15 Legendary Cultures That Left a Mysterious Mark on History

Whatever these ancient civilizations were getting up to, they left some intriguing clues.
15 Legendary Cultures That Left a Mysterious Mark on History

There’s a lot of history out there. Plenty of it is extremely well-documented — we know a lot of incredibly unexciting details about European royalty and tediously worded bylaws — but there’s a lot that isn’t. Odd, mysterious artifacts that raise a lot more questions than they answer, intriguingly complex objects from an era nobody would expect and indecipherable texts missing any sort of keystone to translate them for modern eyes. 

It’s all a reminder that, however important any of us think we are as individuals, or occasionally feel on a big birthday, we’ll all be forgotten. Time moves in a way that we’re powerless against. Names are forgotten, monuments crumble. 

Like, imagine if there was a king ages ago who thought he was really important, and made statements like “Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!”, but like, as time went on he was just forgotten? Imagine that. Someone should write a  poem about that as an idea, it would be really good. Then… forgotten.

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The Mesoamericans Who Mastered Aerial Imagery a Millennium Before Flight

The Nazca people lived in what is now Peru between about OAD and 750. They left behind the Nazca Lines, enormous pictures etched into the land in a way designed to be seen from above. But how? And by what? CRACKED

Source / PBS 

The Seafaring Warriors Who Devastated Ancient Egypt

if The identity of the Sea Peoples, a marauding group who attacked Egypt in the 14th century ВСЕ and may have led to the fall of the Hittites, has never been determined. There are hieroglyphic records of battles, and that's it. Maddening! CRACKED


The mysterious Culture That Self-Immolated

The Tartessos civilization thrived in Spain from about 900-500 ВСЕ. They were very advanced for the time, but suddenly vanished from history, burning their last known hub, Casas del Turuñuelo, and burying it along with countless sacrificed animals. ¿Porque? CRACKED


The ‘Lost Colony’ with Its Mysterious Parting Message

CROATOAN Roanoke Colony, founded in 1585, was intended to be America's first English settlement, but was abandoned by 1590. The word CROATOAN was carved into the fence surrounding it, suggesting their destination (Croatoan Island), but nothing was ever found. CRACKED


Baalbeck’s Physics-Defying Temple

ABdom AFA The Roman temple at Baalbek (in modern-day Lebanon) includes three of the largest stones ever quarried, the heaviest weighing over 1,600 tons. Absolutely fuckin' massive. How they were carved, moved and abandoned, and why, remains a complete mystery. CRACKED


The Self-Destructive Chinese Civilization

The Sanxingdui civilization existed in southwest China during the Bronze Age, leaving behind a load of really fascinating statues with big-ass bulging eyes. At some point they mysteriously, systematically, destroyed most of their stuff before relocating. Nobody knows why. CRACKED


The World’s Oldest Town, or Temple, or Something

Göbekli Тере in Turkey dates from about 9500 ВСЕ, making it one of the earliest known human settlements. However, nobody can work out what it was for - a prehistoric temple, a shrine to the dead or, just, somewhere people lived. CRACKED


The Proof At Least One Person in Ancient Greece Was Centuries Ahead

The Antikythera mechanism, discovered in a shipwreck dating from around 100 ВСЕ, is incredible - a hand-cranked series of gears that predicts the movement of the planets. It was ,500 years before anyone else developed anything comparable. CRACKED


The Ancient Burial Site We’ve Ruined for Everyone

The Plain of Jars in Laos is mostly off-limits due to unexploded cluster bombs. This hinders investigating the thousands of enormous jars peppering the landscape - they're 2,000ish years old, some had dead bodies in them and that's about all we know. CRACKED


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