Saturday, 28 January 2017

Ancient Grave in Heuneburg brimming with Treasure

An Iron Age tomb brimming with treasures fashioned out of gold, bronze and amber was recently uncovered after lying undisturbed by the Danube River for nearly 2,600 years.
The hoard adorned and surrounded the skeleton of a woman who likely died between the age of 30 and 40. She was an elite member of a Celtic society that buried her in ancient southern Germany at a hill fort called Heuneburg in 583 B.C. Multiple graves around the woman's burial chamber had been looted over the millenia, with some looters digging tunnels from tomb to tomb. The newfound grave was untouched. It is one of the very few richly furnished graves from the first half of the sixth century in Heuneburg.
Heuneburg is a prehistoric hill fort near the Danube River. The Celtic city-state was likely founded in the sixth century B.C.

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Roman shoe hoard of Vindolanda

1,800 years ago the Roman army built one of its smallest but most heavily defended forts at the site of Vindolanda, which is now a part of the Frontiers of The Roman Empire World Heritage Site. The small garrison of a few hundred soldiers and their families took shelter behind a series of large ditches and ramparts, while outside the walls a war was raging between the northern British Tribes and Roman forces.
Once the war was over (c AD 212) the troops and their dependants pulled out of the fort, and anything that they could not carry with them on the march was tossed into the defensive ditches. In 2016, the Vindolanda archaeologists excavated the ditch and discovered an incredible time capsule of life and conflict, and amongst the debris were dog and cat skeletons, pottery, leather and 421 Roman shoes.
The shoe hoard gives an indication of fashion and affluence of the occupants in AD 212 with some very stylish and well-made shoes, both adults and children’s. Vindolanda’s Designated collection has a direct connection with the former inhabitants. They are the best preserved Roman shoes ever found.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Scylla and Charybdis

Being between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom deriving from Greek mythology, meaning "having to choose between two evils". "Between a rock and a hard place" express similar. Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the mainland. Scylla was described as a six-headed sea monster on the Italian side of the strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily.

Avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa. According to Homer, Odysseus was forced to choose which monster to confront; he opted to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

NYINC Auction of World & Ancient Coins

Ancient coins saw great results. An Akragas Tetradrachm featuring two massive sea eagles and the fearsome Scylla brought $22,325. A scarce Naxos Hemidrachm realized $3,995.
A rare Bar Kochba Revolt “Large Bronze” nearly quadrupled estimate by realizing nearly $20,000. A Titus as Caesar “Judaea Capta” AE Sestertius, brought $18,800
A Belgian 100 Franc from 1853 brought $21,737, more than doubling the high estimate. A Half Pound of Elizabeth I brought $11,750.
See ----->

Monday, 23 January 2017

Artifacts for Grand Egyptian Museum's Opening

A team of experts shipped a 4-ton, 3,500-year-old statue of King Amenhotep seated next to the falcon-headed Egyptian god Ra. The pink granite piece, which had lain hidden in the sands of southern Egypt until it was rediscovered in 2009, was packed in a purpose-built box and carried in a heavy truck on special air bags over 400 miles.

The statue will welcome visitors to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) when it opens in 2018. Some 50,000 pieces will be on display — 30,000 of which have never before been seen by the public.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Florida treasure hunters find $4.5M in lost gold

A team of treasure hunters scouring the waters off Florida last year recovered a $4.5 million bounty of gold coins – including several made for the king of Spain, Philip V, in the early 1700s.

The find was made off the coast of Vero Beach, Florida. Bret Brisben, captain of the S/V Capitana and his crew reportedly found 350 gold coins, nine of which are known as Royals and valued at $300,000 apiece.
Brisben’s find comes a month after one of his subcontractors, Eric Schmitt, found 52 gold coins worth more than $1 million. Schmitt found the gold while diving about 150 feet off the coast of Fort Pierce in Florida during his yearly treasure-hunting trip with his wife, his sister and his parents.
"It resonates with everybody -- every demographic, young and old, rich and poor," Brisben told the newspaper. "People freak out that we're literally 10-15 feet off the beach in 2-3 feet of water."

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Strange Discoveries

Kepler-78b is a planet that should not exist. This scorching lava world circles its star every eight and a half hours at a space of less than one million miles – among the tightest known orbits. Based on present theories of planet formation, it could not have formed so close to its star, nor could it have proceeded there.
The ancient burial site “El Cementerio,” near the Mexican village of Onavas was disturbed in 1999. Villagers unearthed 25 skulls, 13 of which did not look entirely human.

Experts theorize that the deformity of the skulls were intentionally produced through the ritual of head flattening, otherwise called cranial deformation, in which the skull is compressed between two wooden boards from childhood.

Otzi the Iceman. In 1991, a group of hikers were trekking in the mountains of Austria when they came across an awful sight: a frozen body was buried in the ice at their feet. That body belonged to a 5,300 year old man.

By studying the body, scientists have been able to discover some surprisingly specific facts. When he was alive, he had parasites in his intestines, was lactose intolerant, and had been sick three times in the past six months. His death seems to have been caused by an arrow wound to his back.

In 2012 Australian scientists unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon.

Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to roam the earth, weighing up to 2.8 tonnes, lived between two million and 50,000 years ago and died out around the time indigenous tribes first appeared.
Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire.

The adult dead in the newfound tomb were found in the fetal position and were surrounded by a ring of baby skeletons.
Road crew workers working on the expansion of a road to the lsle of Portland came across a mass grave of fifty-four skeletons and fifty-one heads of Scandinavian men who were executed between A.D. 910 and 1030.

Research suggests they were Jomsvikings. Jomsvikings were a merciless group that terrorized the coast of England around 1000 who had a strict military code – never to show fear, and never to flee in the face of an enemy unless totally outnumbered.
An execution of the Jomsvikings captured in the Battle of Horundarfjord occurred in A.D. 986. All the men were murdered methodically and beheaded in an unusual fashion from the front. This is mentioned in Jomsvikings legend which states: ‘I am content to die as are all our comrades. But I will not let myself be slaughtered like a sheep. I would rather face the blow. Strike straight at my face and watch carefully if I pale at all.’

In the second century, Bulgaria was known as “Little Rome”. This title was verified when a gravesite of Roman soldiers was uncovered during a construction accident. Archaeologists say the tomb belongs to soldiers from the eighth legion of Augustus.

In its Roman heyday, Debelt was known as Deultum and held an important place in the Roman Empire. Among the items found there were gold jewelry needles, beads, scrapers used for bathing and massage, medicine, and gold medallions.