The Creepiest Finds From Archaeological Digs

By Molly 1 year ago

1. The jigsaw bog mummies

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In 2001, archaeologists working in The Hebrides, Scotland, discovered two skeletons found lying in unusual fetal-like positions. Things quickly became creepy when it was realised that the first corpse's leg bone and jaw did not belong to the rest of the skeleton. Six separate human bodies, all of which had died centuries apart, had been assembled to create two 'frankenstein' style corpses. One skeleton was even found clutching the teeth of another body.

2. Cave of coffins

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Found in Hubei, China, lies a cave found to be filled with 131 decaying coffins, believed to be over 1,200 years old. The coffins were found hanging 165 ft above the cave floor. Some crammed into openings of the walls, others hanging from wooden stakes. The theory is that the dead were buried in this way as part of a religious ritual.

3. Sacrificial man-eating carnivores

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Lying in an ancient mesoamerican city, archaeologists uncovered a pit full of animal bones: pumas, jaguars, wolves and other carnivorous creatures. Amongst the bones of the animals, were human remains. The animals were found to have traces suggesting these humans were their food. It's believed that the humans were fed to the animals as part of some sort of sacrificial ritual.

4. Talheim Death pit

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Archaeologists working in Austria were disturbed to find a mass grave of 67 people. 27 of these people were children. It was clear that the people had been killed whilst running away. Some had their legs broken, skulls caved from behind and others shot with arrows. The mass murder is what appears to have been a methodical genocide of an entire tribe.

5. The Nazca lines

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A series of ancient geoglyphs were discovered in Peru, near the town of Nasca, in the 1920s. Scientists believe that these were created around A.D 1 to 700 by the Nasca people, possibly as a plea to the gods for water. The lines create shapes, such as animal and plant designs, which range up to 1,200 feet in length - as large as the Empire State building!

6. The floating skeletons

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Children from a local Zanzibar school were intrigued when they spotted waves carrying black, volcanic stone onto a beach shore. The children's excitement was quickly destroyed, as they discovered amongst the stone were human remains. Skeletons were reported to have washed up all along the coastline of Southeast Africa. The bodies belonging to the 36,000 lives lost following the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano one year previous.

7. Remains of mass cannibalism in Herxheim

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In Herxheim, Germany, a construction team preparing to build began to dig. They were completely horrified when they stumbled across a pit containing over 1,000 murdered bodies. But that's not the chilling part. The bodies had been scalped, had the marrow sucked from inside their bones, their skulls scraped clean and their ribs snapped from their spines. They were victim to a mass cannibal ritual, which was methodical and indulged in by a whole community.

8. The Mummies of Guanajuato

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In 1833, in the Mexican town Guanajuato, a deadly disease broke out, causing mass panic. Locals tried spells, strange medicines and buried the dead quickly in attempt to stop the spread. The burial conditions lead to accidental mummification of the bodies. When uncovered, the mummies wore desperate expressions, some screaming. One body of a child was found turned over in her coffin, arms above her head, as though attempting to push open the coffin with her back. The locals had buried their people alive.

9. Ditch full of arms

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Archaeologists working in France came across the chilling discovery of seven severed arms, one of which belonged to a child. The arms lined the bottom of the ditch, covered then by dozens of whole bodies, all lying here for over 6,000 years. Nobody has concluded the reason or for this mass murder, or who was responsible.

10. The shackled skeletons at Phaleron

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Phaleron in Athens was found to be home to 80 male skeletons, all buried together, with their wrists shackled above their heads. The bodies appear to have met a violent end; lined up and executed. Nobody is sure what happened to the young men, but it's believed that they were killed as punishment for staging a coup.

11. Mass baby grave

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In the city of Ashkelon, Southern Israel, was the horrifying discovery of over 100 baby's skeletons. The bones were so tiny that the archaeologist initially believed them to be chicken bones. Nobody knows why the infants were killed or who they were. All that is known is that the skeletons are believed to date back to the Roman era.

12. The severed hands of Egypt

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An archaeologist working in an Hyksos palace in Egypt discovered 4 separate pits, containing 16 severed hands in all. No two hands were belonging to the same person. The pit containing the most hands was situated closest to the king, who appeared to revel in collecting the severed hands of his enemies.

13. Calcified toothy tumour

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An earthquake destroyed a church and its surrounding ground in Lisbon, Portugal. This lead to the discovery of a buried female skeleton, containing an unusual object inside her pelvis. Upon examination, they found what was likely the cause of her death, a tumour which had now become calcified. The creepiest part of the find was that the tumour had grown teeth - one canine and four molars.

14. Headless vikings

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In June 2009, 51 skeletons were discovered buried in Dorset, England. The skeletons are believed by archaeologists to have belonged to vikings. The vikings were thrown into the mass execution pit without their heads. Their skulls found neatly stacked to the side of their bodies.

15. Ötzi the iceman

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Nicknamed Ötzi, is the body of a man preserved in ice found high in the Alps. He quickly became a focal point of scientists and researchers. However, he carried a curse. Rainer Henn, forensic examiner, picked Ötzi up with his bare hands whilst placing him into a body bag. Only to meet his end in a car crash shortly after. The mountaineer who lead to the discovery closely followed, dying in an Avalanche. This was the beginning of a number of Ötzi related deaths.

16. The Tully Monster

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The Tully Monster was discovered in the Mazon Creek fossil beds, Illinois. Scientists were completely baffled by the discovery of the 300 million year old fossil. It is unlike any other creature found and could not be classified as a mammal, fish or reptile. The creature had antennae-like eyes and a long claw instead of a mouth. Scientists haven't been able to locate this type of fossil anywhere else in the world.

17. Lovers of Valdaro

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These two skeletons were found near Mantua in Italy, 2007. Upon examination, the bodies belonged to a male and a female, who were no older than 20 years old at the time of their deaths. The pair were found facing each other, intertwined in each other's arms. Whether they were buried this way or they curled up together to die is unknown.

18. Hasanlu lovers

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Another pair of lovers were found in Iran. Dating back to 800BCE, the 2 held a 2,800 year old kiss. The city of Hasanlu, where they are believed to have lived, was destroyed by an invader. According to archaeologists, the couple were likely fleeing their home and took refuge inside a hole where they met their end. The sex of the skeletons has since been identified as 2 males.

19. Sandby Borg massacre

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Archaeologists working in Sandby Borg, Sweden were not prepared for their finds in the fifth-century abandoned village. Inside an old house, they discovered the remains of a human, just lying on the floor of the house. Confused and disturbed, they continued to look around. The archaeologists then discovered 25 more human skeletons, all laying where they had fallen around 1,500 years ago. It is unknown who the invaders responsible for the massacre were.

20. Disabled children buried like kings

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Dating back to around 34,000 years ago, the site of Sunghir uncovered several bodies buried in graves. The most unusual find however, were two young boys, around aged 10 at their time of death, buried head to head. Their grave was filled with treasures: 10,000 mammoth ivory beads, 300 fox teeth, over 20 armbands, 16 ivory mammoth spears, deer antlers, carved artwork and then two human calf bones laid across the children's chests. The adults or able-bodied buried had a far less royal treatment.

21. Tiny alien-like skeleton

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A mummified six-inch skeleton was discovered in the Atacama Desert of Chile, 2003. The tiny bones had density characteristics of a six year old child, despite being just six-inches in length. Scientists have studied the body, but have been unable to confirm the cause of this skeletal malfunction.

22. Medieval coffin birth

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A sad, disturbing discovery was made in Italy inside the coffin of a woman, believed to have died 1,300 years ago. Her skeleton was found with the skeleton of a fetus between her legs. Scientists confirm this was a "coffin birth". 48-72 hours after death, due to build up of gas in the abdomen, the fetus was pushed from the body. The woman's skull also had a small hole drilled into it prior to death. This is believed to be 'trepanation', an old technique used to treat headaches or rid evil spirits.

23. Mummified crocodiles

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The Egyptians liked to mummify the dead. This didn't just apply to humans. Believed to be in worship of the crocodile headed god, Sobek, many mummified crocodiles have been found in Egypt. One particularly creepy find was a 13-foot crocodile body, found with 20 baby crocodile mummies sewn onto its back.

24. Graveyard of giants

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This peculiar discovery was made in Jiaojia village, China. Scientists uncovered a number of skeletons which had been lying in their graves for around 5,000 years. The creepy thing about the skeletons was the immense length. Each body was believed to be around 1 foot taller than any other living person on earth at the time. The village appeared to be home of the giants.

25. Cave of child sacrifice

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A network of caves found in the Belizian jungle are thought to have been used for child sacrifice. Teeth and bones were found scattered around the floor of the caves, belonging to children who were all aged between 6 and 14 years old. Chemical analysis showed the children were not originally from the district were they were killed. Suggesting they were brought to the Belizean caves for a horrifying reason.

26. The knife-armed man

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Hundreds of skeletons were discovered in north Italy, dating back to around the 8th Century. One particular skeleton was especially puzzling. A male was found with a knife attached to his arm, in the place of his lost hand. It was clear that the man had lived for a long time after the amputation of his hand, going through life with a knife in its place.

27. Human sacrifice in China

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Originally mistaken for part of the Great Wall of China, is a huge walled pyramid, made up of 11 platforms, built at Shimao. Upon inspection, it was found by archeologists that the pyramid was built on top of more than six pits, each full of decapitated human heads. It's thought that the killings were as a sacrifice for the building of the pyramid.

28. The Dropa stones

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An archaeologist in China made a frightening discovery in 1938. Buried amongst heaps of dirt and dust were hundreds of stone disks lying across the floor of a cave. The disks resembled a vinyl record, which was astonishing as they are over 10,000 years old. The patterns on the discs were made up of hieroglyphics. Upon translation, it was found the symbols followed a tale of 'Dropa people', who drove spaceships that crashed into the mountains.

29. The Antikythera mechanism

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The Antikythera Mechanism was found by archeologists buried within an ancient shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean. It's believed to have been created around 200 BC! Scientists were stunned when they realised it was in fact a complex computer-like device. The machine consisted of dials and gears, all carefully constructed, to track the sun, moon, planets, eclipses and the schedule for the Olympic Games!

30. The staked man

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A skeleton, thought to be buried in the 13th century, was found in Bulgaria with a steel steak driven straight through the chest. The brutality of this was disturbing enough, until they discovered the skeletal man was pinned in several places to his tomb. It's suspected that whoever murdered and buried this man had reason to fear that he might return.

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