AO Magazine - December 2020

Ancient Origins Store

AO Magazine - December 2020

We once attempted to solve one of history’s little mysteries – the location of some missing artifacts in Ecuador which provided evidence of contact between Mesopotamia and South America in ancient times. The search led us into hidden vaults within the Central Bank of Ecuador. Then it landed us in front of some influential religious figures, who suggested we drop the search if we wished to remain unharmed.

Some mysteries, like the missing relics in Ecuador, are not unsolved.  They are buried by a few to prevent people hearing a different story, perhaps an inconvenient truth.

Others are genuine puzzles that may never be solved, like the baffling prehistoric ‘cart ruts’ of Malta that criss-cross across the landscape like a complex network of tracks found at a busy railway station, or the meaning of a set of strange hieroglyphic symbols of the Phaistos Disc, a 3,500-year-old clay plate found in the ruins of a Minoan palace in Greece. So much time has passed since their creation that scientists and historians alike struggle to find any evidence at all to solve these ancient riddles.

In this issue, we delve into some of history’s most head-scratching conundrums, like the 12th century account of two children with green-hued skin that emerged from a field in rural England, or the tale of a man that arrived at Tokyo Airport with a passport issued by the non-existent country of Taured – are they just urban legends or is their truth behind these historic tales? 

We also turn to one of the greatest enigmas in history – the Holy Grail – the alleged cup that Jesus drank from at the Last Supper and that Joseph of Arimathea used to collect Jesus’s blood at his crucifixion. Over the centuries, thousands of scholars have attempted to find, understand or decipher the legend of the grail, but have any of them found the answer?

While scientific advancements have turned up more mysteries from our ancient past – like traces of an ancient unknown species encoded in our DNA – they have also enabled us to solve many of history’s biggest riddles, including ancient cold cases, strange structures, undeciphered scripts, inexplicable historical accounts and mystifying ancient technology.

Join us on a journey through the great unanswered questions of our time, which continue to captivate and intrigue us to this day.

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