The Wackiest And Most Bizarre Archaeological Discoveries Of 2018

Three skeletons were recovered from the sarcophagus in what could have been a repurposing event. Museum of Antiquities 

Madison Dapcevich 01 Jan 2019, 19:27

Roman-Era Erotica Graced The Modern World With Its Twisted Sense Of Sensual Humor

The unearthed fresco discovered in an ancient Pompeii bedroom captured a sensual love scene between legendary Queen of Sparta, Leda, and Greek God Zeus disguised as a swan. Cesare Abbate/Pompeii Sites

Throughout the history of humanity, it appears people have had a knack for displaying their love of, well, love. Just last month, an unearthed fresco discovered in Pompeii captured a sensual – albeit uncomfortable – love scene between the legendary Queen Leda and, uh, a swan. The bird was really the Greek God Zeus in disguise, who fell into Leda’s arms for protection from a predatory eagle and subsequently seduced her (though some interpretations suggest rape) on the same night she laid with her husband, the Spartan King Tyndareus, resulting in two eggs that hatched a bunch of famous children.

Similarly, a mosaic-tiled bathroom floor recently discovered in the home of a wealthy ancient Roman displayed dirty jokes in the form of Greek myths delicately told in 2,000-year-old art depicting homosexual sex between another bird-disguised Zeus and his young “boy-toy” Ganymedes.

Apparently, our knack for potty humor is nothing new.

  1. People Kept Finding Teeth – And Lots Of Them – In The Darndest Places

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  3. Not just once, but on two separate occasions construction workers found more than 1,000 teeth (yes, human teeth) during renovations in two different corners of the world. In August, excavation crews working at an Australian metro tunnel uncovered a trove of century-old human teeth buried alongside precious coins and other cool artifacts. Two months later, a team of construction workers in the state of Georgia found another 1,000 human teeth in the wall cavity of a commercial building. 

While it sounds like something out of an episode of American Horror Story, both instances have a relatively mundane explanation. Old documents show that the two sites were the former locations of early 20th-century dentists who had a habit of casually tossing out their patients’ extracted teeth.

That Time Archaeologists Found A Bunch Of Disturbing Ancient Wooden Statues

Peru Ministry of Culture

This one gave us all a serious case of the willies. A team of archaeologists working in the abandoned ancient city of Chan Chan unearthed 19 anthropomorphic wooden statues thought to be more than 750 years old, though others contend they date back to 1,100 CE. Either way, the statues are the oldest known icons found in the region.

Each statue measured just 70 centimeters (28 inches) high and they are in relatively good condition. Some appeared to be holding staffs and shields while others were decapitated. Those still with heads were found wearing eerie beige-colored clay masks.

All Of The Mummies

Two tombs found in Egypt contained multiple bodies, including those of mummified children. Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities

If nothing else, 2018 was certainly the year of the mummies. In just one week back in November, archaeologists found two beautifully preserved sarcophagi near the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, two tombs containing multiple bodies (including a couple of mummified children), and another eight limestone sarcophagi each with a mummy inside. 

And those aren’t even the most bizarre. Let’s not forget about the Incan sacrificial mummies found wearing clothes colored red with toxic dye, or the 2,000-year-old “sleeping beauty” mummy discovered in the unlikeliest of places (hint: it's in Russia). DNA analysis heralded some pretty epic discoveries, including the oldest evidence of Hepatitis B, found in a small child mummy, while a huge sequencing of the world’s oldest natural mummy changed what we knew about Native American history. Scientists also revealed the sad truth behind the “Atacama Alien” and the importance of this 3,000-year-old heavily tattooed woman in Ancient Egypt. 

Whew. What a year.

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