Saturday, 30 April 2016

Ancient Wreath found in Thessaloniki

Excavation work during construction of a new subway in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, has revealed another gold wreath – the ninth since work started in 2006.

Found on the site of an ancient cemetery at what will be the Dimokratias Station stop, the wreath of olive leaves lay buried for some 2,300 years. The wreath was found “inside a large box-type Macedonian tomb on the head of a buried body.” It was approximately dated to the Early Hellenistic Era, at the end of the fourth — early third century B.C. Gold wreaths are rare finds and are usually associated with royal or aristocratic graves.

Featuring delicate decorations which imitated various leaves, such as oak, olive, vine, laurel and myrtle, the fragile gold wreaths were created primarily to be buried.
About 23,000 ancient and medieval artifacts have been unearthed during the ongoing dig for the Thessaloniki subway system.

The much-delayed project is scheduled for completion in 2017.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Mysterious sphere found in Bosnia.

An archaeologist know as the ‘Bosnian Indiana Jones’ has found a giant mysterious sphere embedded in the ground in Bosnia. Semir Osmanagich said the sphere dates back more than 1500 years and was believed to be proof of a lost ancient civilization.

The finding is based on previous work from Mr Osmanagich, who has travelled the world exploring these ancient spheres.

“I’ve been researching prehistoric stone ball phenomenon for 15 years”
"Preliminary results show the radius to be between 1.2 and 1.5 meters. Materials have not been analyzed yet. However, brown and red color of the ball point to very high content of the iron. So, the density has to be very high, close to the iron which is 7,8 kg/c.c. If we take value of only 5 kg/c.c. we have all the elements for the preliminary calculation of the mass. Mass comes to be over 30 tons!"
Experts were quoted as saying they believed the boulder was not man made. The spherical stone may be an example of concretion. This is when a compact mass of rock is formed by the precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains. The result is often spherical in shape, with the process forming the famed Koutu boulders in New Zealand. Other experts say the round shape of the rock could come from spheroidal weathering. This is a type of weathering affecting jointed bedrock.
Erosion and concretion are rare geologic phenomenon observed in the Moeraki and Koutu Boulders in New Zealand and Cannonball River in North Dakota.

Friday, 22 April 2016

The Walton Nickle

It's a mysterious nickel that was estimated to bring $2.5 million at auction. The coin, known as the Walton nickel, surpassed estimates and sold for $3.17 million in early 2013.
This nickel is both old and rare, one of only five that were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1913. That year a buffalo image was to replace the Liberty head design on the front side of the U.S. nickel. Five coins were inadvertently struck with the old image.

The coin is not supposed to exist. It is supposed to have the buffalo design.

The existence of the coin and its four mates was not discovered until 1920, by which time the five 1913 Liberty head nickels had fallen into the hands of different owners. But for many years, the Walton nickel, named after one of its owners, coin collector George Walton, went missing.

The last time the Walton nickel was up for sale was 1944, when Walton bought it for $3750. Eighteen years later, Walton was killed in a car accident while on his way to a coin show. Though Walton's collection was recovered, his family was told that the 1913 Liberty nickel he had with him that day was a fake.
A decade ago, as a promotion for a display of the other four nickels in the set, a $1 million reward was offered for anyone who brought in the missing coin. Walton's family decided to bring their nickel in to see if it might be real after all. Indeed it was.

The family decided to put the coin up for auction. "It's been in their family for 70 years. They decided that the hundredth anniversary of the coin was the right time to sell it and for another collector to have it," Rohan said.

Friday, 15 April 2016

World's Oldest Gold Coins

One of the world’s oldest coins was recently sold in Germany for over over $380,000. Issued between 600 and 625 B.C., this coin is unique because of the stamp of Phanes. The exact identity of Phanes remains unknown. “I am the badge of Phanes” is one of the English translations of the stamp. The words can also be translated as the more cryptic “I am the tomb of light.” Since Phanes was the god of light, and also the word for light, the ancient words can be interpreted in many different ways.

There are four examples of these types of coins. Known as “Staters of Phanes,” the denomination is one stater. A stater is an early currency of ancient Greece. Denominations began at 1/96, and went up to one stater. There were seven total denominations. Only the two highest had the Phanes stamp.
One of the oldest coins known was discovered in Efesos, an ancient Hellenic city and prosperous trading center on the coast of Asia Minor. The 1/6 stater was made from electrum, a natural occurring alloy of gold and silver. It originated in Lydia.

The ancient stater was hand struck. A die with a design for the obverse (front) of the coin was placed on an anvil. A blank of metal was placed on top of the die, and a punch hammered onto the reverse. The result was a coin with an image on one side and a punch mark on the other.
Electrum Stater Of Miletos. Several Greek cities as well as the Lydian kings began minting the first coins by stamping the badge of their city into one side of a standard weight lump of electrum and various punches into the other. These were used to facilitate trade by certifying that the intrinsic value and weight of the metal was guaranteed by the issuing authority.

Of these early coins, those of Miletos (600-550 BC), are probably the finest.
In 2014 A diver found what is believed to be the oldest gold coin ever discovered in Bulgaria. The ancient coin was found in shallow waters near the resort town of Sozopol on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The coin was minted in Lydia in the second half of the seventh century BCE, which puts the coin’s age at around 2750 years. Sozopol was founded as a colony of the Greek city state of Miletos about 611 BCE – first named Antheia, it was later known as Apollonia. The coin weighs 0.63 grams and has a denomination of 1/24 of a stater.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Mystery of spiralling holes across Peru solved

Known as puquios, the holes are located in the Nasca region of Peru — a location famous for gigantic geometric images carved into the landscape. While the origin of these formations remained unsolved for years, the use of satellite imaging has provided the answers.

Puquios served as a sophisticated hydraulic system constructed to retrieve water from underground aquifers. The discovery explained how the native people of Nasca were able to survive and thrive in a region severely lacking water.
Exploiting an inexhaustible water supply throughout the year, the puquios system contributed to an intensive agriculture of the valleys in one of the most arid places in the world. According to researchers, the corkscrewing funnels were used to force wind down to a series of underground canals, which then forced water through the system to areas it was needed.
The structures prove the Nasca natives, who inhabited the region from 1000BC to AD750, had a vast understanding of the region’s geology and annual variations in water supply.

Great effort, organization and co-operation were required for their construction and regular maintenance. Maintenance was likely based on a collaborative system, similar to that of the construction of the ‘Nasca lines’ some of which are clearly related to the presence of water.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Archaeopteryx : X-rays shine new light on mystery 'bird'

Archaeopteryx (meaning "ancient wing") is a very early prehistoric bird, dating from about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic period.

The first, and one of the most complete fossils of archaeopteryx is known as the London specimen. It was discovered in 1861, just two years after Darwin published On the Origin of Species, and made a stir being a transitional form.
Only 12 of these curious creatures have ever been found. Now they are going under the glare of a giant X-ray machine - to find out what lies buried beneath the surface.

Using a new "camera obscura" technique - inspired by Leonardo da Vinci - scientists have captured some of the clearest ever images of Archaeopteryx. For the first time, they can see the complete skeleton in 3D. Not just the surface outlines, but all the hidden bones and feathers too.
"We want to know how Archaeopteryx lived," says Martin Roeper, curator of the Solnhofen Museum, which houses one of the specimens. "Was he a little dinosaur running, climbing trees - or was he flying? That's the most important question. Could Archaeopteryx fly or not?"

The answer grows closer as new, microscopic details of its anatomy emerge from ever more precise scans. Blood vessels within the bones, for example, can be compared to modern birds.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Scythian Gold

The Scythians were Iranian equestrian tribes who inhabited large areas of the central Eurasian steppes starting from the 7th century BC through the 4th century AD.

Ancient Greeks gave the name Scythia to all the lands north-east of Europe and the northern coast of the Black Sea, unknown to them in that era.

Scythian golden pectoral from the royal grave at Tolstaja Mogila kurgan, 4th century BC. It shows the three tiers of Scythian mythology: the Inner Earth, the Astral-Cosmic sphere and innermost the inhabited world.

Scythian golden sword and scabbard.

Gold Scythian belt title, Mingachevir, Azerbaijan, 7th century BC.

Scythian goddess Apa from the Kul Oba kurgan.

Scythian Gold Stag, 4th-3rd Century BC

The gold fish of Vettersfelde, Scythian, ca 500 BC
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