We all thought we had heard it all until now – but thanks to an abundance of fossils, literature, and records, archaeology is finding more and more evidence that would leave us baffled, and make us question everything we know about history. In this article, we will be delving into the top 10 astonishing facts that will surely make your jaw drop.
- Did you know the mythical city of Atlantis actually existed?
The myth of the lost continent of Atlantis dates back to antiquity, and it appears in various narrations from the likes of Plato. But could it be that the lost city actually existed? Apparently, the answer is yes. In 2019, a team of researchers from the Geography Department of the University ofvSantiago de Compostela in Spain conducted advanced geophysical surveys in the region of South Cadiz, Spain. The result of the process was the discovery of structures below the sea that could point to the existence of a forgotten city.
- How old is the Egyptian civilization?
Egypt is a country of antiquity. Although some think the civilization emerged around 10,000 years ago, evidence now suggest that it may be much older. In 2017, evidence was unearthed of plants and animal traces in the ancient tombs of Saqqara. Carbon dating tests showed the remains to be 144,000 years old, which, if correct, would mean the Egyptian civilization predates the pyramids and is not just thousands, but tens of thousands of years old.
- Was Jesus married?
This may be a question that has been puzzling researchers and historians for generations, as nothing is known for sure, and opinions highly vary. Some experts claim that Jesus was not married, however, some texts suggest Mary Magdalene was his wife. Recently, a 1,500-year-old fragment of papyrus – dubbed the “Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” – that mentions Jesus being married was discovered by Karen King, a professor of Christianity at Harvard Divinity School. Despite the controversy this has caused, there is evidence to suggest Jesus had, in fact, been married.
- Was Alexander the Great actually great?
Alexander the Great has been hailed by many as one of the greatest warriors in history. But, some evidence suggests that his rise to power might have been due more to luck than skill. Namely, the Macedonian Empire, who ruled during Alexander’s reign, was constantly targeted by the Persians, Greecs, and Thracians. After a series of conquests, in which surrounding cities fell, it allowed for Alexander’s rise to power.
- Was there really a Trojan War?
The story of the Trojan War is an explicit one that has emerged from Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, and it’s been the inspiration for some of the latest films and series such as Troy, the 2017 movie Wonder Woman and Amazon Prime’s Troy: Fall of a City. So, was the war real? The answer is yes, as archaeological evidence of a conflict in Troy has been found on the site, including arrowheads and fire-blackened walls.
- Who invented the earthquake machine?
The earthquake machine may sound like something out of a fantasy movie but it turns out that it’s a real invention. One of the first early models of the machine was created back in 1864 by German scientist Ernst von Bergmann. Bergmann used the mechanism for therapeutic massages, as it mimicked the effects of an earthquake. Later on, various machines were invented and used by researchers to simulate seismic waves, and to understand structural building behavior when faced with the shaking of the ground.
- Was gunpowder invented by the Chinese?
Invented sometime during the 9th century, gunpowder is known for being one of the most important weapons of warfare. For centuries, it was only used for loud firecrackers and as a medicinal drug. It wasn’t until the 13th century that the Chinese used it for its military purposes. In a way, it revolutionized warfare and made it a bit more even playing field.
- Was there a civilization before the Pyramids of Giza?
The Pyramids of Giza have long been an enigma, and the fact that it remains such an illusive structure is no surprise. It wasn’t until the archaeologist Mark Lehner from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of Chicago studied the Giza site that clues started to appear. What the team discovered is that underneath the foundations, they found sizeable mud-brick buildings, which may point to the presence of a civilisation before the Egyptians.
- Did the legendary Hannibal actually cross the Alps?
Hannibal is probably one of the most legendary conquerors of war, especially for his iconic march across the Alps with his army of elephants. This feat was long though to be impossible, but evidence now suggest he actually accomplished it. Physical traces could be found after archaeologists came across the pass used by Hannibal and his army. Additionally, ancient texts and archaeological excavations suggest that a city was settled in the Alps by Boii, a Celtic nation of which Hannibal was a part of.
- Did the Amazon Rainforest really exist in ancient times?
The Amazon Rainforest is known for its dense vegetation that covers an area of about 5,500 kilometers. It’s well-known for being home to a wide variety of plant, animal, and bird life. But what some may surprise you is that the rainforest has been around since the ancient times. Ancient rock paintings, dated 9,500 BC, depict the existence of the forest, and so does the archaeological evidence back it up.
When it comes to the depths of history, it looks like we have seen barely nothing. As shown by the facts presented in this article, startling reveals after startling reveals have been made, showing us just how connected yet inaccessible our past is and making us question everything we have known so far. Who knows, maybe one day soon enough, we will unravel most of history’s little clues and set the world on the edge of its seat.