Historic discoveries continue to be made each and every day, thanks to the archaeologists and scientists who dedicate their lives to finding the world’s many hidden treasures.
Take these two 300-year-old mummies, for example, who were declared the first of their kind to undergo a virtual autopsy — and it wouldn’t have been possible without those who came across the bodies in the first place.
But sometimes, discoveries are made by folks who aren’t archaeologists at all. They’re made by those who wear yellow hard hats and operate cranes. Yep, you guessed it: construction workers.
The fact of the matter is, many times, these uncovered treasures (some dating back thousands of years) are first found by accident by those who are working on-site for another purpose.
This proves that some of the most amazing, world shaking treasures are hiding just under our feet, and sometimes it just takes digging in the right place to find them.
Keep reading to learn about 12 of these unbelievable finds that were first uncovered during construction. Some of them will shock you, to say the least.
Did we miss any that you know of? Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE with family and friends on Facebook!
Thumbnail sources: Flickr, Wikipedia Commons
1. Mayan "Basketball" Court From 500 B.C. (Yucatan, Mexico)
While construction workers worked on a project for a housing development, they stumbled upon this massive court for a basketball-style game that links back to ancient Mexico — just miles from the city of Merida, according to the Denver Post.
2. Cargo Ship From 1773 (World Trade Center, New York City)
While construction was going on at the former World Trade Center site, a baffling treasure emerged 20 feet underground. Scientists later realized that this vessel was made of oak wood cut from Philadelphia, according to Daily Mail.
3. An Entire City From Around 3,000 B.C. (Cappadocia, Turkey)
While a massive housing project was taking place, workers stumbled across honeycomb-like caves, tunnels, and chambers that made them stop in their tracks, according to the History Channel. Little did they know they had stumbled upon an entire underground city.
4. King Richard III From 1485 (Leicester, U.K.)
Unidentified bones found under a parking lot soon shocked the world when the DNA results came back. The bones belonged to King Richard III of Leicester, England — a shock to everyone around, you can imagine!
5. Lost Royal Chapel From 1600s (London)
A bulldozer was making its way across this historic site when it struck brickwork, according to National Geographic. It was a good thing they stopped construction to investigate, otherwise, Henry VIII’s 500-year-old chapel would have never been found — under a parking lot, of all places!
6. Mammoth Tooth From 9,000 B.C. (San Francisco)
When a crane in San Francisco dug about 100 feet down into the ground, it came across a miraculous discovery — a tooth from a woolly mammoth dating 11,000 years back!
7. Old Scottish House From 8,000 B.C. (South Queensferry, Scotland)
This is one of the oldest recorded homes to date in Scotland, discovered by workers alongside an oval pit with over a thousand flint artifacts, according to National Geographic. It is said that this pit and flint was used for tools and arrowheads.
8. Well-Preserved Mummy From 1400s (Tanzou, China)
While construction workers were widening a road in China, they stumbled upon a large box. And once they opened it, they called in the archaeological experts, because inside the container was a well-preserved mummy.
9. French Queen’s Hairpin From 1500s (Paris)
This gorgeous accessory belonged to 16th-century queen of France Catherine de Medici, according to Listverse. During the restoration of Fontainebleau Palace in Paris, the hairpin was found. But how workers ended up discovering it in the toilet, of all places, we will never know.
10. Whale Fossils From 17 To 19 Million Years Ago (Laguna Canyon, CA)
This construction discovery from California beats all the others on this list when it comes to age. The bunch of fossils contained 11 different types of whale species, four of which were entirely new to human knowledge.
11. Ancient Roman Barracks From 1000s (Rome)
While building the city’s third metro line, construction workers uncovered Roman barracks — complete with a hallway and 39 rooms in total, in addition to beautiful frescoes on the walls, according to BBC.
And now, the barracks are going to be incorporated into the station, making it an archaeological find for all to witness.
12. Time Capsule From 1894 (Kingussie, Scotland)
While construction was taking place on the Ruthvern Bridge, the workers came across a fascinating discovery: a container the size of a shoe box, containing a paper scroll, newspaper clippings, and what experts believe is a bottle of whisky. Talk about a matured bottle!
Did we leave out any good construction-site finds that you know about? Let us know in the comments below, and please SHARE with your friends and family on Facebook!