Extreme Heat is Uncovering Lost Villages

The impacts of the shimmering heat waves have led to discoveries of treasures and tragedies.  

As temperatures skyrocket in most of Europe, the scorching heat has unveiled yet-to-be-seen ancient settlements, relics, and even mysterious artifacts. Following the extraordinary April 2021 archaeological discovery of a 3,000-year-old city lost in the sands of Egypt, this latest uncovering of lost villages and vestiges has once again left the world in awe.  

Lost City Found in Egypt

Image source: Mahmoud Khaled via discovery.com

Below are a few of those new findings that have recently appeared:

  • ITALY (unearthing of World War II artifacts): Due to rainless months and blocked snowmelt flow in the Alps, the longest river in Italy, River Po, has been at its lowest level in 70 years. Italy experienced a scorching and dry 2022 summer that prompted the government to declare a state of emergency in five northern regions. Amidst the drought extremities, the dried-up riverbed revealed undiscovered World War II-era wreckages, including bombs, German tanks, and cargo ships.  
  • ROME (a snapshot of life under the 5th Roman emperor, Nero): The dried-up Tiber River revealed a bridge allegedly constructed under the rule of Emperor Nero.  
  • GALICIA (a purposefully submerged village during the early 90s reappears): Due to the impact of the February drought in Galicia, Spain, a tiny, abandoned village lost to a flood in 1972 has slowly re-emerged. Near the Portuguese border, this time-warped little ghost town is fast becoming a tourist draw. One such man, 65-year-old pensioner Maximino Perez Romero from A Coruna, says, "I feel like I am watching a movie. I have a feeling of sadness."
  • UNITED STATES (a spooky collection found in Lake Mead): Lake Mead, the massive reservoir at the Hoover Dam, has reduced in size to a molar ratio of its former size. It has become a haunted attraction as visitors continue to discover sunken boats, missing jet skis, and even human remains confined in a barrel. Nevada, Arizona, and California, together with the federal government, have reached a $200 million agreement to sustain more water in Lake Mead during 2022-23. 

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Image source: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

  • ANTARCTIC SEA (discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton's lost ship, The Endurance): A scientific expedition successfully detected the location of vessel wreckage trapped in Antarctic ice for hundreds of years. The 35-day mission discovery revealed The Endurance, which belonged to Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, sat unsolved in the cold Weddell Sea at a depth of 3,008 m for over a century. Marine archaeologist Mensun Bound stated, "Without any exaggeration, this is the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen, by far."   
  • UNITED KINGDOM (a hidden garden buried nearly 300 years ago finds its way to light): Heat waves in the United Kingdom of Great Britain have exposed a historic home's 17th-century secret garden. At the South Lawn at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire, sit the remains of the lost Great Parterre built for the Duke of Devonshire in 1699. The scorching heat is burning through the present, less established lawn, exposing the outline of the once covered Great Parterre. "The heatwave has caused us issues elsewhere in the garden, but here it's revealing a hidden gem not enjoyed properly for nearly 300 years," said Chatsworth's head of gardens and landscape, Steve Porter. "It will disappear again when temperatures drop and as we get more rain, but in the meantime, it's wonderful to get a glimpse back into the past." 
  • MESOPOTAMIA (Mesopotamian artifacts of the Bronze Age empire resurface): The historical Tigris River in Iraq has been experiencing severe drought and high temperatures. It has impacted the water levels to decrease quickly, illuminating a well-preserved city from the 3400 BC Mittani empire. Kemune, a prosperous town during the Mitanni Empire from 1550 to 1650 (Bronze Age), was the focus of a team of Kurdish and German archaeologists investigating the location. University of Freiburg's Dr. Puljiz says, "The huge magazine building is of particular importance because enormous quantities of goods must have been stored in it, probably brought from all over the region." In addition, the rescue excavation team discovered ceramic vessels enclosing over 100 cuneiform tablets. The rescued earthenware will likely reveal even more history of the region. Peter Pfälzner, Professor at the University of Tübingen, stated, "It is close to a miracle that cuneiform tablets made of unfired clay survived so many decades underwater." 
  • NORWAY (millennia-old artifacts brought to light)— The melting glaciers in the high mountains of Norway have resulted in the excavation of millennium-old artifacts. The highlights of the finds led by the research of glacial archaeologist Lars Pil and his team include an Iron Age woolen garment, a Roman-style shoe, and an intact 300 to 600 BC reindeer hunting arrow with shafts still fastened.  

The modern world has evolved quite a bit through unfathomable discoveries and eureka. Progressive advancements in the field of science are revolutionizing our daily lives. Yet, brief but extraordinary seconds of time and discovery continue to hit us like cannons, leaving us in shock and awe. What will happen next? We wonder.  

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