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10 of the Most Interesting Archaeological Artifacts From History

6. A four-wheeled ancient roman carriage made of iron, bronze, and tin was found almost in a perfect state just 700 meters north of the walls of Pompeii.   

A well-preserved chariot
A well-preserved chariot. Image credits: Archaeological Park of Pompeii via NPR.org

Archaeologists said that this discovery is huge and exceptional. It is an almost intact chariot found in Italy in an ancient villa at Civita Giuliana which is just 700 meters north of the walls of the volcanic city Pompeii.

The chariot was had four wheels and was found with its iron components, bronze, tin decorations, mineralized wood remaining, and other organic materials such as floral decoration and ropes. Along with the large carriage, there were skeletons of two men trying to escape the volcanic eruption.

The chariot was discovered because the first element of the chariot emerged out of the volcanic material and was noticeable. Archaeologists claim that the carriage was perhaps used for the festivals, parades, and sometimes to carry brides to their new homes, unlike the earlier discovered carriages which were being used for daily purposes and carrying agricultural products.

The vehicle is being taken care of in the park by pouring plasters into the cracks to preserve any imprint of organic material. (1, 2)

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7. The Malm whale is the only mounted whale in Gothenburg’s Natural History Museum in Sweden. It is customized so well that one can go and have a look inside its body via opening the jaws.  

The Malm whale
Image credits: Dr. Mirko Junge; Taxidermy by August Malm/Wikimedia, gnm.se

The Malm whale is the only taxidermied blue whale, and it was found on the shore of Askim, Gothenburg in 1965. The whale was young when it became stranded on the shores of the bay and instead of rescuing it, it was slaughtered by the fishermen who discovered it.

The Malm whale
Image credits: Jopparn/Wikimedia

A couple of days later, August Wilhelm Malm, the curator of the Gothenburg Museum showed up at the scene and purchased the young whale from the killers for his museum, and thus it has “Malm” as its name.

First, it was shown in an exhibition in the Gothenburg Museum at the East India Company building and was later shifted to the natural history museum and it had its own building. The kid whale is only half as long as an adult whale which is 60 meters.

The jaws of the mounted whale can be opened, and it allows people to enter into a lounge. Besides Malm, the room also has its own mounted skeleton.

The color of the whale has transformed from blue to brown. The skin of the giant creature is taken care of with the help of salt and absorbing sawdust. The inside of the whale is washed with an arsenic solution and approximately 30,000 copper and zinc nails are used to mount it. (1, 2, 3)

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8. Archaeologists found the world’s oldest face cream lotion which belonged to Romans and is estimated to be 2,000 years old. The lid of the small container also has finger marks on it. 

2,000-year-old cream
2,000-year-old cream

The sealed Roman container with some cream is six centimeters in diameter and was found at a Roman temple complex that is dedicated to the god Mars Camulus in Southwark, London. It was discovered in July 2003 and is speculated to be 2,000 years old.

The lotion or the cream had a sulfurous odor and according to the researchers. It was most probably used as cosmetic or ointment. Archaeologists say that discovering such cream is a unique event because this kind of thing does not usually survive in the archaeological record.

But the contents of this particular white cream were so well preserved that the team of researchers was able to recreate the cream product using fresh ingredients.

The lid with the cream is displayed in the museum of London along with the other archaeological discoveries at the temple after conducting the necessary research. (1, 2, 3)

9. The Sword of Goujian, which is made up of bronze, blue crystals, and turquoise decoration, was discovered in 1965 at Hubei, China. The sword is still extremely sharp because it didn’t have any rust or was not tarnished; something which is very surprising. 

The Sword of Goujian
The Sword of Goujian. Image credits: sleepingpanda/Shutterstock.com

The sword was discovered along the aqueduct of the Zhang River Reservoir in Hubei when an archaeological survey was being carried out at the very place in 1965. There were more than 2,000 findings at the end of the survey, and the Sword of Goujian is one of them. The tomb was underwater for 2,000 years and still, the sword was extremely sharp and was covered with a wooden scabbard.

The weight of the bronze sword is 875 grams and is 55.6 centimeters long. The main body of the sword is made up of copper, which makes it pliant, and the edges have tin to avoid tarnishing and retaining the sharpness. Also, the scabbard in which it was kept was airtight which kept the sword healthy for such a long time.

There were varying arguments and debates on the point that who was the owner of the sword, but with expert’s consensus, it was decided that the sword belonged to Goujian, the king of Yue.

The sword is now possessed by the Hubei Provincial Museum. (1, 2, 3)

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10. In Le Tuc D’audoubert cave located in Ariege, France, two sculptures of bison were found and are estimated to be 14,000 years old. 

Le Tuc D’audoubert cave - two sculptures of bison
Image credits: Vassil/Wikimedia

The sculptures of the two bison have great durability because they stood in the French cave for ages before they were discovered in the 20th century by the three sons of Count Henri III when they came across the Cave of Tuc Audoubert in October 1912.

The bison are made up of clay present on the walls of the cave and are 18 inches tall and 24 inches long.

It is difficult to come up with a conclusion behind the purpose behind those sculptures. Some people have theorized that a number of children’s footprints were also found in the cave giving signs that rites might have taken place in the cave.

Some people also believe that the bison are symbols of fertility, and so the two bison sculptures demonstrate that they are preparing to mate.

Visiting the caves is allowed, but getting too close to the bison sculptures is prohibited so as to preserve the history for future generations. (1, 2)

Read more: 10 Incredible Ancient Technologies That Were Way Ahead of Their Time

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