The Top 7 Ancient Mysteries That We’ve Never Solved

7. Stone Olmec heads

The Olmecs were an advanced ancient civilization living what is now southern Mexico. Other than these giant heads and some ruins they left behind, no one knows exactly what happened to these precursors of the Aztecs and Mayans.

Imagine walking through the rainforest and coming across one of these sculptures, staring at you through the vines and reeds. The exact purpose of these heads and how they were made is still up for speculation. All that’s certain is this mysterious civilization vanished.

6. GobekliTepe

Think of enormous megalithic monuments arranged in various patterns, kind of like Stonehenge. What sets GobeklTepe apart is its age.

How old? The site found in modern day Turkey is over 11,000 years old. So old that it predates the earliest known civilizations and even the agricultural revolution by thousands of years. These aren’t just large stones, either. Carvings of animals and some human remains have also been found. No one is certain exactly what GobekliTepe was used for but it is believed these stones and structures were used for religious purposes by a number of nomadic tribes.

Another strange thing about GobekliTepe is that after some time, it was deliberately buried by those who went to it. No one knows why.

5. The Tomb of China’s first emperor

Today, the pyramid tomb of China’s emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi is covered under countless tons of earth and trees. Little outside of the thousands of terracotta soldiers have been dug up outside the enormous site. So if archaeologists know where the tomb is, why haven’t they gone in?

It’s too dangerous. According to legend, Huangdi’s tomb not only has many traps, it has a lake of mercury to go with it. The first emperor thought mercury was a magical elixir of sorts and while no one is exactly sure that the lake is truly there, archaeologists found mercury levels well above normal when running tests outside the pyramid.

The Chinese government isn’t eager to take any risks and any attempt to find dig into the tomb and find out is forbidden until better technology is available. Safety first.

4. Linear A

Linear A is an ancient language that has yet to be deciphered. This language was spoken by the Minoans of what is now Greece around 3500 years ago. It contains no purely Greek words just like the language that succeeded it, Linear B (though Linear B was been deciphered).

It seems likely that Linear A will be completely translated eventually, but in the meantime this ancient Indo-European language is still somewhat of a mystery.

3. The final resting place of Genghis Khan

Not a single tomb of a Mongol chieftain has ever been found for good reason. Funeral processions for chieftains were done in total secrecy and anyone who knew the burial site or happened to walk by while the procession took place was killed. How lovely.

Some believe he was buried on a peak in the Khentii mountains of Mongolia, a place he lived as a young man. Khan said he would return to these sacred mountains upon his death. Others believe he was buried in a valley where the 1000 horses at his funeral could be used to run over the burial mound to hide it forever. All we currently have to go on is little more than folklore.

2. The Indus Valley civilization

The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations known to exist. It spread across parts of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran over 5000 years ago. They were also highly advanced, with their own their own written language, multi-storey houses, roadside drainage systems and built many large monuments.

Around 3,700 years ago they vanished. There are a number of theories and possible causes, the most common at this time being climate change (such as drought). For now, all we know is how little we know about these ancient people.

1. The Sea Peoples

Around 1177 BCE, several civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean suddenly collapsed. Some were destroyed by disasters like earthquakes and droughts but others were destroyed by the “Sea Peoples.”

They’re called the Sea Peoples because no one knows exactly where they came from. It is speculated they might have come from Sicily and Sardinia, the Greek mainland, islands in the Aegean Sea, Cyprus and so on. It appears as though they were raiders and migrants from all over the Mediterranean, rather than one people.

Nevertheless, these Viking-like warriors wiped out city after city, burning them to the ground. They even attacked Egypt until Pharaoh Ramses III finally drove them away. Not long after the bronze age collapse, the Sea Peoples simply vanished, either assimilating into the lands they conquered or going back to wherever they came from.

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