35 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Were Discovered And Prove Regular People From History Were Just Like Us

35 Mind-Blowing Artifacts That Were Discovered And Prove Regular People From History Were Just Like Us

1.This loaf of bread was baked at a bakery in Pompeii the morning Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the city in volcanic ash. That was all the way back in 79 CE, so almost 2,000 years ago!

Art exhibit featuring a sculpture resembling a loaf of bread, with visitors observing in the background

The bread — which you can tell looked pretty damn tasty out of the oven — was found during the excavations in Pompeii.

Kontrolab / LightRocket via Getty Images

2.These are the oldest pair of Levi's 501 jeans in the world, dating all the way back to 1879.

Woman holding up a large pair of jeans, smiling. She wears glasses and a denim jacket
Don Arnold / WireImage

If you're wondering how they could be in such fantastic condition, you should know the backside is a little more worn.

Close-up of vintage denim jeans with a leather patch on the waistband
Don Arnold / WireImage

3.This 2000-year-old Roman container of face cream was found on the south bank of the Thames river — and still has the finger marks of its last owner!

Hand in glove holding open container with used cosmetic cream
- / AFP via Getty Images

4.We all brush our teeth, right? Well, so did people 350 or so years ago in England — they used this toothbrush, dental powder, and tongue scraper.

a small thimble, metal case, toothbrush and u-shaped scraper
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

5.This is a surviving newspaper ad from 1865, posted by a young man looking for a wife. Some of his selling points included having "a good set of teeth" and "a two-year-old bull."

Advertisement from the 1800s by a man seeking a wife, mentioning his assets and desire for a domestic partner
u/fuckoff555 / Via

6.This Swedish warship — known as Vasa — sank on its maiden voyage all the way back in 1628. Incredibly, it was salvaged in such impressive condition that it's now known as the best-preserved 17th-century ship in the world.

Preserved 17th-century warship on display with visitors observing in a museum setting

It's on display in Stockholm if you're ever in the area!

Ullstein Bild / ullstein bild via Getty Images

7.This Corinthian Helmet was worn by a Greek soldier during the Battle of Marathon in 490 CE.

Ancient helmet with Greek patterns, possibly for historical article
Heritage Images / Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images

8.This life vest from the Titanic is one of only six (out of an original 3,500) that still exists today. It was recovered from the field of debris by Robert Edwards, quartermaster of a ship chartered by the White Star Line to search for bodies.

A life vest from the titanic is on display at an exhibition with informational text panels in the background

9.And this is a first-class menu that was on the actual voyage! A passenger put it in her purse after finishing her lunch, then later made it to safety in a lifeboat.

Menu from R.M.S. Titanic dated April 14th, featuring a selection of lunch options

10.This one might shock you, but they had prosthetic hands (like this impressively intact one) 500 years ago!

a metal hand

11.This is St. Kevin's Church — located in Wicklow, Ireland — and was built in the 12th century. It still stands nearly a thousand years later!

Historic stone structure with distinctive conical roof set in a rural landscape
Dea / De Agostini via Getty Images

12.Below is the Terracota Army — a collection of 8,000 (yes, 8,000!) sculptures of soldiers that were buried in 211 BCE with Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The idea was that they would protect him during the afterlife.

Rows of ancient Terracotta Army statues in Xi'an, China
James Nielsen/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images

Here's a closer look at one of the 2,200-year-old statues (plus some terracotta horses that accompanied the soldiers).

Replica of a Terracotta Warrior statue in front of a wall displaying many warrior faces
Tim Graham / Tim Graham / Getty Images

13.These ancient Roman sandals are around 2,000 years old, and look almost wearable today!

old Roman sandals

14.These Medieval-era shoes, meanwhile, have somehow survived from around 1200 CE.

an sandal with a long pointed toe
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

15.This is the Tollund Man — a naturally mummified corpse of a man from the 5th century CE. He was found in a bog in Denmark in 1950, and his facial features were so well preserved that he was mistaken for a recent murder victim.

Close-up of a preserved mummy hand, exemplifying ancient preservation techniques
Tim Graham / Getty Images

16.These immaculate golden earrings are from Iran circa the 11th or 12th century.

gold earrings with ducks kissing in the middle of a semi-circular design
Heritage Images / Heritage Images via Getty Images

17.This gold coin — featuring an image of second-century Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius — is 2,000 years old and looks better than some coins currently in circulation!

close up of a Roman coin
Heritage Images / Getty Images

18.This oil lamp in the shape of a human foot (random, I know!) is also from mid-2nd-century Rome.

A foot lamp

This lamp used olive oil, and the wick burned in the hole in the big toe, if you're wondering. It was discovered in London when they were digging for the subway line.

Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

19.This clay tablet — featuring the Epic of Gilgamesh, the world's oldest surviving literary work — is 3,500 years old!

Ancient clay tablet with uniform cuneiform script on display
Picture Alliance / dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

20.This absolutely stunning Japanese fan is 150 years old. People in Japan started using fans as early as the 6th century (if not earlier).

a fan with a scene of people in the countryside with cherry blossoms
Dea / De Agostini via Getty Images

21.This remarkably life-like terracotta head was sculpted in Nigeria's ancient city of Ife between the 12th and 15th centuries.

Ancient terracotta sculpture of a human head with intricate hair details, displayed against a plain background
Pius Utomi Ekpei / AFP via Getty Images

22.This amazing wall painting — which is often called the Sistine Chapel of Ancient Egypt — was discovered inside the tomb of Nefertari, the wife of Pharaoh Ramesses II. She died in 1255 BCE, so this art was made 3,300 years ago!

Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings, with figures and hieroglyphics
Universal History Archive / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

23.This pristine gaming table, meanwhile, was buried with Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun — and is 3,400 years old!

a small wooden toy similar to chess
Print Collector / Print Collector / Getty Images

24.These playing dice from Ancient Rome are over 2,000 years old. In case you're wondering, they were carved from bone.

Two antique dice with worn surfaces on a plain background
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

25.This sock, vest, and mitten were knitted for a baby in medieval Europe in the mid-16th century.

a plain, old, baby onsie with a sock and mitten
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

26.And this gorgeous and nearly like-new plate was made in China during the Ming Dynasty...600 or so years ago!

a large plate with floral design with four people at the center
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

27.This 250-year-old drinking glass was used by people in Spain in the mid-to-late 18th century.

a drinking glass with light design
Heritage Images / Heritage Images via Getty Images

28.This gorgeous guitar belonged to Lady Emma Hamilton, a model, dancer, and actor born in 1765. She was the mistress of Naval hero Lord Nelson as well as a popular figure at the court of the Kingdom of Naples where she befriended the Queen — who happened to be Marie Antoinette's sister.

a small guitar

See that box over the strings? It allowed people to strum the strings without damaging their fingernails.

Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

29.This incredible piece of art is from Peru and dates all the way back to 700 CE. It was most likely used to hold water or chicha beer during fertility rituals.

An ancient Peruvian jug
Werner Forman / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

30.If you're one of the 1.3 billion Catholics in the world, you'll immediately recognize the items below despite the fact they're from 1535 CE. This traveling mass set included a silver-gilt chalice, Communion plate, and glass bottle for a leather box to carry them in.

Catholic items for mass
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

31.This impressively designed basket was made 220 years ago by the Chumash people, Native Americans from the central and southern coasts of California.

Person examining a Native American woven basket; sign reads 'John Grimes NATIVE AMERICAN'
Universalimagesgroup / Getty Images

32.This double-sided comb from the 7th century — some 1,300-plus years ago! — was found in modern-day France.

double sided comb
Heritage Images / Heritage Images via Getty Images

33.This hair chignon — which helped Chinese women style their hair in a bun-like fashion — was made of jade during the Northern Song-Ming dynasty, circa 960–1644. The pin was likely made later during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

An ancient chignon
Heritage Images / Heritage Images / Getty Images

34.This golden container was made between the 4th and 7th centuries by the Quimbaya people (who lived in what's now Colombia). They had a lot of gold, and made stunningly beautiful and sophisticated items.

a small gold container in the shape of a person sitting down

35.And lastly, this 700-year-old skull covered in turquoise mosaic — likely a depiction of the god Tezcatlipoca — was made by the Mixtec people, who thrived in what's now southern Mexico from 1500 BCE to 1500 CE.

a skull with mosaic tiles over it
Print Collector / Print Collector / Getty Images