8 Scariest Archaeological Discoveries

Sometimes digging up things would reveal frightening
truths we’d rather not know about. From vampires to cursed books, here are the
8 scariest archeological discoveries ever made. Number 8: The Book of the debt
The ancient Egyptian Book of the debt is famously known as a book containing spells that could
be used in the afterlife. In The Mummy film starring Brendan Fraser,
it was the very book that allowed Imhotep to rise from the debt and wreck havoc on Egypt,
bringing with him the ten plagues. This book is very much real, although the
effectiveness of the spells written inside it remains the subject of speculation. Instead of being one single book, it is more
of a concept, and many versions have been written over the period of about 1000 years. The most sought after version was the one
given to Amenhotep, a powerful Egyptian priest who lived around 1400 BC. Sections of the manuscript have laid scattered
across the globe, and for over a century, archeologists have been working hard to piece
them all together. The long wait ended in the 21st Century when
the last missing pages were found not in a dark tomb, but in the basement of a museum
in Queensland. They had apparently been donated to the museum
over 100 years ago, and kept meticulously in the stores. Number 7: Mummified Moa Remains
In 1986, a team of archeologists were investigating the insides of a large cave system underneath
Mount Owen in New Zealand. With very little visibility in the vast network
of tunnels, they stumbled across a bizarre object that left them wondering whether their
eyes were playing tricks on them. In front of them lay a large dinosaur-like
claw, with intact flesh and scaly skin. Curious, the team took it back with them for
analysis. The results could not have been more astounding
– the mysterious claw belonged to a 3300 year old prehistoric bird known as the upland moa. For some reason the mummified claw had been
preserved so well, it appeared as if the creature had only recently dyed. Otherwise known by its scientific name Megalapteryx
didinus, the upland moa was a large flightless bird that reached up to 12 feet in height,
and weighed over 500 pounds. Moa birds were once the dominant animals in
New Zealand’s forest ecosystems, until the arrival of the Maori people who hunted them
down to extinction. Scientists have suggested that modern day
revival of the species is a viable idea, as their remains contained extractable DNA that
could be introduced into chicken embryos. Interest in the subject has been going on
for years, and with the advancements in biology and genetics, we may one day get to see a
live running moa. Number 6: The Headless Vikings of Dorset
In June of 2009, Oxford archeologists were excavating land in the seaside town of Weymouth
in Dorset, England. The area was about to undergo a controversial
road-building project, so the archaeological investigation was conducted in order to preserve
its historical remains. Shockingly, they discovered the remains of
54 headless skeletons, and a pile of 51 skulls within an old Roman quarry. This discovery attracted a lot of attention,
and studies were made to determine who the remains belonged to and why they were massacred
in such manner. The conclusion was that they were Scandinavian
Vikings who dyed sometime during the centuries of war between them and the Anglo-Saxons during
the middle ages. All of the remains were young adult males,
and no remnants of clothing were found in the pit. All these clues led to speculations that the
men were held captive, and were executive while may kid. From the look of the bones, the victims’ heads
were all cut from the front. As proud Viking warriors, they preferred to
face their killers. Historians came up with various theories about
the mass Viking grave. Some say the Scandinavian warriors were defeated
by a well-organized Saxon army and forced to surrender. Some linked them to the St Brice’s Day massacre
of 1002, ordered by King Ethelred the Unready. And some speculated that they were traitors
or defectors skilled by their own men. Interestingly, there were 3 fewer skulls than
the number of skeletons found in the pit. A theory is that there were 3 high ranking
victims who had their heads kept as souvenirs, or placed on stakes. Number 5: Vampires of Europe
In recent years, vampire burial sites have been found in many places across Europe, with
most of them being in Bulgaria. The graves contained skeletal remains with
iron rods impaled through their chests where their heart would’ve been, a technique believed
to be the best way to skill a vampire. In 2012, a heart-impaled skeleton was found
in the Bulgarian seaside town of Sozopol, believed to be the remains of the local nobleman
Krivich, ruler of the fortress of Sozopol. Recognized as a cruel person, the townspeople
pierced his chest with an iron bar to make sure he wouldn’t come back to haunt them. A more recent discovery was made in 2014 at
Bulgaria’s ancient temple of Perperion where 2 impaled bodies were found. The weird phenomenon is also seen in other
parts of Europe. In 2013, archeologists discovered four vampire
burial sites near the town of Gliwice, Poland where the heads of the debt had been detached
and placed between their legs. This showed that the belief of vampires was
widespread, and different regions had different methods to make sure the bloodsucking creatures
would not rise again. In 2012, Italian researchers found the remains
of what was believed to be a 16th Century female vampire, buried with a stone brick
jammed between her jaws. This was to prevent her from rising up and
feeding on the city’s plague victims. There was a widespread medieval belief that
vampires were the culprits behind Europe’s Black Death. Number 4: Ashkelon’s debt Babies
In 1988, a gruesome discovery was made at the port city of Ashkelon in Israel. While exploring the ancient city’s sewers,
archeologists found a large number of small bones. They were initially thought to be the remains
of animals like chickens, but further investigation proved that they were human baby bones. In all, they amounted to over 100 babies,
making it the largest finding of infant remains in a single place. Forensic testing showed that none of the infants
lived longer than a week. Although infant more tally tea rates were
high during those days, it appears that the debt babies were intentionally skilled. Investigations revealed that the sewer was
located directly beneath a former Roman bathhouse. This led to a theory that the babies were
born to six workers and prosthetic suits who then disposed them. It was not uncommon for newborns to be skilled
during Roman times. It was not even considered a crime as infants
were not yet considered “full humans”. A similar finding was made in England in 1912. While excavating in the site of a former Roman
villa in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, archeologists uncovered the remains of 103 individuals – 97
of them infants. The most likely explanation is that the place
was a broth full, and prosthetic suits had been systematically killing their newborn
babies. With little to no effective contraception,
unwanted pregnancies would have been very common. Number 3: The Alien Skulls of Mexico
Residents of the small Mexican village of Onavas stumbled upon a shocking discovery
while building an irrigation canal. What they found was an ancient burial site,
referred to as El Cementerio, containing 25 skeletal remains. The most shocking part was that 13 of the
skeletons had abnormally long skulls, unlike any known species on our planet. Five were found with mutilated teeth. The freakish discovery led to early speculations
that the bodies were those of extraterrestrial beings, similar to the ones seen in Ridley
Scott’s popular Alien film series. However, researchers were quick to suggest
that the skulls were the result of intentional cranial reshaping. Several ancient Central American cultures
had a tradition of forcing their heads into strange shapes. This was done by placing enormous pressure
on their skulls since early childhood, for example by using tightly bound cloths or wooden
boards. This makes the cranium grow upwards instead
of outwards like it is supposed to, resulting in a freakish alien-like appearance. Head binding was done either as a ritual practice
or to show status, as a distinguishing aspect between social groups. The practice is not unique to Central America,
with the earliest records of cranial deformation dating back to 400 BC in the writings of Greek
physician Hippocrates, and it is believed that Neanderthals might have also been using
the technique. Number 2: The Graveyard of Giant Wombats
Wombats might be seen as cute and comical animals, but you might think differently if
you come across one that’s rhino-sized. In 2012, scientists in Australia unveiled
the largest graveyard ever found of enormous ancient mega-wombats called diprotodon. There were around 50 diprotodon remains found,
estimated to have weighed an average 2.8 tons each, making them the largest known marsupials
to roam the planet. One of the largest and most well preserved
specimens was named “Kenny”, with a massive 28-inch long jawbone. The creatures are described as pidgeon-toed,
and had big kangaroo-like pouches large enough to fit an adult human. The grave is part of a larger fossil deposit
in the remote outback of Australia’s Queensland state. It is described as a goldmine for paleontologists,
with fossils dating back 100,000 to 200,000 years ago. With so many fossils, scientists get to theoretically
reconstruct the environment and study how all the creatures lived and behaved, and how
they possibly went extinct. The mega wombats lived between 2 million to
50,000 years ago. They might have been hunted down to extinction
by predators, and some of their carcasses are found to have been torn apart with foreign
teeth found within their skeletons. Among the predator remains found in the area
are 6 meter long lizards known as megalania, and enormous ancient crocodiles. Mega-fauna are believed to have evolved to
such large sizes in order to cope with the unforgiving prehistoric Australian climate
and food scarcity. Number 1: Giant Humans
Genesis chapter 6 tells us, “There were giants in the earth in those days, and afterwards”. This verse refers to the Nephilim, a giant
race of men who according to the bible, were perished by the Great Flood. Scriptural writings of other religions also
include similar tales of giant people who once walked the Earth. Enthusiastic believers advocate that these
stories are true, and in recent years many stories of archeological findings of giant
men have appeared on the internet. The most famous of these was the story about
a giant human skeleton uncovered in the desert during gas exploration in Saudi Arabia. Pictures were included, linked with the Islamic
story of the Prophet Hud and the powerful giant tribe of Ad. Similar pictures and stories of biblical giants
can be found, such as the alleged discovery of giants by archeologists in Greece. However, none of these claims have been proven,
and the scientific community regards them as mere hoax stories accompanied with photo-shopped
images. There are however, some real findings of ancient
giants, although nowhere as dramatic as the aforementioned stories. In 1890, French anthropologist Georges Vacher
de Lapouge found three bone fragments of a human leg in France. The height of the individual – popularly referred
to as the “Giant of Castelnau” – is estimated to have been around 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in). Studies showed that those bones dated back
to the Neolithic period, and according to experts either represented a “very tall race”
or were the result of “morbid growth.”