Saturday, 16 December 2017

Archaeologists discover Roman harbor in ancient Greek port

Archaeologists carrying out excavations in Lechaion, once the main harbor town of ancient Corinth, have discovered impressive Roman engineering underneath the waves.
The ancient city of Corinth, located on the Peloponnese peninsula of southern Greece, was once a strategic city of great importance with access to the Mediterranean trade routes. It was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BCE.

The mysterious island monument in an area of the Inner Harbour was dated to the early 1st century AD. It was likely built as part of a Roman building program designed to help restore Corinth. The area was destroyed by an earthquake sometime between 50-125 CE. Experts speculate it may be the first evidence of the earthquake of 70 CE recorded during the reign of the Roman emperor Vespasian (69-79 CE).

Friday, 15 December 2017

Top Macedonian Artifacts

The Golden Larnax
A larnax is a type of small closed coffin, box or "ash-chest" used as a container for human remains in ancient Macedonia. A 4th century BC example found at Vergina in northern Macedonia is made of solid gold. The tomb where it was found is thought to have belonged to King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great.
The cremated bones of Alexander IV, the posthumous son of Alexander the Great who was murdered, along with his mother, Roxane, by Alexander's former general Cassander in 311/310 B.C. The ashes had been placed in a silver hydria, crowned by a golden wreath. They were found in 1978 at Vergina.
The Derveni Krater is a volute krater, discovered in 1962 in a tomb at Derveni, not far from Thessaloniki. Weighing 40 kg, it is made of an alloy of bronze and tin. It is dated to the late 4th century BC, and was probably made in Athens. Large metalwork vessels are extremely rare survivals and the Derveni Krater is the finest known.
Alexander the Great Bust. Thanks to its original inscription, the figure can be definitely identified as Alexander the Great, son of Philip II of Macedon. The work is a copy of the head of a work from 330 BC attributed to Lysippos.
Philippeioi, later called Alexanders were the gold coins used in the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia. First issued at some point between 355 and 347 BCE, the coins featured a portrait of the Greek deity Apollo on the obverse, and on the reverse, an illustration of a biga, a Greek chariot drawn by two horses. They had the value of one gold stater each. The vast majority of the coins were struck by Alexander the Great and were known as "alexanders".
The Alexander Mosaic, dating from 100 BC, is a Roman floor mosaic originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. It depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The original is preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. The mosaic is believed to be a copy of an early 3rd-century BC Hellenistic painting.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Face of 1,200 year old 'Huary Queen' revealed

The “Huarmey Queen” was found five years ago at El Castillo de Huarmey in Peru. She was from the pre-Incan Wari culture and lived about 12 centuries ago. Her body, surrounded by jewelry, gold ear flares, a copper ceremonial ax, a silver goblet and weaving tools fashioned from gold, was found in a private chamber.

Her skeleton revealed that she had a strong upper body and spent most of life seated, indicating that she could had been a weaver — a position of great renown among the Wari, who revered textiles more than gold and silver.
Experts spent 220 hours hand-crafting the features of the noblewoman, who was at least 60 years old when she died, using a 3D-printed cast of her skull and data on her bone and muscle structure.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Museum of Cycladic Art

The Greek word for money, chrema, carries an English translation that falls short. It means ‘to need’ and ‘to use’ explains Nicholas Stampolidis, director of the Museum of Cycladic Art. It's latest exhibition is called, “Money: Tangible Symbols in Ancient Greece.”

The Athenian museum is exhibiting a display of 85 ancient coins from around the Mediterranean basin, Asia Minor and Central Asia. They date as far back as the 7th century BC.
The first Greek coin, produced on Aegina Island, is stamped with a sea turtle—chosen because it was the longest-living animal the islanders knew of. During Alexander the Great’s reign, his profile remained absent from any coin. A pupil of Aristotle, who warned against hubris, Alexander put the ancient gods on his coins instead. Alexander the Great’s successors had no such restraints.
In the first century BC, the port town of Delos was a tax haven attracting sea-faring trade.

A excavation in 1991 of a local tavern reveals broken wine jugs with a pile of coins with markings from dozens of different societies—the savings of prostitutes after servicing clients from around the world.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Badge of Cyzicus

Coin features two dolphins encircling a Cyzicus’ tuna. The dolphins symbolize Poseidon, the god of the sea.Cyzicus was one of the great trade cities of the ancient world. It was located on the Sea of Marmara and ruled by the Persian Empire until its capture by Alexander the Great in 334 BCE.

Tuna fishing was the cornerstone of the economy of Cyzicus, becoming the defining feature of the coinage from the city.

The myth of Perseus & Medusa. An electrum stater struck around 400 BC from the ancient city of Cyzicus
In the first half of the sixth century BCE, the electrum staters of Cyzicus became one of the most widely recognized coins of their time. For many decades, the entire trade in grain in the Black Sea Region was transacted with Cyzicus coins.

Gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world until they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon.

The Oxus Treasure

Cyrus the Great
The Oxus treasure is a collection of about 180 pieces of metalwork in gold and silver from the Achaemenid Persian period, found by the Oxus river about 1877-1880 in Takht-i Kuwad, Tadjikistan. It is the most important surviving collection of gold and silver from the Achaemenid period. (6th-4th century BC)
The Achaemenid Dynasty built an empire (559–330 BC) which, at its peak, spanned three continents.

In sheer land mass, the Achaemenid Empire was the largest empire the ancient world had ever seen until 331-330 BC, when Alexander the Great toppled the Persian regime on his eastward march from the Mediterranean through Afghanistan to India.

Ayaz Kala of Khwarezm (Chorasmia), today desert but in ancient times green and lush.

Kaakha fortress, overlooking the Panj river.

The formidable walls surrounding the ruins of Bactra, adjacent to modern-day Balkh.

Monday, 11 December 2017


Few gladiators survived more than ten matches. The average age of those killed in the arena was 28. The person who presided over the games was called the editor. He could be the emperor, a senator, or other political figure and made the final decision about the fate of the gladiators in the arena.

To make sure the loser wasn’t pretending to be dead, an attendant dressed as Mercury would touch him with a hot iron wand. If they were still alive, another attendant, dressed as Charon, would hit him with a mallet.
If a gladiator repeatedly survived the arena and lived long enough to retire, they were given a symbolic wooden training sword, or rudis, as a token of their freedom.

Even when they had won their freedom, the lucrative life of the gladiator still appealed: rudiarii were gladiators who had won their freedom but chose to remain fighting in the arena.

Gladius, an early ancient Roman sword
There were many types of gladiators and each specialized in different weapons. It was usual to pair off combatants with widely different, but more or less equivalent, equipment. Studies have shown that gladiators fought to strict rules and barefooted. During combat musicians performed accompaniment that altered tempo to match that of the combat.
From left, a disarmed and surrendering retiarius and his secutor opponent, a thraex and murmillo, a hoplhus and murmillo (who is signalling his surrender), and the referee.

Roman Gladiator Dagger

Four-pointed dagger

Roman soldiers were taught to deploy the gladius horizontally, piercing the enemy's ribs and penetrating vital organs.

Roman iron gladiator trident.

Gladiator Arm Guard

Greaves (leg protectors) and dagger discovered at Pompeii's gladiator barracks.

Pair of bronze greaves from the Gladiators' Barracks in Pompeii.

Helmet of a murmillo.