Historic Secrets of Long Lost Cultures: Secrets from the Turkish, Peruvian, Chinese, and Canadian cultures

Fareeha Arshad

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Image by Marius Mangevicius from Pixabay

The thing about historical accounts is that each side loves claiming itself as the most powerful, influential, and victorious. However, much of the past has been written based on the parts of the stories already available. As and when the remaining pieces of the historical bits were discovered, the story was rewritten over the years. Let’s look at some of such accounts from the past that were recently unearthed.

1. Secrets from the underground Ani of Turkey

The ancient city of Ani, once in the Kingdom of Armenia, now lies close to the Turkish borders. Also called the ‘City of 1001 Churches’, this city was once one of the most influential cities in the world. Regardless of Ani’s influence, it was conquered several times in history by the Armenians, the Byzantines, the Ottomans and others. Post World War I, several monuments throughout the city were razed to the grounds, and many were vandalized.

Not much was known about this mysterious city for a long time — until the 2014 Kars Symposium at Kafkas University in Turkey. During this presentation, one group of researchers explained their accidental discovery of a sixth century Mesopotamian School that lay in the underground Ani. They also stumbled upon ancient letters exchanged between monks, written in the Armenian language.

In a much previous excavation study from 1915, Italian researchers confirmed the presence of a school in the underground Ani alongside houses made up of rocks, monasteries, and narrow water channels alongside extended networks of tunnels. Also, more than 800 different buildings and caves were recognized in the underground Ani.

2. Secrets of the Sican Culture of Peru

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The Sican culture of the Lambayeque Valley of Peru flourished between 750 and 1375 AD. According to some legends, Naymlap, a Sican leader, first came to this valley along with his followers. After they settled on this land, they built several temples and palaces.

The Sican people used irrigation technology like their ancestors, the Moche; however, they had different burial rituals. Instead of the regular practice of burying the dead laying down, they would bury them in a sitting position. Their kings were buried along with valuable goods and precious materials. Even though these people were not violent, they did participate in rituals involving mass human sacrifices.

As per a legend, the Sican leader’s grandsons interfered with their traditions and beliefs, which is known to be the reason behind heavy rains that led to the destruction of the area in 1100 AD. Scientists also agree that the El Nino weather conditions happened at around the same time.

Though there are not many archaeological pieces of evidence to narrate the exact happenings that led to the downfall of such an influential culture, archaeologists have concluded that the Sicans deserted the place around the same time because the site suffered significant damages.

3. The secrets of the Chinese Qijia culture

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The people of Qijia of China lived from around 2250 to 1900 BC. The first time any evidence of this culture was discovered was in the early 1900s by a Swedish geologist. Though several water bodies surrounded the Qijia sites, the climate was persistently dry. The people lived in tiny houses and depended on raising domestic animals like goats and sheep.

The people of Qijia used bone divination lots to predict the future. This mysterious culture became more alluring when archaeologists discovered a half buried village. Among the many things uncovered was a house that homed fourteen sets of human bones. However, what surprised the researchers was the several sets of bones that were previously never seen together in a single Chinese house.

When the bones were further analyzed, it was discovered that the bones were present in groups — as though one adult was present with two to four children before they perished. Archaeologists believe that there could have been a sudden catastrophic event like a sudden earthquake that could have led to this situation. Along with the bones, a pottery bowl with the remains of the world’s first noodle was also discovered very close to the bones.

3. The secrets of the Dorset culture of Arctic Canada and Greenland

The Dorset people lived in and around Canada and Greenland between 800 BC to 1300 AD. They were very isolated people and did not mingle with other humans from the rest of the world. They primarily survived by fishing and hunting animals. The Dorset people were powerful and giant-like skilled hunters. They also owned a set of small and precise tools that helped them in their hunting activities.

Though the Dorset men rarely interacted with people outside their area, they loved their women. DNA analyses on the ancient Dorset samples revealed very little diversity in the DNA inherited from the mother’s side. This means there were very few women in the area. Also, the Dorset men did not mingle with foreign women or women from outside their culture. Most archaeologists believe that their seclusion had to do with their religious beliefs.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State
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