The list below contains items that have been studied for decades or even centuries, but have remained unsolved. Now, as our reach and abilities increase with new technology, these age-old mysteries will finally be unraveled.
1) No one has ever found the tomb of either Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great
Archaeologists have educated guesses as to where the tombs of these infamous conquerors lie, but they are general estimates only. To find the tomb without technology would basically involve choosing a likely spot and then digging. And then trying again in a different spot. Which is why no one has found these tombs. But by using satellite images to survey large chunks of land, then using a technique called GPR, ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists can look underground in many spots without the digging.
2) Long dead cities and civilizations remain hidden
Despite it seeming impossible in today’s ultra-connected world, there are still long-empty cities and settlements that have yet to be uncovered. Most of them exist beneath the thick forest canopies of Central and South America. Archaeologists are using a tool called LiDAR, Light Detection And Ranging, to “see” beneath the trees. Using this technique will enable them to discover places that haven’t been seen for many years.
3) The tomb of China’s first emperor has never been opened
Despite the discovery of the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di and his Terracotta Warriors army X’ian 40 years ago, the tomb of the first emperor has never been opened. The contents of the tomb are over 2,000 years ago, so archaeologists are reluctant to open it and potentially damage anything inside. Using GPR and magnetometers, which can measure the magnetization or the strength or direction of the magnetic field at a point in space, we can now get an idea of the interior structure. Soon we will have tiny robotic devices that can enter and collect data without any negligible disturbance.
4) The mysterious language of the ancient Minoans has never been deciphered
It’s been over a century since the ruins of the amazing and powerful Minoan civilization was discovered, but their language, known as Linear A, has yet to be deciphered. Luckily there are over 1,400 examples to study, so Big Data tools such as IBM’s Watson can be used to crack the code.
5) Giant mysterious drawings have existed unexplained in the Peruvian desert for 2,000 years
In a vast swath of the rugged Peruvian desert between the Inca and Nazca Valleys lie dozens of contains giant mysterious geoglyphs cut into the sand. Known as the Nazca Lines, the shapes cover an astounding area that measures 37 miles long and a mile wide. Despite much investigating, recreation, and theorizing on the purpose of the lines, no single evaluation has been proven. Big Data will be able to crunch the huge amount of collected data.
6) An intact Neanderthal has never been found
Despite the last Neanderthal dying between 41,000 and 39,000 years ago, the discovery of a 40,000-year-old baby mammoth in Siberia makes scientists believe that it is possible to find a Neanderthal in excellent condition. As global warming continues to cause ice sheets and glaciers to retreat, it becomes increasing likely that a recently unfrozen and well-preserved Neanderthal will emerge.
7) The Vikings may have had settlements in North America
Global warming will also uncover the thawing coasts of Canada. Many archaeologists believe that this will expose a network of Viking settlements that will force a re-evaluation of the discovery of the Americas.