Nine of the Scariest Recent Archaeological Finds

Archaeology, the study of our ancient past, often brings to light fascinating and awe-inspiring discoveries that shed light on the mysteries of human history. However, there are occasions when these excavations reveal something more chilling—terrifying artifacts and findings that send shivers down the spines of researchers and enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore the nine most spine-tingling recent archaeological discoveries that have left experts in a state of both fascination and fear. From cursed tombs to macabre rituals, these haunting findings serve as a reminder of the dark and sometimes horrifying aspects of our collective human story. Brace yourself as we embark on a journey into the depths of the unnerving discoveries that continue to perplex and disturb archaeologists worldwide.




Chamunda is a fearsome personification of the Hindu Divine Mother Pavarti.

She is actually quite terrifying, shown with a skeletal body that looks like she is starving or emaciated, an angry or ferocious face and veins popping out of her legs.


Chamunda is often shown wearing a garland of severed heads or skulls and having either 4,, 8, or 12 arms.

She uses them for holding a drum, a trident, a sword, a snake, a thunderbolt, a severed head, a wine cup and a few other things.

She’s described as having flaming eye sockets that burn the world, and is surrounded by various beasts as well as ghosts and skeletons.

Her huge headdress is made of matted hair and is tied with snakes and a tiara of skulls.

As the Metropolitan Museum of Art says, the goddess is always depicted in stark and horrific sculptures all throughout India.

Chief Yoginis

She’s also one of the seven Matrikas, or mother goddesses, and one of the chief Yoginis , which are a group of Tantric goddesses who attend to the warrior goddess Durga.

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She is famous for decapitating the demons Chanda and Munda and is known for being the destroyer of Evil, although she looks quite evil herself.

Chamunda is traditionally worshiped with offerings of wine and through ritual animal sacrifices, although the latter has become less popular in modern times.

The goddess originated among tribes in central India who used to sacrifice not only animals but humans as well.

Thankfully, that doesn’t happen anymore.

She also drinks the blood of her defeated enemies and has snakes and skulls all around her decaying flesh.

Images of the goddess appear on ancient temples dating back thousands of years.


Burke & Hare Murder Dolls.

William Burke

Edinburgh, Scotland, was a leading center of anatomical study during the 19th century, But this led to a shortage of cadavers for students to learn from, and two men named William Burke and William Hare saw an opportunity to profit from the skyrocketing demand for bodies.

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17 Corpses

In 1828,, the pair sold 17 corpses to an anatomist named Robert Knox, who dissected bodies during his lectures.

Their first sale was the body of a lodging tenant who had died from edema, a condition that causes the body to swell.

After realizing how much money they could make per body, Burke and Hare murdered 16 people and split the profits.

They eventually got caught.

Hare received immunity in exchange for his testimony and managed to avoid jail time.

Burke, on the other hand, was hanged for his crimes the following year.

But the twisted tale didn’t end there.

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In 1836, a group of boys playing in a park found a strange collection of 17 dolls.

They were packed into miniature coffins and stuffed into a hole on a hillside.

People initially assumed that the dolls were toys or that they had something to do with witchcraft, But many saw similarities between the dolls and Burke and Hare’s victims and suspected that there was a connection.

Modern scientists performed DNA tests to see if they could prove that the killers created the dolls, but the results were inconclusive.

Still, many researchers believe that the dolls have something to do with the murders.

One theory suggests that Burke made the dolls to ease his guilty conscience.

National Museum of Scotland

Eight of the dolls survive today and are on display at the National Museum of Scotland , where they serve as a curious mystery of the past.

7. Demonic Ancient Jar.

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7,000 Year Old Jar

Last year, archaeologists were excavating a Neolithic farmhouse in Poland when they found a 7,000-year-old jar fragment that was shaped like a human face with horns

The team doesn’t know the meaning of the figure depicted on the jar, but they believe that it may have had spiritual or religious significance to the people who created and used it.

Similar objects have been discovered further to the south, but this is the first artifact of its kind ever found in Poland, leading experts to believe that the prehistoric villagers had contact with people who lived in what are now Hungary and Slovakia.

The jar is made from obsidian which was not locally sourced, further indicating that it was imported.

The people who lived at the site were from the Linear Pottery Culture.

They lived in Europe from 5500 to 4500 Bc and are known for the distinctive way they decorated their pottery.

The settlement contains several longhouses, with each measuring around 36 feet (11 meters) long, as well as pits filled with broken ceramics and flint objects.

Excavations are being carried out after the site was narrowly spared from destruction ahead of construction plans.

Researchers scrambled to secure funding to complete the dig and are just now learning about what life was like for the Linear Pottery people who lived in the region.

Whether the ongoing project will uncover the meaning behind the demonic-looking jar remains to be seen.


A Saint’s Heart.

In 2012,, a sneaky thief entered the Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, and made off with the 800-year-old heart of Saint Laurence O’toole, the city’s patron saint.

800 Year Old

Investigators believe that the intruder may have stayed in the church overnight before snatching the relic and taking the time to light two candles at the altar before leaving.

St Laurence was born in County Kildare 1132..

He was appointed as the archbishop of Dublin in 1161..

While he did many noteworthy things during his time there, he became most famous for acting as a peacekeeper during the Anglo-Norman invasions of Ireland.

The pious priest passed away in 1180 during a peacekeeping mission in Normandy, France.

He was declared a saint in 1225..

St Laurence’s heart was kept on display at the cathedral inside a wooden heart-shaped box inside an iron cage.

The thief who stole it in 2012 is thought to have used wire cutters to pry the cage open and get to the heart.

As an object that was priceless to the church but had little monetary value, the relic was a strange choice for such a carefully plotted heist.

To make things even weirder, six years after O’toole’s heart vanished, Irish police found it undamaged in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

An intelligence investigation determined that the thief may have returned it because they thought it was cursed.

A new and perhaps more secure enclosure was built for the heart, which went back on public display in November 2018..

Why do you think the thief stole the heart of St Laurence O’toole?

What do you think prompted them to abandon it in a public park?

Let me know your theories in the comments below and, while you’re at it, be sure to hit that subscribe button if you haven’t already.

5. Coffin Birth & Brain Surgery.

Around 1,300 years ago, during the 7th or 8th century, a pregnant woman died in the town of Imola, Italy, weeks before she was due to give birth.

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In 2010,, archaeologists found her buried with a hole in her skull and a collection of small bones beneath her pelvis.

In what’s known as a “coffin birth”, decomposition gases expelled the woman’s fetus from her womb after she died.

Archaeological discoveries of this phenomenon are extremely rare.

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A 2018 study determined that the hole in her skull was likely caused by a primitive brain surgery technique called trepanation, which involved drilling a hole into a person’s skull to relieve pressure.

It was used for treating numerous ailments, but apparently did little to help the pregnant woman.

The researchers who conducted the study wrote that they think she experienced either preeclampsia or eclampsia, which are potentially deadly pregnancy-related high blood pressure conditions.

Doctors may have performed a trepanation in a last-ditch effort to save her life.

Experts have admitted that they could be wrong with this theory, especially since the discovery is so unique and they have nothing to compare it to.

1,500 Skulls

While signs of trepanation have been found in some 1,500 skulls dating back to the Neolithic period, this is a first for a medieval burial in Italy.

It’s doubtful that the hole in the woman’s head resulted from violence.

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Given its precision and placement, Signs of healing show that the procedure was performed at least a week before she died.

4. Han Urn Burials.

In 2016, archaeologists working in northern China’s Hebei province found 113 ancient burial urns among the ruins of the ancient fortress city of Fudicheng.

They date back to the country’s Period of the Warring States, which lasted from 475 to 221 Bc.

Each tomb consisted of two to three clay vessels with human remains inside.

A small hole was drilled into each urn to let the deceased individual’s soul come and go as they please.

Interestingly, nearly all the burials contained the remains of children — just six containers were filled with bones belonging to adults, all of whom are believed to be civilians rather than warriors.

The discoveries at Fudicheng are surprising because experts previously thought that urn burials were only practiced on children rather than adults.

Excavations are ongoing and researchers hope that the findings will teach them more about the Western Han Dynasty’s burial customs.

They believe that there may even be more adult Urn burials waiting to be found.

3. A Mass Death During a severe drought around 9 million years ago, dozens of giraffes, rhinos, horses and saber-toothed cats went to watering holes in what is now Spain, desperately seeking relief from the deadly dryness and heat.

Sadly, they perished from dehydration, starvation and getting stuck in the mud.

Rain soon returned to the region, burying the animals quickly and leaving their bodies undamaged by scavengers and the elements.

Miners discovered one of the ancient bone-filled holes in 2007..

Since then, archaeologists have identified 9 similar sites near modern-day Madrid.

9,000 Bones

Researchers recently examined a collection of 9,000 bones found inside an ancient watering hole known as Batallones-10..

They identified dozens of species, including at least 15 large mammals such as extinct mastodons, sabertooth cats, badgers, rhinos, cattles, horses and musk deer.

The team also discovered a previously unknown extinct Giraffe relative called Decennatherium Rex.

At roughly 9 feet (2.7 meters) tall and weighing around 2.2 tons (2 metric tons), it looked more like a gigantic moose than a giraffe.

Experts identified the site as a watering hole based on the presence of amphibians and tortoises.

They found that the animals died throughout three distinct episodes of drought.

During those times, wildlife flocked to the watering hole and refused to stray far from it.

Consequently, the creatures ate all the vegetation.

Unwilling to leave the dwindling watering hole in search of food, they began to suffer from starvation and dehydration.

As the water supply shrank, animals ventured into the mud to drink, got stuck and died.

Each period of mass death lasted weeks or months until rain came and buried the remains in sediment.

Sadly, it appears as though more tragic discoveries are to come.

Study leader David Martín-Perea told Live Science that the next step is for the team to dig deeper and further examine the death that occurred at the site.

2. Bizarre Ancient Burial.

While working at the Ofuka-Cho archaeological site in Osaka, Japan, last year, archaeologists unearthed a series of strange circular holes filled with the remains of 1,500 people and animals.

The bizarre burials, which contain pigs, horses and at least one cat, date back to the mid-to-late 19th century during Japan’s Edo Period.

19th Century

Officials discovered the graves near a busy train station during the early stages of construction on a new skyscraper.

There aren’t any valuable goods in the tombs, suggesting that the people who were buried there were commoners.

Some of the remains show signs of disease, so it’s also possible that the deceased perished during a 19th-century epidemic that swept through the area.

Archaeologists also uncovered coffins filled with several bodies each, which supports the theory that the burials contain victims of a deadly disease.

City officials said that the graves likely belonged to young people and children who lived locally At the time of their deaths, the area was a farming region.

It was the first discovery of a historical burial site in Osaka, and researchers are continuing to study the findings in hopes of learning more about what killed the graves’ occupants.

1. Bog Bodies.

Denmark’s Bjaeldskovdal bog is creepy in its own right.

Situated on the country’s Jutland Peninsula, the sparse, flat mossy environment is eerily still containing just a tree here and there.

The discovery of over 500 remarkably preserved Iron age bodies and skeletons within this region makes it even spookier.

Bog Bodies

Known as bog bodies, these human remains date back between 800 BC and 200 AD, and they are discovered fairly regularly.

Many of them are found with their hair, skin, clothes and even the food in their stomach intact, owing to the oxygen-poor and highly acidic conditions of the layers of dead moss in their watery graves.

Tollund Man

One of the most famous bog bodies is the Tollund Man, who had visible stubble on his face when he was discovered in 1950.

Researchers have spent decades trying to learn about who the bog people were and why they died.

Some bodies bear signs of extreme violence, including cuts to the throat.

It was also unusual for the people of the time to bury their dead instead of cremate them, suggesting that the individuals were sacrificed as criminals, slaves or even just for being commoners.

According to National Geographic, A 2014 study challenged this notion after determining that some of the bog people showed signs of having traveled great distances and wore elaborate clothing from foreign lands, indicating that perhaps the opposite was true, that maybe they were sacrificed because they were highly regarded in their villages.

There are no written records of Danish Iron Age people’s religious beliefs, so it’s possible that scientists will never know who the bog people were or why they were killed.

Many experts do agree, however, that the victims were likely selected because they were seen as unique among the population.

Bog bodies have been found elsewhere in northern Europe, including in Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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