20 Facts Your Teachers Taught You That Are Totally Untrue

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Image: Ricardo Liberato
Image: Ricardo Liberato

15. The pyramids weren’t built using slaves, but paid, skilled workers

It’s little wonder the Greeks perpetuated the theory that the giant stone structures spanning Giza were surely constructed by slaves. After all, who’s going to sign up to shift nine-ton slabs of stone with just wood and rope? But in fact, in 1990, archaeologists discovered that the pyramids really were built by skilled workers, who earned a salary for their labor.

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Image: John Vanderlyn
Image: John Vanderlyn

14. Columbus wasn’t the first European to discover America

Columbus wasn’t the first European adventurer to set foot in America. No, that accolade is actually held by Leif Erikson, an Icelandic Norse explorer who arrived on American shores a whopping 500 years before Christopher Columbus. Erikson even has several statues across the U.S., and in 1929 he was given his own day – “Leaf Erikson Day” – on October 9.

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