These are Among the Biggest Archaeological Discoveries in History

These are Among the Biggest Archaeological Discoveries in History

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For me, archaeologists do not discover the past; they work on what remains. Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past. And more – archaeology is the discipline of things – the history of design, how people get on with the material world, materiality itself.
       - Michael Shanks

For centuries, there have been countless prehistoric discoveries that give us a rare sight into the lives of our forefathers. Archaeology transforms our perception of the past. The more primeval grounds and artefacts that are found, the more legends unfold – from Gobekli Tepe to the Rosetta stone, the Voynich manuscript to the tomb of the sunken skulls.

Archaeological finds allow us to appreciate our ancestors’ ancient traditions and understand their way of life. Archaeological discoveries that interlace legend with science have allowed us to connect the past with our present. Excavators and archaeologists have uncovered hidden cities, ancient devices and even sacred burial grounds.

The people at Caherconnell Stone Fort made the infographic below which details ten of the most significant archaeological discoveries of all time. It includes the discovery in Mount Owen, New Zealand. During an expedition in 1986 deep into the cave system of Mount Owen, archaeologists discovered a large claw. Initially it was thought to be a recently deceased animal due to the good preservation of the claw, it was eventually determined that it had belonged to an Upland Moa – an ancient bird that had large, gruesome claws.

It also reveals the discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism which was found in a shipwreck off the coast of Antikythera, Greece. The ancient analogue computer is over 2,000 years old device and has become known as the world’s oldest surviving scientific calculator. The prehistoric device has several gears that can specifically measure the position of the moon, sun and planets. This is a particularly great archaeological discovery as it highlights to us that civilization 2000 years ago was already advanced in the field of mechanical engineering. Let’s check out the infographic below to learn more!

By Caherconnell Stone Fort


Very curious about the past.

They are missing King Tuts tomb, and Puma Punku from this list.

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Human Origins

Silhouettes (Public Domain) in front of blood cells (Public Domain) and a gene.
Most people who have the Rh blood type are Rh-positive. There are also instances, however, where people are Rh-Negative. Health problems may occur for the unborn child of a mother with Rh-Negative blood when the baby is Rh-Positive.

Ancient Technology

Roman glass (not the legendary flexible glass). Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart.
Imagine a glass you can bend and then watch it return to its original form. A glass that you drop but it doesn’t break. Stories say that an ancient Roman glassmaker had the technology to create a flexible glass, ‘vitrium flexile’, but a certain emperor decided the invention should not be.

Ancient Places

Face of the coffin in which the mummy of Ramesses II was found. (Credit: Petra Lether, designed by Anand Balaji)
Usermaatre Setepenre Ramesses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was one of ancient Egypt’s longest-reigning monarchs. In an astonishing sixty-seven regnal years – the glory days of empire that witnessed unprecedented peace and prosperity – the monarch built grand edifices and etched his name on innumerable monuments of his forbears.


Hopewell mounds from the Mound City Group in Ohio. Representative image
During the Early Woodland Period (1000—200 BC), the Adena people constructed extensive burial mounds and earthworks throughout the Ohio Valley in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Many of the skeletal remains found in these mounds by early antiquarians and 20th-Century archaeologists were of powerfully-built individuals reaching between 6.5 and eight feet in height (198 cm – 244 cm).

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At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

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By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
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