Sep 29, 2023

10 Ancient Monuments Whose Purposes Remain A Mystery

Many monuments around the world remain enigmas as experts debate their original purposes. These are ancient monuments whose purposes remain a mystery.

Some of the world's ancient monuments' original purposes remain a mystery today. While researchers may have a good idea of what a monument was for in general, the exact purpose of many mysterious monuments around the world remains an enigma.

Many of these mysteries have still not been fully solved, from Gobeki Tepe (which is now a fully developed tourist attraction) to the Mouth of Truth that is said to bite off the hands of liars. Here are some of the most mysterious ancient monuments whose purpose remains a mystery.

Related: 10 National & State Parks That Hide Strange Mysteries Within

Gobeki Tepe is one of the oldest archeological sites of its kind in the world. It has the world's oldest known megaliths that have been richly decorated with reliefs of wild animals and more.

But the exact purpose of Gobeki Tepe remains a mystery - it seems it wasn't permanently settled.

Silbury Hill is the largest prehistoric artificial mound in Europe and is located close to Stonehenge. It has the volume and his of some contemporary Egyptian pyramids and was obviously important to the ancient people who built it.

But it doesn't seem to be a burial, and no one seems to know why it was built or what its significance was.

Related: Avebury Henge: Why This Stonehenge Alternative Is Just As Impressive

There's an incredible history behind Machu Picchu, but there are still many questions about it. Machu Picchu is a remote 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru, and it is arguably the most famous ancient Inca ruin. It was built for the Inca Emperor, but its exact purpose and role remain a mystery.

The Inca left no written records about the site, leaving researchers to speculate. The dominant theory now is that it was a royal estate, but others suggest it was a religious site.

The Easter Island Statues or Moai are monolithic human figures carved by the ancient Polynesian Easter Island people. They were created between 1250 and 1500, but they are among the many ancient sites around the world whose purposes are unknown - the exact purpose of the stones remains a mystery.

It is suggested that they are the living faces of deified ancestors (there are over 900 known statues, and they are still being discovered).

Related: 12 Things You Didn't Know About The Moai Statues

The Neolithic Carnac site in France is one of the most dramatic Stone Age sites in Europe. It has thousands of prehistoric standing stones that are spread across three alignments (and used to have many more in the past).

But again, the exact purpose is now lost to history. It is easy to say Neolithic sites had to do with sun worship, but it is another thing to prove it.

The Nazca Lines are best seen from an airplane, and they are still an enigma. These massive geoglyphs of people and animals could have had some sort of ritual astronomical function, but no one really knows.

There are hundreds of these lines that are everything from simple lines to monkeys, birds, and lizards.

Related: The Best Way To See The Nazca Lines Is To Fly Over Them, Here's How To Do It

The Great Serpent Mound is one of the strange archeological attractions in Ohio. It is a three-foot-high and 1,348-foot-long prehistoric effigy mound of a snake.

The mound's age is unknown (suggestions between one and two thousand years old).

Stonehenge is perhaps the most famous Neolithic site in Europe and is also one of the world's ancient sites whose purposes are a mystery.

The massive megalithic stones have fascinated generations, but the purpose of the site is still a mystery (it had been believed to have been a sacrificial site, but that explanation is no longer considered).

The Mouth of Truth (or Bocca della Verita in Italian) is a marble mask dating from ancient Rome. It can be seen at the Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church in Rome, and it has spawned a number of local legends (including biting off the hands of liars).

It may depict the face of the sea titan god Oceanus, but its purpose is unknown. One leading theory is that it was a drain cover.

The Yonaguni Monument is the only monument on this list that researchers are divided on whether it is natural or man-made. It is a submerged rock formation in the sea in Japan's Ryukyu Islands.

Some researchers have suggested the formation is man-made stepped monoliths or a submerged pyramid. Perhaps the underwater formation is from an ancient submerged city, or perhaps they are just remarkable naturally occurring rocks and everyone is thinking too hard.

Aaron is a first-hand traveler who has visited more than 80 countries around the world. He is passionate about traveling and opening up the world for other intrepid explorers. He can be reached on Instagram at aaronspray

Suggested Purposes:Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose:Suggested Purpose:Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose: Suggested Purpose: