The world is full of bizarre and mysterious artifacts. While many of them are almost certainly hoaxes or have improbable theories attached to them, many more are truly mysterious or have outlandish histories.It’s a shame that the same dubious artifacts get the lion’s share of attention on the Internet when there are so many true mysteries out there. Even some of the better-known artifacts have mysteries or bizarre features attached to them that are far more interesting than “aliens did it” or “Atlantis.”
1.The King List
The King List is an account of kingships stretching into the prehistory of the Sumerian people. About 18 nonidentical fragmentary versions of these stone cuneiform artifacts have been found, the most comprehensive of which is the Weld-Blundell prism in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Researchers initially thought that they were straightforward historical documents, but as more complete versions came to light, it became obvious that many of the kings were either wholly or partially mythological. Rulers that should have been there were sometimes omitted. Others had implausibly long reigns or had mythical accounts attached to them or to the time of their reigns, such as the Sumerian account of a great flood and accounts of the exploits of Gilgamesh.The question is: Why were the Sumerians so careful to document a line of kings while at the same time slipping in references that they had to know were mythological? This would seem to undermine the historical purpose of the document.