Friday, 28 July 2017

Amazing Historical Artifacts

Broadsword of Oliver Cromwell. Made in England c. 1650. This is one of the finest surviving swords of a type favored during the English Civil War (1642-51).

The association of this sword with English statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is consistent with the unusual inscription and heraldic arms of England and Ireland on the blade, and with the outstanding quality of the hilt's chiseled decoration. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Monomachus Crown – Hungarian National Museum, Budapest. The crown is engraved Byzantine goldwork, decorated with cloisonnĂ© enamel. King Constantine Monomachus ruled the Byzantine kingdom from 1042 to 1055 with his wife Zoe and her sister Theodora. It was probably made in Constantinople in 1042.

It was found in 1860 by a farmer while plowing. The objects passed to the local landowning nobility, who sold it in four transactions to the Hungarian National Museum between 1861 and 1870.
A Surviving Crate from the Boston Tea Party – The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Boston.

The Boston Tea Party was the spark in the powder keg for the American War of Independence. The rebelling colonials climbed aboard a ship carrying England’s most valuable commodity – tea, and threw it overboard in an act of open defiance. Two crates survived.

The Axe of Pharoah Ahmes – The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. This gold ceremonial axe was found among the treasures in the Tomb of Ahmes. It is funerary object that was not used in the life of the pharaoh. One of the sides of the blade is adorned with Nekhbet, vulture goddess and the guardian of Upper and Lower Egypt, and other deities who protect the pharaoh . The other side of the blade depicts the pharaoh tormenting one of his enemies as a symbol for sovereign power.
Corinthian Helmet and Skull from the Battle of Marathon 490 BCE – Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army.

A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet (with skull inside) belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.

The story of the man who ran back to Athens with the news of the victory became synonymous with the long distance running event in the Olympics.
The Bullet that killed Lincoln – National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, USA.

On April 14, 1865, five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia, an actor named John Wilkes Booth achieved historical immortality by firing the shot that claimed the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Roman Iron Slave Collar 4 CE – The Museo Nazionale alle Terme di Diocleziano, Rome Italy.

The inscription on the collar reads – “I have run away; hold me. When you have returned me to my master, Zoninus, you will receive a solidus" (gold coin)

Blood Stained Cloak of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – Austrian Military Museum, Vienna. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand plunged the world into the first World War.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Mint Ptolemy IV Mnaieion

A superb gold mnaieion of Ptolemy IV honoring his father Ptolemy III. In mint state, it realized $24,675.

Mnaieions are among the most rare and desirable ancient gold coins. Ptolemaic gold mnaieions were one of the larger ancient gold denominations struck. They had a considerable face value of one mina, or 100 drachms. An extremely rare ancient gold coin was uncovered at Tell Kedesh in Israel near its Lebanese border in 2010. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel. The coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed 4.5 grams.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Guennol Stargazer

Christie’s New York sold a 9-inch-high stone figurine in April from the Chalcolithic Period (c.3000-2200 BC), known as the Guennol Stargazer for $14.5 million. It carried an estimated sale price of at least £2m. The Guennol Stargazer is one of the finest and largest preserved Anatolian marble female idols of Kiliya type, “Stargazer” so named because its eyes appear to be looking into the heavens.

There are only about 15 nearly complete idols that survive, although fragmentary examples, particularly heads, abound. Most of the complete examples have been broken across the neck, as with the present figure, suggesting that the sculptures were ritually ‘killed’ at the time of burial. The last marble example of Kiliya type to have appeared at auction was The Schuster Stargazer, which sold at Christie’s New York on 5 June 2005 for $1,808,000.

Divining the will of the Gods


Clay model of a sheep’s liver used for instruction in liver divination in a Babylonian Temple School, c. 2000 B.C.
The ancient world offered up a myriad of ways of telling the future and divining the will of the gods. In second-millennium B.C. Mesopotamia, professional oracle-priests would ritually sacrifice an animal and read the it's entrails (a process called extispicy). The priests chose to inspect and evaluate a sacrificed animal’s liver, which was deemed the location of the soul and number-one site for all internal activity. Divining by inspecting the liver was called hepatomancy.
In Ancient Rome, a haruspex was a person trained to practice this form of divination. On behalf of the person who brought the animal to the temple, the priests asked the gods a question; the gods inscribed the answer in the entrails. Over the centuries, liver models became popular across the ancient Near East, from Assyria to Babylonia, Anatolia to Cyprus. Rich kings often split up his multiple diviners into groups so they couldn’t conspire to lie to him. It was common for kings to order omens until they got the answer they wanted.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Treasures From the Ancient City of Teotihuacan

One of the most significant archaeological sites in the world will take center stage at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) this fall with the de Young Museum’s “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire.” The exhibition features over 200 artifacts and artworks from the site, with loans from major collections in Mexico as well as recently excavated objects.

At its zenith Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more, making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch.

At 63 meters tall, the Sun Pyramid was one of the largest and tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere. The city reached its peak around 450 AD.

Great Goddess of Teotihuacan

Water Goddess; from Teotihuacán

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Gold coins discovered in Germany mark site of Roman Massacre

Eight gold coins discovered during an archaeological excavation in Germany could confirm the site of the legendary Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Such a find is extremely rare and this recent discovery at Kalkriese expands the number of gold coins collected at the site by more than double the previous amount.

The coins featured images of the Emperor Augustus, with the imperial princes Gaius and Lucius Caesar on the back, and date between 2BCE and 5CE. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and destroyed three legions of the Roman commander Publius Quintilius Varus.
As a result of the battle Germania remained independent from Roman rule.

Roughly 18,000 men were killed during the slaughter in Teutoburg Forest.
An aureus from the reign of Emperor Augustus would have been enough to feed an entire family in Rome for a month.

Archaeologists speculate they once belonged to a high-ranking Roman officer.
In September 9 AD Varus marched with three legions with him, the Seventeenth, the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth when news arrived from the Germanic prince Arminiusof a growing revolt in the Rhine area to the West. Ignoring a warning from Segestes not to trust Arminius, Varus marched deep into the Teutoburg Forest.

All three legions were wiped out to the last man. Varus committed suicide.


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ifrit Monsters

Ifrit are supernatural creatures in some Middle Eastern stories. In Islam, this term refers to the most powerful and dangerous Jinns.

The Ifrits are a class of infernal spirits, classified as a jinn and also held to be a death spirit drawn to the life-force (or blood) of a murdered victim seeking revenge on the murderer. As with ordinary jinn, an Ifrit may be either a believer or an unbeliever, good or evil, but it is most often depicted as a wicked, ruthless and evil being; a powerful Shaitan (demon).

According to Islamic sources, the ifrit has a fiery appearance with leaping flames from his mouth. In early folklore, the ifrit is said to be formed from the blood of a murder victim. Driving an unused nail into the blood was supposed to stop their formation. The creatures were reported as being able to take the form of Satan, the murder victim, or even a sandstorm. Ifrits are believed to inhabit the underworld, or in desolated places like ruins or caves.

Crack China’s ancient riddle of the bones for big cash rewards

A picture may be worth a thousand words but one mysterious ancient Chinese character could be a 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) payday for anybody who can definitively say what it means. The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan province, has issued a worldwide appeal for help to decipher thousands of esoteric characters cut into bones and shells dating back more than 3,000 years to the Shang dynasty.

The inscriptions are the earliest written records of Chin­ese civilization and shed light on life and society at the time. They were carved by fortune-tellers on turtle shells and ox shoulder blades known as oracle bones, and record questions on everything from weather to taxes.
So far, scholars have managed to crack the code to less than half of the roughly 5,000 characters found on excavated oracle bones. Around 3,000 of them remain a mystery. The museum is encouraging researchers to use cloud computing and big data to generate breakthroughs. The museum started offering the rewards because progress on deciphering the characters had stalled in recent years. For researchers studying the ancient Chinese texts, making sense of one character can be a career-defining achievement.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Peru reconstructs face of Lord of Sipan

Peruvian authorities have revealed the reconstructed face of the Lord of Sipan, a pre-Columbian ruler whose remains were discovered in 1987 and hailed as one of the country's most stunning archaeological finds. A full body representation of the ancient ruler, believed to have died around the year 250, was unveiled Thursday at the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan in the northern city of Chiclayo.

The Moche culture ruler's face was reconstructed by anthropologists based on the skull and facial bones of the man's mummy. Archaeologists discovered the mummy buried with a large cache of gold and silver in the Huaca Rajada adobe pyramid complex.

Experts believe the Lord of Sipan was between the age of 45 and 55 when he died.

Tomb of the Lord of Sipan in Chiclayo, Peru
See ----->https://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2017/07/peru-reveals-replica-of-face-of-ancient.html

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Gold Coins of the Kushans

Little is known about the Kushans, a dynasty that controlled much of India nearly 2,000 years ago. Written records of the era, where they exist at all, are all from others and are imprecise and lacking in detail. The Kushans emerged from western China and swept into the Indian subcontinent in the second century BCE.
They are believed to be a branch of the Yuezhi, fierce nomadic horsemen.

Kushan Empire, Huvishka, gold dinar, c. 155-190 CE
Kushans first swept through Bactria, occupying modern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, where they assimilated native forms of dress, a slightly modified Greek alphabet, and a mixture of Iranian and Greek religion.

Kushan king Huvishka

Vima Kadphises. Circa AD 100-128
Kushan coins favoured the Hindu pantheon. Kanishka the Great was a vocal proponent of Buddhism. Impressive Kushan gold coins marked the apex of the Kushan empire. By the the fifth century AD Hunnic rulers and later, the Muslims, incorporated Kushan lands into their own territories.