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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Friday, 29 April 2016

Huge trove of Roman coins unearthed in Spain

Workers laying pipes in a southern Spanish park have unearthed a 600 kilogram (1,300 pounds) trove of Roman coins. The construction workers came across 19 amphoras containing thousands of unused bronze and silver-coated coins dating from the end of the fourth century.

The coins are believed to have been recently minted at the time and had probably been stored to pay soldiers or civil servants. The clay pots, 10 of which were said to be intact, were found just over a metre (yard) underground. The coins bear images of emperors Constantine and Maximian and with a variety of pictorial images on the reverse.

The Romans began to conquer Spain in 218 B.C. and ruled until the fifth century.
Hispania was the Roman name for the Iberian Peninsula. Under the Republic, Hispania was divided into two provinces: Hispania Citerior and Hispania Ulterior.

Latin was the official language of Hispania during the Rome's more than 600 years of rule, and by the empire's end in Hispania around 460 AD, all the original Iberian languages, except the ancestor of modern Basque, were extinct. Even after the fall of Rome Latin was spoken by nearly all of the population.

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.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ancient Mysteries

Tarim Mummies. During an excavation beneath the Tarim Basin in western China, archaeologists were surprised to discover more than 100 mummified corpses that dated back 2,000 years. Victor Mair was stupefied when he found blonde-haired and long-nosed Tarim mummies after they were dug up and put on display at a museum. In 1993 Mair returned to collect DNA samples from the mummies. Test results validated his hunch that the bodies were of European genetic stock.

While ancient Chinese texts describe groups of far-East dwelling Caucasian people, there is no mention of how or why they ended up there.

The Carnac Stones. With over 3,000 prehistoric standing stones, Carnac (in Brittany, France) is the largest megalithic site in the world.

Not all of the Carnac stones were apparently set up for the same purpose. There are stone circles, rows of stones aligned perfectly, and even mausoleums with roofs made entirely of large stones. Stones may have been periodically placed over thousands of years, but a rough calculation for the beginning of the stone placements is 4000 BC.

Minoan Palace Ruins at Knossos
Fall of the Minoans. The Minoans were an Aegean Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from about 2600 to 1400 BC.

The Minoan eruption on the island of Thera (present-day Santorini) was among the largest volcanic explosions in the history of civilization. The eruption is believed to have severely affected the Minoan culture. Archaeological evidence found on Crete indicate that a massive tsunami, generated by the Theran eruption, devastated the coastal areas of Crete and destroyed many Minoan settlements.

Bog Bodies. A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are widespread. Bog bodies have retained their skin and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the bog. These conditions include highly acidic water, low temperature, and a lack of oxygen.

The overwhelming majority of bog bodies have been found in Northern Europe, particularly Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Helike Delta with the Gulf of Corinth at left.
Lost City of Helike Helike was situated on the northwestern part of the Peloponnesian peninsula. During its heyday, Helike was an important economic, cultural and religious centre.

One night during the winter of 373 B.C., the city of Helike was obliterated. The rescue party that came in the following morning found no survivors. No trace of the legendary society existed outside of ancient Greek texts until 1861 when an archaeologist found a bronze coin with the unmistakable head of Poseidon.

In 2001, a pair of archaeologists located the ruins of Helike.
Rongorongo. Rongorongo is an indecipherable hieroglyphic script used by the early inhabitants on Easter Island. While no other neighboring oceanic people possessed a written language, Rongorongo appeared mysteriously in the 1700s.

The language was lost—along with the best hopes for ever deciphering it—after early European colonizers banned it.
Frozen for 40,000 years, this mammoth calf was discovered in 2007 by reindeer herders in Siberia. The remains of two Ice Age puppies were found perfectly preserved in 2015. Long extinct Siberian Cave Lion Cubs were discovered in 2014. Other long-frozen remains may emerge from shrinking ice sheets.

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.