Prehistory literally means the time “before we had written records” (roughly the time before the 4th Century BC) and ancient history is the time since our recorded history. Our concept of ancient history was originally firmly determined by the bible. Written from an insular point of view, the histories of some ancient cultures were distorted, badly neglected or even omitted. The existence of inexplicable monuments, certain man-made marvels and archaeological finds pertaining to our ancient and prehistory, are leading more and more archaeologists to believe long forgotten advanced civilizations existed. As most of our ancient records were lost during the destruction of the great libraries, the following genuine mysteries are the only remnants of their existence.
10. Ancient Devices
Ancient knowledge was a lot more refined and developed than we have been taught hitherto. From batteries to planispheres, an assortment of gadgets have been excavated and found. Two notable finds were the Nimrud lens and the famous Antikythera Mechanism. The 3,000 year old Nimrud lens was discovered at the palace of Nimrud, in Iraq. Some experts believe the lens was part of an ancient telescope the Babylonians used, hence their advanced knowledge of astronomy. And the famous Antikythera Mechanism (200 BC.) was created to calculate the movements of the sun, moon and planets to predict celestial events. Unfortunately, we can only speculate on the ways many of these devices were created, used and why the ancient knowledge pertaining to them disappeared for millennia afterwards.
9. The Rama Empire
Despite wars and several invasions, India’s ancient history was largely preserved. Long believed to date from about 500 BC.; discoveries in the past century have pushed back the origins of Indian civilization thousands of years. In the Indus Valley, the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro were discovered. The cities were so sophisticated and well-planned, that archaeologists believe they were conceived as a whole before construction on them begun. The Harappa culture also remains an enigma. Its origins and deterioration is hidden, its dialect is unknown and the writing is completely indecipherable. At the site no differences in social class can be discerned and there are no temples or religious buildings. No other culture, including those of Egypt and Mesopotamia, has revealed the same degree of planning and development.
8. The Longyou Caves
Considered by the Chinese to be the “Ninth Wonder of the Ancient World”, the origin of the 24 caves thus far uncovered is an unfathomable mystery. Discovered in 1992, no historical record or evidence of the work involved to excavate the almost million cubic meters of stone exists. The chiseling was done in such a way that it left a consistent pattern throughout the caves which some experts believe to be symbolic. The patterns are similar to those found on pottery that has been dated between 500 and 800 BC. Stone carvings and pillars can be viewed in the cave that has been opened up for public viewing. There is also a rumor that seven of the caves have a distribution pattern that matches the seven stars of the Big Dipper.
7. Nan Madol
Off the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia, lies the ancient city of Nan Madol. Built on a coral reef exclusively from colossal basalt rocks (some weighing up to 50 tons), the city is intercrossed by a multitude of canals and connected via submerged tunnels. Its scale has been compared to the Great Wall of China and the Great Pyramid, even though the Pyramid-stones only weigh about 3 tons each. No records exist as to who built the city, when it was built or for what reason. Radiocarbon dating has placed its construction in 200 BCE. The origin of the basalt rocks that make up the city is unknown, as is the methods used to transport them there and stack them as high as 50 feet, and as thick as 17 feet. Human bones uncovered by archaeologists are remarkably larger than the local Micronesians of the area today.
6. The Stone Age Tunnels
From Scotland to Turkey, underneath hundreds of Neolithic settlements, archaeologists have uncovered evidence an extensive network of underground tunnels. From almost 2, 300 feet (700 m) in Bavaria Germany to 1, 200 feet (350m) in Austria, the fact that these tunnels survived for 12, 000 years is a testimony to the skill of the builders and of the sheer size the original network must have been. Even though they do not all link up, experts believe people used these tunnels to travel safely regardless of which danger they were facing. Throughout the system there also appears to be storage rooms and seating.
5. Pumapunku and Tiwanaku
Puma Punku is one of four structural arrangements in the ancient Pre-Inca city of Tiwanaku in South America. The age of the megalithic ruins is extremely controversial as they have been prodded, excavated, and looted since they were discovered and as such, experts say they have been contaminated in every way possible. The consensus is that they are older than the pyramids, with claims of up to 15, 000 years. Even the Incas didn’t know its history. The massive stones used in the construction bear no chisel marks and were finely cut to interlock with the others. A lot of the stones were cut so precisely that the builders clearly had an extremely sophisticated knowledge of stone-cutting, engineering and geometry. The city also had a functioning irrigation system, waterproof sewage lines and hydraulic mechanisms. With no record of its inhabitants or their methods, the technologies and processes used during its construction remains an enigma to experts.