Thursday, December 2, 2021

Microstory 1769: Pointed Pyxis

Folks, there’s no doubt about it, this is the biggest find in archaeological history. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I’ve had it checked by a dozen of my colleagues, and we all agree on the results. This box before you dates back 16,000 years. It calls into question everything we know about pre-literary history. It breaks the laws of physics, and quite honestly, it’s driving me insane. I’m not here to talk about the science we used to date this artifact. You can read our paper at your leisure. Today, I’m going to be showing you the artwork on the box, and explaining just how impossible it is, just in case some of you aren’t surprised by it on your own. Now, we call this object a pointed pyxis, and the first of them rose up in Greek culture during the eleventh century BCE, which is a full 13,000 years after the artifact was made. That alone would be astonishing, to learn that people were making certain styles of art so much earlier than we once believed. That’s not the exciting part. If that was all there was, I suppose we could have just assumed it was a coincidence. Again, still remarkable, but not too crazy. Let me zoom in. In the first hexagon is a woolly mammoth. Nothing weird there; they weren’t extinct back then. But if you look closer, you’ll see that it’s not alone. There’s a human riding on top of it, and as far as we know, people never did that. We hunted and co-existed with them, but we did not domesticate them. Or maybe we did. In the next hexagon—and by the way, I’m not sure what to call this shape; curved hexagons on a sort of pointed cylinder—there is what appears to be a bird. This is not the kind of avian you would expect to find on something from this time period, or from any time period in human history. The pterosaur went extinct 66 million years ago, and was never seen by man. It’s possible the artist uncovered fossilized records, but unlikely they were intact enough for them to so accurately depict it’s living form. That’s your first clue to time travel, but not your last.

This appears to be an illustration of a crucifixion, which didn’t start happening until about the 6th century BCE. This is a sea-faring vessel, of a design which the vikings used in the tenth century CE. This writing is Cuneiform, this is Kaqchikel, this is Cyrillic, and these are Neolithic Chinese characters. Over here is the number pi to 12 decimal places...converted to binary. Here’s the hex code for gunmetal gray, but we had to figure that out, because it’s written in a language that we have never seen before. Right next to it is a photorealistic picture of a cannon in said color. There’s a mushroom cloud, there’s the logo for a car company, and look at this and tell me it doesn’t look exactly like TV’s James Van Der Beek. I could go on and on, but you get the picture. Our best guess is that this is the work of some kind of time traveler, but why would they paint all this on a pointed pyxis? What was the purpose of the container at the time? We’ve tested the inside as well, of course, and found absolutely no residue; not even the paint they used on the outside. No dirt, no microbes, no nothing. We’ve even exposed it to modern air, and while we take every precaution to protect against contamination, at least a little always gets in. We don’t operate inside of a vacuum. I’m presenting this to you, because you are the brightest minds this planet has to offer. We’ve decided to crowdsource the mystery, but we’re not ready to reveal it to the world at large yet. If any of you can explain any aspect of this incredible fine, we encourage you to sign up for some time to examine it. Thank you very much.

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