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17 Creepy Artifacts Uncovered By Archaeological Digs

Updated April 13, 2020 1.0m views17 items

Sometimes, it’s hard to fathom that the world is still a mysterious place. Humans have been around for over 20,000 years, yet much of Earth remains unexplored, and what has been explored can sometimes reveal startling mysteries.

These creepy archaeological finds have left researchers with more questions than answers. Not all creepy digs take place in strange, remote, or exotic places either; the weird can appear in unsuspected, ordinary, and seemingly benign places. You’ll find mysterious manuscripts, supposed vampires, unsettling details regarding our hominid ancestors, and much more. So read on, and learn a bit about some eerie, strange, and downright shocking discoveries at archaeological digs.

  • Painted Figures In A 100-Year-Old Mummy’s Coffin - Perth, Scotland


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    While assessing the 100-year-old coffin of the Perth Mummy, Ta-Kr-Hb, for its Conservation in Action: Saving the Perth Mummy installation, the Perth Museum & Art Gallery discovered "painted figures on the internal and external bases of the trough." The paintings appear to represent Egyptian goddess, Amentet or Imentet, also known as "She of the West" or "Lady of the West." Researchers suspect "The West" might allude to a geographical location, but it is also "primarily a mythological, supernatural reference." 

    Conservators Helena and Richard Jaeschke said:

    Although both the mummy and the coffin have suffered badly during the centuries in the tomb, from grave-robbers searching for amulets to flash floods that washed mud and debris onto the painted coffin, they have survived remarkably well and need careful, patient conservation treatment to enable them to survive for many more years and allow everyone to see the beautiful paintwork on the coffin.

  • Four Ancient Amazonian Female Skeletons - Ostrogozhsky District, Russia

    Archaeologists have discovered the remains of four female skeletons in Russia that suggest Amazons were real-life warrior women instead of mythical characters. Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology, while studying a burial mound in Russia's Ostrogozhsky District, found the remains of several generations of females from the 4th century BCE, according to a news release: one from a girl 12 to 13 years old, and the others from three women with estimated ages of 20 to 25, 30 to 35, and 40 to 50.

    The eldest woman was found wearing a well-preserved gold-plated headpiece thought to have belonged to the "richest royal barrows of Scythia." Other objects and ornaments at the site included "iron arrowheads, an iron hook shaped in the form of a bird, horse harness elements, iron hooks for suspending the reins, iron knives, fragments of molded vessels, [and] numerous animal bones." 

    “For a while, people have assumed that myths about the Amazons that the Greeks told were just fantasy,” said Adrienne Mayor, author of The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World (she was not involved in the research). "Now we have proof that those women did exist and that the lives of those women warriors really did influence the Ancient Greek ideas and visions of what they said about the Amazons."


  • Two Ancient Greek Royal Tombs - Pylos, Southern Greece

    American archeologists Jack L. Davis and Sharon R. Stocker from the University of Cincinnati uncovered two 3,500-year-old Greek royal tombs in the ancient city of Pylos. The tombs are between 28 and 39 feet in diameter and "built in a dome-shape structure known as a tholos."

    The discovery allowed researchers to better understand Mediterranean trade during the Late Bronze Age because of the items found inside the tombs, including "gold-lined floors, a golden seal ring, and a gold pendant with the image of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor." According to NPR, the finding suggests Pylos traded with Egypt between 1650 and 1100 BCE. 

  • 800 Mammoth Bones - Tultepec, Mexico

    In November 2019, archaeologists announced they'd found the largest collection of mammoth remains in history. About 800 bones belonging to the prehistoric mammals were discovered in Tultepec, Mexico, during an excavation for a planned garbage dump. Researchers also believe the site contains two "mammoth traps" - the first hard evidence of such devices on record.

    According to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, the traps consist of "two human-built pits dug 15,000 years ago," which ancient humans may have herded mammoths into. The pits each measure about 82 feet long and 5.6 feet deep.

    Researchers concluded the pits were likely mammoth traps, as some of the bones bear the marks of being hunted. The site also yielded the remains of a horse and a camel, two species that went extinct in the Americas before the modern era.