We're not saying that digging around certain sites will stir up ancient curses. But, we're not saying it won't, either.
What we do know is that ancient horrors are all around us, if you know where to look. And some things, well, should remain undisturbed ...
6Dozens Of Shackled Skeletons Were Found In Athens
During a 2016 construction project to build a new library and national opera house in downtown Athens, crews unearthed the Falyron Delta necropolis, a sprawling cemetery thought to be the final resting place of more than 1,500 ancient Greek citizens. That's hardly enough for a haunting on its own -- the world is full of cemeteries -- but they found a smaller chamber within. Lying there were more than 80 skeletons with their hands fucking shackled above their heads.
So, probably not a 50 Shades situation here.
In some places the bodies were double-stacked like history's most disturbing game of Tetris, indicating that while the Greeks may have been great at inventing Democracies and Olympicses, they were shit when it came to digging their holes big enough. Each of the victims died young and healthy, and while the exact cause of death is still to be determined (though it's probably safe to rule out a hug overdose), all signs point to a mass execution.
Well, just the one sign, really.
The best theory as to the identities of the shackled corpses is that they are the remnants of a 632 BC coup against Athens led by Cylon, an "Athenian noble and Olympic champion" and definitely not a cybernetic galactic time traveler. After the coup failed, Cylon hid in a temple and later escaped, but all of his followers were summarily executed. Ancient Greece being a heavily militaristic society, however, the soldiers would have been buried with respect ... right up until those burying them ran short on hole space, apparently.
Granted, this doesn't explain the fact that the Greeks didn't feel comfortable unchaining these assassins even after they were freaking dead. Shackles aren't cheap, you'd think they'd want those things back ... unless prior experience had taught them that the corpses may still have some fight in them. We may not be fancy archaeologists here, but we know goddamned Zombie Coup aftermath when we see it.
5The Altamura Man Became One With The Cave That Killed Him
Imagine you're a speleologist (also, imagine you know that speleology is the scientific study of caves). You're just going about your day, studying the rocks and ... well, the rocks of the Lamalunga cave network near Altamura, Italy, when your flashlight beam lands on this:
Lari, M., et al
Now imagine it's hissing.
You could be forgiven for temporarily forgetting the scientific method (as well as the basics of bowel control) and assuming you'd discovered the remnants of some ancient, bumpy-headed reptilian humanoid. What you're actually looking at, however, is the Altamura Man.
He's not a shitty Italian superhero, but a Neanderthal who stumbled into a sinkhole while out hunting mammoths one day and subsequently died of starvation. In the eons since, calcium carbonate concretions built up a protective layer over his remains, strangely preserving them while also giving anyone who looks upon them a potentially fatal case of the heebie jeebies. Essentially, the cave ingested him. Hell, scratch the past tense -- the cave is still ingesting him. Slowly.
Though the skeleton was left in place to avoid damaging it, researchers did carve off a bit of shoulder 20 years after its discovery and determined that Altamura Man is the oldest Neanderthal ever found, having lived during the earliest phase of their existence around 150,000 years ago. Based on a laser scan of the remains, Dutch artists Kennis & Kennis recreated the Altamura Man by subtracting the creepy pearly deposits and adding a healthy splash of Charles Bronson to show us how he would have appeared to his enemies and potential mates.
No, you tell him he had a death wish.
Holy shit. Had wallets existed in his day (or pockets, even), Altamura Man's would have said "Bad Motherfucker" on it. The fact that that cave didn't tuck tail and run when it saw him coming tells us that, while researchers might think they've found history's oldest Neanderthal, what they've really found is history's most badass cave.