Top 10 ancient discoveries beneath cities
Almost every building built is over an old city. Older the city, the older is the history of what lies beneath it. Archeologists have found amazing things because they know where to look or they sometimes even follow rumors. When it comes to rediscovery, most rediscovery happens by accident. But we know that unexpected treasures are the best.
The New York Vaults
An electricity company in 1965, found an underground tomb. But it was not kept in recording even though skeleton-stuffed were found in the vault. Due to bad recording it disappeared. Again in 2015, during an excavation to switch a 100-year-old water main under Washington Square Park, the place was found and this time with a twin vault nearby.
Inside the second tomb was 20 neat wooden coffins. The first was a jumble human bones. The 200-year-old chambers are 4.6 meters (15 ft) wide and 8.2 meters (27 ft) long, with tall walls and arched ceilings. Wooden doors lead to unknown destinations.
Washington Square Park before used to be a grave site and after the Civil War, society’s unwanted received unmarked graves, and the dead from a yellow fever epidemic were once buried there. The twin vaults could belong to the 18th-century Cedar Street Presbyterian Church, but they kept no records, so even that remains uncertain.
Kublai Khan’s Palace
It was suspected by the Chinese historians that Kublai Khan’s palace once stood near the current location of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The palace was always sought for and in 2015 during the maintenance of Forbidden City, tiles and porcelain fragments from the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368) were discovered. This was vital and drew scientific attention because the tiles were from the era during which Khan ruled China. After than researchers stopped looking for the palace but started digging for the palace. While digging, the foundations of the dynasties that followed, the Ming and Qing, came to light. Archaeologists now believe that the Ming dynasty tore down every brick of Kublai Khan’s royal buildings and constructed the famous gardens and palaces of the Forbidden City over it.
Due to drought in Turkey in 2007 much had been evaporated of Lake Kucukcekmece. But the exposed shores showed something else. Archaeologists soon uncovered a large-scale medicine factory. Tools like mortars and pestles, cooking pots, spatulas, and medical devices surfaced. 700 vials confirmed the doubt. Each contained a remedy of some sort. Two were analyzed and turned out to be 1,400-year-old drugs for depression and heart ailments.
The vials represent the largest stockpile of ancient medicine and were recovered from the burned remains of the factory along with the preparation tools.The destruction suggests that a suspected onslaught in AD 646 by Istanbul’s enemy, the Avar Empire, did occur. More could be found out in the lake but nuclear and industrial pollution makes exploration too risky.
The Roman Fresco
Photo credit: Museum of London Archaeology via Smithsonian
While scouting for a new office building in 2016, a treasure was ironically discovered by the Museum of London Archaeology. A large piece of wall was found underneath 21 Lime Street, 2.4 meters (8 ft) long and 1.5 meters (5 ft) high. When the archaeologists turned the facedown slab over they were stunned to find it was an elaborate, hand-painted fresco from Roman days. The artifact was almost 2,000 years old and showed a delicate nature scene mixed with some domesticity: feeding deer, trees, and birds as well as fruit and a vine-like plant growing around a candelabrum.
The fresco’s pigments were obtained from Spain, an extremely difficult thing to do in those days. The museum experts convicted that the art piece had been commissioned by an elite family who spared no expense and possibly showed it off (and just how wealthy and fashionable they were) in their reception area.
Britain’s oldest writing
In 2016, underneath an underground river in middle of London, a cache of 405 wooden writing tablets were found beneath The rare Roman communications were of between AD 43 and AD 80. It makes them the earliest writing unearthed in the UK. As it dates back to the year the Romans invaded Britain, the Latin phrases give new insights into London’s first community, a city that was erected by the invaders. There’s a colorful plea for a loan, while another plank dishes out peppery business advice to someone a little too free with handing out loans. The first-ever written mention of London’s name and the country’s first IOU. It also has tablet from perhaps the first school, with letters running the alphabet, were also found. There are messages from soldiers, judges, and businessmen which will help researchers to better understand this early urban society.
Millennia of civilization
Beirut stands on several cities. Canaanite, Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman, and Ottoman civilizations rose one after the other for 5,000 years adding up to archeological importance. When after civil war, the city as to be rebuilt, the incredible time line came to light during excavations. Some of the finds were Roman ruins, including the city’s cardo maximus (main north-south street), quarters belonging to the Phoenician and Hellenistic cultures, a Canaanite mound, and a Byzantine trading place. One of the most incredible recoveries was a collection of mosaics which was placed side by side and they created a massive, 8,200-meter-long (27,000 ft) stretch of art. It was already believed that Beirut originated around 3000 BC, but this proved it.
The Ethcatl-Quetzalocoatl Temple
In 2016, ancient pottery and eight human skeletons were found underneath the supermarket. But that was not the surprising thing for archeologist. A sacred temple of the wind deity of people of Mexica-Tlatelolca people’s wind deity called Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl was found. Though it does not match the grandeur of other temples, it is a remarkable find. The temple is round and 2 meters (4 ft) high and 11 meters (36 ft) in diameter, with most of its original white stucco undamaged. The pre-Hispanic people offered bird parts, such as bones and duck bills, statues of monkeys, obsidian, cactus spines, and even a human baby to their deity. The 650-year-old platform is in the middle of a mall development scheme but will be preserved so visitors can view it.
The Malta Tunnels
The Mediterranean island of Malta has a history of being claimed by the Knights of Malta, a Christian Military order that constructed an elaborate underground complex while fighting Muslim forces on Malta. Construction surveyors in 2009 found tunnels beneath the capital of Valletta. The network of the tunnels dates to the 16th and 17th centuries, when the order occupied the island.
The tunnels are the plumbing system for the now Valletta people that gives them fresh drinking water and a sewage system light years ahead of time. The passage is well-built and wide enough for a person to be allowed inside because then, the wide passage would make it easy for the knight to do the maintenance. It also contains centuries-old metal valves and pipesOther rumors, such as secret carriageways and an entire underground Valletta, are, according to archaeologists, not impossible but still lack evidence.
The Gezer Sight
Canaanite city of Gezer during biblical times was a popular place to lay siege to. The controller of Gezer owned the wealthy vein of the east-west trade route. The well-known archaeological site has been studied for decades but received an extra dimension in 2013: It’s sitting on another city.
The unknown second settlement proved to be far more ancient even though the layers beneath Gezer dated back to the tenth to eighth centuries BC. The 14th-century-BC ruins most likely belonged to another Canaanite city, but it had some Egyptian flavor. Artifacts included a scarab amulet of Amenhotep III, better known to the world as the grandfather of Tutankhamun. Important Biblical-era cities are usually older than their official ages, but the Late Bronze Age roots of Gezer surpassed by far even that expectation.
There lies a much older version of a road under King Street in Waterloo, Ontario. It was found out in 2016 by a construction crew who had been told of a possible chance of such discovery that resembled a row of logs. When the discovery was made, the archaeologists were called, who confirmed the discovery: It was a corduroy road dating from the time of the area’s earliest development.
Corduroy roads were made by placing logs across a path to make it easy for the passengers to cross swamps or similar wagon-challenged areas. The one unearthed in Waterloo was probably built before 1877. The people then used sand and packed the tree trunks tightly. It made the crossing quicker and free of concern for becoming stuck in the mud, but cart horses still faced injuries due to shifting logs. The partial path shows signs of extended use as well as diligent maintenance by the pioneers who used it.