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Archeological Discovery: African Frankenstein Essay


The accidental archeological discovery made in South African Pretoria has shocked the scientists. A mysterious cavity was found by the workers of a building site. The cavity located several feet underground was of unknown origin, so the builders called a team of archeologists to investigate. The contents of the cavity were horrifying.

It turned out to be an ancient crypt, the last home to a creature, whose looks made the scientists startle. The mummy buried there was three times taller than an average human, it had four-inch-long claws, and its legs and arms were arranged in a wild position, reminding of a dance. The name this finding received is “African Frankenstein.” The scientists were determined to find out the origins of the creature and to solve the secret of the grave.

Mysterious creatures are claimed to be discovered all over the world. The news and websites keep posting mysterious facts about the remains of ancient beasts, unknown monsters, mutants, giants, aliens. Tombs of all kinds are being unearthed. They contain bodies buried in strange positions, with missing body parts, they may be filled with treasures, or remains of animals, the bodies are mummified, or dried, or placed in various containers. The stories behind each of such tombs are fascinating and scary at the same time.

The archeologists have to be ready to face unexpected shock like it was with the screaming mummies in Egypt, or with chained corpses in the Czech Republic, or with the sewer filled with the remains of newborn babies. All of the archeologists share the same passion for unearthing something incredible, a history-altering finding and making a discovery that will change the world forever. The research of the case of African Frankenstein also began with a hope to find a new incredible creature never seen before.

During the research, the scientists used quantitative methods of data collection. They kept the most careful records, as it is always done during the archeological research and investigation. They took multiple photographs of all corners of the discovered tomb and of every inch of the unearthed bodies.

They took the measurements, performed chemical analyses and DNA tests, and sent all the samples to the expertise. They also interviewed the members of aboriginal tribes to collect more information. The archeologists also used qualitative methods evaluating the data, making assumptions, based on their own experience and knowledge, and creating various hypotheses.

The list of the terrifying archeological findings unearthed in different periods of human history recently became one story longer. The shocking discovery was made by accident in South African Pretoria. The workers of a local building company phoned the Ministry of Archeology of South Africa asking a group of scientists to visit their building site immediately. The workers said they might have found some ancient grave. The grave looked like an underground crypt.

The digger broke one of its walls; this is how the builders noticed that there is a cavity under a layer of rocks and soil. Of course, the workers were hoping that they came across some lost treasure. Before calling the Ministry of archeology, they decided to check what was inside of the mysterious underground cavity. Since the hole was not big enough for a man to fit into it, they used flashlights. After having seen what was inside the hole, the workers immediately left the building site and decided this was the job for the scientists.

The team of archeologists that arrived at the site did not expect to see what they saw. An hour later, the area was isolated and pronounced an excavation site of higher importance. When the scientists managed to get inside of the cavity, it really turned out to be a crypt, but the archeologists were not sure how to call what was buried there. The creature, whose skeleton the scientists found on the floor of the crypt was mummified and wrapped in fabric, but not in the way Egyptian mummies are.

The legs and arms of the creature were wrapped separately, and the corpse was lying in an unusual position with arms apart, and above the head, legs were straight, but not together, the feet were a dozen of inches away from each other. Before moving the finding, the scientists took all the necessary measurements and photographs. The mummy looked huge – around three times taller than an average human body. The hands of the creature had unusually long nails; their length reached four inches.

Shocked by the sight of this discovery, the scientists did not know what to start with. The remains of the monster were carefully transported to the research laboratory for further examination. A group of scientists remained in the crypt to collect more data about this grave. After the mummy had been studied in the laboratory, the archeologists were a little disappointed by the results. First of all, the “monster” was not an alien or a strange animal but had human DNA.

The age of the mummy counted approximately three hundred years. When the mummy was unwrapped, its unusual height was explained by the fact that the parts compiling its skeleton were taken from at least three different corpses. The mummy was immediately nicknamed as “African Frankenstein.” The researchers continued their investigation in order to understand why such a thing was done to the body and what the purpose of the creation of this “monster” was.

The data collected in the crypt helped clarify some of the information. The cavity was decorated with ornaments reminding the patterns consisting of birds, in the corners of the crypt the sculptures of bird-like creatures were found. The area around the place where the mummy was lying was filled with ritual objects, vessels, statues, dishes, and totems. The scientists associated all of these objects with the remnants of the mummy and came to a conclusion that what they were examining was actually an ancient grave of a tribal shaman.

The scientists picked up multiple samples of smaller bones and shells that belonged to all kinds of creatures. Besides, there was another grave within that cavity. The grave contained the missing bones and body parts; in general, all the human bones exhumed from the tomb have compiled three full female skeletons.

The question of why these bones were used to construct one large monster-like creature and put in a strange position was still unanswered. In history, there was no other case of such an unusual style of dumping. The scientists decided to turn to legends and myths of African tribes. Bantu religion has a story about Dzivaguru, the goddess of rain, darkness, streams, and earth.

According to some versions, the goddess owned the swallows, who Shona people considered the birds of sunlight (Myths, Legends, Beliefs, and Traditional Stories from Africa, par. 13). Other versions said that Dzivaguru looked like the mixture of a very tall human and a bird. This legend explained the bird-like position of the mummy in the grave.

It seemed that the creators of the ancient tomb buried their female shaman, who worshiped the goddess, and tried to recreate the body of the goddess using the remains of the humans, making an ultimate totem for their tribe, a symbol, which contained their totemic animal, their goddess, and their shamans all in one.

To sum up, the scientists shocked by their unexpected finding and confused by its looks, decided first to analyze all of the pieces of the puzzle, and then carefully look for the connections between them, in order not to make a false conclusion. The analysis showed that practically there were three female bodies in the grave, surrounded with religious and ritual attributes and paraphernalia typical to a tribal shaman. Logically, they assumed that at least one or all of the females were shamans.

Unusually long nails are still typical for some tribal shamans of Africa. The ornament on the walls of the crypt consisted of birds that appeared to swallow. The legend of the goddess, who looked like a giant bird, matched the position of the mummy – with the arms apart, like wings and legs creating the swallowtail – and its unusual size. Obviously, the ancient tribe of Bantu origin tried to create a totem out of the bodies of their shamans, so they could protect their people even after death.

Works Cited

Myths, Legends, Beliefs and Traditional Stories from Africa. A-Gallery. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Archeological Discovery: African Frankenstein." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/archeological-discovery-african-frankenstein/.


IvyPanda. "Archeological Discovery: African Frankenstein." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/archeological-discovery-african-frankenstein/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Archeological Discovery: African Frankenstein." March 27, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/archeological-discovery-african-frankenstein/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Archeological Discovery: African Frankenstein'. 27 March.

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