We love to emphasize human development. And for good reason, it’s amazing how far we’ve come in the last centuries, decades and even years. Science advances in leaps, introducing one groundbreaking invention after the other, fueling our minds with thoughts about the next big thing.

But that doesn’t mean that we were clueless in the past. If we were to dig a little bit in history, it would reveal that people have always had the capacity to outdo themselves. Yes, the tools might have been different and not so sophisticated, but some of the artifacts that survived the test of time still surprise us to this day.

Here’s an exclusive Bored Panda collection of man-made things that don’t lose the “wow” factor. And maybe never will.


An early example of a successful cranioplasty (Peru, ca. 400 CE). The patient survived, as evidenced by the well-healed in situ cranioplasty made from a gold inlay. Now on display at the Gold Museum of Peru and Weapons of the World in Lima.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


A gun hidden within a bible, made for Francesco Morozini, Doge of Venice (1619-1694). The owner of the bible could pull the silk bookmark to shoot while the book was still closed. Now on display at the Museo Correr in Venice.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Wonderful 2000-year-old sapphire ring presumably belonged to Roman emperor Caligula, thought depicting his fourth wife Caesonia.

Image credits: Figgyee


Detail of the Hercules armor of the Emperor Maximilian II of Austria. Made in 1555, it’s now on display at the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


2300 years old Scythian woman’s boot preserved in the frozen ground of the Altai Mountains.

Image credits: SnorriGrisomson


2000-year-old Roman face cream/lotion. Dating back to II AD. Object was found in the temple complex dedicated to Mars. It’s world’s oldest cosmetic face cream and it has finger marks in the lid.

Image credits: innuendoPL


First ever drawings of the moon made by Galileo Galeili after observing it through his telescope in 1609.

Image credits: meme_stealing_bandit


Oldest surviving pair of Levis jeans, 1879.

Image credits: AStolenSweetroll


A cabin on board the Aachen, a 19th-century steamship hit by a torpedo in July 1915. Now located at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


A Viking era ring inscribed with the words ‘for Allah’, found in the grave of a woman who was buried 1200 years ago in Birka, 25 km west of modern-day Stockholm. The ring constitutes a unique material evidence of direct contact between the Vikings and the Abbasid Caliphate.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


An amateur treasure hunter with a metal detector turned up a Medieval, gold ring that was set with a sapphire stone in Sherwood Forest—haunt of the legendary (or real) Robin Hood. Experts have examined the ring and believe it may date to the 14 th century.

Image credits: bigmeat


Thirteen-year-old Israeli goes foraging for mushrooms, stumbles upon a Byzantine burial inscription.

Image credits: NoDrinksBefore12


3400 yo painter’s palette from ancient Egypt, Amenhotep III era.

Image credits: ViVilma


9000 year old cave painting in Tassili cave Algeria. Depicting a shaman during psychedelic mushroom use.

Image credits: gillbeats


1,500-year-old Ceramic Maya Figurine with Removable Helmet, from El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala.

Image credits: karmagheden


Breastplate Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1549.

Image credits: GaGator43


Curious Artefacts: Hitler’s Telephone, one of the deadliest weapons of all times [1000×562]

Image credits: sortaeTheDog


Top hat worn by Abraham Lincoln the night he was shot. Now on display at the National Museum of American History.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The Rape of Proserpina is a large Baroque marble sculptural group by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1621 and 1622. Bernini was only 23 years old at its completion. Now on display at the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Small sculpture of death with a bow made in 1520 Germany.

Image credits: Raymands


The Veiled Christ, a 1753 marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino exhibited in the Cappella Sansevero in Naples. Due to its incredible detail, there was a legend that said that the statue was covered by real veil and slowly transformed over time into marble via chemical processes.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Ancient ‘Beware of Dog’ Sign From 2,000 Years Ago. A mosaic in front of a Roman poet’s house in Pompeii, 1st Century AD. “Cave Canem”/caveat canine/beware of dog.

Image credits: GaGator43


A 17th century ottoman three-mast tent made of silk and gilded leather. Now on display at the Turkish Chamber in the Dresden Armoury.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Incan Wall, a fine example of master Stonemasonry. Cuzco, 1400’s. 

Image credits: AStolenSweetroll


A Roman toddler’s footprint in a red clay tile, imprinted as it was drying ~2000 years ago. Vaison-la-Romaine (ancient Vasio Vocontiorum).

Image credits: TheSanityInspector


Stockings, 1830, cotton/silk.

Image credits: PythiaPhemonoe


Detail from the “unswept floor” mosaic made by Heraclitus, showing a mouse eating a walnut. 2nd century CE, now on display at the Vatican Museums.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Crystal spearhead found in a 5,000-year-old megalithic tomb in Spain. The tomb had the remains of 25 individuals, several of whom had consumed a poisonous substance.

Image credits: Kunstkurator


A newspaper ad from 1865 of an 18 year old man looking for a wife.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


(1528-29) German hunting knife that’s also a gun, that’s also a calendar.

Image credits: Russell12349


An 8-mile long “canvas” filled with ice age drawings of extinct animals has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Abuna Yemata Guh is a monolithic church located in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. It is situated at a height of 2,580 metres (its entrance is highlighted by a red circle) and has to be climbed on foot to reach. It is notable for its wall paintings dating back to the 5th century.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The ceiling of the 2000 years old hypostyle hall of the temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Mourning clothes worn by count Magnus Brahe at the funeral of king Karl XIV Johan of Sweden in 1844.

Image credits: eam2468


One of Stalin’s pipes, depicting him and FDR playing chess. It was given to him in 1945 by the visiting US chess team.

Image credits: abaganoush


The Sword of Goujian, found in 1965. This sword is mainly made of bronze with blue crystals and turquoise decoration. The blade surprisingly didn’t suffer from rust and tarnish, so it’s still extremely sharp. Hubei, China, Spring and Autumn period (771–403 BC).

Image credits: Figgyee


Bowl with Fish, Iran, probably Kashan (late 13th–mid-14th century).

Image credits: deniscard


Two books I picked up from the Goodwill where I work. The one on the left was printed in 1711 and is a collection of Pliny the Younger’s letters. The one on the right was printed in 1771 and is a school book about Greek Mythology.

Image credits: DaTank84


Elaborate Ottoman-era birdhouses resembling miniature palaces and mosques.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


An ancient Egyptian gold ring with a carnelian bezel in form of a cat. From the Third Intermediate Period (1070–712 BC), it’s now in the collection of the British Museum.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Samurai helmet (kabuko) shaped like an octopus. 1700s, Japan. 

Image credits: PolarMolecule


These stunning mosaics have just been unearthed under a vineyard in Italy, in the province of Verona, near the town of Negrar. They have been dated from 3rd to 4th Century.

Image credits: bigmeat


One of the 4000-year-old well-preserved wagons unearthed in the Lchashen village in the vicinity of Lake Sevan. Made of oak, they are the oldest known wagons in the world. Now on display at the History Museum of Armenia.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


In the small village of Nashtifan, Iran, some of the oldest windmills in the world still spin. Made of natural clay, straw, and wood, the windmills have been milling grain for flour for an estimated 1,000 years.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The Temple of Edfu an Egyptian located on the west bank of the Nile in Edfu, Upper Egypt 57 BC.

Image credits: Gamilat


Formal outfit worn by one of the last daimyōs. Japan, Edo Period, around 1830.

Image credits: fpriyakorn


An Inuit otter amulet. Engraved and pigmented ivory, c.1870-1880.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


2000 year-old glass mosaics, from the ancient city of Zeugma in Turkey.

Image credits: tismuma


The oldest throne room in Europe, at the heart of the Bronze Age Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete, 15th Century BC.

Image credits: GaGator43


A rare dagger for esoteric rituals from France, mid 19th Century.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The Da Vinci Globe, dated 1504, is the oldest known globe to show the New World. Engraved with immaculate detail on two conjoined lower halves of ostrich eggs.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The Arg-e Bam also known as Bam Citadel, located at the city of Bam, Kerman Province of Southeastern Iran, traced back to at least the Achaemenide Empire (sixth to fourth centuries BC).

Image credits: Gamilat


1000 years ago some Viking craftsman lost all his equipment in the lake Mästermyr on the island of Gotland. In 1936 the wooden chest containing all the tools were found at the bottom of the former lake, which now had turned into a bog. Now on display at the Swedish History Museum.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Michelangelo’s Moses is a marble sculpture made in 1513–15. One of the many details of this masterpiece is one very small muscle in the forearms that contracts only when lifting the pinky, otherwise it is invisible. Moses is lifting the pinky, therefore that tiny muscle is contracted.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


An 8,000-year-old marble figurine of a voluptuous woman was unearthed in 2016 in the Neolithic urban settlement of Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. The figurine is 17 centimeters long, 11 centimeters wide and weighs one kilo.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


A 2000-year-old giant cat geoglyph was discovered amid Peru’s famous Nazca Lines, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Chantilly Castle, wrought iron railing made in 1870 by the Moreau brothers on drawing of architect Honoré Daumet.

Image credits: SnorriGrisomson


Roman gold ring with a cameo bust of Minerva made from chrome chalcedony, ca. 1st century CE.

Image credits: exalted_augusta


Corinthian helmet from the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) found with the warrior’s skull inside.

Image credits: innuendoPL


Roman chariot unearthed ‘almost intact’ near Pompeii.

Image credits: kabuki7


The Ishtar Gate, built by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II in Mesopotamia in 575 BC, using blue lapis lazuli and dense asphalt bricks. It’s now preserved in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Detail pic in comment.

Image credits: GaGator43


Head of a man with tight, curly hair. Egypt, 2nd century BC 

Image credits: MunakataSennin


Before and after the excavation and restoration of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, built approximately 4000 years ago by King Ur-Nammu of the Neo-Sumerian Empire, in dedication to the Moon God, Nanna.

Image credits: exalted_augusta


The Sacred City of Caral in Peru. At almost 5000 years old, it’s the oldest city in the Americas and predates even the great Pyramids of Egypt. It includes 6 pyramids, the largest of which measures 150×160 meters, 2 sunken ceremonial plazas, residential districts and an irrigation system.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Nubian pyramids in Sudan, built from the 700s BC onwards, not as well known as Egypt’s pyramids but still amazing.

Image credits: Kunstkurator


Chand Baori, the largest and deepest stepwell in India. It consists of 3500 narrow steps over 13 stories and extends 30 m into the ground. The oldest parts of the stepwell date from the 8th century, while the upper stories with the columned arcade around it were built in the 18th century.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Posy ring with pictogram inscription, ‘Two hands, one heart, Till death us part.’ England in the 17th century.

Image credits: redbonito


Prague’s astrological clock is the oldest still functioning clock in the world, 1410.

Image credits: reddit.com


Pair burial of the Scythian Husband and Wife, found near Ternopil, Ukraine (c. 1000 BC).

Image credits: Strydwolf


The Ancient wooden Orthodox Church, built in 1655 at Krasnaya Lyaga, Russia.

Image credits: GaGator43


Ancient City of Sigiriya(Lion Rock Sinhala: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா / aசிங்ககிரி, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka 477 – 495 AD .

Image credits: Gamilat


The 3,200-year-old tomb of Queen Nefertari, also called the Sistine Chapel of Ancient Egypt. The paintings, which are found on almost every available surface in the tomb, are considered to be the best preserved and most eloquent decorations of any Egyptian burial site.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


This Viking sword was found by reindeer hunters at high altitude in the Mountains of Oppland County. It may have belonged to a Viking who lost his way and died here 1100 years ago. (more info in comment).

Image credits: bigmeat


A new chapter of the Epic of Gilgamesh is revealed when the fragment of Tablet V was finally recovered. It was written in Standard Babylonian and dates back to the Neo-Babylonian period (626-538 BC), according to researchers.

Image credits: exalted_augusta


14000 years old bisons sculptures found in Le Tuc d’Audoubert cave. Ariege, France.

Image credits: innuendoPL


A Roman bathhouse still in use after 2,000 years in Khenchela, Algeria.

Image credits: bigmeat


Ivory carving of a skull and coiled snake with carnelian eyes. Japan, Edo period, 1860.

Image credits: MunakataSennin


Victorian Prosthetic Arm, Europe, 1850-1910.

Image credits: AStolenSweetroll


Hieroglyphics writing in the wall of The Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu in the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt 1186-1156 BC.

Image credits: Gamilat


Inside the colorful and perfectly preserved 3225-year-old tomb of the sculptor Nakhtamun (TT 335) located in Deir el-Medina, part of the Theban Necropolis, on the west bank of the Nile, opposite to Luxor.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


One of the fake heads used as a decoy during the 1962 escape of 3 prisoners from Alcatraz. Made with soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, and concrete dust.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Gauntlet of “Lion” armor of Henry II, king of France, 1550. 

Image credits: innuendoPL


A 3770 year old Babylonian clay tablet written in Akkadian, containing the oldest known cooking recipes. The tablet includes 25 recipes for stews, 21 meat stews and 4 vegetable stews. Now part of the collection of the Yale University Library.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Scroll written in gold ink on dark blue paper. Japan, Heian Period, 9th century AD.

Image credits: fpriyakorn


Ancient Roman faucets from Pompeii, 1st century BCE-1st century CE.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


9.4 inch mortar shaped like a sitting tiger. India, 1770-1799.

Image credits: fpriyakorn


Armored Gauntlets owned by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, from 1508 until his death in 1519. (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Image credits: GaGator43


The bullet that killed the president Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


2,000-Year-Old Roman shoe found in a well.

Image credits: Kunstkurator


Bronze Phrygian Helmet, Greek, Late Classical to Early Hellenistic, c. 350-300.

Image credits: GaGator43


Charles V’s Nemean Lion Parade burgonet. Made by Filippo Negroli in Milan c. 1541.

Image credits: reddit.com


Medieval ax with a preserved wooden handle discovered on the island of Ledniczka in Poland.

Image credits: bigmeat


A Gold Bar with mint marks, recovered from the Spanish treasure ship ‘Atocha’ which sank in 1622.

Image credits: GaGator43


My picture of the burial chamber in the Tomb of Seti I on the West Bank of Luxor, circa 1279 BCE.

Image credits: PorcupineMerchant


Close detail of “The Green Man”, 1200’s AD, Early Gothic, Bamberg Cathedral, Germany.

Image credits: GaGator43


Silk vest worn by King Charles I of England during his beheading on charges of treason in 1649.

Image credits: ChefMasterVindex


In 1965, excavations in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, revealed the presence of 4 huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, which are about 15,000 years old, are some of the oldest shelters known to have been constructed by pre-historic man.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


A Mughal emerald and gold ring, 16-17th century CE, sold at Christie’s in 2019.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Freshly excavated 2000 yr old Terracotta Warriors still showing original color before rapid deterioration. Picture taken in 1974.

Image credits: reddit.com


A silver brooch I found metal detecting, finally being worn again after 400 years in the ground.

Image credits: poshjosh1999


A beautiful Mesolithic amber figure of a bear. It washed up on a beach at Fanø in Denmark from a submerged Mesolithic settlement under the North Sea. 12500-3900 BC, now on display at the National Museum of Denmark.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


A backside view of the Great Sphinx of Giza that features its giant tail. Old Kingdom, c. 2558–2532 BC.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The uniform worn by King Charles XII of Sweden when he was killed by a stray shot during the Siege of Fredriksten on 30th November 1718, now in the collections of The Royal Armoury in Stockholm, Sweden.

Image credits: TheLordAnubis


The buried bodies of the iconic Easter Island moai basalt statues, built by the Rapa Nui people between 1250-1500 CE, with petroglyphs carved on their back.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The giant two-handed sword that belonged to the Bavarian Prince-Elector Maximilian II, made from a sawfish snout, 1689.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The ancient Roman city of Timgad in the Aurès Mountains of Algeria. It was founded by the Emperor Trajan around 100 CE, and its ruins are noteworthy for representing one of the best extant examples of the grid plan as used in Roman town planning.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Ancient Greek Helmets from Classical Period, Olympia Museum.

Image credits: Ergorath


A book of magic, with spells and occult diagrams involving the 99 names of God. Middle East, 1425.

Image credits: MunakataSennin


A 5000-year-old Sumerian alabaster statuette of a priest-king, found inside a pottery vessel in the ancient city of Uruk in 1929/30. Now on display at the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


One of only two authentic old Jolly Rogers known in the world. The red background meant that she ship flying the flag would take no prisoners if their opponents put up a fight. The 18th century pirate flag is now on display at the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Cast of a dog from Pompeii, 79 CE.

Image credits: myrmekochoria


Mountaineer’s axe with heart-shaped holes and bronze reinforced shaft. Japan, Muromachi period, 14th century.

Image credits: MunakataSennin


The skeleton of a 16th century soldier, complete with his sword, boots, belt and other items, was discovered last year during an underwater bridge inspection at the bottom of Lake Asveja in Lithuania.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


Only taxidermied blue whale in the world. Gothenburg, Sweden 1865.

Image credits: eam2468


The chinese submerged city of Shi Cheng (“Lion City”), located 130 ft beneath Qiandao Lake. Built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–200 CE), the city was flooded in 1959 to create the lake for the Xin’an River Dam project.

Image credits: Fuckoff555


The Kiss of Death is a marble sculpture made in 1930 and found in Poblenou Cemetery in Barcelona. It depicts death, in the form of a winged skeleton, planting a kiss on the forehead of a young man.

Image credits: Fuckoff555

Art – Bored Panda