It seemed like a normal day when Mike took out his metal detector to see what he can find. He let his mind wander while he absentmindedly swept the area as he walked. Suddenly the machine started to beep furiously.
Jolted back into the moment, Mike could feel the adrenaline pumping through him as his excitement mounted. What had he just found? The answer to that sent him running to call the police.
It was a rainy day like any other when Mike headed outside. While pursuing his hobby, he had become accustomed to being outside in all kinds of weather, including grey and rainy weather, so it didn’t bother him in the least.
He enjoyed swinging his metal detector back and forth as he walked, never knowing what he might find. It was a calming peaceful experience. This time as no different, that is until his metal detector started screeching.
Everyone gets excited by the idea of finding buried treasure, especially children. There are any number of children’s games that involve trying to find something hidden. Who doesn’t love playing ‘hide and seek’ or going on Easter egg hunts?
There is a special kind of thrill in finding something hidden after spending so much time trying to find it. This kind of thrill is part of why Mike enjoyed his hobby so much. Though he never would have expected what he was about to find.
The thrill of finding something that has long been buried under the ground and forgotten. You never know what you might find. This was the situation Mike was about to find himself in on this rainy day.
Mike felt his heart start racing as his metal detector started to beep. What had just found? An old coin? A simple metal can? Not in his wildest dreams would mike have guessed what he had just stumbled across.
Mike has always been somewhat of a history buff. That is why the thought of what he found that day is something that excites him to this day. The idea of unearthing something that had been buried for so long was unthinkable.
Out of everything that he has ever discovered, this particular discovery will always be his favorite. As a lover of history, Mike never imagined he would ever find such an amazing historical object.
Generally, it’s not uncommon to find people shopping, reading, playing games, or watching TV in their spare time. Some people have more uncommon hobbies such as painting, the theatre, or fishing. Mike had an even more unique hobby.
Mike is a Detectorist. That’s the name for people like Mike who like to search for objects with a metal detector. He spends days on beaches or in fields just looking to see what he might find.
Mike doesn’t often find anything very big or terribly important. However, the hobby is an addictive one that keeps Mike coming back again and again. Mike searches areas that he thinks have a relatively high chance of success.
As much as he has to deal with let downs and not finding anything. Sometimes though he gets lucky and all his hard work pays off in the end. Nothing else has ever paid off as much as this day would, however.
Not many people are willing to brave the elements the way that Mike has to on occasion. Mike is outside in everything from sunshine to rain and snow to pursue his hobby. This is the nature of the hobby.
The weather in Pembrokeshire, in the United Kingdom where Mike lives is often very rainy and wet. This means that much of his time is spent in the cold and wet while he searches for lost treasures.
Not only do detectorists have to brave all kinds of terrain and weather, they also have to deal with a lot of disappointment as they rarely find anything of value. Often they merely find junk or trash.
Mike hadn’t had much luck in the area. The old pennies that he often dug up were naturally not of much value. However, Mike’s luck was about to change and in a very big way. This would be a day to remember.
Mike had a field that he liked to take his metal detector to. He enjoyed searching that field often but today he would not be able to scour his favorite field but he didn’t know that yet.
There had been a steady downpour that week. When Mike reached his favorite field he was disappointed to discover that it was completely waterlogged. He would need to make a different plan.
Mike had to go to a different field and eventually chose a new one at random. He had a strange inexplicable feeling that today was going to be special. He had no idea that something lay out there in that field just waiting to be found.
Mike geared up and headed out into the field. He started his usual search pattern, his metal detector waving back and forth as he trudged through the rain and mud unaware of what awaited him.
As Mike walked through this new field he was excited to see what the day would hold. He had no idea that this would be his lucky day. Maybe he would find an interesting old coin or something similar.
However, this field would not only have something to offer, but it would be the biggest and most important find Mike had ever made. This field held an ancient secret and decided that today it would reveal what it was hiding.
Mike had been waving his detector in a wide arc as usual with no luck. Suddenly he heard the tell-tale beep start to come from it. Something was nearby. All he had to do now was to pinpoint it.
He started to walk around to narrow down the location of the object. The beeping wouldn’t stop, however. This wasn’t making any sense. How could he not be narrowing down the location of this object?
Mike was very confused. How was it possible that he couldn’t isolate the source? It simply made no sense. After a while he could only assume that his gear wasn’t working properly. That had to be the only solution.
Even though his gear wasn’t working properly Mike was determined not to give up. There was something nagging at his thoughts. Something kept urging him to keep on searching. Despite the weather and his faulty equipment he pushed on.
The only other thing that it could mean was that there was something very big underneath him. That seemed highly unlikely but Mike needed to know the truth. What was going on?
His curiosity finally got the better of him and he wasn’t about to give up on what might be the biggest day of his life. Little did he know how right he was. It would be a day he’d never forget.
Mike had no choice but to start digging; after all, he couldn’t ignore that there was a chance that something incredible beneath the ground. He began to dig in the spot he chose with no idea what to expect.
Ideas started running through his mind and he couldn’t shake the feeling that something big was about to happen to him. He began imagining all kinds of things as he kept digging deeper and deeper. What lay below him? he wondered.
He had to abandon the piece of equipment, pull out a trowel, and then start to dig. The wet dirt did not stand a chance, and he soon found a round chunk of metal in the soil.
He couldn’t imagine what this metal object could be. He kept digging to try and clear it out so that he could see just what he had found.
He used his hands to dig through it until he got a solid grip on it. He couldn’t wait to see just what he had found. Could it be something interesting?
He then tried to pull it out with all the might he could muster but despite his best efforts it wouldn’t budge. What could possibly be buried here?
This rusty piece of metal just would not move no matter how much he tried to pull it out. Again and again, he tried but with no luck.
Refusing to give up, however, Mike continued to try before stopping to reconsider his options. Mike decided he would have better luck if he dug around this mystery object.
As he started to clear the soil around the metal thing, he learned that it was actually connected to something else. What could it be?
What was so heavy underneath this soil that he couldn’t move it even one inch, no matter how much he tried to? He couldn’t stop now!
He kept digging and then uncovered another link, and then a third one. The more he uncovered the more perplexed Mike became at the sight that was unfolding before him.
When the realization dawned upon him, he felt a chill run through his body. He was filled with a mixture of shock, excitement, and confusion as he looked down. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at.
He had stumbled into a strange object, that much was clear. It came with iron links that did not seem to end. He couldn’t imagine why there was a chain buried in this field.
He unraveled more things as he went deeper into the soil. What was it attached to? Mike’s curiosity drove him on to uncover more and more of this mysterious find.
As he went on, he eventually realized that it was turning into night. The light was fading and he couldn’t see what he was doing anymore. He rushed to his car to get a flashlight so that he could keep going.
He could not help but curse when he found out that he did not have a flashlight on him. As much as he pained him he knew he had to abandon his find for the night. He couldn’t solve the mystery within the day.
He hardly got some shut-eye that same night, and he told only his closest friends about what he saw. Mike came up with several theories about what he might find connected to that rusty old chain.
That night his dreams were filled with all the crazy and scary possibilities of this find. He slept restlessly, part of him just eager to get back out there and solve the mystery.
Could there be something terrible down there? Mike was starting to get worried that he was not uncovering something unique and awesome, but rather something that someone did not want to be discovered.
There could be any number of explanations for what he was finding and not all of them pointed to something good let alone something that needed to be uncovered and dug up… Could he be in more trouble than he thought?
He previously read about old burial sites that were lying underneath Pembrokeshire, although this was not a comforting thought whatsoever.
Could this be one of those sites? He was hoping it wasn’t, but he had no idea what he was about to uncover. He was getting nervous.
This uncertainty only filled him with a sense of horror! He knew he needed to think more positively in such an uncertain situation.
He wasn’t going to walk away from this scene, but he was anxious to see what would happen next. As scared as he was, Mike was determined to solve this mystery no matter where it led him.
It was not lost on him that Pembrokeshire has been described to be a land of enchantment and mystery by the unknown author of the 11-century folktale collection known as The Mabinogion.
These were fantastical folktales from the area, filled with all manner of magical and mysterious creatures, peoples, and events. The only thing Mike knew for certain was that anything could be possible.
The last rocky Welsh outpost is surrounded by the Celtic Sea and continues to be steeped in myth and legend. There was so much mystery and there were so many questions about what Mike was about to find.
All the questions that ran through his mind both scared and excited Mike. The possibilities seemed endless so finding out the answer to the mystery was just that much more enticing.
With so many tales of magical and wonderful creatures and beings as well as being an area with a long and rich history. it is no wonder it has since become known as one of the world’s most haunted places.
Mike disregarded these thoughts and simply stayed determined to solve the mystery he had begun to uncover. However, Mike did not know that he was about to go face-to-face with the eerie past of the country.
As soon as the day broke out, he already found himself outside. He headed for the site right away. He needed to find out what was lying at the other end of that mysterious chain.
Once he got to the field, Mike parked his car and walked to the spot where he had been the day before. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that the site had been untouched since he left it. Mike set to work again.
What secrets could be lying there for such a long time? He did not think that it would lead to authorities on the field later that day. Little did he know that this was exactly what was about to happen.
Mike set about uncovering more and more of the mysterious object until he came across something he never dreamed of. What was about to happen would surprise everyone who was helping out at the scene.
Mike found the site the same way he left it. He was ready to get back to digging, although he was feeling some trepidation this time around.
He worked with a new fervor as he continued to uncover the object he discovered the day before. As he uncovered more of this strange object, he noticed something. It sent a chill through his spine.
The trowel then hit a smooth surface. He could not stop his eyes from going wide when he wiped off the dirt and found something brown and hard.
He couldn’t believe what he was looking at. The more he cleaned off the dirt, the less he could believe what he was seeing. He knew he had to call someone immediately!
He was a metal detecting hobbyist, so he knew the laws that came with his findings. However, not once did he expect he would have to call the authorities.
Despite knowing the laws that were involved in finding something of value, Mike never imagined that he would have to make that call. He expected to make the call he did even less. He had never been in this situation before!
The dig had been nothing more than a fun excursion in the beginning, but he learned that he was out of his depth as soon as he discovered human remains. What could this possibly mean?
When he started his hobby as a Detectionist, Mike had imagined finding all manner of things. This, however, was not something he had imagined. There could be so many outcomes from this discovery…
Mike inspected the object he had in his hands and was terrified when it dawned on him that he was holding a tooth! To be specific, it was a molar. He shuddered when he realized that something was amiss here.
The more he examined the tooth, the more uneasy he felt for some reason. Then it finally hit him and he realized just what it was that he held in his hand. Mike reeled from the shock.
Mike got in touch with the officials at the National Museum of Wales before anyone else. However, they only laughed at him when he made the call!
He had expected any number of possible responses to his discovery. Shock. Horror. Awe. He most certainly had not been expecting laughter. They didn’t believe a word he was saying to them!
“What the archaeologists said at the time was that because there had never been a find down here before, they didn’t believe it,” he recounted during an interview.
Mike couldn’t imagine that anyone would make up a story like this. He was an honest man and most certainly would not lie about something this serious. How could he prove that he was telling the truth?
Mike needed to convince them that he was telling the truth, so he dropped that he had reason to believe that there were human remains there. As soon as he said this, they changed their attitude in no time.
The news that there were remains turned his story from something amusing into something sinister and serious that had to be investigated one way or another. But what would they uncover when they did?
Mike waited for them to arrive. When they finally did he could see that they were still skeptical about his story but they were also worried. What he said he found could have serious implications.
They asked him to guide them there. “The look on their faces when they saw it said it all,” he said. Mike was just thankful that they took him seriously and came to help him.
This was how the excavation began that June. Archaeologists found two rusted iron chariot wheels. This was what they needed to confirm that this was a promising discovery.
What they discovered was something extraordinary. No one had imagined that there was a site like this right under their noses all this time. It was a Celtic chariot burial site!
What Mike had stumbled across was a complete chariot that had been buried there. It was not an uncommon tradition at a certain time in history to do so but finding a site like that was exceptionally rare.
“My first find was a Celtic horse harness junction piece,” Mike informed reporters. “When I found it my friends said I would never top it, but the next day I went back and found the rest.” There was more.
After he dug a hole around eight inches deep into the ground, Mike discovered other decorative items such as a brooch, bronze bridle fittings, and some tool handles.
What were these items from? He couldn’t wait until everything was pieced together properly. The wait seemed endless but in the end the results were well worth the wait.
All of these items had turned green from all the corrosion, although the bronze bits were still wrapped in bright red enamel. He wanted to be very careful with these items, of course, as he didn’t know if they were valuable!
Mike carefully excavated the pieces he could find and made sure not to damage them. He was excited and amazed to be part of such a huge and magnificent discovery.
“This is unprecedented,” he said, “and underneath the chariot, there is still the three-meter metal anomaly. If you go by other chariot finds there could be weapons or it could even be treasure.”
There was so much more that could potentially be uncovered based of what had been found at similar sites around the world. He couldn’t believe what he found.
It was not unheard of to find a burial chariot dating from the period all over Europe. However, what made it so special was the fact that this was the first one they found in the United Kingdom.
Mike may have dreamed of finding treasure but never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine that he would be part of finding something so extraordinary and unique.
“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “Obviously I’ve read other people’s finds. I’ve watched them on the telly, and I’ve always thought, I wouldn’t mind finding that, it’s still surreal, and life-changing.”
To be like the people he had watched on TV and envied in the past was incredible. The more they discovered the more amazing it was. He thought he was dreaming!
He went on, “It was just instinct. I’d read all about chariot burials and just wished it could have been me, so finding this has been a privilege.”
Now that his hobby has led to a major discovery, the location has since come under legal protection. This was done in an attempt to protect the site from all manner of dangers such as looters.
Aside from that, Mike needed to sell the artifacts that he got there from the day before the actual excavation under the law. What did he get anyway?
There were so many things that he found that he wanted answers about. With this in mind, he approached the experts to discover the truth about the pieces that he had dug up.
Aside from that, Mike needed to sell all of the artifacts that he got there, even from the day before the actual excavation; it was a very strict law he was dealing with.
Mike knew that if he kept anything from his amazing find, he could end up in some seriously hot water. He didn’t keep anything a secret and handed everything over as the law required. What did he get, anyway?
Overall, he discovered a total of 34 items. They were then sold to the museum, but it is good to hear that he got compensated for them handsomely.
He needed to split the profit he made with the person who owned the land he discovered them in. Mike had no problem with this as it seemed only fair. It wasn’t on his land after all.
The treasure has since become a very sought-after prize! As a testament to that, the National Museum of Wales also wanted to get them for the archives. This was indeed a big deal.
Mike couldn’t believe that what started as a regular day became something he’d remember forever. He never imagined that when his favorite field was flooded, he would make a choice that would lead to something like this.
A National Museum of Wales spokesman said the site was a very exciting Iron Age discovery that could be developed into a bigger project in the future. “Full excavation of the site and analysis of the find will need to be carried out before we can fully understand its importance. The site now enjoys legal protection.”
They added: “A preliminary excavation of the site where the artifacts were found was carried out jointly by Amgueddfa Cymru and Dyfed Archaeological Trust over the summer, partly funded by Cadw.”
This discovery revealed more significant and exciting discoveries at a once unknown Iron Age archaeological site. The spokesperson went on and said, “Amgueddfa Cymru is working with its partners on this continuing treasure case and in developing a detailed and fully funded proposal for further investigation.
It is intended that a wider museum project will be developed, to offer opportunities for local communities to become involved in revealing new stories about their prehistoric past,”
Mike, of Milford Haven, knew just how incredible his find was, saying: “It’s rare to find it in that good condition – it’s rare to find in any condition.”
Clearly, he’s done extensive research on the matter and didn’t think lightly of this discovery. And rightly so. As the find continues to be studied, more and more information is revealed.
Mike and the authorities had released many statements to the press regarding the find. Another joint statement went on to say: “These are now the subject of an ongoing treasure case in Wales.”
A preliminary excavation of the site where the artifacts were found was carried out by Amgueddfa Cymru and Dyfed Archaeological Trust together over the summer and was partly funded by Cadw.
Since the age of 12, Mike has been a metal-detectorist when he got a metal detector as a Christmas gift from his dad. Ever since then, it has become a huge part of his life.
For this reason, Mike dedicated this incredible find to his 79-year-old dad, John Smith, who is getting palliative care after a stroke.
He has gone on the record with this comment: “I knew the importance of them straight away….I’d read all about chariot burials and just wished it could have been me, so finding this has been a privilege.”
The chariot is believed to be roughly 2,500 years old. However, they did not find human remains. What Mike had thought might be human in nature was fortunately animal instead.
There is still plenty of conjecture about whether a queen or a chieftain had been buried with the chariot. They found a tooth, although it seemed to belong to a horse that they believe was buried along with it.
There have been many examples of animals being buried along with prominent figures throughout history. Some of these finds have been made in places like Egypt or even as far afield as China.
High-ranking chiefs of the Iron Age normally got buried with their horses, chariot, tack, and weapons. During the excavation, they found the tops of a set of chariot wheels. “Often the wheels were laid flat,” Mike explained.
These kinds of discoveries help us to further deepen our knowledge and understanding of the cultures of the past. Little is known about people from so far back so finds like these are extremely important.
“But this one appeared to have been buried intact. It could have had the chieftain or queen sitting in it. There would have been a mound over it but that has gone.”
He was in disbelief still, by the incredible discovery he made. The fact that it was so different from many of the finds in the past made this a truly rare and unique discovery.
After they quarantined the site to restrict access by the general public, they ran a ground-penetrating radar over the field. What they found would make you think this is a science fiction novel or movie!
The scientists were hoping to find something of course. But, just as Mike’s initial find had turned into something much bigger than he had expected, so too had the search with the ground-penetrating radar!
Survey work involved the use of some pretty sophisticated geophysical technology. It let them map structure lying far below the earth. They found a ring ditch, which is a 12-meter circular earthwork, around the site.
Earthworks are commonly found in the United Kingdom and far across the world. However, many of these earthworks remain a mystery as many of them defy everything we think we know about the people who built them.
They also found two other burials, also located in ring ditches. Soon after this, they discovered a complex of walls and other similar features. This convinced researchers that this was a Celtic settlement that has remained hidden for a long time!
“The actual field is very large and it is only in the corner of this field. But the settlement is also going into other nearby fields,” Mike explained. This meant that the find was even bigger than anyone had expected it to be.
Adam Gwilt is the principal curator of prehistoric archaeology at the museum. He explained, “These chariot pieces may have been witness to some of the historical events of the time, as Iron Age peoples defended their ways of life and identities…”
The iron age spanned from 1200 B.C to about 550 B.C. This was a time when man first learned how to create iron and steel and to fashion it into all kinds of things. These ranged from weapons to decorations and more.
“…in the face of an expanding Roman empire. Something like this takes a lot of organization and funding as well so we’ve been working with a number of partners to put together what’s needed to do a continuing investigation.”
Mike was so proud of what he’d found, and Adam Gwilt couldn’t believe it either. So what comes next? Would there be another discovery? Was Mike about to hang up his hat?
He went on to say, “Something like this takes a lot of organization and funding as well so we’ve been working with a number of partners to put together what’s needed to do a continuing investigation.”
There was one more question that everyone wanted to hear the answer to. How much was it worth? Every treasure is valuable of course. But what about a find of this magnitude and importance?
From The Iron Age “You’re definitely talking six or seven figures,” Mike Smith speculated. “It’s the biggest ever metal detecting find, as in there’s never been a chariot ever discovered by a metal detectorist. There have been hoards found, but never anything like this.”
We have to say that we feel a tinge of jealousy about the fact that he expects to net as much as £1 million for the discovery he made. Whoa.
One question that remains is: who were the Celts? As it turns out, the answer isn’t quite simple. The Celts were a collection of tribes that originated in central Europe. They shared a similar language, religious beliefs, traditions, and culture. It’s believed that Celtic culture began to evolve as early as 1200 B.C.
Over time, the Celts spread out throughout western Europe, including Spain, France, Ireland, and Britain. To this day, their legacy is prominent in Ireland and Great Britain, where traces of their language and culture are still present.
The first documentation of the Celts was in the seventh or eighth century B.C. At the time, the Roman Empire ruled most of southern Europe and referred to the Celts as “Galli” which means barbarians.
Apart from finds like these, most of what we know about the Celts comes from the records of the Romans. There were many battles and tales of the Celts during this time.
Despite the Romans’ belief, the Celts (pronounced with a hard “c” or “k” sound) were anything but barbarians. Many aspects of their culture and language have survived throughout the centuries and even to this day.
The Celts were also not only found in the United Kindom. Evidence of Celtic groups has been found throughout Europe and many of there traditions and rites are still visible today.
The Celts controlled a lot of the European continent north of the Alps mountain range by the third century B.C., including present-day Ireland and Great Britain. These islands off of Europe’s western coast are the ones that allowed the Celtic culture to survive and thrive as the Roman Empire expanded on the European continent.
Starting with the reign of Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., the Romans launched a military operation again the Celts. The Romans ended up killing Celts by the thousands and destroyed their culture in a lot of mainland Europe.
The Roman armies tried to invade Britain during this time but weren’t successful. Thanks to their failure, the Celtic people were able to establish a homeland there.
As a result, a lot of their cultural traditions are still evident in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, even today. While they were once much more widespread, these areas have the closest link to the Celts yet.
Brittany, the region in the northwestern corner of present-day France, was settled with Britons and Gauls. The Celtic tradition survived in the region since it was isolated from the rest of France, and a lot of festivals and events can trave their origins back to Celtic times.
A lot of French “Bretons” also happen to wear traditional Celtic hats called coiffes (meaning “hats of lace”), and about one-quarter of the region’s residents speak Breton, a Celtic language that’s similar to Welsh.
Despite the fact that Caesar’s invasion of Britain wasn’t successful, the Romans eventually had a successful attack against the Britons after Caesar’s murder in the first century A.D. This pushed the Britons on the island west to Wales and Cornwall and north to Scotland.
As it turns out, the Romans actually built Hadrian’s Wall near what is now the border between England and Scotland, in 120 A.D. The wall was meant to protect the Roman settlers from the Celts who had fled north.
In Wales, named Cymru by the Celts, the native tongue, Welsh, is a Celtic language that is still widely spoken in the region today.
In Cornwall, a lot of residents still speak Cornish, which is similar to Welsh and Breton. To people who do not speak the language, much of it sounds incomprehensible.
In Scotland, the Celtic language Scots Gaelic is spoken, although by a minority, and the local affiliate of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is known as BBC Alba, the Celtic name for the region.
Naturally, the bagpipes, the musical instrument that Scotland is best known for, can also be traced back to its Celtic roots far back in the past.
Even though the Anglo-Saxons, who took what is now England from the Romans. in the fifth century A.D., tried, they weren’t able to successfully invade Ireland. Meaning that they remained isolated.
Because of this, the Celtic tribes were able to settle there – namely, the Gaels and the Irish – to survive, and allowed their culture to flourish. That is why there is still such a strong Celtic influence in these areas today.
In 432 A.D., when Christianity arrived in Ireland with St. Patrick, a lot of Celtic traditions were incorporated into the “new” religion. In fact, it’s said by some historians that one of the main reasons Catholicism was able to take over as the dominant religion on the island after the mass killing of Druids, the religious leader of the Gaels.
Many of our common traditions today can actually trace their origins back to the Celts. The modern meanings of these traditions are different but in some cases, even the original names remain.
All the same, even with Christianity’s newfound prominence, traces of Celtic culture remain. For instance, Ireland’s national symbol, the shamrock (a green, three-pronged leaf) represents the “Holy Trinity” of Catholic tradition – the Father (God), Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit.
This is just one of many such examples. Others include things like Halloween, a Yule Log and more. The history of the Celts is a truly fascinating subject. New discoveries are being made regularly about these amazing people.
To top it off, the Celtic cross represents the region’s unique take on the Catholic cross. In addition, a lot of Celtic folklore stories, are still told in Ireland. Like Welsh, the Irish language, Gaelic, is a Celtic language.
For the most part, Gaelic disappeared in the 19th century, when the English colonized Ireland, but the language is still spoken in the western part of the country.
A Celtic group of people who occupied part of western-central Europe during the Iron Age was the Gauls. They were fearsome warriors who would cut off the heads of their enemies and hang them on their horses for everyone to see.
Some would go as far as attaching the heads of fallen foes to their shields to scare their enemies when they went into battle.
Celts had a strong belief that the head was the key to the soul and represented a way to communicate with the afterlife. One historian wrote that Gauls were tall, light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed.
We can only wonder what other fascinating discoveries still await us. Whether it be about the Celts or another civilization if Mike’s story shows us one thing it is that the earth still holds many secrets for us to discover.