Over the years, many artifacts with cultural, historical, and archaeological significance have been lost. What’s surprising, though, is that many of these valuable objects were not really lost but simply forgotten. Either caused by human error or plain carelessness, a number of remarkable relics have remained hidden from the eyes of the public for decades or even centuries. Thankfully, many of these valuable artifacts eventually get rediscovered, often by accident.
10. A Neolithic Figurine
In the 1850s, a mysterious Neolithic figurine was discovered in Skara Brae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located on Orkney Island at the northern tip of Scotland. Experts estimate the artifact to be around 5,000 years old. It was carved from a whalebone and measures 9.5 centimeters (3.7 in) high and 7.5 centimeters (3 in) wide. What makes this figurine interesting is that it’s one of the region’s oldest known statues depicting a person.
Dubbed “Buddo,” which means “friend” in the Orkney language, this artifact had been missing for more than 150 years. Buddo was stored in the archives of the Stromness Museum and then simply forgotten. It was only when archaeologists decided to review the artifacts from Skara Brae that Buddo was rediscovered.
At the time of its discovery, Buddo was the oldest human depiction ever found in that area. Experts aren’t sure what it is, but they think it might be a Neolithic idol or a ritualistic item left behind when the villagers moved to a different region.