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16 Most Interesting Historical Artifacts That Will Leave You Surprised

11. The intact seal on King Tutankhamun’s fifth shrine, over 3000 years old

The unbroken seal on King Tutankhamun’s tomb
Image source: imgur

This is the unbroken seal of King Tut’s fifth shrine. Photographed by Harry Burton, the seal had stayed untouched for 3,245 years.

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In the 20’s archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the young king’s tomb. His remains were buried in a series of five sarcophagi, which were kept inside five shrines. Although the tomb had been raided twice, most of the rooms had not been defiled because they were inaccessible.

Tutankhamen was an insignificant Pharaoh who died when he was quite young. Most of his wealth was buried with him. Despite his low rank, the Tutankhamen tomb is considered to be very consequential and highly revered by archaeologists. This is because his tomb was buried under other tombs so most robbers never found it, and almost all of its valuable wealth remained intact and preserved for thousands of years. Because of its position, the tomb’s entrance was sealed by mud and rocks protecting it against flood and other catastrophes. (source)

12. The oldest cooking recipes, circa 1750 BC

Babylonian clay tablet
Image source: www.library.yale.edu

When we think of an ancient clay tablet with strange writings on them, cooking recipes are hardly the first things that come to mind. The picture above is of two recipe tablets of the Babylonian period. It’s no ordinary old cookbook. Inscribed in Akkadian, one of the most complex forms of scribes, the tablet documents several exquisite dishes, some using rare ingredients and presented very elaborately.

This particular tablet consists of twenty-five different recipes of stew: four vegetable and twenty-one meat. Though the recipe lists the ingredients in the order which they should be added, it doesn’t mention the amount of the particular ingredient required implying that the tablet was a guide for experienced chefs. Clearly, the cuisine was meant for special dinners at the temple or the royal palaces. (source)

13. Japanese dragonfly helmet, 17th century

Helmet in dragonfly shape
Image source: collections.artsmia.org

Exotic helmets, kawari kabuto, were quiet trendy in 15th and 16th century feudal Japan. During these eras, feudal families were constantly fighting amongst themselves for supremacy. This constant squabbling often led to open battleground combats. The kawari kabuto was worn by high-ranking officers so that they could be easily spotted on the battlefield. The helmets had symbolic motifs that reflected an aspect of the officer’s personality and the ideals of the war he was fighting. In ancient texts, Japan is often called Akitsushima, “Land of the Dragonflies”, making the dragonfly helmet a revered piece of national history. (source)

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14. Oldest globe depicting Americas, made in 1504

The oldest known globe to depict the Americas
Image source: imgur

It’s 509 years old and the size of a grapefruit. It is made of the lower halves of two ostrich eggs, and some say the makers were influenced by or even worked in Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop.

The globe contains exactly one Latin phrase, HIC SVNT DRACONES,  meaning “Here are the dragons”.  It also has seventy-one names of places, a couple of ships, monsters, waves and a shipwrecked sailor.

This ostrich egg globe reflects the knowledge that early European explorers had about the world they live in. (source)

14. Roman multi-tool device, made in 200AD

Ancient Roman folding multi-tool device
Image source: dailymail.co.uk

Somewhat similar to modern day Swiss Army knife, this ancient, retractable, multi-tool device is made of silver with an iron blade. Discovered in the Mediterranean region the tool also has a spoon, a spatula, a spike, a fork and a tooth pick. Experts believe that this versatile device was custom made and probably belonged to a wealthy merchant who journeyed a lot. (source)

16. World’s oldest chewing gum, at least 5,000-years-old

World’s Oldest Chewing Gum
Image source: metro.co.uk

The item above is not a rock but the world’s oldest wad of chewing gum. It’s actually a lump of birch bark tar that contains antiseptic properties which were effective for healing mouth infections. Discovered in Finland, the gum comes with a tooth print too. (source)

Also see:  18 Iconic Moments In History Captured In Rare Historical Photos

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