As we move forward, we sometimes have to leave things behind. It’s true in life, and it’s true for humanity as a whole. But what if you could bring those things back?
Thanks to advancements in technology, we’re beginning to reach further and further back into history (and prehistory) to see what was really going on in the past. Here are 10 incredible things that we’ve been able to bring back to life.
1. Early audio recordings
The earliest recordings, made on wax records, are far too fragile to be played. However, software has been developed that can analyze the grooves in those records and translate them into sound digitally while doing no harm to the record. Thanks to this, we can now hear Alexander Graham Bell’s actual voice, as well as the earliest known recording, which dates back to around 1860.
2. Prehistoric sounds
Human voices and music are impressive, but what about the sounds that were made before humans ever existed? Yep, we can hear those, too. Paleontologists found a perfectly preserved pair of wings from the Jurassic-era Archaboilus musicus, which is an ancestor of the modern cricket.
The insects used their wings to call out to others, so scientists were able to create a program that can mimic the sounds that they would have made. You can now listen to an insect that has been silent for 165 million years.
3. Ancient music
But what about all the music that was made way before audio recording? That might not be lost, either. Careful research into the way literature from ancient Greece was read gives clues as to how certain verses were meant to be sung. Historians are now developing ways to decipher the pitches and tones that correlated with different annotations. We also know how to reconstruct ancient instruments, so the performances can be recreated in full.
4. Paintings under paintings
For hundreds of years, artists have recycled canvases by simply painting over old pieces, since art supplies were (and still are) expensive! In recent history, the only way we’ve been able to sneak a peek at what’s underneath is via X-ray, which gives only a blotchy, black-and-white version of the image.
Imaging technology has become more advanced, and we’re now able to see the hidden works in color. They may never be masterpieces, but the covered paintings give us some insight into the artists’ processes.
5. The true color of ancient statues
When you think of ancient Greek and Roman statues, you probably imagine them to be white, because that’s how they look now. But in their day, these statues would have been brightly painted with all kinds of colors. By analyzing the trace elements left on the statues’ surfaces, researchers have been able to recreate how the statues were meant to be seen.
6. Ancient art lost to war
Sadly, a lot of great human achievements are lost to war. In recent news, the Islamic State has made headlines for destroying priceless pieces of ancient art, robbing Iraq and the surrounding area — as well as the rest of the world — of its history and culture.
Luckily, our society’s photo-happy habits come in handy in this case. Using multiple images of each lost artifact, a 3-D digital version can be created, resulting in a digital museum of the destroyed items. And thanks to advancements in 3-D printing, we may one day be able to recreate them in the physical world.
7. Dead languages
Languages are dying off fast — but they don’t have to. Linguists and scientists are working on ways to resurrect dead languages by tracing elements of the languages used today to find ancient protolanguages, which evolved over time into the ones we speak today.
They’ve even developed programs that can do so faster than any human. These programs have already been able to recreate protolanguages from Australia and Indonesia from 7,000 years ago.
8. Ancient medicines (that actually worked)
You might remember when scientists rediscovered a medieval cure for eye infections. Well, that happens all the time, and more and more researchers are trying to resurrect the building blocks of modern medicine. In fact, one of today’s leading anti-malaria drugs was developed after the herbal recipe was discovered in ancient Chinese texts.
9. The early Internet
The Internet is hardly ancient, but its earliest elements were not preserved. That might not seem like a big deal compared to ancient art, but these things are integral to understanding how the Internet and today’s society function. Researchers are developing ways to excavate the early Internet and restore those pages so that today’s programmers can learn from them.
10. Ancient beer
Obviously, the most important item on the list is booze. Humans love booze, and we’ve been making it for millennia. Thanks to chemical analysis of various vessels from archaeological sites around the world, we can now tell what ingredients went into ancient brews. Craft brewery Dogfish Head teamed up with scientists to recreate a number of them — some of which are on sale to the public today. This one from China features chrysanthemum flowers and honey.
While technology is usually thought of as bringing us closer to the future, it can also be used to used to bring us closer to the past. If we learn about where we come from, it can help us figure out where we’re going!
Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/lost-and-found/