Five Totally Absurd Archaeological Headlines

Nazi buddha came from outer space

Yes, this really is a real headline.

Now, we’ve seen a thing or two in our time as archaeologists. Some of these things have been exciting, others confusing and a few that are just downright bizarre. But sometimes, even these things aren’t as bizarre as the way the papers choose to report them.

Here’s five of the most absurd archaeological headlines we’ve ever had the (mis) fortune to read…

1. Nazi Buddha Came From Outer Space

Well this is certainly one way to get the stats up. No doubt this web page was flooded with viewers wanting to learn more about the alien with identity issues who has decided to do a BBC interview. Some may have been disappointed (but probably many even more excited) to learn it is believed to be a 1,000 year old Bon Culture statue which has been carved from a chunk of 15,000 year old  Chinga meteorite, recovered by a Nazi expedition in the 1930s. Sometimes real life is just as cool as sci-fi (well nearly!)

2. Plank of oak discovery in Orkney investigated

If the last headline drew in the biggest number of site viewers, this headline may possibly have pulled in the least. Fair enough it may be thousands of years old, so that is pretty impressive preservation, but it’s still not what we spend a life time dreaming we’ll dig up. Scott Timpany from the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology seals the deal on the excitement factor “It’s all willow here, to have a massive oak plank is unusual.”

3. Is this the skeleton of legendary devil dog Black Shuck?

Well it seems the DigVentures Leiston team last year dug up a bit of a legend, the legend of the Black Shuck, according to the papers. You can read all about how the reporters sniffed out their scoop first hand from Fergus a.k.a @SiteDog. Apparently standing at ‘seven feet tall, with flaming red eyes and shaggy black hair,’ all we can say is that we really hope he doesn’t return to his grave to haunt us this year!

4. Zombie Attack at Hierakonpolis

Now this is definitely one for the blockbuster ‘The Mummy Returns (Yet Again)’ and this time with his zombie buddies. Rightly so this article says ‘Hierakonpolis is a site famous for its many ‘firsts,’ home to one of the first political documents – the Narmer Palette, Egypt’s first mummies, and the first ‘recorded zombie attack in history’… wait, what? How come they never taught us that key find in our archaeology classes?!

5. 200 Million Years Old Dinosaur Egg Hatches in Berlin

Ok so not strictly archaeology and we’re not really helping solve the age old confusion of ‘oh yeah you’re an archaeologist, you study dinosaurs and stuff’ *deep breath, count to 3* But how could we not include this! A 200 million year old dinosaur egg starting to hatch due to a overheating caused by a malfunction in the boiler room of a Berlin museum. Complete with a cute dinosaur emerging into the world picture. Oh how we wanted to believe, alas baby Godzilla was nothing but a hoax.

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Written by Aisling Serrant

An all round museum educator and enthusiast, Aisling's the Family Festival Coordinator at the Museum of London Docklands.

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