Top 10 CREEPIEST Ancient Artifacts Ever Discovered
The more we dig throughout our historical timeline, the more things we find that, just maybe, we were better off not knowing about in the first place. We’re journeying through time with these top 10 creepy ancient artifacts and relics of unusual times long since past.
The Women of Lemb Statue
Thought to be a fertility statue for an unknown goddess, the Women of Lemb statue was uncovered in Lemb, Cyprus in 1878. Since its discovery, the limestone statue earned the nickname “The Goddess of Death” as it passed hands after the untimely death of its owners. The first to allegedly perish at the hands of the statue’s curse was Lord Elphont and six of his family members, who all died within six years of getting their hands on the relic. From Elphont, the shapely statue was purchased by Ivon Manucci who, along with his own family, met the same fate as its prior owner. Up until it was locked in a glass enclosure at the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland, the statue claimed another 7 or so victims, including the curator of the museum that had handled it upon its arrival.
Aztec Death Whistles
Initially discovered in the 1990’s, clutched in the hands of a sacrificed male skeleton, these skull-shaped whistles were originally thought to be children’s toys. When a curious mind finally decided to blow into it, the sound that was produced could only be described as terrifying. Sounding like an accurate mimicry of a person’s terrified screams, the death whistle is thought to have played a part in Aztec sacrifices. Prior to being sacrificed to the gods, it’s thought that the person being offered would blow into the eerie whistle just before being killed. Another theory links it to warfare as a means of intimidating or terrifying enemies with the shrill cry it produces.
Like a real life Victor Frankenstein, somebody over 3,000 years ago had pieced together different sets of human remains to create two mummies for purposes currently unknown. The uncovered bodies were initially believed to be a normal male and female specimen, but as University of Manchester’s biomedical archaeology professor Terry Brown spent more time with the bodies, the more he saw wrong with them. Of the inconsistencies with the pieced together humans that Brown noticed was the female skeleton’s jaw, which didn’t match up to the rest of the skull. Using DNA testing, Brown determined that the jawbone, arm, skull, and leg of the female were all from different people of the same time period while the male body was comprised of parts from decedents that died hundreds of years apart.
Though it sounds like something from Pokemon, the Codex Gigas is a 165-lb or roughly 74-kilogram manuscript dated as far back as the 13th century. Included in the massive book, which is popularly credited to Benedictine monk Herman the Recluse, is the entire Latin Vulgate Bible, medical texts from Theophilus, Philaretus, Hippocrates, and Constantinus, exorcism instructions, and, its most striking feature and reason for its nickname of “The Devil’s Bible,” a full-spread illustration of the horned beast himself. Most of the texts within the “bible” can be traced back to historical sources, but the crude image, scrawled on the 290th page, is backed only by myth and lore. One tale attributes the entirety of the Codex to a monk sentenced to death for breaking his vows. Prior to his execution, he sought to contribute to what was to be a work of evil, but short on time, made a pact with the Devil, trading his soul to complete the book.
Pirate Medical Supplies
Ever wonder how pirates took care of their sick? While it sounds likely that they just threw them overboard, findings discovered aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge wreckage tells a different story. The wreckage, which was discovered in 1996, held secrets to pirate medicine, and it’s about as grisly as one may think. Among the tools discovered were a urethra syringe with traces of mercury and a clyster pump. The archaic, painful looking syringe was used to inject mercury through the urethra as a means of treating syphilis while the pump administered medicinal enemas for quicker absorption.
They’ve been discovered as early as 1564, but there isn’t a solid reason for the unusual occurrence of rat kings, or bundles of rats. The strange creation has been made with as many as 30 rats and involves binding the rodents together with various substances, such as horse hair. Thought to be a bad omen of sorts, the appearance of rat kings is startling, but also so few and far between. Particular to regions within Germany, there have been a considerably small number of rat king discoveries, with the number of reports topping off at around 50. Classic rat kings were typically made with black rats and, according to a discovery in 1963 in the Netherlands, may have been alive when bound together. Whatever the strange cause for these rodent bundles, they are still found today with the most recent one being in 2005.
World's Oldest Masks
Nowadays, masks are often fun, goofy, or, if the season’s right, bloodied up for Halloween. Over 9,000 years ago, the concept of the mask was a little less playful. Scattered through the Judean Desert and the Judean Hills, a collection of Neolithic era stone masks were uncovered, making them the oldest known masks in the world. The creepy, stone-faced artifacts bear a resemblance to human faces and were believed to represent the spirits of dead ancestors. Their significance likely came in during rituals and ceremonies and, despite being made of stone, seem to have been built for comfort with wide eye holes and a molding appropriate for facial contours.
In the Valley of Mexico, just 25-miles or roughly 40-kilometers northeast of Mexico City, sits a mysterious series of pyramids and compounds dating back to at least 100 BCE. Named Teotihuacan or Place of the Gods by the Aztec people that discovered it, the history of the ancient city prior to its discovery is mostly a mystery. Of the little that is known, archaeologists claim it was a bustling metropolis that housed a quarter of a million, ethnically diverse people and the culture had quite the thing for ritual sacrifice. Excavation of the region led to the discovery of a mass grave of about 200 people, who were said to have been sacrificed when Teotihuacan’s Feathered Sun Pyramid was being built. The victims uncovered ranged from men dressed in elaborate military attire, young women, and more men with more extravagant offerings.
Petrified Human Remains
With a fascination for Egyptian mummification fueling him, 19th-century anatomist and naturalist Girolamo Segato took to mimicking the process. By 1823, Segato had perfected a more advanced mummification method that, rather than removing water from cadavers, petrified them through an alleged mineralization. Though the method was taken to his grave, never to resurface, his ossified participants didn’t remain hidden. Of the remains that were found and displayed at the Anatomical Museum Fiorentino were scalps, hands, skull fragments, a fetus, a full human head, and, curiously enough, a strange collection of severed nipples.
Witch Repellent Bottles
During the 17th century, the belief in witchcraft was at a high point and common folk were left struggling for a means of protecting themselves from harmful spells. At least, that’s what they thought at the time, and in 2004, one of these unusual methods was unearthed in Greenwich, South London. The ornate bottle, dated around 380 years old, was thought to reflect a witch’s spell back on herself, often used by people that thought their illness was the doing of witchcraft. Within the unearthed artifact, archaeologists found human hair, fingernail clippings, belly-button lint, sharp tools, and, best of all, traces of urine. Though not the first of its kind, this 9-inch or roughly 22-centimeter tall witch bottle was the most complete specimen to have been discovered.