Saturday, 22 September 2018

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ to John of Patmos, at 6:1-8. The chapter tells of a book or scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. The Lamb of God opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses.

The four riders are often seen as symbolizing Pestilence, War, Famine, and Death. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.

Albrecht Dürer, Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513
The first horseman is called Pestilence, and is associated with infectious disease and plague. "They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." (Revelation 6:7-8). It is a matter of debate as to whether this passage refers to the fourth rider, or to the four riders as a whole.

"When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come.” And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from the earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him."  (Revelation 6:3-4)
The rider of the second horse is taken to represent War. His horse is red. The color red, and the rider's possession of a great sword, suggests blood.
The third horseman rides a black horse and is understood to be Famine as the horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales, indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine.

"When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand." (Revelation 6:5-6)
The fourth and final horseman is named Death. Of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon or other object, instead he is followed by Hades. Illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe.

When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come.” I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

Friday, 21 September 2018

German exhibit - ancient battles, religion, migration

The exhibition showcases more than 1,000 major archaeological finds from the past 20 years and reveals how Germany has been at the heart of European trade, migration, and conflict since the Stone Age. The exhibit is at the Martin-Gropius-Bau museum in Berlin.Skull unearthed in the Tollense Valley
A river God mask from Roman-era in CologneThe Nebra sky disk is dated to around 1600 B.C. It is a plate-size object of gold and bronze, depicting the sun, moon phases and the Pleiades star cluster. It is considered one of the first astronomical depictions in history.
Three spectacular hats made from sheet gold believed to have been worn by early Celtic priests.
Perfectly preserved gravestone of a trader named Sextus Haparonius Iustinus, who sold cosmetics and perfumes.
A stone memorial of a deceased Roman cavalryman.
See ----->Secrets of Europe's most ancient battlefield - Tollense Valley

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Mystery Mummy found in Aswan

Archaeologists have discovered new mummies in Aswan, southern Egypt. One well-preserved example has intrigued archaeologists. Carefully wrapped in linen bandages for its burial, it was placed inside of an unmarked sandstone sarcophagus. Because there was no writing on the sarcophagus, the individual is a mystery.
Researchers have tentatively concluded that the Aswan mummies most likely belonged to the Late Period of Egypt which dates from 712 to 332 BC.

It's hoped artifacts found inside of the tombs as well as the hieroglyphic texts from nearby communal burials may shed light on the mystery. All the tombs contained the remains of amulets made of faience (glazed pottery).

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

El Dorado comes to S. Korea

An exhibition titled "El Dorado: the Spirits, Gold and the Shaman" is at the National Museum of Korea.

Pre-Colombians saw the golden objects not as material wealth but as a bridge to their gods. Gold was sacred, a metal used in religious offerings.
Pre-Hispanic goldsmiths of Colombia crafted some of the most elaborate objects in ancient South America.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Aquila - SPQR

An aquila, or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, carried this standard. Each legion carried one eagle.

The eagle was extremely important to the Roman military, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion. A lost standard was considered an extremely grave event. The Roman military often went to great lengths to protect a standard and to recover it if lost. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest the Romans spent decades trying to recover the lost standards of the three destroyed legions.

SPQR stood for Senatus Populusque Romanus. The meaning was "The Senate and People of Rome". No legionary eagles are known to have survived.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Baiae - Las Vegas of ancient Rome

Baiae was a mineral springs and coastal resort on the northwest shore of the Gulf of Naples in ancient Italy. It was fashionable for centuries during antiquity for the super-rich. It was notorious for its hedonism, corruption and scandal. It later formed part of Port Julius, the base of the western fleet of the Imperial Roman Navy.

Its ruins were submerged by volcanic activity by the time of the Renaissance.
Baiae was built on the Cumaean Peninsula in the Phlegraean Fields, an active volcanic area.
The bathhouses of Baiae were filled with warm mineral water directed to its pools from underground sulfur springs.

Roman engineers constructed a complex system of chambers that channeled underground heat into facilities that acted as saunas.
'Rome’s Sunken Secrets' follows a series of dives involving historians and scientists from across the world. They revealed vast villas, priceless statues and breathtaking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets and even a nymphaeum – a grotto of pleasure.

The chambers of volcanic molten rock that lay beneath Baiae, providing the hot water that served the spas, were eventually its undoing. The chambers emptied as the lava found a way to escape, causing the resort to sink beneath the waves.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Ancient sphinx discovered in Egypt

Archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion’s body and a human head in the city of Aswan. The sandstone sphinx was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater. The statue likely dates to the Ptolemaic Dynasty — from around 320BC to about 30BC.
The statue was found near two sandstone reliefs of King Ptolemy V. Sphinx statues typically depict a king and are often found guarding the entrances to temples.
Egypt hopes such discoveries, and the opening of the Grand Egyption Museum, will spur tourism, which was hit hard by political turmoil following the 2011 uprising.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Titanic artifact up for grabs: Scandalous Gold cigarette case

A gold cigarette case that once belonged to a controversial wealthy couple that survived the Titanic disaster is up for auction. The rare artifact belonged to Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon. The couple were accused of bribing their way off the doomed liner.

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, his fashion designer wife, and her secretary, were among 12 people who escaped the sinking ship on Titanic’s Lifeboat Number 1. The lifeboat, dubbed the "millionaires’ boat," had a capacity of 40. The cigarette case has an estimate of $50k to $75k.


In Greek mythology, a Gorgon is a female creature. The name derives from the ancient Greek word gorgós, which means "dreadful". The term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair made of living, venomous snakes. They turned those who beheld them to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal, Stheno and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not, and she was slain by Perseus.

The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Perseus and Zeus. Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, images of the Gorgons were put on objects and buildings for protection.
One of the earliest representations on coins is on an electrum stater from Parium. Going even further back, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, dating to the fifteenth century BC.