#3. The Parthenon Used as a Warehouse
The Parthenon is one of the most recognizable ruins in the world. Located on the Acropolis in Athens, this huge building has a rich history dating back to 447 BCE. Like your average college graduate, the Parthenon took a while to really "find itself". It started out as the temple to the goddess Athena, while moonlighting as a treasury. When Christianity became the "it" religion, it was converted to a Catholic church. It was still standing strong when the Ottomans took over in the 1460s.
One thing that never changed was its attraction to tourists. There are records from European travelers up until the late 1600s describing how formidable and awe-inspiring the Parthenon was. So how did the Ottoman Empire make use this incredible, beautiful piece of ancient architecture?
By converting it into a munitions warehouse, of course. They filled the ancient wonder of architecture with gunpowder.
Can you guess how this ends?
What were they thinking?
The Ottomans and Venetians were at war in 1687. The Turks learned after minutes of research that a popular war strategy of the Ancient Greeks had been to fortify the Acropolis. The fact that this technique hadn't been used for a millennium never really crossed their minds, so they made the completely logical decision to store all their gunpowder inside the 2000 year old Parthenon.
Of course, as soon as the Venetians started lobbing explosives into Greece, the first bomb that hit the Parthenon ignited the weaponry inside, blowing the entire thing right the fuck up. Because up yours, history.
#2. Priceless White House Objects Sold at a Garage Sale
The home of the American president isn't nearly as historically significant as the Parthenon, but Americans rightfully have a soft spot for this august building. It's an important symbol for democracy and liberty in the Western world, and countless important historical figures have passed through its halls. It has been the scene of some of the most pivotal decisions in modern history.
"That's right. Pepperoni."
But just imagine actually having to live there. Just look at all that junk lying around. How is a newly elected president supposed to make room for his Xbox and plasma television after dozens of presidents have left all their shit lying around the house? If you're Chester A. Arthur, the obvious answer is to auction it all off at low, low prices!
What were they thinking?
Now, let's make it clear. This was not some high-end Christie's or Sotheby's auction, where rare keepsakes were going for millions of dollars to be displayed in museums. No, this was a "get rid of this crap before I burn it in the Rose Garden" auction.
The thing was, President Arthur was one fashionable man.
He couldn't suffer all this out of style furniture cluttering up the Executive Mansion. This was 1881 after all, and well time for the American Government to become more relevant to the youth demographic. Some of the old tat had been around since John Adams was president, over 80 years prior.
So Arthur did the only logical thing: he carted away tons of furniture, barrels of china, and even some of Abraham Lincoln's old clothes, and sold that shit to strangers for whatever he could get out of it. Most of what was sold has never been recovered and would now be considered priceless. The good news is: you might have Abraham Lincoln's underwear in your attic. The bad news is: you'll have a hell of a time proving it.
#1. Louis XIV's Heart Used as Food
Louis XIV was king of France for over seventy-two years, the longest reign in European history. He ushered in a new era of power and prosperity for the county and defined the term Absolute Monarch.
He was certainly an Absolute Something.
For some reason, during the French Revolution, peasants broke into the Royal Crypt and stole Louis' mummified heart. We don't know their motives--they're French. Somehow, despite all the rioting and pitchforks and cheese-eating, the heart survived intact and made its way to England.
Eventually it ended up in the hands of the Reverend William Buckland. Of course, Buckland recognized what a rare and precious piece of history he possessed, and donated it to the Museum of-
-Oh wait, no, actually he ate it.
What were they thinking?
Buckland had a thing for eating really exotic cuisine. Among the more interesting things he had dined on were elephant trunk and roast giraffe. By the time the French king's heart came into his possession his palate was pretty jaded. What better to revive the taste buds than some cannibalism?
Oh and it seemed the Reverend had become concerned there might not actually be an afterlife after all, and decided eating a long dead king's heart would help him become immortal. For some fucking reason.
Buckland had the heart prepared for his Christmas dinner. We know he had it slow roasted with a side of beans, but the there is no record of the wine he washed it down with. We're going to assume Chianti.
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For more on interesting artifacts, check out 5 Pieces of Junk That Turned Out to be Invaluable Artifacts and 6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain.
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