|Municipal workers trying to fix broken water pipes in Turkey's northwestern Çanakkale province found three ancient sarcophagi from the 8th century B.C. during the excavation. One of the two sarcophagi which were opened on Wednesday had gold jewelry The sarcophagi were found in Kemer Village in Biga district.|
Thursday, 29 September 2016
Tuesday, 27 September 2016
|In 2009 the largest cache of rare coins ever found in a scientific excavation from the period of the Bar-Kokhba revolt against the Romans was discovered in a cave by researchers.
Most of the discovered coins were overstruck as rebels' coins on Roman coins. The new imprints show Jewish images and words (for example: the facade of the Temple in Jerusalem and the slogan "for the freedom of Jerusalem"). Other coins that were found, of gold, silver and bronze, are original Roman coins of the period minted elsewhere in the Roman Empire or in Israel.
|The coins were found near Betar. Ancient Betar was the site of the "last stand" of the rebels led by Bar-Kokhba in their struggle against Roman rule in Judea from 132-135 CE.|
The discovery verifies the assumption that the refugees of the revolt fled to caves in the center of a populated area in addition to the caves found in more isolated areas of the Judean Desert.
Sextus Julius Severus
|In 132, a revolt led by Bar Kokhba spread from Modi'in across the country, cutting off the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. The outbreak took the Romans by surprise. Hadrian called his general Sextus Julius Severus from Britain, and troops were brought from as far as the Danube. |
The struggle lasted for three years before the revolt was brutally crushed in the summer of 135 AD. After losing Jerusalem, Bar Kokhba and the remnants of his army withdrew to the fortress of Betar, which also subsequently came under siege. The Jerusalem Talmud relates that the numbers slain were enormous, that the Romans "went on killing until their horses were submerged in blood to their nostrils"
|In 2015 another hoard was found in the vicinity of Qiryat Gat, Israel. Archaeologists uncovered about 140 gold and silver coins along with gold jewelry in a pit in the courtyard of an exposed building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period. A wealthy woman likely stashed the hoard of coins and jewelry in the pit due to the impending danger of the Revolt.|
A sela attributed to the third year (A.D. 134/5) of the revolt. It features on the obverse the façade of the Temple of Jerusalem (the Ark of the Covenant can be seen, inside) and on the reverse, the lulav and etrog, along with an inscription "For the Freedom of Jerusalem."
|The coins that were discovered date to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 A.D.|
“This hoard includes silver and gold coins of different denominations, most of which date to the reign of the emperor Trajan. This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt.
It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it,”
In an attempt to erase any memory of Judea, Hadrian wiped the name off the map and replaced it with Syria Palaestina.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
The cargo is considered the most spectacular ever found from antiquity.
|After more than 2,000 years, archaeologists have recovered the bones of a young man they call Pamphilos. In his late teens or early 20s, he was on the ship sailing from Asia Minor to Rome when disaster struck off the Greek island of Antikythera between Crete and the Peloponnese.|
The catastrophe in the first century BC scattered the ship’s cargo across the seabed. It lay there until 1900. Salvage operations have since hauled up stunning bronze and marble statues, ornate glass and pottery, gold jewellery, and an extraordinary geared device – the Antikythera mechanism – which modelled the heavens.
The Antikythera Mechanism
|With the latest discovery of human bones, scientists have their first real hope of sequencing DNA from a victim of an ancient shipwreck. The remains include the petrous bone, the hard part of the skull behind the ear. Dense and impenetrable to water and microbes, this is the best hope for finding intact DNA.|
|Analysis of the Antikythera Mechanism show it to be more advanced than previously thought—so much so that nothing comparable was built for another thousand years.|
Researchers used three-dimensional X-ray scanners to reconstruct the workings of the device's gears and high-resolution surface imaging to enhance faded inscriptions on its surface.
By winding a knob on its side, the positions of the sun, moon, Mercury and Venus could be determined for any chosen date. Newly revealed inscriptions also appear to confirm the device could also calculate the positions of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn — the other planets known at the time. The device's construction date was radiocarbon dated to around 150 to 100 B.C.|
Monday, 19 September 2016
|Spinel is magnesium aluminum oxide with the formula MgAl2O4. The name "spinel" comes from either the Latin word "spina" meaning "thorn", due to its characteristic octahedral crystals having pointed ends, or the Greek word "spintharis" meaning "spark".|
Although spinel occurs in a range of different colors, the pink to red variety is the one that is commercially important. Spinel is single refractive and doesn't have pleochroism. It belongs to the cubic crystal system with hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs scale.
| Spinel offers a range of hues from orange to intense red, vibrant pink, and all shades between purple, blue and violet through to bluish green.|
|Historically, the most famous red spinels came from the Balas region of Afghanistan and were known as Balas rubies. Some of the most famous rubies in the world, such as the Black Prince's Ruby, part of the British Crown Jewels, are actually spinels. More recently, Sri Lanka and Burma has been the main source for fine spinel.|
The highest quality transparent blood-red "ruby spinel" and hot-pink spinel has come from mines in Mogok, Upper Burma.
|In 2007 several huge spinel crystals were discovered at Ipanko, near the town of Mahenge, in Tanzania. Miners unearthed spinel crystals weighing from six to 54 kg. |
|The spinel crystal displayed the vibrant pink color that is now famous from Mahenge Spinel. Thousands of carats of gem quality gems were cut in Thailand and distributed into the world market.|
From this point on Mahenge Spinel was thrust into the world spotlight.
|Spinel is highly sought after by gem connoisseurs, and well-formed spinel crystals are in high demand among collectors. Red spinel range from orange-red to purplish red, with pure red considered the finest of all.|
A top-quality 5 carat red spinel might sell for around a tenth the price of an equivalent-quality ruby, and pink spinel often sells for less than pink sapphire.
|Tanzania is now the world's second largest supplier of spinel in the pink-to-red range. Spinel also has been found in Ipanko and Matombo. |
Since the Mahenge spinel is still a recent discovery, there is still top quality material available for collectors.
Weathered marble outcrops tower over the spinel diggings of Ipanko, near Mahenge.