Imagine going for a hike and discovering a gold nugget. Now imagine finding out that gold nugget is actually a priceless relic from an ancient time and might literally be the only one in existence. This is the way some lucky hikers have felt in the past few years when they came upon ancient history right under their feet. At the opposite end of this feeling are the numbers of would be Indiana Joneses who dedicate their lives to digging up the past and never stumble across a find as rare as any of these hikers.
1. 1800 Year-Old Ancient Roman Coin Found In Israel
In March 2016 a hiker named Laurie Rimon found a Roman coin dating from the year 107 AD along a path in Northern Israel. Archeologists say the coin was made by the government of Roman Emperor Trajan and honors the founder of the Roman Empire, Augustus. Only one other copy of this coin is known to exist.
Historians say this coin would have been used to pay soldiers when silver coins weren’t available, however soldiers would have been annoyed since the gold coin was worth so much it wasn’t practical to spend with merchants.
2. 1,265 Year-Old Viking Sword
In October 2015 A Norwegian man named Goran Olsen stopped to rest while on a hike through a mountain path in the area of Haukeli. That is when he saw, right under a pile of rocks, an 1,265 year-old Viking sword, that was very well preserved.
Although a bit rusty, experts say that the blade with a missing handle might still be useable if they were to sharpen it. The Viking sword was probably owned by a rich person who could afford the iron it was made from.
3. The Ice Man
In September of 1991 two hikers from Germany named Helmut and Erica Simaon were going up the Otzal Alps when they discovered a body on the mountain. Thinking it could have been a recent avalanche victim they called the police who broke the body free with an ice pick, damaging some of the bones.
Later authorities determined that what would become known as “Otzi The Iceman” was actually a naturally mummified caveman from 3,000 B.C.
4. Dinosaur Footprints
In August of 2014 a hiker, traveling across the desert in Moab, Utah, came across some pretty large footprints carved into the ground.
While the area is a known dino hot spot, this random discovery featured 200 tracks from over a dozen different ancient species. Experts estimate the tracks the hiker discovered to be at least 125 million years old.
5. 3,500 Year Old Egyptian Seal
In February 2016 a man named Amit Haklai was hiking in Galilee, Israel when he came across a white object laying amongst black rocks.
Picking up the strange piece that he thought was a white stone, he discovered that it was carved with hieroglyphs. Archeologists later said that the hiker’s find was a 3,500 year-old sacred scarab amulet from the time of the Egyptian empire. The seal is dedicated to Pharaoh Thutmose III whose empire ruled over what is modern day Israel.
6. 600 Year-Old Basket
In March 2008 a hiker in Hells Canyon, Idaho looked under a rock pile under the ledge of a boulder and found the remains of a basket someone left there 600 years ago.
The textiles were made by a member of the Nez Perce Native American tribe. Archeologists believe the bundle was put there for safe keeping, but whoever placed it there never returned.
What is the strangest thing you have ever discovered on a hike?
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