From the Colosseum to ancient treasures found in a shipwreck, we'll take a quick look at 10 of the most mysterious archaeological sites.

 10: Caves of Bahja


In India, there is a highway that connects the cities of Pune and Mumbai. Hundreds of people travel every day as it was 2000 years ago. This modern highway began as an old road in the dirt. Nearby are a group of 22 caves carved into the rock dating back to the 2nd century BC. These temples located within the caves are now what remains of an ancient Buddhist community. One of the most famous pieces of the ancient trade route is the Bhor Ghat, a pass carved through the mountain that allowed rapid travel to the Konkan coast for merchants and caravans.

The caves carved throughout the mountain pass were made by these travelers and merchants who carried goods to coastal ports. At first everyone thought that these caves were built by monks who wanted to isolate themselves from the outside world. But a historian recognized that these cave complexes were always along trade routes, so it made sense that merchants would pay for the caves to the monks and then they would always have a sheltered place to stay.

The monks had a large prayer hall with 27 columns with wooden beams in the ceiling that they put up over 2,000 years ago and it still exists today! The journey of the merchants was perilous, as they were always in danger of being attacked by wild animals or gangs of thieves. By paying for the construction and maintenance of dozens of cave monasteries, the merchants believed they would have a safe passage. Later a fortress was built over the caves of the monastery to protect the monks and the strategic passage.

9: Mesa Verde & the Cliff People


Mesa Verde is arguably the most enigmatic archaeological site anywhere above the Mexican border. But this is not just one site.

Mesa Verde National Park has more than 4,700 archaeological sites, including over 600 ancient cliff houses built by the ancestral Puebloan tribe between 550 AD and 1300 AD. They have lived in the cliffs and valleys of the Four Corners region of the United States for 700 years, and have thrived as an advanced culture unmatched anywhere in the region. But the reason the people of Mesa Verde are such a mystery is that one day, apparently for no reason, they picked up and left. In the 13th century, over the course of a generation, the last person to live in the vast cliff dwellings left their ancestral home behind and fled. To this day, historians and archaeologists do not know where they went or why they left their homes.

 Their best guess is that people are starting to migrate to New Mexico, Arizona, and possibly deeper into Mexico due to severe drought. But the reason for their abandonment of such a wonderful kingdom is unknown. Their sloping dwellings were truly great feats of engineering. Some had as many as 150 rooms and space for cultivation, carved down the overhanging cliffs. Even today their ruins are still amazing and are visited every year! Have you been here before? Let me know in the comments below!!

8: Mycenaean Palace in Kydonia


Ancient Kydonia, on the island of Crete, was the seat of power for the Minoan civilization, which of course flourished even before the advent of the Greeks. It is an archaeological site of great importance and confusion.

The confusion comes due to the discovery of the child's skeleton with evidence of knife wounds, indicating that the child has been dismembered. However, recent interpretations have revealed something so shocking that it is likely that the events will turn into a drama. The ancient Minoans practiced sacrifice. It didn't happen often, but it was something they would do when their civilization was going through hard times.

 Generally, they would sacrifice a young virgin to please whatever deities they were worshiping at the time. The bones of the young girl found in the palace at Kydonia are evidence of this kind of barbaric behaviour. After conducting important research, dating the bones, and explaining what happened in the thirteenth century BC, archaeologists were able to find out why the child was sacrificed.

At first there was a great catastrophe, an earthquake probably with a magnitude of between 6.5 and 7.5. Much of the Minoan capital of Crete was destroyed. Of course they assumed the earthquake was the result of an angry god. Therefore, they removed parts of the palace floor, sacrificing a virgin, 43 sheep, 4 pigs, and an ox to please any god who angered them. After thousands of years, archaeologists found all these bones hidden under the ruins of the palace.

7: The Empire Lost


A house near the small city of Nara in Japan, huge, impossible ruins of an ancient imperial house have recently been discovered. It is one of the largest relics excavated in Japan in recent years.

It was found on the ancient site of Heijo-kyu Palace, in what was once the ancient capital of Japan. Not everything here has been excavated yet, but what archaeologists say is that what they found may have been the centerpiece of the residence where the rulers of Japan lived during the 8th century. One expert believes the building was most likely the residence of Empress Kōken, who ruled between 718 and 770. She was at the forefront of what is known as the Nara period, from 710 to 784. So far, archaeologists have only been able to uncover a single building supported by columns.

This was Empress Koken's living space. She was the forty-eighth queen of Japan, and had a relationship with a high priest named Dokyo. Dokyo was appointed grand minister, and later priestly emperor. When Empress Kōken died in 770, he attempted to ascend the throne himself but that did not go well, and soon after, Nara was abandoned as the capital. What's really interesting is that Empress Koken was not the first woman to rule in Japan. It was the sixth, and this was in the '70s, over 1,300 years ago. There were two more women who would become empress before the men came together and crushed the female rulers once and for all in Japan.

6: The Labyrinth of the Colosseum


 The Colosseum in Rome is one of the most recognizable pieces of architecture anywhere on the planet. But this ancient wonder is as gorgeous on the bottom as it is on the outside. Beneath the floor of the Colosseum is a labyrinth that was hidden under a wooden floor over the 500 years that the arena was used to fight blood. Beginning in AD 80, the labyrinth was used for all sorts of "behind the scenes" movement.

But no one knew what the procedure was until recently when a German archaeologist deciphered the intricacies of the labyrinth after studying it for 14 years. The conclusion was that the labyrinth was frequently used by animals. For example, workers would raise cages with bears, lions or even leopards from the labyrinth to the Colosseum, where gladiators and slaves were forced to fight for the amusement of spectators. But this is something you probably don't know. After the glory of Rome abruptly ended, the meaning of the Colosseum was gradually lost. Over the following centuries, the labyrinth under the amphitheater floor was used by bums.

 The Colosseum itself became inhabited by blacksmiths and glue makers. The inhabitants of Rome began to believe in local legends about what the Colosseum was in use before. Nobody even knew it was for gladiator fights. They thought it was an ancient temple dedicated to the sun.

 It even ended up being the preferred location for necromancers, who went to the Colosseum at night to try to summon demons. In the 16th century, the Pope attempted to turn the Colosseum into a wool factory.

5: Merigat Dolmen website


Merigat site in Jordan shrouded in mystery and excitement. The site consists of more than 100 monolithic stone blocks scattered throughout the countryside in the absolute middle of nowhere. Some call it Jordan's Stonehenge. It is a unique site for many reasons and scientists are still trying to figure out what it is for. Archaeologists here have discovered ancient cult buildings, stone megaliths called dolmens like Stonehenge, and traces of ancient settlements.

 This is a little strange because in the ancient world, places of ritual significance were not built near settlements at all. Standing stones were more religious centers and you wouldn't actually have dwellings nearby. These were mostly places of great magic and rituals and were a far cry from civilization. In this case, Susan Kerner, director of excavations at the site, says the rock structures may have been used as burial sites.

 There are about 122 desert dolmens here, some of which consist of a small entrance, stone floor, two stone walls and a capstone for a roof. There is no doubt that the remains of the dead are buried under the rock. All the various landscape features here were created during the first part of the Bronze Age, about 5,000 years ago. Structures, stones, dolmens, and the entire site may have something to do with burials, perhaps even a cult of the dead.

4: Ancient Knife


 Colonial Mackinaw is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the United States. Only recently, excavations of an old Michigan castle revealed a new piece of treasure.

While digging deep in an old basement, archaeologists found a very old and very worn out pocket knife that, if you didn't know any better, looks like chicken nuggets! According to the curator of Archeology at Mackinac State Historic Parks, the exact age of the knife is unknown but the clip knife as it is known can be returned to its former glory. But the knife is just the latest in a long line of intriguing archaeological finds at the colonial fort in Mackinaw City, an ancient 18th-century settlement that is slowly being rebuilt.

 This was one of the first places in Michigan inhabited by settlers. In the 18th century, it was a fur trading village occupied by Native American tribes and later the French. The exact history of the site is not fully known, but archaeologists have been working for more than six decades to unravel its secrets. So far, they have excavated about a million artifacts here. Among the finds are brass cufflinks from 1769, a lead seal from 1717, and even a skeletal post from the original fort in 1715.

3: Ancient Ritual Site in Mexico


A new 8000-year-old ritual site has been discovered in Mexico. Archaeologists are shocked to discover these strange archaeological wonders in the state of Nuevo Leon.

It was probably built by the first people who settled in Mexico and interacted with Ice Age animals that were on the verge of extinction even when settlers first started building their villages. Here's what was found at the site: teeth, bones, skulls, and other droppings from animals like mammoths, llamas, giant bison, and more. Experts say the animals may have been used in rituals unknown by the first community in Mexico.

Almost nothing remains of any building built here, although there is clear evidence that some rectangular stone blocks were erected as part of a rock shelter. This is the reason why the site is called Lapoveda by archaeologists, or "the vault." Unfortunately, the archaeological site is so old that nothing but bones and some pieces of stone have been found. Archaeologists can't even guess what kind of rituals these ancients were practicing or what deities they might have worshiped.

2: The sunken shipwreck


A new archaeological site is located in a rather unusual place. At the bottom of the sea, off the coast of Greece, underwater archaeologists have found the wreck of an ancient ship with a treasure trove of treasures. The ship wrecked near the Greek island of Kasos sometime in the 3rd century AD. It is not clear how the sinking of the ship ended.

In fact, four of them were found close to each other, which indicates that it was a treacherous area for sailors at that time.

 However, other ships date back thousands of years, between the 5th century BC and the modern era, so the area has always been quite dangerous. There were all kinds of treasures found in shipwrecks scattered across the sea floor. It was mostly Roman pottery, a type of container called an amphora.

These objects were used to preserve valuable olives. Archaeologists have discovered amphorae filled with oil that were produced in several different places, including Spain and Africa. It may have been transported to Greece or even Asia when the disaster struck.

1: New Theory of the Nazca Lines 


The Nazca Lines in Peru are fantastic. These massive geoglyphs were dug into the desert ground thousands of years ago, and since their discovery in the modern era, they have been the source of a great mystery.

New information and studies are published all the time. Some claim the lines were part of an ancient labyrinth, some say they were designed to mimic towers, and others even say the lines traced the path of the groundwater system. According to new research, scientists say the Nazca Lines may have been used as a map to direct ancient people to temple sites across the region.

The first lines were likely used to mark the route that pilgrims would follow to reach the temples where they worshiped their ancient deities. However, the researchers also say that the purpose of the lines has changed over generations, and they may have been used by several different groups of people for different things. There are a lot more geoglyphs here than people realize.

Between the Andes and the coast, scattered across the desert, there are at least a thousand geoglyphs, created between 200 BC and AD 600. In addition to the straight lines in the dirt, there are also strange creatures and natural animals such as dogs and monkeys. Some supernatural beings are so strange that scientists have not even been able to identify them. What's really strange is that if the lines really lead to the ancient temple sites, they haven't actually been discovered. It is possible that the temples were destroyed or simply deteriorated over time. For now, scientists are still trying to get the theory to work.

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