When someone does something ridiculous. Human people, on the other hand, have always been strange. They did unusual things before you and me were born, and they will continue to do strange things once we are gone.
Archaeologists are continuously unearthing all kinds of strange relics and findings from ancient civilizations. Here are five of the most ridiculous things they’ve discovered about our illogical forefathers.
The frequently used question is “What is the world coming to?”
The Mysterious Mummies of the Silk Road
Hundreds of human bodies have been discovered in the Tarim Basin, a desert region in northwest China. For thousands of years, the desert’s arid climate has preserved these bodies. The earliest is supposed to date from 2,000 BC, while the most recent is from AD 200.
The Tarim Basin mummies, while being buried in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, only a short distance from the Silk Road, do not resemble the inhabitants. Instead, they exhibit “Western” characteristics, according to historians. They were buried in cowhide-covered wooden coffins that resembled boats. They also reared sheep and goats, produced wheat and barley, and manufactured cheese, according to evidence uncovered at the site.
The origins of these mummies have been a mystery for many years. However, genetic investigation revealed in 2021 that the oldest are directly descended from the Ancient North Eurasians, who lived many thousands of years ago in the wide expanses of North Eurasia (Northern Steppe and Siberia).
Remains Found of Non-Binary Finnish Leader
Archaeologists in Finland discovered a 900-year-old burial with a woman dressed in women’s attire and wielding a sword in 1968. They were buried with a soft feather blanket and other grave goods and furs, signifying that they were a well-known member of the society. However, scientists couldn’t agree on what was found within. Some claimed the body belonged to a female fighter. Others, however, claimed that the tomb housed both a man and a woman.
Researchers ultimately discovered the identification of the strange remains in 2021, more than half a century after the burial was dug. The corpse was found to be gender non-binary after DNA analysis, indicating that they were born with an unique set of chromosomes.
Chromosomes are crucial in establishing a child’s gender. Girls typically have two X chromosomes, whereas boys have an X and a Y. However, doctors believe Finn had two X and one Y chromosome, a disorder known as Klinefelter syndrome. Klinefelter syndrome is characterised by male traits, although many suffer from low testosterone, enlarged breasts, and infertility.
“If the symptoms of the Klinefelter syndrome [had] been obvious on the person,” lead author Ulla Moilanen explained, “they might not have been deemed exclusively a female or a male in the early Middle Ages community.”
Neanderthals Caught Birds with Their Bare Hands
The Neanderthals were intriguing individuals. Scientists believe that prehistoric humans ate raven-like birds known as choughs, among other things. However, experts were left wondering how the primates managed to catch their dinner without the aid of modern technology. How can you eat a chough when all you have is your bare hands to catch it?
To learn more, a group of researchers decided to put the theory to the test. Evolutionary ecologists from Spain’s Estacion Biologica de Donana went into dimly lit caves and caught over 5,500 choughs without using any instruments. On a good night, the group might be able to catch 200 birds. They only managed to get a few hundred at other occasions. All they required was a little source of light to capture their winged prey.
This may sound like something only a mad scientist would do, but the team claims the experiment was instructive. Literally. Scientists now believe that Neanderthals were capable of producing fire in order to illuminate their environment. It also suggests that they possessed far greater cognitive ability than previously supposed.
Did Humans Hibernate During Winter?
Our human-like ancestors survived severe winters by curling up in caves and hibernating half a million years ago. According to a 2020 study report by two European paleoanthropologists, they may have. Although scientists doubt they were very good at it, fossil evidence shows that our long-ago forefathers used to lie dormant during the winter months.
At least 1,600 human fossils have been recovered from the caverns of Atapuerca in Spain by archaeologists. The authors of the study determined how individuals lived at the time by studying bone structure and growth. Records show a decrease in nutrition and vitamin D from the sun on an annual basis. According to scientists, this indicates that our forefathers may have spent the winter in hibernation.
The Prehistoric Origins of Genital Herpes
Scientists found the ancient human ancestor who caused genital herpes in 2017. HSV2, or genital herpes virus, has been around for millions of years. HSV1—the cold sore virus—is a close relative. For a long time, genital herpes was thought to affect mainly chimps and other primates. Our forefathers were fortunate in that they were not affected. However, between 3 and 1.4 million years ago, the viral blisters crossed the species barrier and began infecting early humans as well.
Researchers in the United Kingdom employed data modelling to identify the primate that led HSV2 to jump from one species to another. Paranthropus boisei, it turns out, is the culprit. They’re a stocky, humanoid species with small brains and dish-shaped faces. Scientists believe the virus was spread while the primates were rummaging for chimps to eat. Early humans most certainly ate infected P. boisei at some point, at which point they contracted genital herpes as well.
“Herpes infects everything from humans to coral, with each species having its unique set of viruses,” said Dr. Charlotte Houldcroft of the University of Cambridge. “These viruses require a favourable genetic alteration as well as a large fluid exchange to bypass species barriers.” This could be through food, intercourse, or both in the case of early hominins.”