Top 9 of the most unusual discoveries in archeology

When we think of archeology, we think of discovery of skeletons of prehistoric men, remains of lost civilizations and ancient vases. Very stylish. But hey… In reality, archaeologists mainly discover things that are a bit boring. Digging for whole days under a blazing sun to get out an old fork, lost by your great-grandmother and buried in the ground forty years ago. YIPS. Fortunately for them, it can happen that they come across things that are a little more unusual and comical… To the delight of history, and of our redneck spirits, hihi.

1. Penis engravings

Drawing and engraving dicks isn’t just for prepubescent teens in math class! On the site of Vindolanda, near Hadrian’s Wall, excavations have recently uncovered a stone, engraved with a zgeg and the inscription “SECVNDINVS CACOR” (= “Secundinus, the shitty” or “the shitty” , “the pain in the ass”). In ancient Rome, it was not uncommon to wear jewelry representing penises, believed to bring good luck, improve fertility and ward off evil spirits. On the other hand, in view of the inscription which accompanied the engraving, it was certainly more a question here of a public humiliation than of a benevolent act.

2. A graveyard of hands

In autumn 2011: strange discoveries for a team of archaeologists in Avaris (Egypt). They simply came across… 16 severed hands. Yes, just the hands. According to specialists, they would be more than 3600 years old, and would have all been cut during the same ceremony (atmosphere). Still according to the professionals, these hands belonged to men (they were very large), certainly originating from the Asian people of the Hyksos. The discovery sheds light on a very sympathetic ancient Egyptian practice: soldiers cut off the right hand of their enemies to bring it back to their leader in exchange for a gold coin.

3. Blackbeard’s Syphilis Treatment

Everyone knows Blackbeard, the most famous pirate in pirate history. On the other hand, what is less known is that he regularly plunged a syringe into his penis, to inject himself with a dose of mercury (outch) in order to fight against syphilis. Only downside: the treatment was more harmful than the disease itself. In any case, the syringe he used for the occasion was found in the wreck of his ship, the Queen Ann’s Revenge. And honestly, it hurts just looking at it.

4. The reliquary of the hand of Teresa of Avila

Finding a reliquary isn’t super unusual in itself, but when it looks like two drops of water to the Infinity Gauntlet used by Thanos in the Avengers, right away… It’s phew. By the way, this object actually contains the right hand of the Spanish saint Teresa of Avila, who died in… 1582. It’s been soaking in it for quite a while, yup!

5. Age-old drugs

Just like no one waited for you to draw dicks, no one waited for you to smash either. In Bolivia, in the Lipez Altiplano, at an altitude of 3900 meters, in the Cueva Del Chileno cave: archaeologists have discovered a kit for a 1000-year-old shamanic rite. Among the elements discovered: a leather bag, a fox skin pocket, two snuff tablets, an inhaling tube, spatulas, a blindfold but also and above all… remnants of cocaine and other psychotropic substances. According to specialists, these shamans of the Tiwanaku civilization used these drugs in large quantities.

(Source)

6. A cheese over 3000 years old

Refined to perfection! The world’s oldest cheese, 3,200 years old, was found in a Memphis grave in 2018. Cheese lovers are going crazy, but calm down now! The analyzes revealed a potentially fatal bacterium for humans in the food. We will simply remember that Ptahmes, mayor of the Egyptian capital in the 13th century BC, loved cheese enough to be buried with his wheel. I know one who would be able to do the same. Besides, it seems that on her wedding day, they will throw old cheese crusts at her rather than flower petals. A nice girl.

7. The Nazca Cat

A drawing of a feline 37 meters tall and over 2000 years old was discovered in Peru, in the Nazca region. The large figure drawn on the ground (we call it a “geoglyph”) had almost completely disappeared due to erosion. Eventually, archaeologists stumbled upon it while carrying out work to improve access to a hill.

8. Tooth jewelry

Another thing that was invented much earlier than you think: small tooth diameters. Aka the fav stuff of chicks named Cindy in the 2000s, or rappers today. 2,500 years ago, Native Americans already sported a flashy smile, made from precious stones delicately glued to their teeth. In addition to the visual aspect, there was also a question of hygiene: the glue used could be composed of mint essential oil, with anti-inflammatory properties, or pine tar, with antibacterial properties. Just like some influencers do today: the Mayans were filing their teeth into sharp points (never do that. EVER.).

9. Portrait of a soldier

The discovery is not ultra-unusual, but the way in which the portrait was discovered is even more so! In the secondary residence of a Franco-German couple, in the Vosges, a small piece of tapestry comes off because of the humidity. Below, surprise: the portrait of a soldier from the First World War is drawn on the wall. If for the moment, the person represented has not been identified, historians believe that the work would have been drawn around 1916.

10. Bonus: dicks in the trees

Ok, it’s not at all an archaeological discovery, but precisely… I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m really disappointed that we’ve never found fossilized medieval “apples”.

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