40 Times People Accidentally Stumbled Upon Interesting Archaeological Finds

Delving into the past can lead to some seriously cool discoveries, and it’s always a thrill when both amateur explorers and seasoned archaeologists stumble upon interesting archaeological finds. It’s like a treasure hunt where every unearthed object tells a story.

In this compilation, we’ve gathered 40 instances where people and archaeologists hit the jackpot, uncovering cool relics and artifacts that left everyone in awe. These interesting archaeological finds not only provide a glimpse into ancient life but also remind us how fascinating and diverse our history is.

From intricate jewelry hidden beneath centuries-old soil to mysterious tools used by our ancestors, these finds are a testament to the tireless efforts of archaeologists and the enduring intrigue of our collective past.

1. “A Mammoth Tusk Just Found In The Arctic”


2. “Letter By A Woman To Her Deceased Husband, Discovered In The Man’s Grave Along With A Lock Of Her Hair. Korea, 1586”

Andong National University Museum

The letter says: “You used to always say to me, ‘Let’s live together until our hair turns white and die on the same day.’ So how could you go ahead and leave me behind?”

3. “Archaeologists In Northern Spain Accidentally Uncovered A 2,000-Year-Old Roman City That Had Been Completely Lost To History”

Gobierno de Aragón

“The researchers were shocked by their discovery of this ‘monumental’ city with no known name and no mention in any historical record.”

4. “A 2000-Year-Old Glass Mosaic, Founded In The City Of Zeugma, Turkey”


5. “This Silver Pendant I Found While Metal Detecting Is Dated 227 Years Ago Today”


6. “Amid A Drought, The Dinosaur Valley State Park Has Discovered Dinosaur Footprints That Have Historically Been Covered By Water And Sediment. They Date Back More Than 113 Million Years”

Dinosaur Valley State Park – Friends

7. “A Roman Bead That Was Recently Found By The Vindolanda Trust At The Ruins Of Vindolanda Fort In Northern England”


8. “Archaeologists Have Made A Rare Find In Nördlingen, Bavaria: During Excavations, Experts Discovered A Bronze Sword More Than 3,000 Years Old”

arkeofili, Dr. Woidich / Sergiu Tifui

“This is so well preserved ‘that it almost still shines’.

It is estimated to belong to the late 14th century BC and thus to the Middle Bronze Age.

The sword now discovered came from a grave provided with rich bronze objects. A man, a woman, and a youth were buried in it. It is still unclear what relationship the people may have had with one another.”

9. “A 1,700-Year-Old Roman-Era ‘Good Shepherd’ Gold Ring Bearing An Engraving Of A Boy Holding A Sheep On His Shoulders, An Image Used By Early Christians To Symbolise Jesus”

Israel Antiquities Authority

10. “This Is A 3200-Year-Old Attendance Sheet Found In Deir El-Medina, Egypt. Reasons For Worker Absence Include ‘Embalming Brother’, ‘Brewing Beer’ And ‘Bitten By Scorpion'”

Alison Fisk

11. “2000-Year-Old Green Serpentine Stone Mask Found At The Base Of Pyramid Of The Sun, Teotihuacán, Mexico”

Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia

12. “In 2000, Archaeologists Discovered A Long Lost Egyptian City Heracleion That Was Abandoned And Sunk Into The Sea For More Than 1200 Years”

Christoph Gerigk

“Among the underwater ruins were 64 ships, 700 anchors, a treasure trove of gold coins, statues standing at 16 feet, and most notably the remains of a massive temple to the god Amun-Gereb, and a tiny sarcophagus for an animal.

These magnificent statues were recovered from the depths of Aboukir Bay by the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology under the direction of Franck Goddio. With the support of the Hilti Foundation, these statues have found their rightful place.”

13. “My Friend Just Found This Little Statue While Digging In His Own Garden”


“The archeologists from the museum told him that it is probably from a grave dating back to 3-4000 years ago. It has been found in Castell’ Arquato, PC, Italy. He proceeded to give it to the Museum Of Parma.”

14. “A Ceramic Jar Filled With Thousands Of Bronze Coins Was Unearthed At The Site Of A 15th-Century Samurai’s Residence Just North Of Tokyo, Japan”

Saitama Cultural Deposits Research Corporation

15. “My Buddy Threw His Detector Down And Started This Wild And Crazy Dance. I Asked Him What He Found, But He Couldn’t Speak. He Had To Point To It”


16. “This Is A 2000-Year-Old Dog Paw Print”


“This is an approximately 2000-year-old Roman roof tile with a dog paw print on it. After being formed it was left to dry on the ground and a dog stepped on it while the material was still wet.

Found this in the Roman bathhouse museum in Heerlen, The Netherlands, while on holiday.

It’s a museum built around the excavation site of the oldest building on Dutch soil. A bathhouse was used by the wealthy to enjoy hot and cold baths, pools, saunas, steam rooms, and massages. This particular one was discovered about 150 years ago in the Southern part of The Netherlands. The south part (up until the river the Rhine) was occupied by the Romans during the time of the Roman Empire.”

17. “Some Of The Numerous Handprints That Were Carved Into The Soft Sandstone Surface Of The White Mountain, In Wyoming, By The Ancestral Eastern Shoshone, 1000-1800 CE”


18. “17th Century Boots, Certamen Equestre”

Göran Schmidt

19. “Viking Ice Skates, Made From Leather And Horse-Bone, Found In York”

JORVIK Viking Centre

“We discovered 42 pairs of Viking-age ice skates in York – the majority were made from horse leg bones although cattle leg bones were also used.”

20. “Executioner’s Sword With An Inscription That Reads ‘When I Raise This Sword, So I Wish That This Poor Sinner Will Receive Eternal Life’. Germany, Late 17th Century”

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance

This collection showcases a wide range of cool items, from everyday objects to rare and unique artifacts, each with its own story to tell. It’s astonishing to see how these interesting archaeological finds bring history to life, offering insights into cultures and civilizations long gone.

The dedication of archaeologists in meticulously uncovering these treasures is nothing short of inspiring. They work tirelessly, sifting through layers of history to reveal secrets of the past. Whether it’s a simple pottery shard or an elaborate ancient weapon, these cool discoveries are a fascinating blend of science, history, and art, leaving us eager to learn more about the interesting archaeological finds that still lie hidden, waiting to be discovered.

21. “This Is Why We Love Glacial Archaeology! See How Happy We Are When We Get To Hold An Arrow, Which Has Been Lost In The Ice For 1500 Years”


“The arrow was discovered between the stones in the scree. It was found near the lower edge of the ice, but was probably lost in the snow further up the slope. When it later melted out, it was transported downslope by meltwater and ended up on the ground where we found it.

The arrow has probably been exposed a few times after it was lost in the snow, as the fletching is gone and the sinew and tar are not perfectly preserved. Still, the preservation is pretty awesome.”

22. “We Found A Sword While Making A Road Next To Our Property”


“It was found in Slovenia, where the Habsburg monarchy / Illyrian provinces used to be. People have been saying there were stables on the place where the sword was found.”

23. “I Actually Found A Medieval Silver Treasure Yesterday. 1 Penning From About 1165. It’s A Lifetime Find. I Contacted My Archaeologist About It”


24. “Incredible Rare Roman Statues Found In HS2 Rail Construction Dig”

High Speed Two Limited, High-Speed Two Limited

25. “Mosaics Of A Roman Villa Were Found Under A Vineyard In Negrar, Italy”

Comune di Negrar di Valpolicella

26. “First-Time Metal Detecting. Found An Over 100-Year-Old Time Capsule”


27. “Found This Fossil Today”


28. “Medieval Gold Ring I Just Found”


“I am not 100% sure of the age but I believe it to be the 15th century, although it could be a lot later.”

29. “This Archaeological Wall Of Engravings I Found While Hiking”


30. “A Gallic Bronze Helmet In The Shape Of A Swan, Found By Archeologists In Tintignac, France, In 2004 (4th-2nd Century BCE)”


31. “Back In 2014, The Secrets Of The Ice Program Found An Exceptional Pre-Viking Ski, 1300 Years Old, At The Digervarden Ice Patch In Norway.”

secretsoftheice, secretsoftheice.com

“The ski was complete, including the binding – one of only two skis from prehistory in this condition. Ever since, we have monitored the ice patch, hoping and praying for the second ski of the pair to melt out. Now it has happened! The new ski is even better preserved than the first one! It is an unbelievable find.”

32. “A Gold Bar With Mint Marks, Recovered From The Spanish Treasure Ship ‘Atocha’ Which Sank In 1622”


33. “I Found This Elizabeth I Penny While Metal Detecting Yesterday. It’s Only 14 Mm In Diameter.”


34. “An Ancient Clay Tablet Found In Uruk (Warka), Southern Iraq”


“Inscribed with a Cuneiform script and three geometric circles containing astronomical calculations, dated to the ancient Babylonian period (2004-1595 BC). Iraqi Museum, Babylonian Gallery.”

35. “The Capstone Of The Pyramid Of Amenemhat III, 1860 BC – 1814 BC”


36. “I Found This Arrowhead While Digging A Hole In My Backyard”


37. “A Centuries-Old Wooden Statue Was Recently Discovered By A Group Of Dutch Shrimp Fishermen Off The Coast Of Texel.”


“A municipal archaeologist for that region believes that the statue came from a warship, possibly during the 80 Years’ War, which stretched from the mid-1500s to mid-1600s.”

38. “Ukrainian Soldiers Dug Trenches And Discovered Ancient Amphoras Dated To Around 4-5 Centuries BC. Artifacts Were Transferred To The Odessa Archaeological Museum”


39. “Found An Arrowhead In A Dried-Up Stream”


40. “A Viking Sword Found At A High Altitude”

Secrets Of The Ice

Nate Armbruster

Nate Armbruster is a stand-up comedian and writer based in Chicago who is likely writing a joke as you read this. Find him online at natecomedy.com.