We love to emphasize human development. And for good reason, it's amazing how far we've come in the last centuries, decades, and even years. Science advances in leaps, introducing one groundbreaking invention after the other, fueling our minds with thoughts about the next big thing.

But that doesn't mean that we were clueless in the past. If we were to dig a little bit in history, it would reveal that people have always had the capacity to outdo themselves. Yes, the tools might have been different and not so sophisticated, but some of the artifacts that survived the test of time still surprise us to this day.

Here's a collection of man-made things shared on arguably the biggest online history catalog, Museum of Artifacts. They definitely didn't lose the "wow" factor!

More info: Museum Of Artifacts | Reddit | Facebook | Instagram

#1

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

An 8-mile long "canvas" filled with ice age drawings of extinct animals has been discovered in the Amazon rainforest.

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Mtownmick
Community Member
2 months ago

This was just discovered in 2020! The canvas is the wall of a cliff.

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#2

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Michelangelo's Moses is a marble sculpture made in 1513–15. One of the many details of this masterpiece is one very small muscle in the forearms that contracts only when lifting the pinky, otherwise it is invisible. Moses is lifting the pinky, therefore that tiny muscle is contracted.

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Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

So, who tried to see theirs by lifting their pinky?

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#3

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Wonderful 2000-year-old sapphire ring presumably belonged to Roman emperor Caligula, thought depicting his fourth wife Caesonia.

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Steve
Community Member
2 months ago

Wow, that's an amazing ring!

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#4

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

In 1965, excavations in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, revealed the presence of 4 huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones. These dwellings, which are about 15,000 years old, are some of the oldest shelters known to have been constructed by pre-historic man.

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DUN DUN
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

...I need time to process ALL those facts. Mammoth, mammoth bones, 149 mammoth bones, 15000 years old, constructed by pre-historic men. Okay, just processing it.

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#5

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A newspaper ad from 1865 of an 18 year old man looking for a wife.

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Olivia Lisbon
Community Member
2 months ago

Bread and butter, hoop-skirts *and* waterfalls?? Sign me up!

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#6

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

The Veiled Christ, a 1753 marble sculpture by Giuseppe Sanmartino exhibited in the Cappella Sansevero in Naples. Due to its incredible detail, there was a legend that said that the statue was covered by real veil and slowly transformed over time into marble via chemical processes.

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Supernatural
Community Member
2 months ago

Is there a sculptor alive today that could create something like this? Using the same tools??..

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#7

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

1,500-year-old Ceramic Maya Figurine with Removable Helmet, from El Perú-Waka', Petén, Guatemala.

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Burs
Community Member
2 months ago

With the helmet it looks like an alien

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#8

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

First ever drawings of the moon made by Galileo Galeili after observing it through his telescope in 1609.

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Anthony Nizza
Community Member
2 months ago

That's extremely impressive!!!!

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#9

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Prague's astrological clock is the oldest still functioning clock in the world, 1410.

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Elizabeth Elliot
Community Member
2 months ago

What about Salisbury Cathedral! Made in 1386 and still ticking!

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#10

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

In the small village of Nashtifan, Iran, some of the oldest windmills in the world still spin. Made of natural clay, straw, and wood, the windmills have been milling grain for flour for an estimated 1,000 years.

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Debbie
Community Member
2 months ago

Makes me feel puny.... I mean, build something good, with natural materials, with a simple good function, and it outlives many...

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#11

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

An early example of a successful cranioplasty (Peru, ca. 400 CE). The patient survived, as evidenced by the well-healed in situ cranioplasty made from a gold inlay. Now on display at the Gold Museum of Peru and Weapons of the World in Lima.

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H Edwards
Community Member
2 months ago

They were experts at skull surgery, lots of successful trepanning examples as well (well-healed edges to the hole in the skull, proving that the patient lived long after the procedure).

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#12

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A 17th-century Ottoman three-mast tent made of silk and gilded leather. Now on display at the Turkish Chamber in the Dresden Armoury.

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Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
2 months ago

wow, how on earth has this survived so well?

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#13

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Detail of the Hercules armor of the Emperor Maximilian II of Austria. Made in 1555, it's now on display at the Kunsthistorisches museum in Vienna.

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Burs
Community Member
2 months ago

I can’t understand how people can be that skilled

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#14

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Bowl with Fish, Iran, probably Kashan (late 13th–mid-14th century).

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Anthony Nizza
Community Member
2 months ago

Beautiful!

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#15

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

2300 years old Scythian woman's boot preserved in the frozen ground of the Altai Mountains.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

Nike could never!

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#16

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A Viking era ring inscribed with the words 'for Allah', found in the grave of a woman who was buried 1200 years ago in Birka, 25 km west of modern-day Stockholm. The ring constitutes a unique material evidence of direct contact between the Vikings and the Abbasid Caliphate.

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Burs
Community Member
2 months ago

This is for the people who pretend to be educated while complaining about “diversity” in media or books set in the past. We used to travel much more than we think and while we weren’t as diverse as now, things were not as simple as old media portrays. For example there were black citizens in medieval- renaissance Europe, mostly ex slaves or their descendants from AlAndalus (Arabian country in the Iberian peninsula). Some quite successful, Like Juan de Pareja (Velazquez’s servant and later apprentice).

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#17

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Ancient ‘Beware of Dog’ Sign From 2,000 Years Ago. A mosaic in front of a Roman poet's house in Pompeii, 1st Century AD. "Cave Canem"/caveat canine/beware of dog.

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Kayla J
Community Member
2 months ago

Cerberus est canis @the house of the tragic poet, one of the many amazing mosaics at that home.

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#18

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Samurai helmet (kabuko) shaped like an octopus. 1700s, Japan. 

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Abhinc
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

samurais used to wear helmets representing deities for protection. this is certainly not a "'simple" octopus but most certainly akkorokamui, a gigantic octopus-like monster from Ainu folklore that has permeated into Shinto. while Akkorokamui is often presented as a benevolent kami (spirit) with powers to heal and bestow knowledge, it is fickle and has the propensity to do harm. Akkorokamui's nature as an octopus means that it is persistent and it is near impossible to escape its grasp without permission.

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#19

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

An ancient Egyptian gold ring with a carnelian bezel in form of a cat. From the Third Intermediate Period (1070–712 BC), it's now in the collection of the British Museum.

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troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago

Of course the British Museum would have it... oof

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#20

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

2000-year-old Roman face cream/lotion. Dating back to II AD. Object was found in the temple complex dedicated to Mars. It's world's oldest cosmetic face cream and it has finger marks in the lid.

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Ksenia M
Community Member
2 months ago

Googled it: The researchers report in this week's Nature that the two major components, each making up about 40% of the total, were starch and animal fat, which probably came from the carcass of a cow or goat. They think the starch was added to reduce the greasy feeling of fat on the skin. It is still used for the same purpose today in body lotions and hand creams. The remaining ingredient was synthetic tin oxide (or cassiterite). Although it is greyish in its natural state, it would have coloured the cream white"

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#21

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Incan Wall, a fine example of master Stonemasonry. Cuzco, 1400's. 

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I I
Community Member
2 months ago

interlocking stones make for a stronger structure

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#22

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Small sculpture of death with a bow made in 1520 Germany.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

That is the sassiest skeleton I have ever seen. It’s giving me full on Nightmare Before Christmas fabulousness.

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#23

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

"Ratto di Proserpina" is a large Baroque marble sculptural group by Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini, executed between 1621 and 1622. Bernini was only 23 years old at its completion. Now on display at the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

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KJ
Community Member
2 months ago

Not a nice topic but incredible skill in sculpting.

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#24

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Detail from the "unswept floor" mosaic made by Heraclitus, showing a mouse eating a walnut. 2nd century CE, now on display at the Vatican Museums.

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

Incredible detail

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#25

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

3400 yo painter's palette from ancient Egypt, Amenhotep III era.

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Maddie Star ⭐
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

as an artist, I love this... how amazing. Really is a treasure, it must have been worth a fortune in its time let alone now

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#26

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A Roman bathhouse still in use after 2,000 years in Khenchela, Algeria.

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
2 months ago

Built to last

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#27

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Mourning clothes worn by count Magnus Brahe at the funeral of king Karl XIV Johan of Sweden in 1844.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

This is what Batman’s evil twin brother would wear.

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#28

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Elaborate Ottoman-era birdhouses resembling miniature palaces and mosques.

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Nudge
Community Member
1 month ago

royal birbs

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#29

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Ivory carving of a skull and coiled snake with carnelian eyes. Japan, Edo period, 1860.

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Aldhissla VargTimmen
Community Member
2 months ago

That snake looks so real!

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#30

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A gun hidden within a bible, made for Francesco Morozini, Doge of Venice (1619-1694). The owner of the bible could pull the silk bookmark to shoot while the book was still closed. Now on display at the Museo Correr in Venice.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

Holy Smokes!

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#31

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Stockings, 1830, cotton/silk.

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Gin. No tonic
Community Member
2 months ago

The left's on the right and the right's on the left. It hurts my brain!

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#32

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

An amateur treasure hunter with a metal detector turned up a Medieval, gold ring that was set with a sapphire stone in Sherwood Forest—haunt of the legendary (or real) Robin Hood. Experts have examined the ring and believe it may date to the 14 th century.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

Genuine question, but how can they “tell” if a ring is from that century (if it doesn’t have the year engraved on it)?

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#33

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

14000 years old bisons sculptures found in Le Tuc d'Audoubert cave. Ariege, France.

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Jon S.
Community Member
1 month ago

These are astonishing in their detail. To see such realistic depictions from so long ago highlights how our presumption of 'primitive' art before classical Greece is so often wrong

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#34

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Abuna Yemata Guh is a monolithic church located in the Tigray Region, Ethiopia. It is situated at a height of 2,580 metres (its entrance is highlighted by a red circle) and has to be climbed on foot to reach. It is notable for its wall paintings dating back to the 5th century.

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Abhinc
Community Member
2 months ago

fun fact !! there are way more pyramids in Ethiopia than in Egypt

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#35

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Two books I picked up from the Goodwill where I work. The one on the left was printed in 1711 and is a collection of Pliny the Younger’s letters. The one on the right was printed in 1771 and is a school book about Greek Mythology.

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KJ
Community Member
2 months ago

Great finds, must be worth a bit.

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#36

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

An Inuit otter amulet. Engraved and pigmented ivory, c.1870-1880.

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MauKini
Community Member
2 months ago

This is so cute!

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#37

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

2000 year-old glass mosaics, from the ancient city of Zeugma in Turkey.

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Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

Imagine how excited the people excavating that must have been. To chip away at the rock little by little to unveil that beauty.

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#38

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Crystal spearhead found in a 5,000-year-old megalithic tomb in Spain. The tomb had the remains of 25 individuals, several of whom had consumed a poisonous substance.

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Rick
Community Member
2 months ago

So that’s how Arya killed the Night King…

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#39

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A Roman toddler's footprint in a red clay tile, imprinted as it was drying ~2000 years ago. Vaison-la-Romaine (ancient Vasio Vocontiorum).

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Jessica Combrink
Community Member
2 months ago

Some things never change! But look at those perfect little toes

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#40

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

One of the 4000-year-old well-preserved wagons unearthed in the Lchashen village in the vicinity of Lake Sevan. Made of oak, they are the oldest known wagons in the world. Now on display at the History Museum of Armenia.

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Gary
Community Member
2 months ago

Fascinating. Those are some chunky wheels.

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#41

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Chand Baori, the largest and deepest stepwell in India. It consists of 3500 narrow steps over 13 stories and extends 30 m into the ground. The oldest parts of the stepwell date from the 8th century, while the upper stories with the columned arcade around it were built in the 18th century.

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BasedWang
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

For everyone thinking its only to gather water because of the word "well", it wasn't... At the bottom the air is 5-6°C cooler... So in intense heat waves people would gather here.... And yes ceremonial and religious rituals were done here as well

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#42

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

The Da Vinci Globe, dated 1504, is the oldest known globe to show the New World. Engraved with immaculate detail on two conjoined lower halves of ostrich eggs.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

This one is intriguing too: There have long been theories that Portuguese sailors reached northern Australia between 1521 and 1524, before their Dutch and English counterparts arrived on the continent. They found canons.

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#43

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Thirteen-year-old Israeli goes foraging for mushrooms, stumbles upon a Byzantine burial inscription.

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Dan Buczynski
Community Member
2 months ago

Whoops, enjoy your curse

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#44

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

The ceiling of the 2000 years old hypostyle hall of the temple of Hathor in Dendera, Egypt.

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Sue Lynn Chan
Community Member
1 month ago

I really need to go to Egypt.

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#45

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

(1528-29) German hunting knife that's also a gun, that's also a calendar.

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KJ
Community Member
2 months ago

German swiss army knife?

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#46

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

9000 year old cave painting in Tassili cave Algeria. Depicting a shaman during psychedelic mushroom use.

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Catherine Hankinson
Community Member
2 months ago

9000 years old. That's mind blowing.

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#47

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Oldest surviving pair of Levis jeans, 1879.

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Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

My thighs managed to rub friction holes into every pair of jeans I own, except for Levi´s and Mustang.

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#48

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

A cabin on board the Aachen, a 19th-century steamship hit by a torpedo in July 1915. Now located at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

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Jayne Kyra
Community Member
2 months ago

This looks terrifying and unreal.

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#49

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Breastplate Armor of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, 1549.

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Tiina Wiik Yksityinen
Community Member
2 months ago

Many interesting details that say something about the time, like Virgin Mary standing on a crest moon. This was in the time when Ottomans had spread their empire deep into Europe, but were eventually forced to retreat, so the battle of Christianity vs. Islam was a defining theme of the era.

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#50

Interesting-Artifact-Pics

Curious Artefacts: Hitler's Telephone, one of the deadliest weapons of all times [1000x562]

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Scarbez
Community Member
2 months ago

I had one of those. It sucked. There were literally zero apps available for that model

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Note: this post originally had 116 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.