In 1947 a Shepard is credited for finding one of biblical histories’ most wonderful discoveries. The Dead Sea Scrolls are ancient manuscripts of Old Testament books found in the bible nearly 1,000 years older than any previously in existence.The scrolls were mistakenly found when a Shepard threw a rock into the Bedouin Cave while looking for his stray sheep.
After throwing the rock, the man heard the sound of breaking pottery inside the cave. To his delight the Dead Sea Scrolls were found inside clay jars. The Shepard took the scrolls to town in Jerusalem and sold them for what amounted to about $29. Fifty-six years later the Dead Sea Scrolls sold for $250,000. The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrated unequivocally the fact that the Jews have continued to be faithful in their transcription of biblical manuscripts throughout the years.
Dead Sea Scrolls
One of the most famous accidental discoveries are the Lascaux Cave Paintings discovered by four boys and their dog in 1947. Historians say the boys were walking in southwestern France when they came upon a fallen tree that had broken a hole in the ground. Rumor says the dog began digging and the boys then began to help uncovering the historic paintings by Cro-Magnon who is an early modern human.
The paintings are said to be nearly 20,000 years old and are very detailed, spanning 10-15 feet in length. A year after the discovery the cave was opened to the public. However, 15 years later someone realized that tourism was damaging the paintings. Tourist were exhaling large amounts of carbon dioxide, which in turn damaged the ancient paint. Modern day only a few people a year are aloud to tour the fragile art in an attempt to preserve whats left.
Lascaux Cave Paintings
Archaeologists spend their lives looking for earths’ hidden treasure among patches of dirt, but sometimes fate reveals discoveries all by accident. Archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture, so when artifacts are found by mistake they seem much more enticing.
According to the Smithsonian, in 1974 a group of Chinese farmers are credited for finding the first three of 7,000 life-sized terra-cotta warriors guarding the tomb of China's first emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Qin Shi Huang, also known as Shihuangdi was the founder of the Qin dynasty as the first emperor of a unified China from 221 BC until 210 BC. Huang is known for uniting seven divided states throughout China.
Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi’s tomb was found in a field of pomegranate trees centuries later with every terra-cotta solider containing a unique face, armor, tunic and even beard. It is speculated that the terra-cotta solider’s are perhaps replicas of real soldiers in the emperors real army when he lived.
It is believed the soldiers were meant to protect the emperor in his after life.
Rosetta Stone isn’t only for learning languages through modern day technology. The Rosetta Stone was actually a real artifact discovered in 1799 by Napoleon’s Army in Egypt. It was found embedded in the wall of Fort Julien after historians suggest the stone was used haphazardly as building material.
The writing on the stone depicts three different languages, which include Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic and Greek. With Egypt’s rich history the writings speak of an Egyptian ruler and how great he was. What makes the stone more interesting is the extinct languages that were only deciphered because Greek is a language still in use today. Greek gave linguist the clues they needed to understand how to read the other languages created nearly 1,500 years ago.
In the year 1991, German hikers who were exploring a glacier on the Austrian-Italian border found the mummified corpse of a man historians say lived around 3,300 B.C. Authorities say that the mummy was so well preserved they believed he was a modern day missing person when they discovered his corpse.
A few unlucky hikers often go missing in Austria. The mummy was found dressed in fur and carrying an ax made of copper. Experts say the 5,000-year-old corpse, nicknamed Otzi, died when an arrow severed his artery.
Mummy Named Otzi
The University of Southhampton, with the help of the Expedition and Education Foundation set out to explore and support marine research, but ended up discovering something much more magical. During the Black Sea Maritime Archeological Project a team of researchers found more than 40 shipwrecks. The team went on to photograph the shipwrecks, which were turned into 3D-models and recreated showcasing ship designs never before seen.
Some of the vessels that sank are dated to be from the Byzantine Empire nearly 1000 years ago, while others are said to be from the Ottoman Empire. Still others sank in the 13th century, when Marco Polo was trading across the globe, say historians.