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Niharika Rawat


Artefacts That Have Left Historians Clueless

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5 months ago
5 months ago
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Throughout our history, humans have produced some amazing things. From pyramids to rockets, our innovation and skills have been displayed in thousands of texts, monuments, buildings and objects. But sometimes, we lose the of these objects, and what is left behind are articles that leave historians scratching their heads as they try to figure out what the artefact is or why it exists. Here are some such artefacts that stumped experts.

Source - (The Atlantic)

1.   The Voynich Manuscript-

Carbon dated to the 15th century, the Voynich Manuscript is one of the most puzzling texts ever unearthed. Named after its Polish buyer, the Manuscript contains over 200 pages full of illustrations and texts. But the text is written in an unknown script, and only few illustrations can be seen as depicting something from our world. The only thing known about the text is that it seems to read left to right.

Many believe that the script is actually a code, and many cryptologists (including expert code-breakers from the first and second World War) have tried to decipher it, but have been unsuccessful so far. Many interpretations have been refuted on various grounds. This enigmatic nature of the document has caused many speculations, ranging from an elaborate hoax (perhaps by Voynich himself) to a lost diary of a traveller- from another world- who was busy recording the wonders of the Earth. Whatever the reality may be, it would be great to finally understand what the manuscript really is.

Source - (All That's Interesting)

2.   The Nazca Lines

The popularity and religious significance ascribed to Nazca lines make them no less enigmatic. In my experience, historians tend to give religious significance to anything even vaguely weird. Having survived due to favourable climatic conditions, the Nazca lines are a series of geoglyphs (designs produced on the ground) in the Nazca desert of Peru. Some designs are simple geometric shapes, while others are more complicated depictions of animals or flora. They can be seen from airplanes or surrounding foothills.Two main considerations about Nazca lines are important- one, how on Earth did they manage to make giant diagrams without aerial view? Secondly, do the Nazca lines have anything to do with Aliens?

The first one is explained by calculations, surveys, and sheer luck and determination, though some suggest the Nazca culture (circa 500 BCE-500 CE) had some simple flying methods, such as a hot air balloon. The second question has more do with popular imaginations. As stated, many believe that religion, even though the most plausible, may be an inadequate explanation, and chose instead to believe them to be some sort of ancient come-hither alien call signs. It seems like the world’s understanding of these negative white lines made by the removal of red stones will continue to change, both due to new evidences and evolving popular perceptions.

Source - (Sky News)

3.   Stonehenge

Nearly everyone has heard or seen pictures of the Stonehenge, the famous pile of prehistoric rocks in gold olde England. But what exactly is its purpose. And how was it built? If you don’t know, it’s fine- neither do the experts. Traditionally believed to be a burial ground, the Stonehenge is also associated with astronomy, sun worship, healing and of course, Aliens. Since it was created by a culture that left no written records over five thousand years ago (circa 3000 BCE), precious little is known about it. The Stonehenge as it stands today is the product of many periods of activities and several falls, and it is suggested that the original monument could have been much larger, complex, and awe-inspiring.

Much of the head scratching is about how exactly the monument was constructed. It move such massive stones without any technology is almost impossible- bear in mind that the making of the Stonehenge probably started even before the invention of the wheel. This is one of the few cases where extra-territorial aid actually seems plausible. Given how many theories seem to revolve around space and astronomy gives fuel to this fire. But it is just as well likely that the ancient had a technique that they never wrote down, which was eventually lost to humanity as time passed, and experiments continue to unearth these means today.

Source - (All That's Interesting)

4.   The Peri Ries Map

The timeline of the discovery of the world beyond Asia and Europe is heavily contested. Many claim that certain explorers have been wrongly credited with the discovery of new places, and these places had already been covered by early pioneer. The Peri Ries map created by Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis in 1513 is special in this context.

The map depicts the New World (North and South America), but then continues down south to depict another landmass, which theorists believe is Antarctica, before it was completely covered in ice. They state that the map is an accurate representation of the coastline of Antarctica hidden beneath ice. Since the Ries used nearly 20 older maps (very old- some maps were from the time of Alexander the Great, or even earlier) for his own map, many conclude that the map is an evidence of an advanced ancient civilisation had conquered Antarctica way before 1818. Whether the map actually is proof or just a faulty copy of another faulty map is heavily debated. But if it is true, then the map could radically change our understanding both ancient civilisations and the discovery of the world beyond.

Source - (Top Found Footage Films)

5.   The Dropa Stones

Perhaps the most baffling artefact on this list- because no museum or indeed person apparently actually has one. Said to have been discovered in Tibet, the Dropa stones were allegedly foot long discs with tiny hieroglyphics etched into them. A man named Tsum Un Numi is said to have researched them, stating that these stones were over 12,000 years old. These were said reportedly passed for examination by the Russians, who stated that the stones ‘hummed’ when an electric charge was passed through them. Then, an Austrian researcher apparently when to a rural Chinese province and clicked a picture of two stones. Since then, no new data about these stones or their existence has emerged.

Apart from occasionally turning up in some publications, the Dropa stones were contested heavily as being a hoax from the earliest times. The fact the ufologists and other alien-associated sections have said that these stones were of extra-territorial origins yet failed to actually produce any disc was also added to this claim. If these really do exist, they could be a clue to some long lost Tibetan culture. The alien aspect remains a long reach.

As we can see, while historians dismiss vague articles as having religious significance or simply shrug their shoulders, laymen tend to attach more fantastical explanation to the artefacts their ancestors left behind. All these items remind us just how amazing humanity has been throughout history, and leaves us pondering over the circumstances, contexts and people who produced these objects.

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