40 Archaeological Finds of all time
(not in chronological order)
Can you guess how many of these artifacts & sites that I’ve seen or personally visited?
1. Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are almost 1,000 biblical manuscripts discovered in the decade after World War 2 in what is now the West Bank. The texts, mostly written on parchment but also on papyrus and bronze, are the earliest surviving copies of biblical and extra-biblical documents known to be in existence, dating over a 700-year period around the birth of Jesus. The ancient Jewish sect the Essenes is supposed to have authored the scrolls, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, although no conclusive proof has been found to this effect.
2. Rosetta Stone
The rediscovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 during the French expedition to Egypt effectively began modern Egyptology by repeating a decree issued in 196BC on behalf of King Ptolemy in Ancient Greek and Demotic as well as in hieroglyphs. The stone, a stele that was used as a building material during the Middle Ages, was captured by the British in 1801 and taken to the British Museum a year later, where it remains to this day.
Before 1812, Petra was one of the ancient world’s ‘lost cities’: it was known from historical references, but the site had not been located on the ground. The Swiss traveller, explorer, and antiquarian Jean-Louis Burckhardt (1784-1817) set out on a long expedition in 1810, whose ostensible purpose was to locate the source of the River Niger. In fact, he got no further than the Sudan before contracting dysentery and dying in Cairo in 1817. In the meantime, however, he had become an accomplished Arabist and recorded a wealth of geographical, ethnographic, and archaeological data in a secret journal – secret because the dangers of the Orient were such that he was forced to travel in disguise, passing himself off as an Indian Muslim trader.
Hearing rumours about a lost city, he employed a local guide and told him that he was a pilgrim seeking the Tomb of Aaron (overlooking ancient Petra). Burckhardt managed to see some of the antiquities; but he began to attract suspicion, so his investigations had to be cut short. Nonetheless, he correctly identified the site as Petra, and the publication of Travels in Syria and the Holy Land in 1822 brought the ancient city to the attention of world scholarship.
4. Chaco Culture
Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. Composing a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the arid and sparsely populated Four Corners region, the park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of the United States’ most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas.
Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo Peoples. Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings in North America until the 19th century. Evidence of archaeoastronomy at Chaco has been proposed, with the “Sun Dagger” petroglyph at Fajada Butte a popular example. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction. Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a fifty-year drought commencing in 1130.
Arguably one of the most famous – and spectacular – archaeological discoveries of all time, Howard Carter’s excavation at the Valley of the Kings in 1922 propelled a short-lived and perhaps rather politically unimportant pharaoh into the history books. Tutankhamun may have died while still in his teens but his tomb had been packed with beautiful objects befitting his royal status – and, unusually, had escaped detection by robbers. Howard Carter had discovered a treasure trove of ‘wonderful things’.
“At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold – everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment – an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by – I was struck dumb with amazement.” Those are the words of Howard Carter – the man who discovered King Tut’s tomb. They sum up far better than I can the marvelousness of this most important Egyptian discovery in modern times. The importance of this discovery to the understanding of Ancient Egyptian history is probably the greatest ever.
6. The Great Pyramid of Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
7. Royal Tombs of Ur
Leonard Woolley’s excavations at the ancient Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq – or Mesopotomia, ‘the land between the two rivers’, as it was then known – lasted from 1922 to 1934. At the end of the 1926 season, working on a cemetery site containing some 2,500 burials, the excavators uncovered a deep shaft, at the foot of which lay a gold dagger with a hilt of lapis lazuli, and a gold sheath, along with a hoard of copper weapons and a set of little toilet instruments. Nothing of this quality and date had ever been found before in Mesopotamian archaeology.
8. Antikythera Mechanism
In 1901 an ancient shipwreck was discovered by sponge divers off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera. The construction has been dated to the early 1st century BC. Amongst the finds of typical trade goods such as statues and flasks was found a fused mass of metal. For almost a hundred years after its discovery, the mechanism was regarded as a simple curiosity.
It is now regarded as an early precursor to the computer. The various cogs and wheels of the mechanism are able to calculate where stars and planets should appear in the night sky. This discovery shows not only a keen understanding of the motion of the heavens but also the ability to replicate those movements on an artificial structure. It suggests a mechanistic understanding of the universe which points to the development of science as the best way to deal with the world around us.
9. The Pilate Stone
The Pilate stone (probably the least-known object on this list) was discovered in June of 1961 near Caesarea (part of Judea) by Dr. Antonio Frova while he was excavating with his team of archeologists an Ancient Roman theater built by Herod the Great in 30BC. The stone had been reused in the fourth century as part of a new staircase that had been added later. What was significant about this stone was what the archeologists found inscribed on the side: “To the Divine Augusti [this] Tiberieum … Pontius Pilate … prefect of Judea … has dedicated [this]“. This was the first time physical evidence had been found for the existence of the Biblical Pontius Pilate. Its authenticity is universally recognized by the archeological world.
At Nimrud, Henry Layard discovered the palaces of the Assyrian kings Ashur-nasirpal (883-859 BC) and Shalmaneser III (858-824 BC). These lay within a royal city, in use for about 150 years, which comprised a roughly rectangular enclosure measuring c.350ha in total. The site lay alongside the ancient course of the River Tigris, and was surrounded by a mud-brick defensive wall. It included a citadel crowned by a 197ft-high (60m) ziggurat. Here, successive Assyrian kings built their palaces and temples. The total population of the city may have been as high as 80,000.
At nearby Nineveh, excavated during a second British Museum-funded expedition in 1849-1851, he dug two miles (3km) of bas-reliefs and cleared 70 rooms in the palace of Sennacherib. The aim was the recovery of art objects for study in their own right, as opposed to the exploration of a site by scientific excavation with recording of features and artefacts in context.
The finds recovered by Layard included objects that have since become some of the greatest treasures of the British Museum: huge winged lions and bulls, the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, and the sculptures of Ashur-nasirpal. These created a sensation in Britain in the late 1840s.
11. The Terracotta Army in Xi’an
The funerary army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, dating to the third century BCE was discovered by a group of farmers in Xi’an in 1974. More than 8,000 life-sized soldiers, 130 chariots and 150 separate horses, not to mention countless officials and courtesans, have since been documented, although the majority remain buried underground near the emperor’s mausoleum. It remains one of the most spectacular man-made sites in the world.
12. Tomb of Philip II of Macedon
Vergina is a small town in northern Greece, located in the peripheral unit of Imathia, Central Macedonia. The town became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed what he claimed was the burial site of the kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, who is the father of Alexander the Great. In 1977, Andronikos undertook a six-week study near Vergina and found four buried chambers, which he identified as undisturbed tombs. Three more tombs were found in 1980. The discovery was a defining moment in archeology, but the identification of the tomb as that of Philip II has been disputed.
13. Staffordshire hoard
The largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon precious metalwork was found just four years ago in a field near Lichfield, in Staffordshire. More than 3,500 martial items made from gold or silver dated back to the kingdom of Mercia in the seventh and eighth centuries were excavated, with experts describing the hoard as of equal or more importance than the Sutton Hoo discoveries.
14. Baghdad batteries
In the ruins of Mesopotamia, jars were found containing iron cylinders and copper spikes. They were created during the dynasties of Parthian or Sassanid period (the early centuries AD), and probably discovered in 1936 in the village of Khuyut Rabbou’a, near Baghdad, Iraq. They are still a mystery, but speculation has brought some interesting theories. These jars were filled with acidic grape juice, voltage may have been produced. Modern reconstructions of the jars have shown that enough voltage would have been produced to allow electrical use – but at this stage, more evidence is needed. If correct, the artifacts would predate Alessandro Volta’s 1800 invention of the electrochemical cell by more than a millennium.
15. Roman dodecahedra
Sometimes archaeologists discover an artifact whose purpose is a complete mystery – but it is rare for a whole class of artifacts to remain unknown. All over the Roman world, small metal dodecahedra (date from the 2nd or 3rd centuries CE) with circles cut in their faces have been discovered – yet it is unknown what they were originally used for. Some suggest they were used as candle holders (unlikely in an age where oil lamps were the norm), while others think they might have been aids for judging distance.
16. Ancient antibiotics
Scientific antibiotics are about seventy years old. But bones have been found in Nubia – dating from 550AD – which show traces of tetracycline, an antibiotic still used today.
How did people use an antibiotic more than a thousand years before it was discovered? Tetracycline is produced by yeast – and yeast can be used to produce beer. It seems that the ancient Nubians – including their infant children – drank beer as a medicine.
17. The Pool of Siloam
Pompeii, the ancient Roman city, was buried during a volcanic eruption in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius exploded. It was lost for nearly 1700 years and the damage done to the city was so severe that even the name of the city vanished from memory. In 1738 Herculaneum – a nearby city also lost – was discovered and then ten years later military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre discovered Pompeii. Whilst digging in later excavations, Giuseppe Fiorelli discovered that some of the large bubbles in the volcanic mud were perfectly formed molds of the men who had died there. He injected plaster into the bubbles and gave the modern world the first look at real Ancient Roman people. Interestingly the city was full of erotic art and objects (many of which were hidden until 2000 AD) and graffiti found on a wall in Pompeii called the city “Sodom and Gomorrah” leading many Christians to believe that the city was destroyed by God in retribution for its sexual perversities.
19. Tell el-Amarna
The ancient site of Tell el-Amarna extends across several square kilometres of desert on the edge of the River Nile about 200 miles south of Memphis/Cairo and 250 miles north of Thebes/Luxor. Comprising monumental buildings, waterfront facilities, industrial areas, residential suburbs, and edge-of-town cemeteries, the site represents a complete ancient city of New Kingdom date (c.1550-1069 BC), preserved beneath a thin covering of desert sand – an Egyptian Pompeii of sorts. The first proper record was made by scholars of Napoleon’s Egyptian expedition in 1798-1799, and it has remained a major focus of fieldwork and scholarship ever since. Of importance was the discovery of 379 clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script in the so-called ‘Record Office’ during the 1880s, and the yet-more spectacular discovery of the famous bust of Nefertiti in the last season of the 1907-1914 German excavations.
Tell el-Amarna was founded by the New Kingdom pharaoh Akhenaten, son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, husband of Nefertiti, and probable father of Tutankhamen. Akhenaten’s mission was to elevate the innovative religious ideas of his father into a comprehensive alternative to the complex theological system inherited from Egypt’s past. His aim was a form of monotheism centred on the worship of the sun-disc Aten. To break the power of traditional temple hierarchies elsewhere, he built a new capital on a virgin site, roughly midway between the historic capitals of Upper and Lower Egypt at Thebes and Memphis respectively. He called the city Akhet-Aten – ‘the horizon of Aten’. Here, a magnificent shrine could be established for the worship of Aten – with all other deities excluded from the city. But unlike other religious revolutions, which came from below, the cult of Aten was imposed from above by diktat on an essentially unchanging and resistant society. Powerful vested interests defended the old order, and the mass of the people remained indifferent. The ‘revolution’ was therefore skin-deep, and after Akhenaten’s death, the court returned to Thebes, and Akhet-Aten – Tell el-Amarna – was abandoned to the sand.
20. Mesha Stone
About 130 years ago, a large stone slab was found in what is today Jordan, written in Moabite, a language very similar to Hebrew. Although the Arabs who found the stone decided to break it up into small pieces to increase sales, an impression of the intact stone has been made that gives us the whole text. This amazing stone tells the story of the kings of the Kingdom of Israel, called “Beth Omri” in the stone. Of course, as all nations have done throughout history—except for the Jews! —the inscribers of the stone tailor history to glorify themselves. Thus their god, Kemosh, is described as more powerful than the G-d of the Jews. But the stone confirms important details in the Bible.
21. Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Popularly known as Easter Island, this is one of the most isolated places in the world, thousands of miles off of the Chilean coast in the South Pacific. The most baffling thing about the island, however, isn’t the fact that humans even managed to find and settle it but that they then proceeded to construct enormous stone heads around the island.
22. Piri Reis Map
Dating to the early 1500s this map shows the coastlines of South America, Europe, and Africa with amazing precision. Apparently it was constructed by general and cartographer Piri Reis (hence the name) from the fragments of dozens of others.
23. Nazca Geoglyphs & Lines
Although they were literally beneath the feet of archaeologists for hundreds of years, the Nazca Lines weren’t discovered until the early 1900′s for the simple reason that they are nearly impossible to see unless you are directly above them. While there have been numerous explanations ranging from UFO’s to technically advanced ancient civilization, the most probable explanation is that the Nazca people were excellent surveyors, although why they would construct such enormous geoglyphs remains a mystery.
24. Mount Owen Moa
In 1986 an expedition was making its deeper and deeper into the cave system of Mount Owen in New Zealand when it came across the huge claw you’re now looking at. It was so well preserved that it almost seemed like whatever it belonged to had just died recently. Upon excavation and inspection, however, it was determined to belong to an Upland Moa, a large prehistoric bird that apparently came with a nasty set of claws.
25. Voynich Manuscript
Described as the “world’s most mysterious manuscript” this piece of literature has been dated back to early 15th century Italy. With most of its pages filled with what seems to be herbal recipes, none of the plants match known species and the language remains undecipherable.
26. Gobekli Tepe
Although at first glance it may seem like nothing more than a bunch of rocks, this ancient settlement discovered in 1994 was constructed roughly 9,000 years ago and is currently the one of the oldest examples of complex/monumental architecture in the world, predating the pyramids by thousands of years.
This walled complex just outside of Cusco, Peru is part of what used to be the capital of the Inca Empire. The crazy part about this wall, however, is in the details of its construction. The rock slabs fit together so tightly that it would be impossible to slide even a hair between them. It’s a testament to the precision of ancient Incan architecture.
28. Headless Vikings of Dorset
While digging a railroad in Dorset workers came across a small contingent of viking warriors buried in the ground, all missing their heads. At first archaeologists thought that maybe some villagers had survived a raid and exacted their revenge but upon closer inspection things got a little less clear. The beheadings looked too clean and seemed to have been done from the front rather than the back. They are still not sure what happened.
Marcahuasi is a plateau in the Andes Mountains located east of Lima, Peru. The area rises over the Rimac River. In 1952, a man named Daniel Ruzo made a remarkable discovery in the area. He found hundreds of stone figures that resemble human faces and animals, some 90 feet tall. The most famous formation was called The Monument to Humanity because it purportedly shows the major human races of the world. The mountain sized rock formations of Marcahuasi have created controversy in the scientific world. Many educated people have claimed that the structures were formed by natural erosion.
Some of the famous rock formations at Marcahuasi include the goddess Thueris the Anfichelidia, the valley of the seals, the lion of Africa, the vicuna, and the frog. After discovering the area, Daniel Ruzo made some bizarre accusations surrounding Marcahuasi. He wrote that the sculptures were made ??by a culture named “Masma” or “Fourth Humanity” almost 10.000 years ago. According to Ruzo, every 8,500 years the planet Earth suffers disruptions that threaten the existence of all living beings. Ruzo published articles stating that Marcahuasi was the site selected to preserve the knowledge of humanity. Man-made or not, Marcahuasi remains a remarkable archeological discovery that has become a popular tourist destination.
30. Machu Picchu
‘Rediscovered’ by Hiram Bingham in 1911, this monumental ‘lost’ Inca citadel was built in the mid-15th century on a dramatic mountain top. Its stunning natural surroundings and awe-inspiring standing remains make this a truly remarkable site – a vivid reminder of the technological capabilities and power of the Inca Empire at its peak. Its terraced platforms and cave cemeteries allowed a fascinating insight into the lives of the 1000 or so people who had once lived here.
31. Sea of Galilee Boat
The Sea of Galilee Boat is an ancient fishing boat from the 1st century CE (the time of Jesus Christ), discovered in 1986 on the north-west shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel. The remains of the boat were found by brothers Moshe and Yuval Lufan, fishermen from Kibbutz Ginnosar. The brothers are amateur archaeologists with an interest in discovering artifacts from Israel’s past. They found the ship after a drought reduced the water-level of the lake. The men reported their discovery to the authorities who sent out a team of archaeologists to investigate.
Realizing that the remains of the boat was of tremendous historical importance to Jews and Christians alike, a secret archaeological dig followed, undertaken by members of Kibbutz Ginosar, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and numerous volunteers. The boat measures at 27 feet (8.27 meters) long, 7.5 feet (2.3 meters) wide and with a maximum preserved height of 4.3 feet (1.3 meters). Excavating the boat from the mud without damaging it was a difficult process that lasted 12 days and nights. The boat was then submerged in a chemical bath for 7 years before it could be displayed at the Yigal Allon Museum in Kibbutz Ginosar.
The Sea of Galilee boat is made primarily of cedar planks joined together by pegged mortise-and-tenon joints and nails. It has ten different wood types, suggesting either a wood shortage or that it was made of scrap wood. The boat is historically important to Jews because it is an example of the type of boat used by their ancestors in the 1st century. Previously only references made by Roman authors, the Bible and mosaics have provided archeologists insight into the construction of these types of vessels. The boat is also important to Christians because it was the type of vessel that Jesus and his disciples used, several of whom were fishermen
32. Teotihuacan Sacrifice
The Uluburun shipwreck is a Late Bronze Age shipwreck dated to the 14th century BCE. It was discovered off Uluburun (Grand Cape) situated about 6 miles southeast of Ka?, in south-western Turkey. The wreck was first discovered in the summer of 1982 by Mehmed Çakir, a local sponge diver from Yalikavak, a village near Bodrum. Between the years of 1984 to 1994, eleven consecutive campaigns took place totaling 22,413 dives, and revealing one of the most spectacular Bronze Age treasure troves ever discovered in the Mediterranean Sea. On its final journey, the Uluburun ship was sailing to the region west of Cyprus. The objects aboard the ship range from northern Europe to Africa, as far west as Sicily, and as far east as Mesopotamia, exhibiting products of nine or ten different cultures.
The ship, which was about 50 feet long, was built of cedar in the ancient shell-first tradition, with pegged tenon joints securing planks to each other and to the keel. Some of the hull planks were preserved under the cargo. They were fastened with pegged mortise-and-tenon joints. Upon discovery, there has been a detailed examination of Uluburun’s hull, but unfortunately no evidence of its framing. The ship carried 24 stone anchors, which are of a type almost completely unknown in the Aegean. The Uluburun ship’s cargo consisted mostly of raw materials and trade items.
The artifacts discovered include copper cargo totaling ten tons, approximately 175 glass ingots of cobalt blue turquoise and lavender, ivory in the form of whole and partial elephant trunks, hippopotamus teeth, Cypriot pottery, a ton of terebinthine resin in amphorae, a large collection of gold artifacts, ebony logs from Egypt, and ancient weapons. The ship carried one ton of tin. The tin from Uluburun is, at this time, the only pre-Roman tin with a reasonable provenance. The Uluburun shipwreck has fed into virtually every aspect of research on trade and society in the Late Bronze Age Aegean and Levant. It has helped historians understand the intensity of commercial trade during the Late Bronze Age.
35. Ancient Chemical Warfare
In 1933 archaeologist Robert du Mesnil du Buisson was searching beneath the ruins of an ancient Roman/Persian battlefield when he came across some siege tunnels that had been dug under the city. In the tunnels he found the bodies of 19 Roman soldiers that seemingly died while trying to desperately escape from something and one Persian soldier clutching his chest. Apparently when the Romans heard the Persians digging under their walls they began digging a tunnel of their own with the idea of dropping in on the Persians from above. The trouble for them was that the Persians heard it and set a trap. As soon as the Roman soldiers dropped through they were met with burning sulfur and bitumen which has the unfortunate effect of turning to acid in your lungs.
36. Shroud of Turin
The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who appears to have suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The linen is a full body portrait and measures 14 feet, 3 inches long by 3 feet, 7 inches wide. The shroud is wrapped in red silk and has been kept in a silver chest in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy since 1578. The origins of the artifact and its image have been the subject of intense debate among scientists, historians, and researchers. Believers contend that the shroud is the cloth that was placed on the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial, and that the face image is the Holy Face of Jesus. Detractors contend that the shroud cloth material postdates the crucifixion of Jesus by more than a millennium. In 1988, radiocarbon dating was done on the shroud in an attempt to determine the relic’s authenticity. The test indicated that the cloth was woven between 1260 and 1390 A.D, much later than the time of Jesus.
These results have been challenged by peer-reviewed journals and many critics have raised questions about the original nature of the sample used in the test. The Catholic Church has neither formally endorsed nor rejected the shroud, but in 1958 Pope Pius XII approved the image in association with the Roman Catholic devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus. On May 28, 1898, amateur Italian photographer Secondo Pia took the first photograph of the shroud and was startled by what he discovered. The negatives gave the appearance of a positive image, which implies that the shroud itself is a negative of some kind. Image analysis by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory found that rather than being like a photographic negative, the image unexpectedly has the property of decoding into a 3-D image. This property could not be replicated by researchers. One theory is that the image on the shroud is simply painted on. Both skeptics and proponents tend to have very strong positions on the formation and discovery of the Shroud of Turin. At times the controversy is pitting science versus divine formation, which makes dialogue very difficult. The Shroud of Turin remains one of the most mysterious artifacts in the world.
Stonehenge are prehistoric 5000 year old monument can be located in Salisbury, England. This monument made up of many small and large stones, larger one have height of 30 feet called sarsens wights up to 25 tons. The actual purpose of this stone monument still unknown.
The ancients of England brings for making Stonehenge monument from Preseli hills, a 150 miles far away location from this monument. It is estimated that 240 dead people got buried in this area, became large Neolithic burial site of Britain.
38. The Hittite Kingdom
At the number 38 position is a discovery which confirms the historical accuracy of several Biblical references. The Hittites are mentioned in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Joshua, Judges and elsewhere in the Bible. Despite these numerous references, critics contended that the Hittites were a mythical people made up by the Bible writers.
These claims were based on an argument of absence. Since no evidence existed outside the Bible concerning the Hittites, then they must not be real and are nothing more than another part of a fictional tale. The critics were silenced somewhat in the 19th century when Hittite monuments were discovered. These monuments were found at Carchemish which is on the Euphrates River in Syria. This proved the Hittite people were indeed real and had some type of civilization large enough to construct monuments. This, as it turns out, was only the beginning.
In 1906 excavations were underway at Boghazkoy in Turkey. This was eventually found to be Hattusas, the capital city of the Hittite people. The city revealed a great deal concerning the Hittite people and their history. Far from being a mythical people, the Hittites were a dominate power in the region and exercised control over much of Asia Minor and the Near East. The empire at times stretched far enough to establish control over Syria as well as parts of Palestine.
Today, the existence of the Hittites is accepted and there is a great deal known concerning their culture, civilization, leadership, art and commerce. This all stands as evidence the Bible was right all along, that the writer’s of the Bible were indeed accurate historians. Only after extensive external evidence was discovered were the accounts of the Bible accepted.
39. Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Post Classic. The archaeological site is located in the municipality of Tinum, in the Mexican state of Yucatán. It was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site. Chichen Itza is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico; an estimated 1.2 million tourists visit the ruins every year.
40. Royal Library of Ashurbanipal
The Royal Library of Ashurbanipal, named after Ashurbanipal, the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, is a collection of thousands of clay tablets and fragments containing texts of all kinds from the 7th century BC. Among its holdings was the famous Epic of Gilgamesh. Due to the sloppy handling of the original material much of the library is irreparably jumbled, making it impossible for scholars to discern and reconstruct many of the original texts, although some have survived intact. The materials were found in the archaeological site of Kouyunjik (ancient Nineveh, capital of Assyria) in northern Mesopotamia. The site is in modern day Iraq.
Old Persian and Armenian traditions indicate that Alexander the Great, upon seeing the great library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, was inspired to create his own library. Alexander died before he was able to create his library, but his friend and successor Ptolemy oversaw the beginnings of Alexander’s library—a project that was to grow to become the renowned Library of Alexandria.
The library is an archaeological discovery credited to Austen Henry Layard; most tablets were taken to England and can now be found in the British Museum, but a first discovery was made in late 1849 in the so-called South-West Palace, which was the Royal Palace of king Sennacherib (705 – 681 BC).