Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • It's hard work being an archeologist, but you love that it takes you around the world.

  • You're always discovering new and fascinating architectural finds from civilization past,

  • but nothing has prepared you for what you encounter in your current dig in Costa Rica.

  • One of the biggest mysteries possible in archeology is how ancient civilizations could create

  • something so big, so perfectly constructed that it would seem impossible to make by human

  • hands.

  • That's the mystery behind the massive stone spheres of Costa Rica.

  • Imagine a mysterious collection of over three hundred stone spheres, almost perfectly round,

  • ranging from as small as a few centimeters in diameter to as wide as over eight feet

  • at their center.

  • The smallest ones are light enough that you could probably play catch with them - if they

  • weren't priceless artifacts.

  • The biggest weigh up to sixteen tons, too heavy to move without powerful construction

  • equipment.

  • From the smallest to the largest, most are made from gabbro, a coarser version of basalt,

  • but some are made from limestone and sandstone.

  • To make them this uniform and this smooth, especially at the larger sizes, would take

  • some heavy-duty equipment.

  • But none of that equipment existed when testing indicates they were created - between 300

  • and 1550 CE.

  • That wasn't just before the age of construction equipment, it was largely before the age of

  • modern machinery!

  • When first discovered by modern archeologists on the coastal region of Isla del Cano, they

  • were completely puzzled.

  • Not only couldn't they figure out how the massive stone spheres were made, they had

  • no idea what they were used for - and neither do you.

  • What use would a society have for giant smooth rocks that were too heavy to move?

  • The site they were found in doesn't give you many clues - it's a big location that

  • contains both a long-abandoned settlement and a burial ground.

  • It was active during both the Agua Buena period from 300 to 800 CE, and the later Chiriqui

  • period from 800 to 1550 CE, which is believed to be the heyday of the Diquis culture.

  • That means most of these stones were made by civilizations that came and went before

  • Europeans arrived, so they're not going to be giving you any answers.

  • All that's left of the civilization now is some architecture consisting of a pair

  • of retaining walls - and of course, lots of spheres.

  • The stones sat, largely undisturbed, for hundreds of years, until progress came marching along.

  • The United Fruit Company, one of the most powerful businesses in the world in the 1930s,

  • was making inroads into the jungle so they could turn the land into banana plantations.

  • They quickly ran into the hard spheres and found them very difficult to move out of the

  • way.

  • As more workers arrived, they were confused by these giant smooth rocks.

  • They tried to move them out of the way with equipment, damaging them.

  • Then they became convinced they were a secret ancient way to store gold, and tried to blow

  • them up with dynamite.

  • That worked to break them apart, but inside there was nothing but smooth stone.

  • The spheres didn't give away their secrets easily, as the only information that could

  • be gained from them was their age via stratigraphy - the study of sedimentation in rocks.

  • But even that wasn't exact, because the rocks had been moved many times.

  • Before all the spheres could be destroyed by reckless workers, the government of Costa

  • Rica stepped in.

  • They protected the area as a key archeological site and let scientists inspect them over

  • the years to see if they could unlock their secrets.

  • And that's where you come in.

  • You're determined to find a theory that makes sense, but you're not the only one

  • looking for those answers.

  • Some of the world's best archeologists are on site along with you, and everyone's got

  • a wild and crazy theory for how the spheres were made and transported.

  • The site is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you'll be watched carefully to make

  • sure you don't damage anything.

  • You and your fellow scientists spend hours wandering around the site, looking at the

  • large and small spheres and gathering what clues you can.

  • Now it's time to take the evidence you've found and see if you can develop a theory

  • about their creation that passes scientific muster.

  • You and your fellow archeologists begin talking over dinner, and it's clear that they've

  • developed some wild theories.

  • The man to your left starts talking.

  • “I think they were lifted here by aliens and planted in this civilization.

  • Aliens who were capable of space travel could have technology far beyond ours, making it

  • easy for them to use tractor beams in their spaceships to lift stones far beyond what

  • machinery could do on Earth.

  • As for their purpose, they might be ancient religious artifacts from an alien civilization.

  • They could be encoded with information that our human eyes can't process, and they might

  • be waiting for the aliens to return to reclaim them for their true purpose!”

  • The table laughs - it's clear they're not buying the alien theory.

  • But it's far from the only crazy idea going around the table.

  • Another archeologist speaks up.

  • You know, these stones were right across the Atlantic ocean from the rumored site of

  • the lost continent of Atlantis.

  • Perhaps they're remnants of that lost civilization, and were crafted underwater and brought ashore

  • by the cataclysm that destroyed it.

  • They could have been constructed more easily underwater, because buoyancy helps counteract

  • gravity and it's easier to move heavy things underwater.

  • It's impossible for us to move them or figure out their purpose because they were never

  • meant to be used on land.”

  • The table erupts in arguments against yet another wild theory, but they're not done

  • yet.

  • A man with a wild bushy beard who you don't remember from the expedition - maybe he just

  • wandered in for a hot meal? - has his own theory.

  • Sure, they're giant spheres to us, but what if they weren't so big for the people

  • who created them?

  • There are lots of legends in many cultures about ancient races of giants, from the Titans

  • of Greece to the Nephilim of the Bible.

  • What if these spheres were created long before the age of man, by giants for whom they were

  • no bigger than marbles were for us?

  • They could have been playthings for them, left behind for us tiny humans to find and

  • puzzle over something that was never meant for us!”

  • The table looks like it's about to riot at the ridiculous theories, but thankfully

  • the next ones are a little more logical - if still pretty out there.

  • Alchemy was a common study in the ancient world, with scientists studying how to transform

  • natural substances.”

  • A woman at the far end of the table says.

  • What if these spheres were constructed not by hard workers, but by scientists who

  • had figured out how to soften the material they were made of?

  • That way they could be rolled and shaped by the workers easily, and when the treatment

  • wore off they would harden into solid stone again for their purpose.”

  • It's a theory more grounded in science, but still not one you're willing to buy.

  • There's one big problem - if such a compound existed to make it easy to shape stone, why

  • isn't there more evidence of it, you ask?

  • Perhaps they hid it well?

  • Maybe the secret of the stones is encoded in the stones themselves?

  • They could be printed on the surface of the stones, using cyphers that could only be read

  • by the people who built them.”

  • Or maybe they've hidden the secret in the center of the stone!”

  • A wild-eyed man jumps up from the table.

  • Maybe we should break one open and find what it holds?”

  • You have to explain that not only would that be very, very illegal - you would be destroying

  • a Costa Rican national treasure and damaging a world heritage site, both of which could

  • send you to prison for a long time - but that's one of the few questions that's already

  • been answered.

  • There were many theories back when the spheres were discovered about the spheres holding

  • secrets or treasures, and many were destroyed, but in the center the explorers found nothing

  • but solid stone.

  • Some thought they might have been rolled around a small solid object, like a coffee bean,

  • but even that was never found.

  • That was a close call, and you can see the crowd needs to be calmed down.

  • You decide to share some theories more grounded in evidence.

  • The first is that the spheres were slowly rolled from softer material, like clay.

  • There is a lot of evidence that the spheres are tied to pottery styles from the pre-Columbian

  • era, and they could have initially been rolled by hand and eventually pulled by teams and

  • pulleys to keep them moving once they became too large to move individually.

  • This is how many structures too big to be handled by bare hands, like the Moai of Easter

  • Island and the monuments at Stonehenge, were constructed.

  • The problem with this theory is that evidence is that the spheres are made from solid rock,

  • not malleable material.

  • But there's one more theory, and it's the one scientists everywhere are settling

  • on.

  • What if the only way to shape giant stones and turn them into these mysteriously smooth

  • orbs was...with other giant stones?

  • A closer look at the stones indicates that while to the naked eye, they look pretty smooth,

  • they're actually not perfect spheres.

  • They're shaped slightly unevenly, and you can find traces of damage and markings from

  • hammer stones.

  • That indicates that the smaller stones were shaped by hand and formed into spheres from

  • their original shape by standard pre-industrial tools like hammers and chisels.

  • But what of the giant stones?

  • They were still too large to be moved by craftsmen, but it's believed that they were finished

  • by slowly working on chiseling them away with tools, then polishing them with sand.

  • That is responsible for the smoother appearance, but they were likely carved from existing

  • rocks with a natural shape.

  • The biggest stones are probably in the same spot they were when they were originally carved,

  • and those excavated indicate that they were moved enough to be polished all around.

  • How were they moved?

  • Likely in a similar way to the Easter Island statues, where they were hooked up to ropes

  • and pulleys and pulled, orwalkedby teams of workers.

  • Your fellow archaeologists are impressed by your reasoned theory, and they applaud.

  • But there's still one big question hanging over everyone's head.

  • These spheres are enormous, and with the technology of the time, people must have put a ridiculous

  • amount of work into crafting them.

  • But why?

  • What is the significance of these stones that made them such an important project for the

  • ancient pre-Columbian civilizations of Costa Rica that they crafted them over hundreds

  • of years?

  • The most common theory is religion, especially as the spheres were found near a graveyard.

  • Could they be tributes to the deceased, or offerings to the Gods?

  • We know relatively little about the religious beliefs of the people who crafted them, and

  • there are no clear religious signifiers on the spheres.

  • Another theory is that they could be artillery, as the carefully carved spheres resemble primitive

  • cannonballs and could deliver some real destruction if aimed right.

  • But while these theories make sense for the small to mid-sized ones, can you imagine trying

  • to haul one of the giant ones into a catapult?

  • And what kind of catapult could throw one anyway?

  • The simplest solution may be that the spheres were decorative, an artistic flair created

  • by an ancient civilization using only the basic tools.

  • Why would a long-gone civilization want hundreds of carefully carved stone spheres scattered

  • around their village?

  • Who knows, but you could ask the same about your Great-Aunt and her collection of hundreds

  • of cat statues.

  • Your architectural expedition to explore the stone spheres of Costa Rica is at an end,

  • and you've learned a lot.

  • But for those who want to see these mysterious orbs for themselves, the national monument

  • of Guayabo de Turrialba is open to the public, but the sites are closely guarded to make

  • sure the stones don't get damaged.

  • Several that were removed from the site for closer examination are on display in museums

  • around the country, and the spheres are regarded as Costa Rica's most prized architectural

  • possession.

  • Some are even installed around the country in government buildings like the Legislative

  • Assembly.

  • There are still a lot of questions about the mysterious stone spheres, and you and your

  • friends will be far from the last with theories about how they were created.

  • For more on mysteries of ancient civilization, check outHow an Advanced Ancient Civilization

  • Mysteriously Vanished”, or check out this video instead.

  • Thanks for watching, and see you next time!

It's hard work being an archeologist, but you love that it takes you around the world.

字幕與單字

影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B1 中級

超先進的古代文明造就了這些完美的石球? (Super Advanced Ancient Civilization Made These Perfect Stone Spheres?)

  • 7 0
    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
影片單字