The most important historical finds


Man is always trying to find out more about his ancestors and about past civilizations. Let's talk about the most famous historical finds in human history.

Qin Shi Huang Terracotta Army. Farmer Yan near the town of Xi'an drilled an artesian well in 1947 when he suddenly stumbled upon an ancient burial. In the 3rd century BC, construction began on a tomb for Emperor Shi Huang. The complex was erected by 700 thousand peasants, and the work lasted as much as 38 years. The great but tyrannical emperor, who united the country and tied together all parts of the Chinese Wall, was buried here along with many jewels, 48 ​​concubines and a whole terracotta army of 8,000 sculptures. Archaeologists were able to put together all the parts of this unique burial. Scientists from the dust samples concluded that warriors and horses were created in different parts of the country. At the same time, the horses were made not far from the necropolis, apparently to make it easier to transport the 200-kilogram sculptures. The weight of human figures is about 135 kilograms. Each sculpture is unique in its appearance. Already in the 21st century, statues of officials, acrobats and musicians were also discovered. Despite such impressive discoveries, the tomb of the emperor himself was never found. The Terracotta Army helped scientists understand how the real army functioned during the Qin Dynasty. Looking at the soldiers, you can determine their type of troops, what weapons they used. In graves near Xian, perfectly preserved bronze swords, halberds, axes, arrowheads and other weapons were found.

The Dead Sea Scrolls. These documents are ancient collections of Hebrew manuscripts found in several locations in the northwest of the Dead Sea. The story began in 1947, when shepherds accidentally discovered eight clay vessels with scrolls in one of the caves. As a result, until 1956, scientists were able to find similar finds in 10 more caves; in total, more than 800 scrolls were in the hands of the researchers. It turned out that they date back to 167 BC. - 237 AD and contain fragments of the Old Testament, as well as previously unknown books and psalms. It is believed that in this way the whole library of the Jewish sect of the Essenes was hidden here. This discovery is considered the greatest manuscript find of all time. The fact is that these records of the Old Testament are almost 1000 years older than those that were found earlier. It became possible to confirm the authenticity of later Jewish texts, to prove that the roots of Christianity lie in Judaism. It is noteworthy that no items were found in the caves. But the scrolls were able to give a clear picture of the life of the Jews at that time.

Royal Library of Ashurbanipal. In the middle of the 19th century, during excavations in the city of Nineveh in Mesopotamia, the remains of the library of the great king of Assyria were found. Ashurbanipal was the last great king of this country, a skilled diplomat and manager. Collecting texts was his passion, and written monuments came to his library from all over the country. At one time it was one of the largest repositories, which contained tens of thousands of texts on clay tablets. These were also royal decrees, historical chronicles, mythology and religion, contracts and decrees, letters and conspiracies, chants to the gods, texts on medicine, astrology and just literature. Some parts of the literary find contain the Epic of Gilgamesh, the myth of Adapa, and other literary creations of the time. In 612 BC. Nineveh was destroyed by the union of the Babylonians, Scythians and Medes, the palace was burned, and some of the clay tablets were simply baked. For several centuries, these lands were under the rule of the occupiers. But the royal library was not lost; it was able to tell scientists a lot of useful information about the ancient inhabitants of the Middle East. The most important text turned out to be "The Epic of Gilgamesh" - a document created 4 thousand years ago and telling about almost all the rulers of the ancient East.

Tutankhamun's tomb. In November 1922, the British Egyptologist Howard Carter, who was excavating in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, discovered a tomb practically untouched by robbers. The search for the burial place of Pharaoh Tooth began in 1907, when Lord Carnarvon discovered several funerary artifacts with the name of the pharaoh with Theodore Davis. It is believed that the tomb was originally intended for someone else and was forced to become the resting place of Tutankhamun due to his death in his youth. The tomb itself consists of a burial chamber, a treasury and an entrance hall, which can be accessed by stairs and a corridor. Researchers have found here many treasures of Ancient Egypt - examples of art, clothing, statues, models of ships, chariots and even two mummified fruits. These, apparently, were the stillborn children of the ruler. The tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was not the greatest of all tombs, in fact, it is generally one of the smallest in the Valley of the Kings. And the ruler himself left a small mark in the history of Egypt, unlike most others. But the tomb of the young pharaoh turned out to be the most intact of those found in the Valley of the Kings. Through the study of the tomb, Egyptologists were able to study the things of that time that were passed on to the king in his afterlife. Also, scientists were able to compile a list of items that should be in such tombs and that disappeared in other places of burial in Egypt.

Pompeii. This ancient city was founded in the 6th century BC. oski. Pompeii was alternately under the control of the Greeks, Etruscans, and ultimately Rome. As a Roman colony, the city developed as a port and resort. There are many proofs of this - an abundance of villas, temples, theaters and baths created throughout the city. Pompeii had its own amphitheater, forum and basilica; about 20 thousand people permanently lived here. But in 62 A.D. a misfortune happened - a strong earthquake crushed the city, almost all buildings were destroyed. Residents made attempts to restore the city, but on August 24, 79, the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, located nearby, began. A wave of ash and ash buried the city almost instantly, about 2000 people were buried alive. The remains of the city wall were first discovered in 1592 by the architect Domenico Fontana, when he was laying a canal. However, full-fledged excavations began only in 1748 under the leadership of the Spanish military engineer Alcubierre. The significance of this find is that a picture of the city appeared before the scientists, in the same state in which it was abandoned by people. Archaeologists, on the basis of the buildings, things that remained in them, were able to assess life in the country and the city at that time. Viewers were presented with a snapshot of the city at the time of the crisis - even the families who hid in the corner in fright saved the ashes. The criminals remained in chains, the animals in their places, and on the walls - beautifully preserved frescoes.

Lasko cave. This cave complex is located in the southwest of France. The site is well known for its numerous cave paintings from the Paleolithic era. The cave is also called the "Sistine Chapel of Primitive Painting", local drawings are 17-20 thousand years old. This location was found by four teenagers on September 12, 1940. The boys found the hole left by the fall of the pine tree and reported it to their teacher. The first excavations were carried out here in 1940 and continued in 1949. In total, about 1900 drawings of animals, people, abstract signs were found in the cave. The animals included deer, cattle, bison, cats, rhinos and bears, as well as birds. It is believed that no one constantly lived in the cave; it was visited exclusively for painting purposes. Since 1948, the cave has been accessible to tourists, but their flow was so great that the atmosphere inside changed, and the drawings began to deteriorate. As a result, since 1963, wide access of guests here was stopped. 20 years later, an exact copy of a part of the cave, called Lasko II, was discovered. Now the cave is in a state of precarious ecological balance, the employees are constantly fighting against fungi and bacteria that have appeared here in abundance with tourists. Scientists are doing everything possible to preserve this piece of prehistoric art. The importance of the Lask Cave is great - after all, it is not only the largest prehistoric cave in France, but also the best preserved one. One of the paintings is called "Crossed Bison", it demonstrates all the skill of the artist, who was able to convey the maximum realism of what was happening. People already mastered the art of displaying objects in perspective, in modern history they came to it only in the 15th century. The paintings also give an idea of ​​what types of animals were available to artists and are important.

Beijing man. This previously unknown type of prehistoric man was discovered by Canadian anatomist Davidson Black in Zhoukoudian Cave in 1923. Further excavations were sponsored by Rockefeller, thanks to which the remains of about 40 individuals were discovered in this area, who lived here 400-600 thousand years ago during the glacial period. However, all the material found disappeared when shipped to the United States during the Second World War. Extensive research by Black and his colleague Franz Weidenreich showed that the Peking Man had already become upright, used stone tools, had a heavy forehead and powerful teeth. In addition to plant life, a man called Sinanthropus also ate meat, perhaps knew how to use fire. Although the find is in doubt, similar fossils were later found elsewhere in China. Prior to Black's discovery, a Peking-related man from Java was considered simply a deformed monkey. The use of the Peking sample of tools and ash made it possible to combine the links into one chain of human evolution, significantly completing the overall picture.

Rosetta stone. This stone is a black basalt slab with inscriptions dating back to 196 BC. The texts represent an inscription of thanks that the priests sent to Pharaoh Ptolemy V. The letters are carved in three languages ​​at once, repeating each other in meaning - in ancient Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Egyptian demotic. The stone was part of a large stele, the remains of which have not been found. Over time, the temple was destroyed, and the basalt slab migrated to the village of Rosetta (now Rashid), being used there as a building material. It was there that she was discovered in 1799 by the French captain Pierre-Francois Bouchard while building a fort in this area. The stone is 114 cm high, 72 cm wide and 28 cm thick and weighs about 760 kg. For the first time, Thomas Jung tried to decipher the writing, who was able to translate the demotic part of the inscription. The breakthrough came in 1822, when the French Egyptologist Jean-François Champollion was able to create a method that became the key to deciphering Egyptian inscriptions. The scientist used the Coptic language to understand that hieroglyphs are not just symbols, but also serve as a spoken language. The significance of such a find is enormous. Scientists received at their disposal a stone written in three languages, which made it possible to obtain the key to the ancient language. It became possible to look deep into the ancient civilization, which for a long time remained a mystery. As a result, the entire ancient Egyptian language was deciphered.

Behistun rock. This ancient monument was opened in 1598 by the Englishman Robert Shirley, who was in Persia on a diplomatic mission. Figures and inscriptions are carved into the rock at a height of 105 meters from the road. The width of the object is about 22 meters, and the height is 7. The cuneiform text on the rock dates back to the times and was knocked out by order of Darius I in memory of the events of 523-521 BC. The text is the autobiography of the king, the inscriptions tell about the events after the death of Cyrus the Great and about the campaign of Cambyses to Egypt. It is curious that the story told on the Behistun rock differs significantly from the previously known version of those events of Herodotus. Like the Rosetta stone, Behistun is also written in three languages ​​- Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. The builders, at the end of their work, destroyed the stone steps leading to the rock so that no one could correct the written. The inscriptions make it possible to understand the thinking of Darius the Great, and the discovery also played a large role in the discovery of cuneiform writing. After decoding, archaeologists received a lot of information about the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Sumerians, Persia and Assyria.

Olduvai Gorge. In northern Tanzania, there is a gorge that gave archaeologists the opportunity to make the greatest discovery. The remains of over 60 hominids have been unearthed here, as well as two early stone tools. This area was discovered by the German entomologist Wilhelm Kattwinkel in 1911, when he fell there in pursuit of a butterfly. Research began in 1913 under the direction of archaeologist Hans Reck, but research was interrupted by the First World War. In 1931, excavations were continued by the Leakey family of archaeologists. They were able to find here several types of hominids at once, including Australopithecus. The discovery of Homo habilis - a creature that resembled Australopithecus, but already a skillful and upright man who lived more than 2 million years ago - stands out. In this area, the remains of large antelopes, elephants, hares, giraffes and subsequently extinct hipparions were found. Olduvai Gorge contains a large number of remnants that have been able to strengthen the argument that humanity originated in Africa. The finds made it possible to understand how hominids lived. So, in 1975, Mary Leakey found footprints that showed that the ancestors walked on two legs. This discovery has become one of the most important in paleontology of the last century.


Watch the video: 12 Most Amazing Recent Archaeological Discoveries


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