Saturday, 28 May 2016

Britain’s biggest ever gold nugget discovered near treasure-laden shipwreck in Wales

Vincent Thurkettle discovered a 3oz (97g) nugget off the coast of Anglesey in 2012. The gold prospector kept his find a secret for four years so he could continue to search the area for gold - only going public once he was sure there was no more.

The nugget is believed to be part of a £120million haul that went down with the Royal Charter when it was shipwrecked during a hurricane in 1859.
The Royal Charter was a steam clipper which was wrecked off the beach of Porth Alerth in Dulas Bay on the north-east coast of Anglesey on 26 October 1859. About 450 lives were lost. The Royal Charter was returning to Liverpool from Melbourne. Her complement included many gold miners, some who had struck it rich at the diggings in Australia and were carrying large sums of gold. A consignment of gold was also being carried as cargo.
The Royal Charter broke up on these rocks near Moelfre
The wreck was extensively salvaged by Victorians shortly after the disaster. The remains of Royal Charter lie close inshore in less than 5 metres of water as a series of iron bulkheads, plates and ribs which become covered and uncovered by the shifting sands from year to year.

Gold sovereigns, pistols, spectacles and other personal items have been found by scuba divers over the years
Britain's second biggest nugget was the Carnon Nugget found in Cornwall in 1808 and weighing 2.08oz (59g). The Rutherford Nugget, which was found in Scotland in 1869, comes in third at 2.04oz (57.9g).

Friday, 27 May 2016

'Aristotle's tomb' discovered by archaeologist?

A Greek archaeologist believes he may have discovered Aristotle’s tomb. Konstantinos Sismanidis excavated the birthplace of the ancient philosopher in northern Greece in the 1990s, and now thinks that a destroyed structure he came across may have been the last resting place of Aristotle.

He has no proof, but Sismanidis said the arched structure was unearthed in the ruins of Stageira, 40 miles east of Thessaloniki, and was once a public monument where Aristotle was honoured after his death. He said the location of the structure, its view, its positioning at the centre of a square marble floor, and its estimated time of construction all pointed to it having been a shrine to the philosopher.
Aristotle, who was born in 384 B.C., was a pupil of Plato in Athens and became a crucial figure in the emergence of Western philosophy. His work forms the basis of modern logic, and his metaphysics became an integral part of Christian theology.

King Philip II of Macedon engaged him as a tutor to his son Alexander.
A separate excavation in another part of northern Greece, Amphipolis, in 2014 led to the discovery of the largest ancient tomb ever found in the country.

Speculation linking the tomb to Alexander the Great set off huge media interest, but archaeologists later concluded that it had probably been built for Hephaestion.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/03/the-amphipolis-tomb.html

Thursday, 26 May 2016

2,300-year-old Ancient Greek gold crown kept for decades in a box of old newspapers under bed

A rare gold crown believed to be more than 2,300 years old has been discovered under a bed in a Somerset cottage. The delicate Greek myrtle wreath, which is thought to date to 300BC, was found in a tatty cardboard box in the modest Taunton property.

Its elderly owner was stunned when he found out the valuable artifact is worth at least £100,000. Stylistically it belongs to a rarefied group of wreaths dateable to the Hellenistic period and the form may indicate that it was made in Northern Greece. It is eight inches across and weighs about 100 grams. It's pure gold and handmade and it would have been hammered out by a goldsmith.
Gold wreaths like the one found were meant to imitate the wreaths of real leaves that were worn in Ancient Greece in religious ceremonies and given as prizes in athletic and artistic contests. They usually depicted branches of laurel, myrtle, oak and olive trees, which were symbolic of concepts such as wisdom, triumph, fertility, peace and virtue.

Due to their fragile nature, they were only worn on very special occasions. Many were dedicated to the Gods in sanctuaries or placed in the graves of royal or aristocratic people as funerary offerings.
The current owner's grandfather was a great collector who was fascinated by archaeology and the ancient world. Although his family do not know how he acquired it, it is likely he bought it sometime in the 1940s.

A gold wreath similar to this one sold at auction in 2012 for almost £200,000. The antiquity will be sold on June 9.

See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/04/ancient-wreath-found-in-thessaloniki.html

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Amazing Shipwrecks


A bronze sword is among the artifacts. The 18-inch-long (45-centimeter) sword is of a style dated to between 950 and 850 B.C.
The Salcombe Wreck. Between 1200 and 900 B.C., a ship sank off the coast of Devon in England. Divers have so far uncovered 300 artifacts that weigh over 185 lbs combined, including copper and tin ingots (used to make bronze), weapons, and several pieces of jewelry.

The wreck is significant because of its age and because the artifacts have proven that a trade network existed during the Bronze Age.

Golden adornments called torques which date to between 1300 and 1100 B.C.
The Belitung Shipwreck. The Belitung shipwreck was the first Arabian ship to be discovered and excavated. Found off the coast of Indonesia in 1998, it has yielded the richest and largest assortment of early ninth century Tang Dynasty gold and ceramic artifacts ever found–bowls, spice jars, inkwells, funeral urns, crystals, and gilt-silver boxes. Items included pearls from the Gulf, rubies and sapphires, a gold cup, and a silver flask.
The Antikythera Treasures. In 1900, divers discovered an ancient shipwreck just off the island of Antikythera. Another expedition in 1976 recovered the most significant part of the cargo. The massive haul of artifacts from the wreck included the Antikythera mechanism.

Coins and jewelry, glassware, pottery, statues, and even copper couch beds were found. One statue is a classical bronze statue made sometime from 340 to 330 B.C. named Statue of a Youth.
The Bom Jesus. The Bom Jesus was a Portuguese ship which sailed in 1533 and disappeared off the coast of West Africa. Geologists working for De Beers discovered the shipwreck buried in the beach. After uncovering several copper ingots, the mining operation was stopped and archaeologists were called in.

It is the oldest shipwreck ever to be found off Africa’s coast and contained more than 22 tons of copper ingots, 6 cannons, swords, thousands of gold coins traced back to King João III, and more than 50 elephant tusks.
The Ghost Ship was accidentally discovered in 2003 by a crew searching for a Swedish plane shot down in WWII on the Baltic Sea. A full-scale expedition was launched in 2010, and researchers were able to confirm that the ship was built around 1650.

It is believed to be a type of Dutch ship known as a fluyt (a sailing cargo ship). The waters of the Baltic Sea have almost no tidal movement and the low salinity means shipworms are not able to inhabit it. That’s why the Baltic houses some of the most ancient and well-preserved vessels in the world.
The Vasa. The most exquisite shipwreck ever to be found in the Baltic Sea was the Swedish royal warship, the Vasa. Built between 1626 and 1628, it sank on its maiden voyage, less than a nautical mile from the harbor.

During a recovery operation in 1961, thousands of artifacts and human remains were removed. The wreck was so well-preserved that the smallest details could still be discerned on its artwork. It took more than eighteen months and 1,300 dives to salvage the Vasa. The Vasa museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sweden.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

500 BC Grave of Celtic Prince reveals Gold

In June 2015 French archaeologists completed excavations of an ancient burial site revealing the decorated skeleton of a Celtic prince. The tomb dating back some 2,500 years was discovered in an industrial area of Lavau, a village near Troyes, about 150km southeast of Paris.

The finding was described as "extraordinary" by experts. Buried with a two-wheeled chariot, the body is believed to be a high-ranked aristocrat from the Hallstatt culture that dominated central Europe during the Early Iron Age.

The skeleton sported ancient pieces of jewellery including a richly decorated gold torque weighing more than half a kilogram and gold bracelets.

Remains of the deceased's costume, such as shoe parts, finely worked amber beads that formed a necklace or hair decoration, and iron and coral hooks that attached to a piece of clothing were also retrieved.