History's Top 10 Most Overlooked Mysteries
February 15, 2013Owensville High School
History’s Top 10 Most Overlooked Mysteries
There are numerous events and occurrences in history that simply cannot be explained or have been ignored to the point where it is nearly impossible to decipher the truth behind them in this day in age. The following are examples of ten of history’s most overlooked mysteries.
10— Disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization: A culture that stretched from western India to Afghanistan, having a population of more than five million, known as the ancient Indus Valley people, are India’s oldest known civilization. The civilization was an impressive and bronze-age group, yet their baffling and abrupt decline could rival the Mayans. In 1922 excavations revealed a “hygienically-advanced culture which maintained a sophisticated sewage drainage system and immaculate bathrooms.” However, there is no archeological evidence of armies, slaves, social conflicts, or any other vices in the society. It appears as if the civilization was kept clean even until the very end.
9—The Tarim Mummies: During an excavation beneath theTarimBasin in westernChina, archeologists were surprised to discover more than 100 mummified corpses that dated back 2000 years. However, strangely enough, some of the mummies had blonde hair and long noses—characteristics not native toChina. In 1993, some DNA samples revealed that mummies were of “European genetic stock.” Even though there are some ancient Chinese texts that describe “groups of far-east dwelling Caucasian people, there is no mention of how or why they ended up there.”
8—The Voynich Manuscript: Known as the most unreadable book in the world, the 500 year old relic was discovered in 1912 at a library in Rome and consists of 240 pages of illustrations and writing in a foreign language known to no world culture. All attempts at deciphering the text have failed, forces some to consider the book a hoax, but “statistical analysis of the writing shows that the manuscript does seem to follow the basic structure and laws of a working language.”
7—The Lost Roman Legion: After the Parthians of Persia defeated an underachieving Roman army led by General Crassus, legend has it that a small band of POWs wandered through the desert and were eventually rounded up by the Han military. Some historians that have studied records of the account claim that the lost Roman legion founded a small town near the Gobi desert named Liqian, which translates toRome in Chinese. “DNA tests are being conducted to settle that claim and hopefully explain some of the residents’ green eyes, blonde hair, and fondness of bullfighting.”
6—Who was Robin Hood? The real-life existence of a “forest-dwellling altruistic bandit” might seem more believable than a legendary king with a magical sword; however, the “historical manhunt for the real-life Robin Hood has turned up entire scrolls of possibilities,” such as fugitive in Yorkshire named Robert Hod who went by the nickname Hobbehod and man named Robert Hood of Wakefield. When the name Robin Hood became associated with an outlaw, the list of possible suspects became more complicated and the true story murkier as authors began to change the story and add more and more characters.
5—The Carnac Stones: You might be familiar with Stonehenge and ponder at the backbreaking work it must have been to erect that monument, but on the coast of Brittany in northwestern France there are over 3,000 megalithic standing stones arranged in a perfect line and spread out over 12 kilometers. The local myth holds that the Roman legion was marching when the wizard Merlin turned them into stone; a more rational explanation suggested that the stones were an elaborate earthquake detector, but the group of people who created this formation is still a mystery.
4—Fall of the Minoans: What caused the demise of the inhabitants of the island of Crete is not officially known, but three and a half millenniums ago life on the island had been disrupted by volcanic eruption from a neighboring island named Thera. Clay tablets reveal that the Minoans thrived for fifty more years before disappearing mysteriously. Theories include a scenario of a blanket of ash destroyed all crops or a society left vulnerable to Greek takeover.
3—The Bog Bodies: Hundreds of ancient corpses were discovered buried around the northern wetlands ofEurope. Researchers who inspected the remains have reported “tell-tale signs of torture and medieval foul play. Such gruesome clues have some suspecting that the dead were the victims of ritual sacrifice.”
2— Lost City of Helike: The Greek writer Pausanias gave an account of how a great earthquake had destroyed the city of Helike, with a tsunami emerging moments later to sweep away what remained of the once flourishing city that had been the worship center devoted to Poseidon. No evidence existed of this ancient Greek metropolis until 1861 when an archaeologist found a bronze coin with the head of Poseidon, and the ruins of Helike were located beneath costal mud and gravel in 2001. Some consider the city ofHelike to be the “real Atlantis.”
1—Rongorongo: Rongorongo is and indecipherable hieroglyphic script believed to have been used by the early inhabitants ofEaster Island. Despite the fact that no other neighboring ocean people possessed a written language, Rogorango mysteriously appeared in the 1700s. However the language, along with all other hopes of deciphering it, was lost after the early European colonizers banned it because of ties to the island’s pagan roots.