6 Ancient Artifacts That Are Still Shrouded In Mystery - Dangerously Genocidal


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Thursday, 27 April 2017

6 Ancient Artifacts That Are Still Shrouded In Mystery

Even though we’d like to think that we’ve got the past all figured out, there’s a lot that we don’t know about history – and when it comes to Ancient History, all we know is what we can deduce from artifacts we find. In other words, we don’t know anything beyond our best guesses. Of course, every now and then an artifact pops up that has a very interesting story attached, or makes archaeologists and paleontologists scratch their heads in befuddlement. Here are:

6 Ancient Artifacts That Are Still Shrouded In Mystery

1. Galgano Guidotti’s Sword in the Stone

Everyone knows the story of King Arthur and the Sword in the Stone. It’s a myth that’s been immortalized in just about every form imaginable – song, poem, story, film and animation. It’s a much loved story, but most people understand that it’s probably more myth than fact. But even though the story isn’t all that real (as far as we know) there is, believe it or not, an honest to gods Sword in the Stone.

Now, this particular sword is not Excalibur, and it definitely didn’t belong to King Arthur. This sword belonged to a man named Galgano. As the story goes, Galgano was a ruthless man, and quite the hoarder of riches. Then, one night, the Archangel Michael appear to him in a vision, led him to the hill of Montesiepi, told him to abandon his luxurious life and become a pious man. Galgano, as can be expected, wasn’t all that happy with his orders. In fact, he went so far as to claim that it would be as impossible as a sword splitting a stone. To prove his point, Galgano rammed his sword into a nearby stone – and, wouldn’t you know it, the sword slipped right into the rock. Religion being religion, a church was built over it, and it can still be seen today.

Whether or not the legend is true, we can’t tell. What we can tell – thanks to radar imaging – is that there really is a whole sword shoved into that rock. And no, pulling it out does not make you the next ruler of Britain. Sorry.

2. The Roman Dodecahedrons

Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Wales – these are just some of the places where strange little bronze objects have been found. These items are known as Roman dodecahedrons – bronze or stone dodecahedra with twelve flat pentagonal faces, each face with a circular hole in the middle. The holes vary in size, and the dodecahedrons are hollow in the center. The dodecahedrons are estimated to be around 1800 years old, and come in varying sizes.

Here’s the interesting part – there are no records, pictures or anything else that indicate just what the dodecahedrons were used for. Most were found in Gallo-Roman sites, and their common occurrence in coin hoards would seem to indicate that they were objects of value. Naturally, there are tons of theories about their use, ranging from religious and fortune telling artifacts, to surveying instruments, dice, and even simple candlesticks.

Whatever they were used for is still a mystery, and without a way to travel in time there just isn’t any way to know for sure. For all we know, the dodecahedron is just a fancy collector’s coin.

3. The Codex Gigas, or The Devil’s Bible

Another artifact that’s more myth than fact regarding its origin, the Codex Gigas is a giant, 74.8kg medieval manuscript made of… oh, just about 160 donkey skins. It contains the books of the bible, as well as several additional chapters including several encyclopedias, the works of Hippocrates, and several alphabets. It also includes a large illustration of the devil himself.

According to the legend, a man named Herman the Recluse broke his monastic vows. To make up for it, he vowed to create a tome that contained the bible and vast amounts of knowledge to glorify the monastery – and he said he would do it in just one night. When it became clear that he wouldn’t be able to do it, the man made a deal with the devil; in exchange for his soul, the devil would complete the manuscript. For most, it’s pretty easy to dismiss that as just another little ‘quirk’ in a legend that probably has little basis in fact.

Here’s the mysterious part: According to manuscript experts, there is evidence that indicates that the entire manuscript was indeed written by just one man. Not that eerie on its own, granted, but they also claim that there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the writing changed at all. No signs of age, no mood change, no disease or anything else that might have influenced the handwriting of the scribe. When you take into account that they also say that it should have taken about 20 years to complete… Let’s just say that there are still a few questions regarding the Codex Gigas that need answers.

4. 290 million Year Old Human Footprint

Every so often an artifact surfaces that throws pretty much everything we ‘know’ about history into a blender and spews it back out. One such artifact is a footprint that was found in New Mexico by a paleontologist named Jerry MacDonald. So what makes this footprint so special? Well, apparently it was discovered in ‘Permian Strata’. Let me put that in perspective for you. According to our current generally accepted timeline of life on earth, that makes this footprint over 290 million years old – well before science says that humans, or even dinosaurs, existed.

Of course, no one likes to question everything they ‘know’ to be true, and the footprint was labelled as ‘problematica’. That’s scientific speak for ‘Let’s ignore this and go find things that fit in with known facts instead’. There are those who believe it is a hoax, but if that is indeed the case, no one has really managed to prove that it is one – and no one really seems to be trying either. In the meantime, we have an ancient footprint embedded in prehistoric stone going ignored – because, y’know, screw scientific objectivity.

5. The Baghdad Battery

Although these artifacts are collectively called ‘The Baghdad Battery’, no one is exactly sure what their origin or their original purpose was. The collection of artifacts consists of a terracotta pot, and a cylinder of copper sheet wrapped around an iron rod inside it. The iron rod is insulated from the copper. Because of these ‘parts’, it’s been theorized that the entire setup is actually a large battery – if filled with a liquid like vinegar, wine or lemon juice, it would generate an electric current. Some have even gone as far as proving that it could work by recreating the artifact. Other theories include that the device was used for electroplating statues with gold, and that the device was used for a form of electro-acupuncture.

The most ‘mundane’ theory of the lot holds that it was just a rather poor housing for scrolls, but because it wasn’t properly sealed against the elements, the scrolls inside have long since rotted away. Almost everything about the Baghdad Battery is still being puzzled out – from its true date of origin to its purpose. But until we can find either more of these artifacts, or some documentation that gives an indication to their true purpose, we can only guess as to what they were used for. For all we know, it’s the failed experiment of an ancient inventor, and the only one of its kind.

6. The Ulfberht Swords

Dated to have been forged somewhere between the 9th and 11th centuries, about 170 medieval swords were found that contain the inscription ‘+VLFBERHT+’, or variations thereof. Although commonly attributed to the Vikings, these swords were found throughout Europe and, according to general theories, the inscription serves as a kind of a trademark used by multiple blacksmiths. There are signs that the blacksmiths crafted these swords for various people – including one that even has a Christian inscription alongside the Ulfberht signature – which seems to lend credence to the theory that these swords were highly sought after.

At this point you might be wondering just what makes these Ulfberht swords so special. The swords were crafted from ‘Crucible Steel’, making them incredibly strong, and of exceptional quality. This was mainly due to the very low slag (impurities in the steel) content. With modern technology it’s relatively simple to effectively separate slag from the metal by heating it to extremely high temperatures – temperatures that shouldn’t have been achievable with equipment of the age.

In the most basic sense, the swords were made with a method and to a quality that makes them – quite literally – at least a thousand years ahead of their time. In fact, according to professional analysis, the quality of the steel in the sword shows use of a method that wasn’t used in Europe until the 18th century Industrial Revolution.

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1 comment:

  1. . The Roman Dodecahedrons are not Roman, they are Celtic and are mnemonic devices used to code mathematics which can be used for navigation, astronomy, measurement of length, weight, size of the Earth, basically just about anything you can conceive of that needs mathematics to work out, compare etc. They are found buried with coins etc because they were valuable and the Druids who owned them did not want them falling into the hands of the barbaric Romans.


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