Over the passage of time, several significant locations, objects, cultures, and groups throughout the human history have been lost, which has intrigued a number of archaeologists and treasure hunters around the globe to look for them. We can list a thousand objects if we begin to count, but in this article, we have come up with certain famous accounts of ‘lost history’ that are indeed confusing and intriguing at the same time.
The existence of some of these places or items has been a topic of discussion for quite a long time. The questions concerned with these items still exist since their existence is baffling itself.
The Lost Human History
Troy, with its 4,000 years of history, is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The first excavations at the site were undertaken by the famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. In scientific terms, its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world. The city was lost between the 12th century BC and the 14th century BC.
The Ancient Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese, was an ancient Greek place of worship dedicated to Zeus worship. From 776 BCE to 393 CE, the Pan-Hellenic Olympic Games were held every four years at the Zeus-honoring location. UNESCO has designated Olympia as a World Heritage Site.
The Lost Legions of Varus
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, described as the Varian Disaster (Clades Variana) by Roman historians, took place at modern Kalkriese in 9 AD, when an alliance of Germanic peoples ambushed Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus. The alliance was led by Arminius, a Germanic officer of Varus’s auxilia. Arminius had acquired Roman citizenship and had received a Roman military education, which enabled him to deceive the Roman commander methodically and anticipate the Roman army’s tactical responses.
Pompeii was an ancient city located near Naples in the Campania region of Italy, in what is now the comune of Pompei. In the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and numerous villas in the surrounding area (e.g. at Boscoreale, Stabiae) were buried by 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 feet) of volcanic ash and pumice.
The unearthed city provided a rare snapshot of Roman life, frozen at the moment it was buried, despite the fact that most of the detailed evidence of its residents’ daily lives was lost in the excavations.
Nuestra Señora de Atocha
Nuestra Señora de Atocha (Spanish: Our Lady of Atocha) was a Spanish treasure galleon and the most widely known vessel of a fleet of ships that sank in a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622. At the time of her sinking, Nuestra Señora de Atocha was heavily laden with copper, silver, gold, tobacco, gems, and indigo from Spanish ports at Cartagena and Porto Bello in New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama, respectively) and Havana, bound for Spain. The Nuestra Señora de Atocha was named for a holy shrine in Madrid, Spain. It was a heavily armed Spanish galleon that served as the almirante (rear guard) for the Spanish fleet.
The RMS Titanic
The Ship was lost in 1912 and later found in 1985. The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner owned by the White Star line that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg while on her maiden journey from Southampton, England, to a New York City. More than 1,500 people died out of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew onboard making the disaster one of the bloodiest for a single ship at the time. It is still the deadliest superliner or cruise ship sinking in peacetime.
The History that is still lost
Ten Lost Tribes of Israel
The ten lost tribes refer to the legend concerning the fate of the ten tribes constituting the northern Kingdom of Israel. The Kingdom of Israel – consisting of the ten tribes (the twelve tribes excluding Judah and Benjamin who constituted the southern Kingdom of Judah) – fell in 722 B.C.E and its inhabitants were exiled by the Assyrians. In general, it can be said that these tribes disappeared from the stage of history.
Lost Army of Cambyses
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Cambyses II, the oldest son of Cyrus the Great, sent his army to destroy the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis. 50,000 warriors entered Egypt’s western desert near Luxor. Somewhere in the middle of the desert the army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and destroyed. Although many scientists regard the story as a myth, amateurs, as well as professional archaeologists, have searched for the remains of the Persian soldiers for many decades.
The Ark of the Covenant
According to the Hebrew Bible, the ark was constructed by the Israelites while they were camping out in the Sinai Desert after they fled Egypt. The Hebrew Bible doesn’t specify when they fled Egypt, and there is a debate among scholars as to whether there ever was an exodus from Egypt. The ark vanished when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem in 587 B.C.
The ark has a number of seemingly magical powers, according to the Hebrew Bible. In one story, the Jordan River stopped flowing and remained still while a group of priests carrying the ark crossed the river. Other stories describe how the Israelites took the ark with them into battle where the powers of the ark helped the Israelites defeat their enemies.
It is also believed by many that the Anubis Shrine (Shrine 261) of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb, found in the valley of the kings, Egypt, could be the Ark of the Covenant.
Statue of Marduk
The Statue of Marduk was an important object of religious and political power for the nation of Babylon. The Babylonians believed that the god himself dwelled within the statue, and could crown the king of the empire. Due to its importance in religion and politics, the statue was often stolen by the empire’s enemies, such as the Hittites, the Assyrians, and the Elamites, which caused much distress in Babylonian society. Interestingly, all the foreign kings who had stolen the statue died at the hands of their own family members, which was seen as a form of divine punishment.
The Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is generally considered to be the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper and the one used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch his blood as he hung on the cross. This significance, however, was introduced into the Arthurian legends by Robert de Boron in his verse romance Joseph d’Arimathie (sometimes also called Le Roman de l’Estoire dou Graal), which was probably written in the last decade of the twelfth century or the first couple of years of the thirteenth.
The Ninth Roman Legion
Legio IX Hispana (“9th Spanish Legion”), also written Legio VIIII Hispana, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army that existed from the 1st century BC until at least AD 120. The legion fought in various provinces of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. It was stationed in Britain following the Roman invasion in 43 AD. The legion disappears from surviving Roman records after c. AD 120 and there is no extant account of what happened to it.
The Roanoke Colony
The establishment of the Roanoke Colony (/ˈroʊəˌnoʊk/; ROH-ə-nohk) was an attempt by Sir Walter Raleigh to found the first permanent English settlement in North America. The English, led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, had claimed St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1583 as the first English territory in North America at the royal prerogative of Queen Elizabeth I. The first Roanoke colony was founded by governor Ralph Lane in 1585 on Roanoke Island in what is now Dare County, North Carolina, United States. Following the failure of the 1585 settlement, a second expedition, led by John White, landed on the same island in 1587, and set up another settlement that became known as the Lost Colony due to the subsequent unexplained disappearance of its population.
The Money Pit on Oak Island
It is a lost treasure from pre-1795. It is a 57-hectare privately owned island in Lunenburg County on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. The island is best known for various theories about possible buried treasure or historical artifacts, and the associated exploration.
The Mahogany Ship
The Mahogany Ship refers to a putative early Australian shipwreck that is believed by some to lie beneath the sand in the Armstrong Bay area, approximately 3 to 6 kilometers (1.9 to 3.7 mi) west of Warrnambool in southwest Victoria, Australia. In many modern accounts, it is described as a Spanish or Portuguese caravel after the wreck was associated with the theory of Portuguese discovery of Australia by Kenneth McIntyre in his 1977 book The Secret Discovery of Australia. The most recent research has questioned this theory and provided other explanations.
Lost Dutchman’s Gold mine
The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine (also known by similar names) is, according to legend, a rich gold mine hidden in the southwestern United States. The location is generally believed to be in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, Arizona. There have been many stories about how to find the mine, and each year people search for the mine. Some have died on the search.
Irish Crown Jewels
The Irish Crown Jewels were stolen from Dublin Castle on July 6, 1907 – they’ve never been recovered. Valuing about $20 million today, the stolen gems have never been found. The crime remains one of Ireland’s greatest mysteries.
The Irish Crown Jewels were kept in Dublin Castle where they were guarded by the Ulster King of Arms and his staff as well a 24-hour outdoor patrol of policemen and soldiers. In 1903, a safe room was installed in the castle, but it was only after it was built that it was discovered the safe which held the jewels was too large to fit in the doorway. Because of this, the safe would remain outside the strong room in the library.
Victoria’s Parliamentary mace
In 1891, a precious medieval weapon was stolen from Victoria’s Parliament, sparking one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in Australian history. Henry William Jeffery was eight at the time of the mace’s disappearance, and heard the entire story second hand from his father. Thomas Jeffery, meanwhile, heard several parts of the story second or even third hand — the details about the mace’s ultimate resting place came to him several years after the original scandal, via a friend of his who heard from a priest who’d spoken to the two city crooks in prison.
The Twin Sisters are a pair of cannons used by Texas Military Forces during the Texas Revolution. They are among the most famous artillery in Texas military history with the “Come and Take It” cannon starting the revolution at the Battle of Gonzales and the Twin Sisters winning it at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Twin Sisters were also potentially used during the Mexican Invasions of 1842 and American Civil War. Their disappearance and ensuing search efforts have fueled their notoriety, colloquially referred to as the “Texas Holy Grail.”
Amelia Earhart’s Plane
Amelia Mary Earhart set her name in history by becoming the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was fondly known as ‘Lady Lindy’. The Navy concluded that Earhart and Noonan had run out of fuel, crashed into the Pacific and drowned. A court order declared Earhart legally dead in January 1939, 18 months after she disappeared.
The Amber Room
The room was called the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and one of Russia’s most treasured artefacts. After its looting, the room was returned to Germany and put on display, but it disappeared in the closing months of the war. Its fate is one of the greatest mysteries of WWII.
Flight 19 is mistakenly called “The Lost Patrol.” It was not a patrol flight, it was a training flight. It was supposed to be a routine navigation exercise and mock bombing run: a squadron of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers carrying 14 men were to fly to the Hen and Chickens shoals in the Bahamas, to practice dropping their torpedoes and then return to the Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station.
Over the next three hours Lt. Taylor mistakenly led Flight 19 far out to sea, where the planes apparently ran out of fuel and crashed. That was on December 5, 1945, several months after the end of World War II. A massive search was launched for 5 lost planes, with units of the Navy, Army and Coast Guard to scour the sea for the lost NASFL Aircraft.
Their disappearance launched one of the largest air and sea searches in history, and began the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. To this date, Flight 19 remains one of the great aviation mysteries.
Lord Nelson’s Chelengk
The Chelengk was the highest military decoration of the Ottoman Empire. The one given to Horatio Nelson by Sultan Selim III as a gesture of honor in the Battle of the Nile in 1798. It became one of the most iconic jewels in England.
The jewel became his trademark to be endlessly copied in portraits and busts to this day. After Trafalgar, the Chelengk was inherited by Nelson’s family and worn at the Court of Queen Victoria. Sold at auction in 1895 it eventually found its way to the newly opened National Maritime Museum in Greenwich where it was a star exhibit. In 1951 the jewel was stolen in a daring raid by an infamous cat-burglar and lost forever.
Jules Rimet FIFA World Cup Trophy
The Jules Rimet Trophy, originally named Victory, but later renamed in honour of former FIFA president Jules Rimet, was made of gold plated sterling silver and lapis lazuli and depicted Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. Brazil won the trophy outright in 1970, prompting the commissioning of a replacement. The Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen in 1983 and never recovered.
Great Library of Alexandria
The ancient library of Alexandria was destroyed on two different occasions. The original library branch was located at the royal palace at Alexandria, near the harbor. When Julius Caesar intervened in the civil war between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII, Caesar set fire to the ships in the harbor. It is believed that this fire spread to the library and completely destroyed it.
The second branch of the library was located inside a temple dedicated to the god Serapis. In 391 CE, Roman Emperor Theodosius declared Christianity the only legal religion of Rome, and ordered all pagan temples to be destroyed. The temple of Serapis at Alexandria was completely destroyed, and with it the second branch of the library.
Lost Tombs of Great Historical Figures
Even to this today, the tombs of certain historical figures are difficult to be discovered. The figures have been mentioned below:
- Alexander, the Great
- Genghis Khan
- Akhenetan, father of Tutankhamun
- Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt
- Alfred, Queen of Wessex
- Attila, Ruler of the Huns
- Thomas Paine
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Cleopatra and Mark Anthony
Lost but Apocryphal History
The Island of Atlantis
The idea of Atlantis— the “lost” island subcontinent often idealized as an advanced, utopian society holding wisdom that could bring world peace has captivated dreamers, occultists and New Agers for generations. Thousands of books, magazines and websites are devoted to Atlantis, and it remains a popular topic. People have lost fortunes and in some cases even their lives looking for Atlantis.
Nazi Gold Train
The Nazi gold train or Wałbrzych gold train is an urban legend about a train laden with gold and treasure that was hidden by the Nazis in southwest Poland during the last days of World War II. The apocryphal tale claims the train full of valuables, including artwork, was concealed in a sealed-up rail tunnel or mine in the Central Sudetes by retreating Nazis.
According to the apocryphal story, in the last months of World War II, a Nazi armoured train laden with gold and other treasures left Breslau, arrived at the station Świebodzice, but did not reach the next station in Wałbrzych. The train is suspected to have entered into a system of tunnels under castle Książ or the Owl Mountains, which were part of the unfinished top-secret Nazi construction project Project Riese. Onboard the train was supposed to be more than 330 tons of gold, jewels, weapons, and artistic masterpieces.
Lost Ship of the Desert
The Lost Ship of the Desert is the subject of legends about various historical maritime vessels having supposedly become stranded and subsequently lost in the deserts of the American Southwest, most commonly in California’s Colorado Desert. Since the period following the American Civil War, stories about Spanish treasure galleons buried beneath the desert sands north of the Gulf of California have emerged as popular legends in American folklore.
El Dorado: The lost city of Gold
El Dorado, the legendary lost city of gold, was a beacon for thousands of explorers and gold-seekers for centuries. Desperate men from all over the world came to South America in the vain hope of finding the city of El Dorado and many lost their lives in the harsh plains, steamy jungles and frosty mountains of the dark, unexplored interior of the continent.
The legend of El Dorado got its start around 1535 or so, when Spanish conquistadors began hearing rumors coming out of the unexplored northern Andes Mountains. The rumors said that there was a king who covered himself with gold dust before jumping into a lake as part of a ritual.
Where is the 97% of the history today?
The fraction that our historians and researchers seem to know is not more than 3-10% of what have existed in the past. The details of the ancient history have been acquired from the historians. The Mesopotamian civilization was the first one to made usage of written scriptures over 5,500 years ago. So what happened before that?
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