New archaeological discoveries show us that history may not beexactly as we learned in school.
Rather than thinking about history as a picture, try visualizing it as a puzzle that lacks all of its pieces. For centuries, researchers have been trying to put together a consistent timeline of history, but new findings make it difficult to keep that consistency for long. History, although it belongs to the past, is very much alive, and it changes with new archaeological discoveries.
Only, a few centuries ago we didn’t even know the origins of our own species, and the majority of scientist actively advocated that humans were made by a God or some sort of supernatural power. Please forgive my blasphemy, but this is as true as saying that our planet is actually a giant marble and that we are all participating in a game of intergalactic Marbles. Whoever falls into a black hole first, wins. Just because we can’t prove something wrong, doesn’t mean it is right.
The Theory of Evolution is an excellent example of a situation in which new evidence altered our entire view of the past, humankind and planet Earth. When approaching problems as complex as history, one must take into consideration different aspects that constitute this construct. First, and foremost, you need to pay attention to the source of the information presented to you. Often, historians wrote what the rulers told them to. Thus, we can’t treat all the information from all the historic periods we know of as 100% accurate.
What happens with new archaeological discoveries that don’t fit the puzzle? Sometimes it takes decades for the scientific community to recognize these findings as valid. The following archaeological discoveries changed the way we perceive history. Some of them are not yet fully explained, but it doesn’t change the fact that they exist and await a proper interpretation.
1. Petralona man
A skull unearthed in Petralona Cave near Thessaloniki in Northern Greece is not a new discovery. It was found in 1959 or 1960, and at first, it was believed that this is an ordinary hominin skull, aged somewhere between 100.000 and 120.000 years. If this information was true, Petralona would fit right into the existing puzzle of the development of humankind. Since then, information surfaced that the remains might be 350.000-year-old while others claim that the skull is 700.000-years-old! This makes Petralona cave the oldest human settlement we know of. Another layer of mystery was added when a scientist claimed that the skull doesn’t belong to any of the hominin groups that migrated from Africa to the European continent. Where did Petralona men come from? When were they extinct? It remains unclear. However, this discovery entirely changes the timeline of the evolution of humankind.