10 More Horrifying Archaeological Discoveries


From what we know of history, most of it was
not particularly pleasant or peaceful. Nevertheless, it is an archaeologist’s job to dig up our
past – both figuratively and literally – regardless of how uncomfortable or even downright abominable
it turns out to be. These next entries highlight just how gruesome some archaeological findings
can be. 10. Child Sacrifice in Carthage On the subject of Carthaginians being so merciless
that they would ritually sacrifice their own children to the gods, this is what Roman historian
Diodorus had to say. He claimed that in the city of Carthage there was a bronze statue
of Cronus with his hands extended, palm up. All babies placed within would roll down into
a pit of fire. The historian even made mention of rich families who bought poor children
and raised them specifically for sacrifice. For millennia, this practice was considered
so heinous that it was dismissed as propaganda by the Romans and Greeks. But then archaeologists
found the proof in cemeteries called tophets. The tophets contained tiny cremated human
bones packed into urns and buried underneath tombstones with inscriptions that gave thanks
to the gods. Some archaeologists have made the argument that these were not victims of
child sacrifice, but rather beloved children who died around birth. While this would certainly be a more pleasant
thought, the Oxford team that published a study on the topic categorically dismissed
the idea. The inscriptions on the tombstones asked the gods to “hear my voice and bless
me”. Some urns contained animal remains which have definitely been sacrificed and
were buried in the exact same way as the children. Finally, the discovered skeletons were far
too few to represent all the stillbirths and infant deaths that would occur in a city the
size of Carthage 2,000 years ago. The study declares the evidence in favor of child sacrifice
as “overwhelming.” 9. What Sunk the Hunley? The H. L. Hunley has a memorable, but tragic
history. It is hailed as the first submarine to sink a warship in combat – on February
17, 1864, the Confederate Hunley attacked the USS Housatonic, a Union sloop-of-war which
was blockading the port of Charleston, South Carolina. Five crewmen of the Housatonic perished as
the ship sank, but so did the eight men aboard the submarine. In fact, 21 people died in
total on the H. L. Hunley, including the engineer the boat was named after. It sank on three
separate occasions, each time taking the crew with it. On the third occasion, the fate of the Hunley
turned into a 130-year-old mystery. It disappeared on its way back home following the attack
on the Union vessel and its location remained a secret until 1995. The wreckage was finally
recovered in 2000 and, since then, researchers have been arguing over what, ultimately, doomed
the submarine and its crew. When the wreck was salvaged, an archeological
team made an eerie discovery – all the skeletons were still at their stations. The emergency
failsafe had not been activated. This suggested that whatever destroyed the Hunley either
killed or incapacitated the crew as they made no attempt to escape. At the moment, the prevalent theory is that
the Hunley’s demise was caused by its own spar torpedo. This primitive version was simply
attached to a long pole which the submarine rammed into the enemy ship. A modern recreation
suggested that the blast was powerful enough to incapacitate, even kill the men instantly. 8. Daggers Made Out of Humans Up until late last century, warriors from
New Guinea used bone daggers in hand-to-hand combat. They were often made from the thigh
bones of large, flightless birds called cassowaries, but there were also some which were rarer
and highly-prized. These were made from human bones. These revered weapons were made from the remains
of men of high status. Usually, they were the fathers of the warriors who, presumably,
donated their bones willingly. These daggers were worn prominently on the biceps and the
ones made from human remains were far more intricate and adorned. This conferred to them more of a ceremonial
status than a practical one, but anthropologists wanted to know which type of weapon was actually
better. They tested eleven daggers – six cassowary, five human – and found that the
blades made from human remains retained more of the natural curvature of the bone and were
stronger. 7. The Battle of Tollense Valley Back in 1996, an amateur archaeologist roaming
the grounds of the Tollense Valley in northeastern Germany stumbled upon a single human arm bone.
He didn’t know it yet, but there were over 10,000 more bones waiting to be discovered
there, as he had just uncovered the earliest known site of a major battle in European history. Radiocarbon dating placed the artifacts in
the 13th century BCE, during the Early Bronze Age. The original arm bone had an arrowhead
embedded in it which suggested a fight. An initial small-scale dig quickly revealed more
remains with signs of violence – a skull that had been bashed in by a club, more weapons,
and a thigh bone with a fracture consistent with a fall from a horse. This warranted further investigation and the
site has been routinely excavated since 2008. Since then, archaeologists have found over
13,000 bone fragments, most of which were human and belonged to young men. Hundreds of soldiers died on the Tollense
Valley battlefield in a fight that likely involved thousands. It was on a scale previously
thought impossible for that region and that time period. It forced historians to reconsider
the complexity and the violent nature of Bronze Age societies which, up until that point,
didn’t appear that concerned with warfare. 6. The Lloyds Bank Coprolite Not all horrific archaeological discoveries
point to our murderous past. Some artifacts can shock for entirely different reasons – the
Lloyds Bank coprolite, for example, might be the biggest piece of fossilized human feces
in history. It was found in 1972, during excavation for
what was to become a branch of Lloyds Bank in York, England. It is seven inches in length
and two inches in diameter and dates back to the 9th century CE. Fittingly, it came
from a viking who inhabited the settlement known back then as Jórvík. Microscope analysis of the fossilized feces
revealed traces of pollen grains and cereal bran. It indicated that its creator, let’s
call him, subsided on a bread-heavy diet. The coprolite still contained parasite eggs
which showed that the person was infected with whip worms and ascaris lumbricoides,
a dangerous parasitic worm that can bore through tissue and emerge through all human orifices,
including the corners of the eyes. They may not be pretty, but coprolites can
provide us information about the health and diet of the average person from bygone eras
that you could never get from books or scrolls. The archaeologists who specialize in this
kind of study are called paleoscatologists and the ones who studied the Lloyds Bank coprolite
regard it “as precious as the crown jewels.” 5. The Vampire Child of Lugnano A few summers ago, American and Italian archaeologists
were working side by side, excavating a cemetery in Umbria. The burial place was known as La
Necropoli dei Bambini, or Cemetery of the Babies. Understandably, the work was already
rather unnerving, but researchers made a particularly disturbing discovery. They found the skeleton
of a child with a stone forced into its mouth in a rare and eerie example of a “vampire
burial.” The child was around 10-years-old, of indeterminate
gender, and died 1,500 years ago. It was positioned on the left side and had a limestone about
the size of a large egg stuck in its jaw. Cement had been plastered over two sides of
the rock and still had visible teeth marks. Archaeologists believe this ritual was performed
so that the child would not rise from the dead and spread malaria. Locals have called
the unfortunate youth the “Vampire of Lugnano.” 4. The Great Flood of China Analysis of crushed skeletal remains of children
suggests that China suffered a major flood around the same time as the “great flood”
from legendary folk tales which gave rise to the Chinese civilization. According to traditional oral history, China
was once heavily plagued by floods until a legendary hero called Yu the Great arrived.
He put an end to the flooding and then founded the Xia Dynasty, the first of the Chinese
dynasties. There was never any historical evidence for this story until a few years
ago when researchers found proof that suggested the Yellow River, indeed, suffered a massive
deluge about 4,000 years ago. The team found remnants of a landslide which
blocked the river in modern Qinghai province. This natural dam lasted for months, building
a vast lake with all the water stored on one side of it. Finally, one day, the dam broke,
causing a flood powerful enough that it extended for 1,200 miles downstream. Unsurprisingly, this deluge was lethal, and
archaeologists found the skeletons of 14 people, most of them children, who were crushed by
the torrential waters. Radiocarbon dating of their bones put their death around 1920
BCE which lines up with the mythical flood that birthed the Xia Dynasty. While it is
certainly not conclusive, it does lend credence to something which was previously considered
just a legend. 3. Neanderthals and Cannibalism Evidence recovered from multiple sites indicates
that Neanderthals not only practiced cannibalism, but also fashioned tools from the bones of
their own kind. A few years ago, archaeologists discovered
40,000-year-old Neanderthal skeletons in the Goyet Caves in Belgium. Their bones had cut
marks, pits, and notches – all signs that they had been butchered. Moreover, the bodies
had also been skinned and cut up and their bone marrow extracted. This all suggested
that the people had fallen victim to cannibalism by other Neanderthals. Other food sources
found in the same caves such as reindeer and horses had been prepared in the same way.
Furthermore, the thighbones and shinbones were then used as knapping tools. This wasn’t the first time that archaeologists
discovered signs of cannibalism in Neanderthal society, showing us that this was not a one-off.
All the way back in the 1990s, researchers found the remains of six Neanderthals, including
two children, in Moula-Guercy Cave in France. They had the same marks as the others, but
they also had finger bones which had been chewed on by Neanderthal teeth. 2. A Mysterious Massacre The locals of Öland Island in Sweden knew
to stay away from the ruins of Sandby Borg and even warned the archaeologists who visited
the place to do the same. A few seasons of excavations showed them why – a brutal death
was the fate of all the people who once lived in the prosperous village 1,500 years ago.
They were massacred in their homes. It was swift and merciless and we have no idea who
did it or why. All that remains today of Sandby Borg is a
large, green mound but, in the 5th century CE, it was a ringfort which surrounded 53
homes. In 2010, after hearing that the area might be a target for looters, researchers
decided to investigate to see if there was anything there. Very quickly they started finding treasure
and a lot of it – jewelry, glass beads, Roman coins, decorations, and hair ornaments.
They had all been buried hastily and never touched again. Then they also started finding
the bodies. The victims had been killed and left to rot where they fell, although some
of them appear to have been thrown in hearths. Fragments from tiny bones showed that the
children were not spared. Some may even been desecrated after death such as a man’s skull
that was found stuffed with sheep’s teeth. Archaeologists have found no written or oral
account of what happened at Sandby Borg. We don’t know who massacred the villagers or
why, although it is clear they didn’t do it for the money because they didn’t bother
to dig up any of the loot. The place became taboo for locals who have
left it alone for centuries and never resettled it. In turn, this is a boon for modern archaeologists
who get a unique, albeit incredibly grim look at ancient society during the Migration Period. 1. Mutiny, Murder and Mayhem on the Batavia Two years ago, archaeologists exploring the
islands off the coast of Western Australia found a mass grave containing five people.
Their bodies had been arranged neatly and placed in a row, showing no signs of violence.
Although grim, one could say that they were the lucky ones because those five people had
been passengers on the Batavia, a ship which saw one of the bloodiest, most depraved mutinies
in history. In 1628, the Batavia sailed on its maiden
voyage from Amsterdam, headed for the Dutch East Indies, with 341 people aboard. It was
part of a convoy, but a violent storm separated it from the rest. Tensions were running high
between the commander of the voyage – Francisco Pelsaert – and his second- and third-in-command
– ship’s captain Ariaen Jacobsz and junior merchant Jeronimus Cornelisz. The latter two planned to mutiny. Would they
have done it if the ship stayed on course, we’ll never know, because on June 4, 1629,
the ship wrecked off Australia’s Beacon Island. Around 40 people drowned, but the
rest made it to land. After the survivors were safe, Pelsaert organized a party with
Jacobsz, the senior officers, soldiers, and some passengers to search for a water source. Pelsaert’s voyage was supposed to be the
dangerous part. He ended up sailing for over a month until he reached the city of Batavia
where he received another ship to return for the other survivors. He had no idea what hell
had broken loose on the island following his departure. Cornelisz had organized a mutiny. He had gotten
rid of the other able men by sending them in search of water, not expecting any to return.
All who remained were the ill and feeble, women, and children. Most of them were tortured
and killed, except for some of the women who were kept alive to be raped. Eventually, Pelsaert returned with soldiers
and hanged the mutineers, but not before 125 people died during the massacre. The story
of the Batavia is still being told as archaeologists make new discoveries that point to the horrors
that took place on Beacon Island.

100 thoughts on “10 More Horrifying Archaeological Discoveries

  1. To think that the story Simon told about the Batavia was the clean one. A history magazine here once did a big spread on it and it literally came with a warning to skip if you had a weak stomach or were prone to nightmares.

  2. My dad and my uncle raised the hunley from the ocean. Willie webb and clay Tillman with parker rigging

  3. I find you repuseve and illy informed about most of your facts using company names and not really knowing what you're tolking about namily security sector do you have a job or is this it

  4. Geez! Even the dumps Vikings took were larger than life! I'm 6'2" and well over 300 pounds, and dropping a load that size would probably kill me!

  5. I like Prince George and would like a Biographics. Favorite color, sandwich, gymnastics maneuver, and marks in cursive.

  6. There is still some cannibalism among homo sapiens in his day and age. Why would you think it was not happening among neanderthals?

  7. Does top tenz have the same production and editing team as biographics, and geographics?

  8. Planned parent hood has something similar going, they sacrifice babies, are paid to do it, then take the body parts and sell them. After that they turn around and give back half the money to the dnc

  9. Damn, I can see how this "Climate Change" thing is going to play out. Lol. Still, an awesome video. Merry Christmas mate.

  10. Vampires and ritual sacrifice??????????????? Just look at the government's and central bankers around the world. Oh and the Catholic church. And the vatican. We cannot forget them. And it's all happening today.

  11. Simon, how were you able to keep a straight face while talking about bronzed poo… you get today’s gold star ⭐️?

  12. I wonder what people in the future will think of the US incarcerating children and letting them die from sickness that could have been prevented with immunizations. Are we savages as well?

  13. A turd? Really? Lmao.. no pun. Thanks for digging that piece physical evidence and presenting that with dignity.

  14. Wow The Rebs really sucked at building submarines. And winning wars. And morality.

  15. Evidently, during Viking times, hemorrhoids would have run rampant through the English countryside. The English never stood a chance

  16. The “great flood of China “ lines up with Noah (which of course they won’t mention).

  17. Child sacrifice is still going on. Its called abortion by the wicked leftists! You will go down in history as monsters!

  18. To the victor go the history books. Greeks and Romans are hardly historians without spin.

  19. The ancient world wasn't a break time back then yeah owakihi as a civilization survive this time

  20. It wasn't cronus they made sacrifices to moloch but that's probably too political to admit

  21. I guess cavemen who dealt with climate change shouldn't have been driving cars that ran on fossil fuels and using plastic straws. All that prehistoric coal burning industry is to blame.

  22. The study of Carthaginian sacrifice isn't really that accurate. Sadly, archaeology and history are very politicised.

  23. The premature births and still borns could have been an issue with the blood of rh negative women housing a baby of different blood. I needed a rogham shot to mask my daughter because i being O negative and she being A positive my body would see her as foreign and essentially abort her in the last trimester…. Blood wasnt really thought of in the sense of differences untill transfusions and organ transplants.

  24. the grave robbers have found more graves to dig up, more bodies to disturb
    they must be looking for more valuables to steal from the dead once again
    it all goes to show you that it is much easier to rob the dead than it is to actually work for a living i wonder how long it will be before these CREATURES start digging up the deceased popes that are buried in the vatican ? why my goodness just think of all the gold and jewels the they could stealsleep well tonight grave robbers sleep well poetic justice awaits you after you're the one some so-called "scientist"digs up just be sure your pockets are empty, and your watch is given to your next of kin.

  25. Greeks sacrificed ppl also south and central america also the vikings and a bunch of other tribes

  26. Norse*^. Viking was something one specifically was during the period of time one was raiding at sea. Not all Norse were vikings and not all vikings were Norse. Most were farmers and traders.

  27. Imagine taking a poop that is found thousands of years later where scientists judge your diet as to what is commonly eaten at the time

  28. People discovering baby graves: I'm sure they never offer their kids up like that to the Gods
    Oxford: ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?

  29. The massacre at sandby borg is the name of my next song….thank you Simon!!!!!! You will be accredited….?????????

  30. When this Viking chillin in the afterlife watches this video he’s gonna be like: I remember taking that absolutely M A S S I VE turd

  31. The Ireland one sounds like a plague. Like they killed everyone to stop it from spreading. Also why no one would want to resettle it.

  32. The information about the H. L. Hunley is surprisingly accurate except for the most important point. Scientific studies and simulations have proved that the explosion of the torpedo could not have caused a shock wave strong enough to injure the crew. Most of the force of the explosion went through the wooden hull of the Housatonic. The actual cause of the sinking of the H. L. Hunley is still unknown.

  33. He's wrong a telling doesn't exist. He's just not found it. Nobody who disturbs those who should be let rest would be told anything by anyone who knew a telling.

    Edit: perhaps if they learned respect and found someone left descendent of those people. Like respectable individuals. Laying the dead to rest and reconnecting said ancestors to there roots. However bloody.

  34. I feel like the Neanderthals went to cannibalism during harsh times, like if there was no food, say in the winter, and someone died they’d eat them so they could keep going

  35. Bone daggers. I know what I want to add to next year's Christmas list – I collect knives & daggers. I'm sure that they still make them out of synthetic or animal bone.

  36. Should have dug around that Viking turd, pretty sure you would have found a dead Viking nearby.

  37. I would love a video over the theory that dinosaurs and humans lived in the same time. There are so many interesting archeological thoughts!

  38. all other animals are cannibals but us it’s not horrific at all we’re the weird ones,should they starve to death instead?

  39. Why am I slightly jealous of the Viking who’s turd is worth more than most diamonds?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *