The world is evolving every day and more making the possibilities seem endless. Today you can have honestly everything you want, comparing to what we had years ago. Even though we always keep getting more and more every day, let’s just stop and dig a little bit on the past and discover what life was a hundred years back a thousand years, or even before the common era.
For sure the tools were nowhere close to sophistication as today, but still some of the artifacts which survived until today truly take your breath away when you look at them. The details, the amazing work, and the determination to bring those pieces to life are honestly mesmerizing.
Check out some of these outstanding artifacts that made it to our time, which sparked a lot of questions about the past life.
#1 A 19th-Century Esoteric Ritual Dagger With Death Decorating The Grip Sold For Almost $5,700
This rare dagger, thought to be used for esoteric rituals, was sold for €4,700 (~$5,692). In the description, it is said to be from the 19th century and made in France. It is quite long, nearly 17 inches, and the grip is the impressive part. Made out of bronze, it depicts Death in a cloak and a twisted snake at its feet. The blade is detailed too: it is engraved with floral motifs, and a snake, an eagle, and an owl can also be made out. The floral motifs repeat on the brass quillons of the wooden scabbard, which was sold together with the dagger.
#2 The Psychedelic Effects Caused By Mushrooms Depicted In A 9,000-Year-Old Cave Drawing
One particular cave painting from around 9,000 years ago caused curious interpretations. This drawing depicts a shaman with a human body and a head of a bee. The shaman holds a bunch of mushrooms in their hands and sprouts from their body. That leads the scientists to believe that the painting represents a psychedelic experience caused by the mushrooms. Other ancient history enthusiasts theorize that this is proof of our ancestors’ communication with aliens.
#3 The Detail Of This Incredible Armor Made In 1555
The armor, called Hercules Armor, was made in the middle of the 16th century for Archduke (later the Holy Emperor) Maximilian II. As can very well be seen in the picture, the armor is covered in ornamentation and mythological scenes. The armor was made in France and it demonstrates the refined and sophisticated skills of armorers of that time. The intricate details tell us that this armor wasn’t made to be worn in war. Its real purpose was to denote Maximilian’s exalted rank in court or in similar settings. Never mind the remarkable art on the steel, the armor could also fulfill its protective function.
#4 A Ring That Possibly Belonged To Caligula Could Be Around 2,000 Years Old
This stunning sky-blue ring is a hololith, meaning it is made from a single piece of stone; in this case, it is made from sapphire. If the precious stone is not enough to define the ring’s value, it is also believed that it once belonged to the Roman Emperor Caligula, who reigned from 37 to 41 AD. The woman engraved at the top of the ring is assumed to be Caesonia, Caligula’s fourth and last wife.
The ring was on sale in 2019 and though the internet doesn’t reveal who was the buyer or at what price it was sold, there are a few hints that it might have been close to $600,000. Isn’t it wild to think that the same ring which was possibly owned by one of the rulers of the Classical antiquity period is now sitting on someone else’s finger?
#5 An Astronomical Clock In Prague, Czech Republic Is Still Operating Since 1410
This cool-looking clock is located in Prague, Czech Republic. Can you guess how old it is? Well, it will be 611 on October 9 this year! That makes it the third-oldest astronomical clock in the world, but it is the oldest clock that is still fulfilling its function today. The clock is fully mechanized, showing the relative positions of the Sun, Moon, Zodiac constellations, and, sometimes, other planets. It obviously shows the time as well as the date and astronomical and zodiacal information. Let’s not forget the mini spectacle every hour on the hour, when Death shows up and turns its hourglass upside down. Then the 12 Apostles parade and nod to the crowd. In the end, the crow crows, and the hour is rung. You could say that this clock is not merely a device to track time, but a piece of art.
A curious superstition is believed in Prague: it is said that if something happens to the clock or it is neglected, the skeleton on the side of the clock will nod its head and then the city of Prague will suffer. Maybe because of this superstition or because the clock is a piece of history and a true embellishment of the city, when the clock was damaged in 1945 by the Nazi uprising, people happily donated wood to repair the clock despite the shortage of material in the country.
#6 A 17th-Century Book Survived To Tell A Tale Of How It Became A Weapon
Do you know the Latin phrase “scientia potentia est,” which means “knowledge is power”? Well, knowledge can be a weapon too! There is such a thing as a ‘prayer book pistol’ that was custom-made for Francesco Morosini, the Duke of Venice, who lived 1619–1694, so the fake prayer book was made sometime in the 17th century. The mechanism was designed so that the gun was concealed and could only fire when the book was closed. It was most probably used for personal protection.
#7 An Ancient Egyptian Ring With A Red Carnelian Cat Dating Back To Around 1070–712 BCE
It is widely known that in ancient Egypt, cats were an important figure in people’s religious life as some of their deities were depicted as having cat-like heads, so it is not surprising that they would be represented in jewelry too. This ring is made of gold and the cat figure is carved out of a semi-precious stone, carnelian. Its estimated to be at least 2,700 years old. On the bottom of the cat, in the inner part of the ring, there is a carved Wadjet eye or the Eye of Horus, used as a protective amulet.
#8 2,400-Year-Old Shoes Found In The Altai Mountains
Romans weren’t the only ones to wear fashionable shoes. Archeologists excavating graves in the Altai mountains found an even older, very well-preserved pair of shoes. These bedazzled boots were worn by a Scythian woman around 300–290 BCE. They are made of leather, textile, tin (or pewter), and gold. The shoes are in exceptionally good condition because of the low temperatures in the region, so the ground in which they were buried was frozen.
The condition of the sole sparked theories as to how the beads and the crystals are still perfectly in place. Some say that the shoes were made specifically for the burial; others speculate that it belonged to a high-ranking woman who didn’t have to walk a lot, or it was just the Scythians’ lifestyle to spend most of their time on a horse. A more interesting theory proposed by historians is that the soles of the Scythians’ shoes were an important accent of their attire, as they were visible to others while sitting in front of a fire and socializing.
#9 A Boy Found A Burial Inscription From The Byzantine Era
When people go to look for mushrooms, the last thing they expect to find is an ancient burial inscription. But this is exactly what happened when 13-year-old Stav Meir went out looking for mushrooms with his family. He saw a stone protruding out of the ground and the boy easily recognized that the stone had to be something very old.
Stav Meir is interested in archaeology and has been studying it with the Israel Antiquities Authority for about three years. His senses didn’t deceive him, because the stone was a 1,500-year-old Byzantine-era Greek burial inscription. For his discovery, the boy was even awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his good citizenship.
It is agreed among the Israel Antiquities Authority archeologists that the stone must have marked the grave of a wealthy person and the inscription on the stone identifies them as Anastasius or Anastasia.
#10 A 2,000-Year-Old Temple Is Still Standing Today And Is In Really Good Condition
The Hathor Temple is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt and it the main temple of the Dendera Temple complex. It is wonderful how the colors are still this vibrant as it is known the inside was once covered in soot, but it has been successfully restored. The good condition of the art is all the more surprising knowing that it was built more than 2,000 years ago. The main temple was completed by Queen Cleopatra VII, around 54 to 20 BCE.
#11 An Old Knife From The 16th Century Served Not Only As A Knife, But Also As A Pistol And A Calendar
In the 16th century, gun makers thought it would be a great idea to combine a pistol with a sword, a knife, an axe, or even a crossbow so that the owner of the gun would be able to still protect oneself if the gun misfired. Usually, these combined weapons were clumsy and impractical. The weapon in the picture is a hunting knife combined with a wheellock pistol. It was made by a German etcher, Ambrosius Gemlich, from two different pieces: the blade, dated around 1528–1529, etched with a calendar for the years 1529–34, and the barrel, dated 1540 or 1546.
#12 A Well-Preserved Shoe Worn By A Roman 2,000 Years Ago
In contemporary times, Italy is undoubtedly considered one of the biggest fashion capitals in the world, but did you know that the Italians have been making good-quality footwear since ancient times? Don’t let the appearance of the shoe deceive you: it was made in the first centuries of our era. The stylish shoe in the picture was found in a well in Saalburg, Germany. The fact that it was found in Germany proves how fashion and the craft of making shoes were spread in the Empire. It is a woman’s shoe, as they were decorated with embroidery, motifs, and often with lace. That not only showed the craftsmanship of the maker, but also the status and wealth of the wearer.
#13 A Wooden Sculpture Depicting Death Made In 1520
Death was often made the subject of art, personified, given a material shape. It is curious that in English and German culture, Death is seen as male, and in French and Italian culture, it is represented as a female.
A 16th-century sculptor, Hans Leinberger, interprets Death as a skeleton. It is a representation of what becomes of a person after they die. It has arrows in one hand and a bow in the other, standing in a twisted pose. The sculpture is made from a single piece of pear wood. The ability to carve the partially exposed ribs and bones, the tattered clothing, and to create an image of a rotating body shows the extraordinary skills of the artist.
#14 A 2,500-Year-Old Sword That Belonged To Goujian, King Of Yue, Was Discovered Virtually Untarnished
The sword belonged to Goujian, who ruled the Kingdom of Yue from 496 to 465 BCE. The characters on the sword read “King of Yue” and “made this sword for [his] personal use.” The sword was found in a scabbard, so it is barely damaged. The blade was made mostly of copper, but the edges have a higher tin content and that can explain how the edge of the sword is still sharp. The blade has a golden hue and is decorated with a rhombi pattern; meanwhile, the guard is ornamented with blue crystals and turquoise.
#15 The Twelve Angle Stone Wall Stands The Same As Hundreds Of Years Ago
It is not exactly known when the wall was built, but it is agreed that the stone wall originally encircled a now-destroyed palace. Every stone used for this wall was cut to have twelve, five, six, and seven points, so it was really a tedious job to put them all together. The stones are combined very precisely, with no space between the stones. You couldn’t even stick a piece of paper in between them even now, hundreds of years later. The structure was meant to be built stable because the area was prone to earthquakes and now we can really say that it stood the test of time. It is so amazing that it was declared Cultural Heritage of the Nation of Peru.