10 Bizarre Historical Facts About Ancient Civilizations You Never Learned in School

History classes often provide a glimpse into the past, but there’s a wealth of bizarre and intriguing facts about ancient civilizations that often go unnoticed. While textbooks focus on well-known events and figures, there’s a treasure trove of lesser-known anecdotes that shed light on the eccentricities of our ancestors. In this article, we delve into 10 bizarre historical facts about ancient civilizations that likely escaped the confines of your school curriculum.

Egyptian Toothpaste and Breath Mints

Ancient Egyptians, known for their advanced medical practices, surprised historians with their dental hygiene. Evidence suggests that Egyptians concocted their version of toothpaste using ingredients like powdered ashes, ox hooves, and burnt eggshells. Breath mints weren’t left out either; they utilized frankincense and myrrh to keep their breath fresh.

Roman Vomitoriums

Contrary to popular belief, the term “vomitorium” doesn’t refer to a room for inducing vomiting after a lavish feast. In reality, it was a passageway in ancient Roman amphitheaters, designed to quickly disperse large crowds. The misconception about Roman feasting habits has persisted, even though there is no historical evidence supporting the existence of dedicated rooms for such purposes.

Mayan Rubber Ball Game

The ancient Maya were avid sports enthusiasts, with one of their favorite games being a ball game played in grand arenas. The ball used in this game was made from solid rubber and weighed up to ten pounds. What makes it bizarre is the rumor that the losing team faced a gruesome fate—some believe they were sacrificed to the gods. While this claim remains controversial, the Maya certainly took their sports seriously.

Chinese Seismoscope

Zhang Heng, a Chinese polymath from the Han dynasty, invented the seismoscope—an ancient earthquake-detection device. Shaped like a bronze vase with eight dragon heads, each holding a ball, the device could predict the direction of an earthquake. Zhang’s invention was an impressive technological feat, demonstrating the ancient Chinese’s early understanding of seismic activity.

Hittite Indecipherable Script

The Hittites, an ancient Anatolian people, left behind an extensive collection of clay tablets covered in a script known as Hittite-Luwian. However, despite numerous attempts, historians have struggled to decipher this script. The Hittite language remains a linguistic mystery, leaving gaps in our understanding of this once powerful civilization click here to learn more.

Indus Valley Toilets

The ancient Indus Valley Civilization, known for its advanced urban planning, had an elaborate system of sewage and drainage. Remarkably, many homes in the ancient city of Mohenjo-daro featured indoor toilets with access to an advanced sewage system. The intricacies of their sanitation practices suggest a level of urban planning that was far ahead of its time.

Greek Urine-Cleaning Solution

Ancient Greeks had a unique approach to laundry. They used a substance called lye, derived from wood ash and urine, to clean their clothes. Urine, rich in ammonia, served as a natural cleaning agent. While this method might seem repulsive by today’s standards, it was an effective way to maintain personal hygiene in ancient Greece.

Mesopotamian Beer Rations

In ancient Mesopotamia, beer wasn’t just a beverage—it was a form of currency. Workers were often paid with daily beer rations, highlighting the cultural and economic significance of this ancient brew. This practice, found in various ancient civilizations, underscores the importance of beer in shaping early human societies. Visit for more information https://www.einpresswire.com/article/680060565/celebrating-36-years-a1-auto-transport-marks-its-milestone-anniversary-with-continued-commitment-to-customer-service

Incan Brain Surgery

The ancient Incas were skilled in various medical procedures, including trepanation—surgical drilling or scraping of the skull. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Incas performed successful brain surgeries using primitive tools. The reasons behind these surgeries remain unclear, but they showcase the advanced medical knowledge of this ancient civilization.

Viking Navigational Aids

Vikings were known for their seafaring prowess, and evidence suggests they used unique navigational aids. The mythical “sunstone” was likely a calcite crystal that helped Vikings locate the position of the sun even on overcast days. This remarkable tool allowed them to navigate the open seas with surprising accuracy.


These bizarre historical facts about ancient civilizations provide a fascinating glimpse into the quirks and innovations of our predecessors. Beyond the well-trodden paths of conventional history, these anecdotes reveal the complexities, ingenuity, and sometimes eccentricities that shaped the ancient world. As we delve deeper into the annals of history, there’s a wealth of untold stories waiting to be uncovered, offering a more nuanced understanding of the diverse cultures that preceded us.