10 Ancient Archaeological Mysteries That We May Never Solve

For all of the time we spend researching and documenting our past, there are still many questions left unanswered. Our ancestors left a lot of traces in this world, and not all of them were ever meant to be understood by other cultures. Despite our best efforts, they remain mysteries to this day.

10. The Paracas Candelabra

Geoglyphs are giant images drawn on the surface of the ground. The Nazca Lines are probably the most famous geoglyph, but just 200 kilometers (130 mi) from the Nazca Plain is an even more mysterious example.

The Paracas Candelabra measures about 180 meters (600 ft) across. Despite the close proximity to the Nazca Lines, this geoglyph was likely not built by the Nazca people. Ancient pottery found at the site dates to 200 B.C., which means that the Paracas culture is most likely responsible. But while we have some idea who built the candelabra and when, the question of why leaves archaeologists baffled.

Some attribute a religious value to the geoglyph, as locals consider it to be the staff of Viracocha, an ancient creator god. Others, however, suggest a more practical purpose. The Candelabra is carved into a hill. The angle and huge size means that it can be seen from a great distance, as far as 20 kilometers (12 mi) out to sea. This has led some to believe that it was used as a landmark for sailors.

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