- Education and Science
Mysteries of Ancient History
Ancient Mysteries: Great Historical Mystery Abounds
The World is full of incredible ancient mysteries that history books just won't teach you, and it's rather sad to me how few people are aware of some of the incredible discoveries and unknown history of this world. Great mysteries abound, and human history is far different than what's being taught by history books, but for reasons of politics, academics, and arrogance most people don't have an inkling of some of the more amazing implications that these discoveries have. They affect everything from history to philosophy to even the theory of human evolution (the last one is a HUGE reason many of these discoveries are swept under the rug, and not for "religious reasons," but more on that later). In fact, sometimes the best information can be found from history movies, like the kind shown on the History Channel or other similar stations.
Why do "little details" of history matter? Because they're not little details, and if there was an extremely advanced civilization 5,000 years before our history says modern humans even appeared to begin settling down (and there is plenty of evidence that this was in fact the case), then the questions that brings up would challenge everything. I am a firm believer that the search for truth is extremely important, and if that means that new discoveries force you to re-write the history books and reconsider your views on the world, then I'm all for it.
I couldn't even begin to list all the unexplained mysteries of the world on one hub, but hopefully this first one will at least get your minds going, and provide one or two topics to look up that maybe you didn't know before.
Some Pictures of the World's MysteriesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Learn More About History's Mysteries
Did the Irish "Discover" America?
In a word, yes, mostly likely the Irish were actually the first Europeans to reach the "New World." This is one of the greatest unknown history stories of the world, and it's amazing that this hasn't received more attention.
Out of the Europeans, the Irish were here first, and they beat the Vikings by over 300 years. Bet 99% of you never heard that one. Some historians argue that there isn't overwhelming evidence, but the Irish didn't arrive and set up huge colonies: small groups arrived as missionaries and left a small, but very convincing piece of evidence that they arrived in what is today known as the United States as far back as AD 700-900.
The story of "The Voyage of Saint Brendan the Abbot" was long dismissed by academics as a pure fable, with the reasoning from academe of "Europeans were too primitive." Way to keep an open mind to facts, eh?
The story tells what has since been confirmed as likely volcanic eruptions that would be similar to those in Iceland, an encounter with a whale, and icebergs. As we now know that the Polynesian culture could make their way across the Pacific in glorified canoes, the thought of making it across the Atlantic in Curraghs doesn't seem unreasonable, especially since Timothy Severin, a British Explorer, made it across the ocean in the 1970s in a similar boat, even though he obviously wouldn't have had the experience of the early Irish monks.
Then came the real, non-circumstantial evidence:
A petroglyph was discovered in West Virginia with an inscription cut into the cliff. This has been recorded, studied, and indentified. Studied many times over, there seem to be two interpretations:
- The naysayers who say the Irish didn't make it because (basically) they say so ((God forbid a monk should ever do anything but chant)), and so say that it's coincidence, or that the petroglyphs can't be interpreted, even when the language has been identified.
- The archaeologists who have studied the petroglyphs have identified the language as an old Irish language called Ogam. The message can be deciphered using this language, commonly used by Celtic Christian monks, and giving an inscription matching the Christian faith they would have professed.
These petroglyphs are estimated to be made between AD 500 to AD 800. This was the first physical evidence linking Irish monks to North America before the Vikings, although the Norse's own texts, once thought only legend, reported the Irish having been to the islands of Iceland and Greenland before the Vikings ever arrived.
The inscriptions match similar ones actually found in Ireland and translate to:
"At the time of sunrise, a ray grazes the notch on the left side on Christmas Day, a Feast-day of the Church, the first seven of the [Christian] year, the season of the blessed advent of the Savior, Lord Christ. Behold, He is born of Mary, a woman."
That's one hell of a coincidence that "random drawings" write that message out in old Irish. Greek letters often representing Christ in the Irish Celtic Christian religion were also used, and a second petroglyph in West Virginia was found using the same old Irish language with a similar message.
So out of the Europeans, the Irish made it here first. History should reflect that maybe the world wasn't as big as many historians tend to think it was back then. I think too many academics look down their nose at our "primitive" ancestors, and recognizing discoveries like this definitely make you re-think the legends and history as it is taught.
Politics, religion, and arrogance shouldn't block the progress of truth and facts. The Irish were the first Europeans here - who knows what new discoveries could be made by teaching those facts instead of a more politically correct fiction?
Ancient Mystery: The Stone Heads of Easter Island
The Mysterious Stone Heads of Easter Island
These amazing stone heads bring up a wide range of questions: who, why, how. Many different modern attempts have been made to figure out how such huge stones were made and carved. Where did the stones come from? How did they move them? What do they represent?
These questions revolving around how the Rapanui people could transport these stones, weighing tons, across the island remains one of the great ancient mysteries, especially since archaeologists believe these amazing structures were set up in "pre-history." How were all these moved by only stone, wood, rope, and human power?
There are stories passed down from oral traditions, but no one is sure if the stories are complete legend, or at least based in fact. Most focus on the idea of "mana," or divine power possessed by a very few who could command the moai (stone heads) to walk to their places. Conspiracy and "hidden history" theorists point to these stories as evidence of a once greatly technologically advanced civilization or extra terrestrial life.
Others argue that maybe the problem is the assumption that there never has been an advanced civilization in "pre-history." Maybe the moving of the moai seems an impossible task with only stone, wood, and rope because maybe there was something else at work, or technology we're not familiar with.
Whatever the explanations, right now only theories remain, making the moai stone heads of Easter Island one of the great mysteries of the ancient world.
Great Mysteries of the Pyramids
Ancient Mystery: The Disappearing Maya
Great mystery: the Maya. The decline of the Mayan civilization remains a great mystery, as the Maya were well past their height by the time the Spanish arrived. Unfortunately, entire libraries of the Mayan language and knowledge were put to the torch by the Spanish, causing us to lose who knows how much collected wisdom forever. With all the amazing mysteries that archaeologists are discovering, one wonders how much incredible history was lost.
Not only that, but the Maya were advanced in ways that modern science has yet to match. Their calendar is the most accurate that has ever been invented, and the level of astronomical knowledge the Maya had (that we knew of) was on a level that we've needed space telescopes to match. The sheer elaborate level of their language indicates a really high level of development. Read: not primitive. In some ways, the Maya were more intelligent than we are now.
What stuns and confuses modern students of history is that aside from these already brilliant accomplishments, the Mayan had one of the densest populations in history. Popularity density was 5-700 people per square mile in "rural" areas and 1,000-2,600 people per square mile near the center of the Mayan Empire. Or that means the high end was as dense as Los Angeles in the year AD 2000.
With all our technology and knowledge, we have no concept of how to efficiently use the jungle landscape at all. If you asked modern city planners and scientists to use the jungle and known technology from that period to support a civilization in the jungle half that size, the response would be that it is impossible.
How's that for an amazing history mystery?
Pyramids: Not Just an Egyptian Thing
Ah, the mysteries of the pyramids. The pyramids remain incredible monuments to early man's ability to create lasting impressions on this earth. While the pyramids of Egypt are certainly the largest and most famous, they're not the only pyramids or pyramid like structures in the world. One of the surprising things is the sheer number of pyramid-like buildings across the world in a wide variety of places that, in theory (keywords here), were never connected.
Pyramids or similar structures are said to exist in Egypt, Mexico, Sudan, Peru, Japan, Guatemala, Bolivia, Laos, Cambodia, Tahiti, Indonesia, China, The Canary Islands, and (with some controversy as these nations there are arguments over 'pyramid' and what does count and doesn't) possibly England, Ireland, Italy, Samoa, Brazil, Nubia, and the extremely controversial Bosnia.
While the Egyptian pyramids still contain many mysteries, the fact there are so many pyramids in so many places fascinates me. It seems an amazing coincidence that all these places have pyramids without being at all related. Especially when the underwater pyramids around Japan (Google "Yonaguni"), which are sunken, are estimated as having been occupied around 8,000-10,000 BC.
That's right, folks. Pyramids giving evidence of an advanced culture up to 5,000 years before our current history books say the earliest hunters/gatherers settled down, and since they're underwater, I'm guessing there was one heck of a cataclysm.
Early Mesopotamia and Babylon had pyramids, as well, and the sheer fact that there is such a similarity in structures that was used by the most advanced civilizations in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific seem to tell me that there's more that meets the eye here.
Atlantis? Thousands of years of advanced civilizations destroyed and forgotten? Maybe all of the above, but think about the chances of all those pyramids all across the world being individual instances of coincidence. Doesn't seem really likely, does it?
More Links to the World's Greatest Mysteries
- Easter Island Mystery According to NOVA
PBS has some amazing shows/sites about the world's greatest mysteries. Easter Island's many stone heads definitely makes the top of the list.
- Mystery of the Maya
The greatest astronomers in the world, with libraries of written hieroglyphic language holding centuries of knowledge...how much was lost? What history did we never even know?
- Mysteries of Stonehenge
After centuries of studying questions still remain. What was it used for (beyond the most general vague "religious use" guess), how the heck did they build it, where did the stones come from?
- Yonaguni Monument
One of the greatest mysteries surrounding the pyramids in general.
- Mystery of Atlantis
Myth or fact? There are many different views and interpreations on this one.
- 10 Most Amazing Ancient Mysteries
Here's one list of 10 of the most amazing ancient mysteries out there.
- 10 Amazing "Lost" Cities
The title says it all. Few historical mysteries are more interesting than those of lost cities.
- Text Article on Irish "Discovering" America
Text copy taken from an old National Geographic.
Atlantis: Myth? Reality? Somewhere in Between?
Atlantis brings up a lot of passionate arguments on both sides. Is the lost city/continent real, or was it just meant as a metaphor for early Greek parables? The first mention of Atlantis comes from Plato's dialogue, which describes Atlantis as being somewhere "Outside the Pillars of Hercules" over 9,000 years before the time of Plato, who also said the story came from Egypt (makes you really wish the Library of Alexandria didn't burn to the ground).
My take for what it's worth, is that the literal "continent of Atlantis" was a myth, a metaphor, but that there was definitely a very advanced seafaring civilization that we know very little to nothing about from "prehistory." If you want to call this "Atlantis," than so be it. Is this civilization the same Plato is talking about? I would guess not, but a lot of circumstances from the wide spread of pyramids, to common legends and mythology of multiple cultures, to the many "inexplicable" feats of early cultures doing the "impossible" with primitive technology, all point to there having been a much bigger and advanced civilization at some point.
My bet would be on the Pacific, connecting Asia to South America and everything in between, but that's just speculation. If there is a "real" Atlantis, I would bet on there.
What Was the Philadelphia Experiment?
Historical Mysteries: Bits & Pieces to Chew On
The world has tons of incredible mysteries. Some seem to escape detection because people don't realize the implications. Others just slip through the cracks because there really are so many mysteries in the world. So this section will just give some small blurbs on some amazing mysteries that I haven't covered with the other sections.
- Cocoa discovered in the tombs of several Pharaohs. This might not seem much until you consider this: there's one major place in the world where cocoa comes from, and that's South America. This means at 2000 BC, there had to be trade between Egypt and the New World, or at least an intermediary (Mali?) who traded with both.
- The Dead refuse to rest in Chase Vault. This one drives cynics nuts. In the infamous Chase vault the bodies of the family were placed there over a seven year period. Problem is, noises and moans kept echoing out of the sealed crypt, and every time the crypt was open for a new coffin, lead coffins were trashed as if flung across the room, and the few brave enough to try and stay at night heard loud moans in the crypt with them and fled in terror. Seems like there's definitely an afterlife motif.
- Hauntings. What bigger mystery is there than what happens after death? If it's so simple as "rotting," then how are there literally hundreds of thousands of cases of experiences with ghosts, spirits, angels, demons, energies, and poltergeists throughout just the last few decades alone?
- Nazca Lines. From South America, made from AD 200-600, these symbols are sometimes kilometers long and wide, and were made by removing the dark pebbles from the surface of the desert, revealing a light color underneath. These are only visible from the sky, begging questions of air travel or advanced technology. This one is a favorite of UFO conspiracy theorists.
- The Philadelphia Project, Area 51, Knights Templar, Skull & Bones, the Masons. Men have created just as many mysteries in the recent decades of human history as civilizations did thousands of years ago. Everywhere there is something worth taking a look at. In fact, I highly recommend the Bard of Ely's hub: http://hubpages.com/hub/The-occult-and-Illuminati-symbols-all-around-us
Even as "nuggets," those barely scratch the surface. I hope you all enjoyed this hub, and please feel free to leave me a comment. Happy interesting and enlightening reading :) !