Digging up some old treasure or a 3000-year-old trinket is always super exciting, especially if you’re an archaeologist and that little trinket may change everything we knew about some ancient civilization or a long forgotten city. For some reason archaeological discoveries aren’t as popular as celebrity weddings, so only a handful of people know what’s going on. So let’s see what those crazy dirt-diggers unearthed during their excavations.
Here are the 6 strangers archaeological discoveries you had no idea were real.
1. The Leicestershire Bark Shield
What is a shield made of bark doing in III-IV BC Europe? Everyone was using metal shields in that era, but this one daredevil was skillful enough to use that light bark shield in combat for 10 years. Here’s the thing about archaeologists: they can identify what and when was used but they have no battle experience. To me it’s a no-brainer that a light sturdy shield was enough to deflect arrows and melee blows, but to them it was a mystery. But hey, we can’t all know everything!
2. The Written Rock Of Gelt
About 1800 years ago, a quarry in Cumbria was occupied by some Roman soldiers. As every human before and after them, they wanted to carve a message for their followers in the stone walls of the quarry. A dozen centuries later William Camden found their drawings, called the whole thing the Written Wall of Gelt, but was unable to properly record them due to stone erosion. In 1980 the quarry collapsed and decades later, the researchers using modern 3D scanning tech were able to reach and scan at least some of the writings.
3. The Tomb Of Philip The Arab
In 2018 a supposed Tomb of Philip the Arab was found in modern Bulgaria. Philip was said to be one of the richest bastards of his time, so naturally the grave robbers got to the tomb way before the archaeologists… at least 500 years ago. The researchers found a secret tunnel and no treasures, aside from some 2000 year old coins and pots, which was still a huge deal for them.
4. The Lloyds Bank Coprolite
Ah, finally, a discovery that’s worth giving a sh#t! It’s a huge viking poop. Yup. In all my life I’ve never seen a stinker even remotely as big as this one – 19.5 centimeters (8 in)! In addition to its size, it fossilized, which means it’s made out of something very dense. If you want to see it with your own two eyes, its’ on display in the Jorvik Viking Centre, in York, UK.
5. Ancient Egyptian Tobacco
Did you know that ancient Egyptians smoked tobacco? During a routine chemical test the scientists found traces of nicotine on some of the mummies. That’s weird because we thought that it could be found only in the New World. Some believe that similar plants were growing in Europe and Africa too, but went extinct a few thousand years ago. Or maybe they just sailed to the Americas to ask for a jar of tobacco? They did have the ships, so who knows.
6. Neanderthal Glue
Turns out Neanderthals weren’t too dumb after all. Turns out they figured out how to turn pine resin and beeswax into organic glue. Which was quite the feat 40,000-55,000 years ago. For us today it’s child’s play: you get the resin, heat it up and boom, it sticks to stuff! But back then it was like inventing the Internet, but on a much smaller scale.