Our planet contains a lot of wonderful monuments, and we are not talking about those that are only in museums, but also the buildings
Very important archaeological landmarks were destroyed by human stupidity and reckless behavior
Our planet contains a lot of wonderful monuments, and we are not talking about those that are only in museums, but also the buildings and monuments left by previous civilizations.
But because of human ignorance or recklessness, our world has lost many important antiquities and artifacts, some of them for completely stupid reasons such as the desire to take a picture with those works of art, and some of them are caused by blind ignorance and hatred, as the terrorist organizations did in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
Learn about 10 archaeological landmarks that were destroyed or destroyed as a result of human actions:
**** 1. Two tourists destroy a 300-year-old statue
In 2015, two tourists made headlines in Italy after they destroyed a 300-year-old artifact. The artifact consists of two statues of Hercules, a symbol of the city of Cremona in northern Italy, and according to legend, it was Heraclius who discovered the city.
The two tourists, obsessed with taking selfies, smashed this iconic statue after trying to climb on it to take a picture. Part of the crown was destroyed as a result of the recklessness and indifference of the tourists. By the way, this statue was designed in 1700 and then placed at the gates of Cremona, and then moved to the historic Loggia dei Militi, so you can imagine how symbolic this artwork is for the people of the city.
**** 2. Destruction of a pyramid from the Mayan civilization to pave a road:
The Central American country of Belize is famous for its wonderful beaches overlooking the Caribbean, as well as coral reefs and the many monuments left by the Mayan civilization.
In 2013, Belize lost one of those historical monuments, and the reason was a construction company that wanted to pave the way and destroyed a 2,300-year-old pyramid at the archaeological site of Nomol.
According to reports, this pyramid was built around the year 250 BC, and it is about 20 meters long, built of limestone. Archaeologist John Morris of the Institute of Archeology in Belize spoke of the incident, calling it "the worst I've seen in my 25 years of archaeology."
**** 3. Two teenagers sabotage a 5,000-year-old rock carving in Norway:
The Norwegian island of Tro contains a 5,000-year-old rock carving of a man ice skating, one of the first in the world to depict skateboarding. In addition, the emblem of the 1994 Winter Olympics was inspired by this inscription, indicating its historical and cultural significance.
Unfortunately, two teens inadvertently ruined this old pattern in 2016 when they tried to make the pattern more visible with a sharp tool and finished off the outside of the pattern to make it more eye-catching.
Reports state that the original inscription was damaged beyond repair, and the mayor told reporters: “It's a tragedy! This is one of the most famous historic archaeological sites in Norway.”
The boys realized their misbehavior and apologized for their ignorant behavior in a public statement. In any case, their identities remained unknown so that they would not be exposed to a threat to their lives after this behavior.
**** 4. The destruction of the house of (William Shakespeare) in 1759:
The Reverend (Francis Gastrell) bought the house of the famous English poet (William Shakespeare) in 1753, which is the house in the town of Stratford, in the county of Yorkshire. Tourists and visitors flocked to Shakespeare's home as a famous figure in English history, but Gastrell didn't like it, and he got into trouble with local officials for his tax evasion.
At first, Gastrell cut down a mulberry tree in the garden of the house, which Shakespeare had planted himself earlier, much to the wrath of the townspeople. Then, Gastrell made a move that would infuriate Shakespeare fans: after 6 years of buying the house, Gastrell demolished the home of one of the most famous poets in history, and one of the symbols of England in general.
The people of Stratford were stunned upon hearing this news, and Gastrell became so hated and unwelcome in the town that he eventually had to leave. No reconstruction was carried out on the house, only the foundations remained.
**** 5. The Nazis looted and vandalized the Amber Room, one of the most beautiful works of art in the palaces of the emperors of Russia.
The Catherine Palace, located in Tsarkoy Selo, contained the Amber Room: a room decorated with 6 tons of amber and semi-precious stones, designed by the German sculptor (Andreas Schlütter) and built by the Danish amber artist (Gottfried Wolfram), and sent to Russia in 18 large containers in the decade The first of the eighteenth century, the room was finally housed within the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, and was part of the European Art Collection.
The room was a gift from the King of Prussia (Friedrich I) to the Tsar of Russia (Peter I) in 1716 to celebrate the peace between them, and several international artists participated in its construction in that period, and historians estimate the value of the room at 142 million US dollars in today's money.
In 1941, Nazi leader (Adolf Hitler) launched Operation Barbarossa, the process in which the Soviet Union was invaded by 3 million German soldiers. The Nazis stole thousands of art collections from the dormitory room, and the Nazis claimed that the works were made by German artists, and thus belonged to the Germans.
Palace officials tried to cover the dormitory with wallpaper, but the hoax was exposed, and the Nazis dismantled the room and moved it to Germany. The room was housed in the Königsberg Castle Museum and was displayed there for two years. But in late Nazi Germany, the castle was bombed by Allied planes, and the castle museum was destroyed, thus losing any trace of the dormitory room.
The chamber was reconstructed, and reconstruction work began in 1979 in Tsarskoye Selo and was completed 25 years later. The Russian and German presidents celebrated the opening of the room, and this came on the 300th anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg, and the new room is still on display in the Tsarskoye Selo Museum.
**** 6. The destruction of the antiquities of the Kingdom of Hatra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, by ISIS:
Thousands of people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced by the terrorist practices of ISIS, but in addition to destroying people's lives, the organization intentionally destroyed many archaeological pieces and monuments in Iraq and Syria and traded in those antiquities illegally to earn money.
In 2015, militias affiliated with the organization destroyed the archaeological site of the Hatra Kingdom in Iraq, a site built 2,000 years ago. This archaeological site is less than 100 km southwest of the city of Mosul. The archaeological site was a fortified city with impregnable walls that withstood the invasions of the Romans. The city of Hatra contained several temples and statues dedicated to pagan deities.
ISIS militias used explosives and bulldozers to smash and destroy buildings, and the organization previously announced its explicit intention to destroy the archaeological site, considering these monuments to be mere “false idols” that its followers should destroy. The crime of ISIS has been classified as a malicious project aimed at "cultural cleansing".
**** 7. A truck driver drives and vandalizes his vehicle on the Nazca dirt lines, a 2,000-year-old archaeological landmark.
In 2018, a reckless driver drove his truck down a road containing a 2,000-year-old monument, dirt lines known as the Nazca Lines, geoglyphs made of dirt, and featuring spider, monkey, dog, and other geometric shapes, carved between the years 400 and 650 AD. Because of the dry climate, those streaks have survived to this day.
It seems that the reckless driver did not heed the road signs warning him not to go into this area. Police were able to identify the driver, a man in his forties at the time, who left his truck tires on a large area of the site, damaging 3 of the geoglyphs. However, the court did not see any indications that the driver's behavior was intentional.
Despite this, these lines were of great importance, as UNESCO said in a statement about the incident: “It is the most prominent group of geoglyphs in the world, and there is no equal in terms of size, extension, length, diversity, and quality.”
**** 8. The destruction of a sixth-century Buddha statue by the Taliban:
It is well known that wars ruthlessly and utterly destroy our planet, and over the past few decades, Afghanistan has been the greatest example of the cruelty of war. Afghanistan lost a lot during the period of war and violence, but the biggest cultural and archaeological loss was the destruction of the Buddha statue in Bamiyan.
In fact, the site contains two Buddha statues carved into a plateau in the Bamiyan Valley. The ruined statue dates back to the sixth century when Bamiyan was a sacred Buddhist site visited by tens of thousands of monks.
The large statue was the tallest statue of Buddha until 2001 when Taliban extremists planted explosives around the monument and blew it up. The Taliban forced their captives to carry explosives, and it took them about a month.
At first, the Taliban militia tried to destroy the statues with tanks and artillery shells, but when this method failed, the extremists resorted to explosives to destroy the statues. Unfortunately, the two statues were almost completely destroyed, and despite the reconstruction, this incident remains an example of human stupidity.
**** 9. Selfie destroys a statue of a 126-year-old Portuguese king:
There are a lot of accidents caused by those obsessed with taking reckless selfies, one of the victims of this stupidity is an artifact in Portugal.
The artifact is a child-sized statue of the King of Portugal (Sebastiao I), which was placed outside Rossio train station in Lisbon, and stood for 126 years until it fell to a tourist taking a selfie.
The man, then 24, was climbing the statue to take the perfect picture, but he accidentally dropped the statue and smashed it to pieces. The man tried to escape from the crime scene but was later arrested by the police.
King Sebastão I ruled Portugal from 1557 to 1578 and was made king when he was only three years old. The king died at the age of 24 after being wounded in the Battle of Ksar el Kebir in 1578 against the army of the Moroccan Sultan Abd al-Malik I al-Saadi.
10. Destruction of 1,800-year-old tombs in China to open an IKEA branch:
In 2007, the project to open a new branch of the famous IKEA in Nanjing, China, led to the destruction of historical artifacts and monuments.
The construction workers, while busy laying the foundations of the new IKEA Center, did not realize that they had destroyed 10 ancient tombs approximately 1,800 years old. These tombs date back to the period of the Six Dynasties, i.e. between the years 220 and 589 AD, and were discovered in the outskirts of the southeastern part of the old city.
According to Chinese archaeologists, well-built tombs suggest that they may have been the tombs of a wealthy family from the period. Those tombs were distinguished by green bricks decorated with lotus flower inscriptions. Unfortunately, these tombs were destroyed during the use of heavy machinery and bulldozers when excavating and laying foundations.
Chinese law allows for penalties to be imposed on destroyers and vandals of ancient artifacts, and the penalty is an amount of money ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 yuan, or approximately 6,600 to 65,000 dollars. However, no charges were brought against the workers or the company, and the law was not enforced in this case.