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Mystery and History

10 Famous Mysteries Of Ancient History That Are Not Solved Till Date

Top 10 ancient mysteries that continue to baffle: unexplained origins, construction, and purpose, despite global experts’ efforts.

10 Famous Mysteries Of Ancient History That Are Not Solved Till Date

There are numerous mysteries from ancient India which have captivated the human imagination for ages. These ancient mysteries, which range from astounding architectural wonders to mysterious texts and extinct civilizations, compel us to delve into the past and discover the secrets they contain.

As we move through time, they put to the test our understanding of the technological capability, cultural values, and the very basis of human life of earlier civilizations. And while certain puzzles are probably never going to be solved, others are being solved with the aid of modern technologies.

Here are the top 10 most famous ancient mysteries that have baffled people for ages. There is no conclusive explanation for why these locations exist, how they were made, or what they were used for, despite the relentless efforts from some of the most renowned scientists and authorities from across the globe. Given that the majority of the mysteries on this list are thousands of years old, it’s unlikely we will ever get to know and learn the true histories that led to their occurrence.

10 Famous Mysteries Of Ancient History That Are Not Solved Till Date

1. Plain Of Jars

The hilly region of northern Laos is covered with thousands of lichen-covered stone jars from the Iron Age, some of which are close to 10 feet tall and weigh several tonnes. These ones- to 400-piece groups of sandstone sculptures were once used as wine cups by giants, according to legends.

However, a lot remains unknown about their intended usage, where they were located, and the culture that created them. However, many archaeologists believe they were used as urns for the dead. A recent study suggests that some of the stone jars may have been made as recently as 1240 B.C., making them significantly older than the nearby burials containing human remains. The situation is made more challenging by the fact that many of the jars are situated in unexploded munitions fields.

2. Nazca Lines

A pre-Inca culture in Peru engraved a number of gigantic drawings into the barren coastal plain about 2,000 years ago. Prior to aircraft starting to fly over the region in the 1930s, nothing was known about the geoglyphs that are now known as the Nazca Lines. Approximately 1,000 different designs have been found so far.

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Most are straight lines that can be up to 30 miles long or geometric designs, such as trapezoids and spirals, while others have images of animals and plants, such as a spider, hummingbird, monkey, whale, two-headed serpent, dog, and a humanoid figure known as “The Astronaut.” 168 fresh geoglyphs were found in 2022 but their significance has not yet been completely determined as of now. Among the many popular theories that have surfaced so far, one famous one connects them to water rituals.

3. Thonis Heracleion

Prior to the establishment of adjacent Alexandria around 331 B.C., Thonis-Heracleion, an Egyptian port city on the Mediterranean Sea, operated as a trading hub. Legend has it that Helen of Troy and the mythical hero Heracles both visited this place. But somewhere in the second century B.C., a liquefaction of the soil that may have been brought on by earthquakes, tsunamis, or floods caused the city center to collapse.

Thonis-Heracleion eventually all submerged underneath, where it was lost to time until being found by marine archaeologists in the early 2000s. Large statues, animal sarcophagi, temple ruins, pottery fragments, jewelry, coins, and even 2,400-year-old fruit baskets have all been hauled from the sea since, shedding new insight into this actual Atlantis.

4. Cleopatra’s Tomb

Cleopatra VII, the supposedly last queen of Egypt, is one of the best-known historical figures. She famously had affairs with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony before committing suicide in 30 B.C. as a result of Antony’s and her defeat at the Battle of Actium. The pair are said to have been buried together, although the exact site of Antony and her tombs is still unknown.

Some academics contend that it was once located in Alexandria, her capital and the former cultural hub of the Mediterranean region, but it was destroyed by a tsunami in 365 A.D. Others believe it occurred elsewhere in the Nile Delta, maybe in a temple honoring Isis and Osiris, the respective deities Antony and Cleopatra identified with. In addition to Cleopatra’s, other fabled lost grave locations.

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5. Maine’s Viking Penny

The Norwegian silver Viking penny, also known as the Maine penny or Goddard coin, was minted between 1067 and 1093 AD during the reign of Olaf Kyrre, King of Norway. This coin was found in Maine, United States, in 1957, and its finding offers proof of possible Viking interaction with North America centuries before Columbus. How the Maine penny got there has been a topic of discussion. The exact reason for the coin’s arrival in North America and its origin is still unknown.

One theory postulates that it might have been used in Viking commerce or exploratory endeavors, while another hypothesize that it might have been misplaced or purposely abandoned during a Norse settlement. There have been varying opinions on how the Maine penny got there. The coin’s origin and precise motive for coming to North America are both still a mystery. One explanation suggests that it might have been employed in Viking trade or exploration activities, while another suggests that it might have been lost or purposefully left behind during a Norse settlement.

6. Voynich Manuscript

A medieval manuscript was purchased in 1912 by rare book trader Wilfrid Voynich, who said it had previously been kept in “an ancient castle in southern Europe.” It has perplexed some of the most eminent academics ever since, including Alan Turing and the FBI, both of whom tried and failed to solve the mystery. It was written in an extinct language or code, that no one could decipher and was packed with strange drawings of imaginary vegetation and naked women.

Over the years, a number of people have claimed to be able to read it, but each time they have been met with a loud chorus of confusion. Some people think the whole affair is a sophisticated fake. The Voynich manuscript is being kept at Yale University and is open to the public if anyone is interested in attempting to finally crack the case.

7. Stonehenge

A little more than 5,000 years ago, before England ever entered the Bronze Age, work on Stonehenge, one of the most iconic prehistoric sites in the world, began. Most academics agree that it served as a burial ground, and it is now understood where the enormous stones originated from. The area has been extensively investigated for ages. However, Stonehenge’s other mysteries, including its potential religious, ceremonial, astronomical, and therapeutic significance, are still obstinately elusive.

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8. Yonaguni Monument

Off the coast of Japan’s Yonaguni Island lies an underwater rock structure, at least 165 feet long and 65 feet wide, that resembles a manmade step pyramid. Discovered in the 1980s and now known as the Yonaguni Monument, it is believed by some researchers to be the ruins of an ancient civilization. Many other researchers, however, contend that “Japan’s Atlantis” is nothing more than a curious natural phenomenon shaped by tectonic uplift and ocean currents.

9. Paracas Candelabra

The Paracas Candelabra is a large geoglyph that is located northwest of the Nazca Lines and spans 600 feet from top to bottom on a hillside overlooking Pisco Bay in Peru. There is great uncertainty about the candelabra’s exact age, but pottery discovered at the site has been dated to around 200 B.C. Its purpose also isn’t entirely clear. According to one hypothesis, it was used by sailors as a navigational aid, while another contends that it represented the trident of the creator god.

10.  Sacsayhuamán

Elsewhere in Peru, just outside Cuzco, stands the remains of the Sacsayhuamán fortress, which was constructed by the Incas in the 1400s. Much like at Machu Picchu, Inca laborers somehow moved enormous rocks into place—some of which weighed 125 tons or more—before masons cut them, using only bronze and stone tools, and fitted them together without mortar.

Though Spanish colonizers dismantled much of the site for building materials, Sacsayhuamán has remained structurally sound enough to withstand large earthquakes and other ravages of time.

We are made aware of the size of human civilization and the depths of our own curiosities as we dig deep into the plethora of mysteries of ancient history. Our comprehension is pushed to its limits as a result of these mysteries, which inspire us to research, confront, and explore. The pursuit of knowledge and revealing the secrets of our distant past remains an exciting journey that ties us to our roots and sparks our creativity, even though some mysteries may never be entirely understood.

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Written By

Srushti is a final-year engineering undergraduate. Despite being from a technical background, she possesses a strong penchant for writing since her childhood. Her content is indeed a delight for the readers. At Empire Weekly, she covers news articles regarding startups, funding, business, and finance.

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