Top 10 Bizarre & Controversial Archeological Discoveries

Many strange archeological discoveries have been made in modern history. Hundreds of artifacts have been unearthed that have baffled scientists and challenged modern man’s view of history. Many of these objects have been labeled out of place artifacts or anachronisms. These archeological discoveries are always controversial and the scientific community is extremely selective in what they accept as fact.

Every object on this list has been accused of being an elaborate hoax. In many cases, a conspiracy is the only explanation, without an extensive rewriting of the world’s history books. These artifacts tell a story of ancient civilizations, Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contracts, and mysterious technological advancements. Many of these archeological discoveries challenge the scientific theory of evolution, as well as many religious beliefs.

10. Acámbaro Figures

Discovered: 1944

The Acámbaro Figures are a collection of small ceramic figurines allegedly found in Acámbaro, Guanajuato, Mexico.  They were discovered by Waldemar Julsrud in July of 1944.  According to accounts, Julsrud stumbled upon the artifacts while riding his horse in the Acámbaro area.  He hired a local farmer to dig up the remaining figures, paying him for each object he found.  Eventually, the farmer and his assistants discovered over 32,000 figures, which included representations of everything from dinosaurs to people from all over the world, including Egyptians, Sumerians, and bearded Caucasians.  The Acámbaro Figures have been cited as out of place artifacts, as they are clearly human made and portray a large variety of dinosaur species.  According to all history books, humans did not live in the time of the dinosaurs.  Upon the discovery of the figures, many creationists from all over the world proclaimed the artifacts legitimate.  If these figures are genuine, it could stand as credible evidence for the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans, which would severely damage the theory of evolution and offer support for the literal interpretation of the Bible.

Attempts have been made to date these figures using Thermoluminescence, or TL dating, and the results suggested a date around 2500 BCE.  A man named Don Patton claims he found radiocarbon dates for the figures ranging from 6500 years to 1500 years ago; however, the objects are in very good shape and show no characteristic evidence of having been in the ground for at least 1500 years. If they were authentic artifacts, they should be scratched and marred from the rocky soil, which is characteristic of other objects found in that area of Mexico.  Other supporters of the figures claim that the incredible detail of the dinosaurs suggest a firsthand experience with the creatures. The sheer number of the figures discovered is often cited as evidence for a hoax.  To date, no credible scholars of archaeology or paleontology accept the discovery as valid.

9. The Dropa Stones

Discovered: 1938

The alleged story of the Dropa Stones is as follows. In 1938, an archeological expedition was sent to investigate a secluded area of the Baian-Kara-Ula Mountains on the border that divides China and Tibet.  The group discovered a series of caves at the summit of the mountains.  The caves contained a large collection of graves and the walls were decorated with drawings of people with elongated heads together with images of the sun, moon, and stars.  The archeologists uncovered the graves and discovered the remains of ancient beings.  The skeletons were a little more than three feet tall, with abnormally large skulls.  Inside of the tombs a collection of stone disks were recovered.  The disks were almost twelve inches in diameter, with a hole in the center.  The objects had a groove on the surface of the disk and spiraled outwards from the center hole forming a double spiral.  Closer inspection showed that the grooves were actually a line of small carvings or signs.

The disks were labeled the Dropa Stones.  Subsequent investigations have found a total of 716 Dropa Stones in the Baian-Kara-Ula Mountain caves.  The Dropa Stones were sent to a variety of scholars for investigation.  One of them, Professor Tsum Um Nui of the Beijing Academy for Ancient Studies, found that the spiral grooves were actually a line of characters written in an unknown language.  In 1962, he announced that he had managed to translate the language.  For a long time, the Peking Academy of Prehistory forbade the professor from publishing anything about the Dropa Stones.  However, after many years of debate he published his hypothesis.

Tsum Um Nui claims that an alien spacecraft crashed in the Bayan Har Shan region 12,000 years ago.  The occupants were aliens called Dropa or Dzopa.  The Dropa could not repair their craft, so they tried to adapt to the conditions on Earth.  Meanwhile, the local Ham tribesmen hunted down and killed most of the aliens.  Supposedly, the aliens had intermarried with the locals, making identification of the origins of the skeletons more difficult.  Many people have challenged these claims and Tsum Um Nui was forced to resign from the Beijing Academy.  The Dropa Stones have been disappearing all over the world and are not available for public viewing at any museum.  However, pictures of the artifacts do exist.

8. Horned Human Skull

Discovered: 1880s

Sayre is a borough in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 59 miles northwest of Scranton.  The exact year is not clear, but during the 1880s a large burial mound was discovered in Sayre.  It was reported that a group of Americans uncovered several strange human skulls and bones.  The skeletons belonged to anatomically normal men with the exception of bony projections located about two inches above the eyebrows.  It appeared that the skulls had horns.  The bones were characterized as giant, as they were representative of people over seven feet tall.  Scientists estimated that the bodies had been buried around A.D. 1200. The archeological discovery was made by a reputable group of antiquarians, including Dr. G.P. Donehoo, the Pennsylvania state dignitary of the Presbyterian Church; A.B. Skinner, of the American Investigating Museum; and W.K.Morehead, of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts.

It was not the first time that gigantic horned skulls have been unearthed in North America.  During the 19th century, similar skulls were discovered near Wellsville, New York and in a mining village close to El Paso, Texas.  At one time in history, human horns were used as signs of kingship.  Alexander the Great was depicted with horns on some of his coins.  In Moses’ time, horns were a symbol of authority and power.  Many gods, including Yahweh, have been depicted with horns.  According to historical accounts, the Sayre bones were allegedly sent to the American Investigating Museum in Philadelphia.  However, the artifacts were stolen and never seen again.  Apparent pictures of the skulls do exist, but many people claim the discovery to be a hoax.  Many websites suggest that the objects are of extraterrestrial origin.

7. Map of the Creator

Discovered: 1999

In 1999, a professor at Bashkir State University in Russia named Alexander Chuvyrov made a remarkable archeological discovery.  He was called to the house of Vladimir Krainov, who reported a strange slab buried in his backyard.  Chuvyrov was instantly intrigued, as he had been searching for similar slabs that have been cited in various historical manuscripts.  The slab was so heavy that it took over a week to unearth.  The discovery was named the Dashka stone and later titled the Map of the Creator.  The artifact is approximately 5 feet high, 3.5 feet wide, .5 feet thick, and weighs at least one ton.  The stone was investigated and determined to be some sort of three-dimensional relief map of the Ural Region.  Today’s military uses similar maps to measure elevation and terrain.  The Dashka stone reportedly contains representations of civil engineering work, weirs, an irrigation system, and powerful dams.  To date, the ancient technology used to make the map is unknown and extremely advanced.

The map also contains numerous inscriptions.  At first, the scientists thought that it was an Old Chinese language, although it was later reported that the inscriptions were done in a hieroglyphic-syllabic language of unknown origin.  A group of Russian and Chinese specialists in the fields of cartography, physics, mathematics, geology, chemistry, and Old Chinese language researched the artifact and were the ones that identified it as a map of Ural region, with rivers Belya, Ufimka, and Sutolka listed.  Dating of the slab was reported to be over 100 million years old, but I couldn’t find any reliable resources citing evidence of what type of test was used or the exact results.  If the Map of the Creator is genuine then it would suggest the existence of an ancient highly developed civilization.  Researchers have claimed that a three-dimensional map of this order could have only been used for navigational purposes.  Many websites claim that the slab is proof of ancient flight.  Recent discoveries indicate that the slab is a piece of a larger artifact.  The Dashka stone continues to undergo scientific testing and is not available for public viewing.

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