this pit of 54 Viking warrior corpses.
That’s because the skeletons had been divided into piles according to body part. It’s now believed that the warriors were beheaded as part of a sacrificial ritual. The purpose of this ritual is still unknown.
7. Imagine that you’re excavating an Egyptian tomb and then you suddenly come across this:
Yes, that’s a screaming mummy. But it turns out that these mummies weren’t buried alive or tortured, as their twisted faces might suggest. They were just poorly wrapped.
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