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Findings that may help unravel the mysteries of our history: 22 examples from archaeology

The study of the past is an important field of science because it allows us to learn about our ancestors, how they lived and worked, and about their environment. Archaeology is the science that studies artifacts and remains of ancient civilizations, determines their age, and studies social, cultural, and historical relationships.

Archaeologists go on various expeditions to find and study new finds that can give us important information about our past. Although such expeditions can be difficult and not always successful, the found artifacts can become a valuable source of information for studying our past.

1. Bronze sculpture depicting Marshal Gou of the Thunder Gate, the Daoist celestial of thunder. From a temple in the Wudang Mountains. China, Ming dynasty, 1368-1644.

Photo: © MunakataSennin

2. Column from an XII Century portal, Saint-Lazare d’Avallon church (France).

Photo: © Marc_Op

3. Kandshar with the artfully carved ivory hilt, Iran, 1800s, from Czerny’s International Auction House.

Photo: © GaGator43

4. A piece of anorthosite with iridescent anorthite from a small quarry near Skeipstad, Egersund, Rogaland, Norway.

Photo: © Nabel001

5. The shaman of Bad Dürrenberg are the remains of a 25-35-year-old woman, who was buried 8600 to 9000 years ago in Germany. Around her, where the remains of an extraordinary headdress, made from the bones and teeth of different animals such as deer, wild boar, crane, and turtle.

Photo: © Fuf555

6. Carved opal elephant, Russian, c. 1880-1920.

Photo: © chubachus

7. Death on the lion – This figure once was the crowning feature of a monumental clock that originally stood in the church choir of Heilsbronn Abbey. On the hour, with a bone, Death struck the bell in the lion’s neck, reminding the faithful of the transience of all earthly things.

Photo: © potdom

8. Jiaohe is a ruined city in Xinjiang, China, that was the capital of the Tocharian kingdom of Jushi (108 BC-450 CE). It is a natural fortress located atop a steep cliff on a leaf-shaped plateau between two deep river valleys and was an important stop along the Silk Road.

Photo: © Fuckoff555

9. Parasol. France, 1860s.

Photo: © HeroandLeander

10. Indian Dagger with rock crystal hilt, the 1700s, from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Photo: © GaGator43

11. Hidden painting showing St George slaying a dragon found behind a 16th-century painting titled “Life of San Severo” – Church of Saint George Maggiore in Naples, Italy – Discovered during restoration. Link to video in comments.

Photo: © TarTarianPrincess

12. Roman bronze sculpture of a hand in a “hang loose” position, 2nd – 3rd Century C.E.

Photo: © Kunstkurator

13. An ivory Japanese Netsuke (miniature sculpture) of a cluster of rats. (4 cm in diameter, 19th century)

Photo: © ugly_things

14. 500-year-old Vistula punt found in a pond in Czersk, Poland in 2009. It was 98 ft long and used for transporting grain. The punt was excavated in 2018 and is now being conserved in the National Museum of Archaeology.

Photo: © Snoo_90160

15. 599 silver Roman coins from the 2nd cent that was found buried in a cooking pot near Llanvaches, Wales.

Photo: © Kunstkurator

16. Samurai helmet made by the famous Japanese metalsmith Myochin Nobuie.

Photo: © GaGator43

17. Royal helmet of Swedish King Eric XIV, early 1500s.

Photo: © GaGator43

18. Late Bronze Age baby bottles from Austria, dated to around 1200-800 BC. Similar pint-sized vessels were found across the European continent, with some of them still having ruminant milk residue inside suggesting that it could have been used as a supplementary food during weaning.

Photo: © Fu555

19. “Artemis and Apollo try to wrestle the Ceryneian hind off the hands of Heracles” as the main theme of an Attic black-figure amphora dated 530-520 B.C.

Photo: © SnowballtheSage

20. In 1655, the Swedish army took a drinking horn as war booty from the royal armory in Warzaw. It had been made from the horns of the last bull of aurochs – ancestors of domestic cattle – that was shot in 1620. In 1627, the last cow (female) of the species died and it was thus extinct.

Photo: © rsunds

21. Etruscan Gold swivel ring with carnelian scarab intaglio, 4th-3rd century BCE. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Photo: © GaGator43

22. Fly whisk made of yak tail hair, with a gem-encrusted handle. Nepal, around 1800.

Photo: © MunakataSennin