12 Important Archaeological Discoveries That Changed History

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A huge number of valuable archaeological discoveries made in different historical periods allowed us to unfold some of the mysteries and secrets of the past we have always been curious about.

Today, we at InMyGroup invite you to take a look at the most amazing archaeological finds that have drastically changed human history.

Terracotta Army

These excavations allowed scientists to take a fresh look at the reign of the first Emperor of China.

A local farmer from Shaanxi province was digging a well when he discovered this vast army in 1947. Thousands of terracotta warriors stand right in front of the tomb of the great Emperor Qin Shi Huang in order to guard him in his afterlife. For researchers, this large construction has become an indicator of the unprecedented humanism and progressive views of the Emperor, as his predecessors were usually ordered to bury everything they needed for the afterlife with them, including a living army. Despite the fact that the guarding army was discovered almost 60 years ago, the tomb of the Emperor itself hasn’t been found yet.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

The oldest fragments of the Bible.

A huge collection of ancient manuscripts was found in several places along the north-western shore of the Dead Sea. Studies showed that the scrolls are 1,000 years older than the earliest dated manuscript of the Old Testament. Thanks to these texts, we clearly know what life was really like in those ancient times.

Behistun Inscription

A description of historical events of the 6th Century BC.

The inscription was discovered by an English traveler and adventurer, Robert Sherley, during his diplomatic mission in Persia in 1598. It’s a multilingual text carved by the order of King Darius the Great. The inscription on the cliff tells us about the historical events that took place in 523-521 BC. It allowed archaeologists to study ancient and well-known civilizations, such as Mesopotamia, Sumer, Akkad, Persia, and Assyria.

Olduvai Gorge

A previously unknown territory inhabited by the earliest human and animal species.

Olduvai Gorge is quite rich in prehistoric finds. It was discovered by German entomologist Wilhelm Kattwinkel in 1911 when he fell into it while chasing a butterfly. Three separate species of hominins, including Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus, have been found in the gorge. Remains of hipparions (extinct three-toed horses) have also been discovered in this site.

Angkor Wat

The largest religious building in the world.

The earliest records about this huge stone construction date back to 1601. Back then, Marcelo Ribandeyro from Spain stumbled upon the strange temple of Angkor Wat in the Cambodian jungle. However, he was unable to solve the mystery of its origin, and the temple remained forgotten for more than 200 years.

Angkor Wat (“Capital Temple”) is the largest religious monument in the world. It’s a massive three-tiered structure with a lot of stairs and hallways, crowned with five towers. The temple is called the Soul of the Khmer people, and we can safely say that it’s the heart of a great civilization.

Troy

Excavations revealed 46 different cultural layers.

The ancient city of Ilion, mentioned in the poems of Homer and Virgil, was discovered in the 1870s by the German self-taught archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. After the excavations, the history of the ancient city was divided into several periods — from Troy I to Troy IX. Troy VI is believed to be “Homeric” Troy (1900–1300 BC).

Antikythera Mechanism

This mechanism created in ancient Greece was centuries ahead of its time.

This mechanical device which dates back to around 100 BC was found in a shipwreck near the Greek islands in 1901. According to scientists, the Antikythera Mechanism is composed of at least 30 bronze gears placed inside a wooden case, on the front and back sides of which there were bronze dials. These dials were used to calculate the motion of stars and planets. Scientists believe that the mechanism was also used to determine the exact date of the start of the Olympic Games: the device accurately calculated the 4-year cycle.

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