Puzzles from the past
Everyone likes mysteries. Nowadays scientists work with modern technology to try to find answers to the mysteries of the past. Let’s have a look at some of the most mysterious places in the world.
Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Huge stone walls in Zimbabwe, Africa were discovered in 1871 by Karl Mauch. The walls covered 25 hectares around what is now called Great Zimbabwe. Great Zimbabwe is the most impressive Iron Age site in Africa. On top of a hill, there is a large castle and underneath this is the Great Enclosure, which has enormous walls sometimes 11 metres high and 1.2 metres thick. They think it was built about 1,000 years ago. Inside the Great Enclosure there are many huts, passages and rooms and a mysterious 9-metre-high stone tower that has no stairs, no windows and no doors. Why was it built? And who built Great Zimbabwe? It is a mystery to African and foreign archaeologists.
Pueblo Bonito, New Mexico, USA
Puzzles from the past
One thousand years ago, in the desert of the Chaco Canyon, the Anasazi people built nine multi-storey buildings called Great Houses. They used stone for the walls and wood for the floors, doors and roofs. They transported more than 200,000 trees from forests almost 80 kilometres away. How did they move the trees?
There are huge circular rooms called kivas in some buildings, the biggest one is underground and it is about 16 metres wide. What did Anasazi need circular rooms for? Perhaps they used them for religious ceremonies or for storing crops. The Anasazi people abandoned the Great Houses. Why did they do that?
Easter Island, Chile
Easter Island is in the South Pacific, 3,700 kilometres from the coast of Chile. There are about 600 large statues on the island. They were probably constructed between 1150 and 1500. The Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl believed that they were built by people from South America. To prove this, he made a simple raft and sailed there, all the way from Peru.
Archaeologists think that the statues represent dead tribal leaders. Why the people who built the statues left the island. Perhaps they were killed by disease or war. Perhaps they used all the natural resources on the island. There are many unanswered questions about Easter Island.