10 Recent Discoveries About Ancient Cultures

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5 – Mayan Water Conservation

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  • One of the most baffling questions about how the Mayans were able to keep water in such dry climates has potentially been answered by recent science.
  • The Mayans might not have had sophisticated drain pipes like we do now, so how did they stay hydrated? New laser imaging technology attached to planes was flown over the ancient Mexican sites and revealed hundreds of water reservoirs, some stretching into residential spaces.
  • Limestone reservoirs would enable the safe storage of drinkable water for up to a whole year.

4 – Roman Treasure

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  • A shipwreck full of treasure was reportedly the biggest haul of ancient treasure discovered in over 30 years.
  • Divers in Israel came across the sunken wreckage of a 1600 year old merchant ship full of incredible Roman statues and relics. The sand covering the treasures preserved them, making them look like they had been carved yesterday.
  • The coins were dated to the time of Constantine and next to them were statues of Gods and Goddesses and an African slave’s head.

3 – Teotihuacán Tunnel

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  • Many ancient Mesoamerican civilisations remain a mystery to modern scientists and a recent underground discovery has added another piece to the puzzle.
  • Teotihuacan was a city in modern Mexico that had as many as 200,000 people living there in 400 BC. Then for some reason, 250 years later, the whole city seemed to have been abandoned. A sinkhole which opened up in 2003 revealed a 330 foot long tunnel running under the city, and scientists have so far retrieved over 75,000 artefacts from the tunnel alone.
  • The discovery of this tunnel will help researchers understand what happened to the enigmatic culture that once inhabited this city.

2 – World’s Oldest Tea

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  • The oldest tea leaves in the world were discovered in China, stored safely in the tomb of an ancient emperor.
  • The Chinese Emperor Liu Qi who ruled almost 2100 year ago was buried in Xi-An alongside his wife and a massive amount of tea. Reports suggest he was so fond of the drink he wanted to keep drinking it in the afterlife. The discovery has revealed that tea was being traded on the international Silk Road trade route much earlier than previously thought.
  • Along with a massive amount of tea, the emperor was also buried with over 50,000 life-size warriors made of terracotta.

1 – Blackbeard’s Medical Tools

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  • The famous shipwreck of Edward Teach, better known as Pirate Blackbeard, is still revealing some very disturbing facts about the past.
  • The ship which was called ‘Queen Anne’s Revenge’ was found in 1996 and is still only 60% excavated to this day. Among the things scientists have found are urethral syringes full of mercury to treat syphilis and medical enema pumps. The instruments show us how drastically misunderstood medical illnesses were 300 years ago.
  • 31 cannons have also been recovered from the wreckage, at least 4 of which are sophisticated Swedish designs.

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