What have been the most interesting discoveries made by scientists and archaeologists?
While new discoveries are being made all the time, there are some findings that are more significant, including:
Roman Dodecahedron: More than 100 of these sculptures, all twelve sided, have been found in many European countries, though no one is certain why they were constructed this way. Theories include the use of the dodecahedrons to measure distance, while others believe they were simply decorative, a religious relic, or even a child’s game.
Antikythera Mechanism: Archeologists recovered this in 1901 from a Greek shipwreck and it’s believed to be 2,000 years old. Notice the elaborate moving gears, handles, and inscriptions, which researchers believe was used as an astrological timepiece, tracking the movements of the moon, visible planets, seasons, and eclipses, It was also believed to have been 1,500 years ahead of its time because of its sophisticated system.
Dead Sea Scrolls: Written between 408 BC and 318 AD, the Dead Sea Scrolls, 981 in total, are the most important religious discovery of the 20th century. They were found by accident by a shepherd who was walking by the caves – he discovered them when he tossed a rock in the cave and heard pottery breaking, so he further investigated and discovered the scrolls.
Voynich Manuscript: Written in the early 15th century, this book includes illustrations and text of an undecipherable language – for over a hundred years, cryptographers have been unable to decode it.
Terracotta Warriors: This army of 8,000 hand carved terracotta sculptures was discovered by accident by farmers. The figures are remarkably life sized and were intended to guard the emperor after his death.
The Rosetta Stone: Perhaps one of the most significant archeological finds ever, The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799 in Egypt. The tablet includes text translated into Egyptian hieroglyphics and provided the key that allowed professionals to decipher hieroglyphics.
Nebra Sky Disc: It’s only 12 inches in diameter, but is significant because it has been named the oldest depiction of cosmic phenomena worldwide. The disc was found to have been ritually buried, depicts the sun and crescent moon, and stars.
Lead Books Found In Jordan: 70 books were discovered in a remote cave in Jordan in 2008. The pages were made of lead and bound together with rings; after testing, the books were found to date to the first century AD and reference the apostles, John, Peter, and James, as well as Jesus Christ. One book has seven seals and matches the description of a codex mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
The Library of Ashurbanipal: Sometimes referred to as “the oldest library” or “the first library” in the world, this library dates to the 7th century BC and contains 30,000 tablets of literature, medical texts, and other texts on its shelves. The Epic of Gilgamesh, considered one of the earliest great pieces of literature, resides here.
Gobekli Tepe: This temple, carbon-dated to be around 11,000 years old, is significant because it may force scientists to rethink the timeline of human civilization. The temple includes two 10-foot pillars in its center with bones found that would suggest sacrifices had been made there. More pillars stand in rings, with Neolithic tools found at the site, leading scientists and archeologists to question how such crude tools could be used to construct the temple.