Really old stuff, by its mere survival, is already shocking. These discoveries go even further, proving how horrifying life was a few thousand years ago:
1. Real Life Hansel & Gretel
An 11,500 year-old home in Alaska, when excavated, revealed an oven that contained the burned remains of a three-year-old infant.
2. Headless in Dorset
Dorset, England railroad workers happened upon the bones of what turned out to be ancient Vikings. The only strange part: their heads were nowhere to be found.
3. The Grauballe Man
This mummy, found preserved in a bog in Denmark, bears a huge gash on its neck, a sign that the individual was killed as part of a human sacrifice – most likely an appeal for a bountiful harvest.
4. Baby bones
In Israel, archaeologists digging in an ancient Roman bathhouse discovered that its drains were filled with the bones of young children. Why? Nobody knows.
5. The Mount Owen Moa
What looks like the claw of a mythical dragon was uncovered in a cave at Mount Owen, New Zealand in 1986. It is actually the preserved foot of a now-extinct, completely terrifying ancient bird, the Upland Moa.
6. Chemical warfare
2,000-year-old remains of 20 Roman soldiers, found near the ancient Syrian town of Dura, were subjected to various modern dating tests. The test results showed that the soldiers’ lungs were burned by a chemical substance likely used against them by Syrian enemies.
7. Prehistoric cannibals
In 2010, Spanish archaeologists discovered the remains of an entire family – three females, three males, three teenagers, two children and an infant – who, seemed to have been the meal of a group of Neanderthals.
8. Vampire bones
This corpse was discovered with a cement brick stuffed into its mouth cavity – apparently a method used to prevent suspected vampires rising from the dead.
9. Ancient headache
Excavations at the bottom of Sweden’s Lake Motala turned up several ancient skulls, all with stakes driven into them.