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Three mysteries

Despite the best efforts of historians, archaeologists and curators, much still remains to be discovered about the treasures of the past. These three ancient wonders are unsolved mysteries.

35,000 - 40,000 years old

Three mysteries

The Lion Man

This figure – half-man, half-lion – carved out of a mammoth tusk, could be a depiction of a god or a shaman. Its making could itself have been a ritual. The carving of a modern replica was an attempt to find out more.

1300 BCE

Three mysteries

The Colossi of Memnon

The Emperor Hadrian visited these huge statues 2000 years ago and heard them sing. Mary Beard has waited half her life to see, and maybe hear, them up close.

3000 years old

Three mysteries

The Masks of Sanxingdui

3,000 years ago, Sanxingdui was the site of a city on the plains of Sichuan and the bronze masks found there are unlike anything else that has survived from Ancient China. Unfortunately, no evidence has surfaced to explain what they were for.