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Throughout time, ancient cultures have produced works of art that make us wonder what kind of things they were exposed to. The only real way they could try to recreate what they saw accurately, was with creating things from clay into the right shape. Other carvings were made to protect the tombs of ancient rulers and seeming had some mystical power. From sculptures carved out of a cliffside, to some of the first pieces art ever made by humans, here the most mysterious sculptures.
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Ancient Stone Balls of Costa Rica
Also known as Los Bolas, over 300 of these perfect spheres have been placed in western Costa Rica and the reason for their existence is still uncertain. These stone balls can be over 2 meters in diameter and weigh up to 15 tons! Most are sculpted from gabbro which is an igneous rock similar to basalt. They are also found in limestone and sandstone. What do you think these mysterious stones were for? Some claim they lead to the chief’s compound. This wasn’t the only place where archaeologists have found mysterious stone spheres. Also found in Bosnia, there’s a forest nicknamed the Forest of spheres which many believe is remnants of an ancient civilization, possible the one who built the bosnian pyramid!
Leshan Giant Buddha
Many are completely awe-struck when they look at the massive, immortal 233 foot tall statue that was built sometime between 713 and 803. It was completely carved out of a cliffside in the Sichuan province of China near the city of Leshan. This photo shows how utterly massive this ancient carving is and how people aren’t even taller the tips of buddha. The Leshan Giant Buddha is the largest stone buddha in the world and is the tallest pre modern statue. The Buddhist monk went through some serious lengths of trying to get this project completed. When he requested money for funding the project, many believed he was up to no good. To show that he meant business, he gouged out his own eyeball and we’re sure they took him seriously after that. One of the biggest mysteries about this is, why was the statue so important that he would resort to such drastic, self mutilating measures. So much stone was removed from the cliffside and put into the river nearby, that it actually changed its current and flow. Since the carving has been around for so long, it’s been quite eroded by factors such as wind, rain, tourism and the moss that grows on it.
As the pharaoh was preparing for the afterlife, artisans would create figurines to be placed in the tomb. They come in many different shapes, sizes and colors and typically feature some hieroglyphics that state how their ready to get put to work. The ushabtis were supposed to act as servants or minions to the pharaoh once they’ve pasted on to the other side. Some of these statuettes would carry things such as baskets, sacks or other agricultural tools and were made of wood, clay, terracotta, metal and other materials. They were made as early as the 11th Dynasty all the way to the 30th dynasty.
One of the most well known runestones in the world, the Rok runestone was partially deciphered during the 19th century when it was found being used as building material for a near by church and is certainly a mysterious object in Sweden. This is found today, standing in the sparsely populated province of Ostergotland (uster-gote-land). It’s believed to have been made in the 9th century AD. The stone was eventually moved from its original location and sits on display outside a churchyard. Some believe that the inscription was made intentionally difficult to read because it could be apart of a magical ritual. There are many speculations on the mysterious story about a father losing his son during a war but it appears to be an important lost piece of Norse mythology.
Statue of Khafre
Khafre was a pharoh during the 4th dynasty of ancient egypt making this a pretty old statue; about 5,570 years old to be a little more precise. It’s being kept in the Egyptian museum in Cairo and is made from an extremely hard, dark stone that was quarried 400 miles away from his tomb. The statue was carved for the kings tomb that was located near the great sphinx. He’s portrayed as the ideal masculine leader with a beard, cobra like head dress, muscular upper body and a kilt– not a skirt! In fact this guy was such a cool leader he even got his own great pyramid. The middle sized pyramid of Giza was dedicated to khafre, so anything relating to this king is of great value. Many are still amazed that ancient Egyptians had the proper tools to make such a detailed carving from such a hard rock. Some compare it to making a wooden sculpture with a plastic knife.