At last count, the world contained about 7.4 billion people. That's quite a lot already, and it's impossible to say exactly how many have lived before us. With so many people in total, it's no wonder that countless stories have been left untold, objects left buried, and mysteries left unsolved. As much as we know about the world, and as many mysteries as we've already solved, there is still so much more we can't fully comprehend - and perhaps never will - about the distant past.
Symbols. Scrolls. Artifacts. Sometimes it's hard to fathom exactly what else could be out there, or even in our own backyards. Some believe there is ancient technology yet to be discovered, or even entire civilizations left to be found. And sometimes, ancient artifacts can change how we view our history. Let's take a look at some of what our ancestors have left behind.
The King List
Going all the way back to the 3rd millennium BCE is the Sumerian King List, a listing of all Sumer kings, their respective dynasties, locations, and times in power. While this may not seem like too much of a mystery, it's what is inscribed along with the list of kings that makes it so interesting.
There are mythological elements embedded within it. Along with a who's-who of Sumerians in power, the King List also incorporates events such as the Great Flood and the tales of Gilgamesh, stories that are often referred to as simple fables. Theorists take this to mean that the Old Testament stories were true, or that the kings listed were actually gods or demi-gods.
Easter Island's Rongorongo Writings
Easter Island has many strange mysteries associated with it, and the large moai statues are the most famous. However, some people that the entire island was once used by extraterrestrials as a means to communicate as well. But there is still another strange mystery linked to the famous Polynesian lands - an intricate series of glyphs believed to be writing or proto-writing, an earlier form of communication based on symbols rather than characters.
First discovered by Eugene Eyraud in 1864, the glyphs are said to go back to around 1200, and feature imagery similar to that of other religious signs found in the area. To date, scientists have not been able to determine exactly what the glyphs say or link them to any outside cultures. The symbols were carved on wood using small obsidian flakes or shark teeth. Assuming that Rongorongo is indeed a form of writing, it would be a fascinating example of an entirely unique language that formed independently by itself on an isolated island.
The Sajama Lines
Western Bolivia's Sajama lines are a series of massive drawings etched into the earth, numbering into the thousands. First discovered in 1932 by Aimé Felix Tschiffely, the lines, between 3 to 10 feet wide individually, connect about 8,700 square miles via an intricate web-like design. Because of this, they are not only the largest archeological site in the Andes, but possibly in the entire world.
The question remains: what is the purpose behind these mysterious lines? Scientists have deduced they were originally created by the indigenous people who lived near the Sajama volcano, but for reasons unknown. Some have speculated they were used for religious purposes.
The Hellenikon Pyramid
While it's fairly common to label the Egyptian pyramids the stuff of "ancient mysteries," it's something entirely new to discover similar structures all around the world. Such is the case with the Pyramids of Argolis, Greece, and their most famous structure, the Hellenikon Pyramid.
The true purpose of the Hellenikon remains unknown, although experts have theorized that a battle once took place at the site, and the structure was subsequently built as a monument to those who died - although nothing has been found within the pyramid's walls to provide evidence of an actual tomb.
While the mystery of what's inside the Hellenikon is certainly intriguing, what truly fascinates theorists is the fact that it was supposedly built in 2720 BCE - making it significantly older than any of the Egyptian pyramids.