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From the well-known Antikythera mechanism to the numerous artifacts whose construction cannot be explained based on existing evidence of historically available techniques or materials, some of the most popular archaeological mysteries are the claims that evidence of lost ancient technology has been found around the world. To add to this growing body of strange evidence, China Daily is reporting the discovery of a set of ancient statues which depict two mythical beings – one of which is holding a device of unknown origin.
The statues were found among the ancient Dazu rock carvings in Chongqing province, China while archaeologists were working to preserve and catalog the thousands of sculptures found there. The Chinese government recently launched a project to restore the Dazu rock carvings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which includes over 50,000 statues and sculptures depicting various Buddhist scenes and figures from ancient Chinese mythology thought to be between 1200 and 800 years old. The statues at the heart of this mystery depict the beings of Clairvoyance and Clairaudience, mythical god-like figures who are all-seeing and all-hearing, respectively. While statues of these legendary beings are not uncommon, experts working at the site claim that one of these particular statues might depict some sort of unknown ancient technology.
The statue of Clairaudience, in particular, has baffled archaeologists who are at a loss to explain some of what the statue depicts. His facial expression has been described as “listening intently” and the device in his hands is believed to be some sort of unknown listening device. According to the head researcher of the Dazu Rock Carving restoration project, Li Xiaoqiang, experts can’t decide if the object is a snake or some sort of “telephone receiver to help him hear thousands of miles away.” Other theories suggest it might be a telescope.
Claims of lost ancient Chinese technological superiority are not new, and ancient Chinese cultures were responsible for developing the “Four Great Inventions” that helped in the development of modern civilizations worldwide. Given the innumerable civil wars and conflicts in ancient imperial China, it’s no stretch to assume that some ancient technologies could have been lost in the turmoil. Could these statues be evidence of unknown technology which has been lost over the centuries? Or could these statues depict ancient aliens come to spy on puny ancient Earthlings? Or, most likely, are they simply holding weapons and have become broken over time and are now unrecognizable? Like all things archaeology, this one is left open to speculation.