Ancient constructions are like portraits of the civilizations who built them. In a way, they’re the ancient equivalent of modern-day selfies. But while our selfies are usually straightforward, easy to understand, and apply to only one or a few people, ancient constructions can be steeped in mysteries that concern entire cultures.
Although civilizations disappear, their physical projects can survive for thousands of years. The way ancient societies built and where was rarely without purpose. From unusual graves to unexpected cities, these structures can confirm theories, reveal clues to old mysteries, or thicken the plots even more.
10. Teotihuacan’s Tunnels
In 2017, a restoration project was launched to repair one of Mexico’s most famous sites—the pre-Aztec city of Teotihuacan. While working in the central square, archaeologists used a noninvasive technique to peer underground.Called electrical resistivity tomography, the scan returned an unexpected feature. Below the square was a tunnel. It snaked toward and underneath a nearby pyramid.
The Pyramid of the Moon is a massive feat of architecture, and why the two should be linked by a shaft is not fully understood.For the time being, it cannot be explored. One reason is depth. The new structure is 10 meters (33 ft) deep. But the tunnel matches another one previously discovered under one of Teotihuacan’s temples.
Considering that they were constructed by a people who lived 2,000 years ago, it could be hard to say if the tunnels served a practical or mystical purpose. However, the team who discovered the latest one leaned toward a spiritual explanation. They feel that the shafts mirror the city’s best monuments and may even represent the anonymous civilization’s underworld.
9. Purpose Of The Tjungundji Mounds
For more than 60 kilometers (37 mi), large mounds buckle the earth along western Cape York, a coastal area in Australia. Researchers have been debating the specifics of the phenomenon for years.Apparently, they were not taking the local aboriginal community seriously. (The Tjungundji people claimed that their ancestors were buried in the mounds.) So the theories got strange. For example, some suggested that birds were responsible for the 250 humps.In 2018, radar proved that the locals and the archaeologists who considered the mounds to be artificial were right. Eleven of the sand structures were scanned, and many still held human remains.
Mapping the interior also identified some of the funerary activities and how they changed over time. Within different layers, artifacts decorated each tomb. These included flowers, spears, and coral.The age of the mounds is uncertain, but some could be as old as 6,000 years. This was about the same time that the Egyptians constructed the pyramids.