15 surprising archaeological discoveries

Surprising discoveries
A Merovingian village in the heart of France
A lost city of gold in Egypt
Gobekli Tepe - possibly the oldest construction in the world
Human footprints over 20,000 years old
An unknown human lineage in Indonesia
The oldest known cave painting
The Cave of Horrors
The sarcophagi of Saqqara
The giant spider
Chinese couple hugging
Discoveries made by… rabbits!
A miniature Pompeii
The Bronze Age in Sweden
Viking objects under the ice
The Nazca Kitten
Surprising discoveries

Hidden treasures, objects thousands of years old, or human remains... each new year brings its share of archaeological discoveries that intrigue scientists and amaze the public. Join us as we discover fifteen recent surprising discoveries.

A Merovingian village in the heart of France

In France, research carried out near Pontarlier has unearthed an entire Merovingian village, the construction of which dates back to between the 6th and 8th centuries. The village covers several hectares and has a wooden church of which only the foundations remain.

A lost city of gold in Egypt

The discovery of a "lost city of gold" near Luxor, Egypt, was announced in April 2021 by an archaeological mission. It was one of the largest ancient cities in the country, called Aten, which was built in the second millennium BC. Archaeologists were able to reveal different parts of the city, such as the royal palace, as well as animal burial grounds.

Gobekli Tepe - possibly the oldest construction in the world

In Turkey, the site of Gobekli Tepe dates back more than eleven millennia, i.e. before the sedentarization of hunter-gatherers. Potentially the oldest construction in the world, the place calls into question the chronology of the time usually retained by scientists.

Human footprints over 20,000 years old

Last year, human footprints, mostly of children and teenagers, around 23,000 years old were discovered in the southeastern United States. A discovery that changes everything because it attests to a human presence much earlier than previous estimates on the American continent.

An unknown human lineage in Indonesia

Here we have another discovery that reshuffles the cards of human prehistory. DNA analysis of a woman whose bones were found in a cave in Indonesia showed her membership in a group of hunter-gatherers, but also a genetic link with Asian populations, revealing a migration unknown until now from Europe to Asia to the Pacific region.

The oldest known cave painting

The oldest known cave painting depicts a wild boar and is found on the island of Sulawesi, also in Indonesia. Discovered in 2017, it is around 45,000 years old. It was confirmed in early 2021 that it is the oldest prehistoric work of art on the planet.

The Cave of Horrors

A real archaeological treasure was recently discovered in the Cave of Horrors, located in the Judean Desert in Israel. Preventive excavations carried out to fight against looting have led to the discovery of a 6,000-year-old child's skeleton, 2,000-year-old biblical parchments, ancient coins - and above all the oldest example of a basket in the world. , made more than ten millennia ago before the development of pottery.

The sarcophagi of Saqqara

In the midst of the 2020 lockdown, a hundred sarcophagi from the first millennium BC were discovered in the necropolis of Saqqara, Egypt. Shortly before, fourteen other sarcophagi had been pulled from the bottom of a well.

The giant spider

While Peruvian farmers were destroying a pre-Hispanic temple over 3000 years old, archaeologists rushed to save what could be saved and discovered a 15-meter-long mural that represents a gigantic spider, an animal traditionally associated with fertility. A discovery that will allow major advances in the knowledge of pre-Columbian cultures.

Chinese couple hugging

In Datong, in northern China, the bones of an intertwined man and woman have been found. According to the examination which has been made, the couple would have lived at the time of the Northern Wei dynasty, between the 4th and 6th centuries. The presence of a ring on the woman's finger seems to confirm the hypothesis that it was a couple.

Discoveries made by… rabbits!

If you were unaware of it, know that the rabbit can be a valuable helper to man for archaeological digs. In the spring of 2021, on the island of Skokholm in Wales, rabbits unveiled millennia-old artifacts while digging their burrow. In particular, a beveled stone was found used by hunter-gatherers of the Late Mesolithic period (around 5000 years BC).

A miniature Pompeii

A small ancient city has been discovered in the basement of an abandoned cinema in Verona, Italy. The Roman building dating from the imperial period reveals a sumptuous and intact decoration of frescoes and mosaics, as well as a complex heating system. Enough to earn the nickname of “miniature Pompeii”.

The Bronze Age in Sweden

About fifty jewels and relics dating from the Bronze Age were found entirely by chance in a forest in Sweden. The scientists who analyzed these objects believed that they must belong to a woman of high status. This archaeological discovery, the most important in recent years, should improve knowledge of the so-called Danish Bronze Age.

Viking objects under the ice

An indirect effect of global warming, the melting of glaciers reveals archaeological treasures in Norway: in April 2020, researchers revealed hundreds of artifacts dating back to the Viking period including clothing, shoes and horseshoes, among others. A similar discovery of 6,000-year-old objects was made more recently in the Langfonne Ice Patch.

The Nazca Kitten

To finish this selection, a curiosity: a geoglyph of about thirty meters representing a young cat in the province of Nazca, Peru, which was made by the Paracas, the civilization prior to the Nazcas in the country.

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