Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ancient Egyptian cemetery found

The series of eight tombs contain burial shafts that date to the Late Period, which began in 672 B.C., to the Ptolemaic dynasty, which began in 332 B.C. The tombs were found in a city called Minya, just south of Cairo. Artifacts and human remains were found. Many of the burials are associated with the ancient Egyptian god Thoth.

Archaeologists also found four alabaster jars with the Egyptian god Horus carved onto the lid. The jars contain the mummified organs of the tomb's mummies.
Researchers also found 1,000 ushabti figurines. The small blue-green figures were commonly placed in deceased ancient Egyptians' tombs and were thought to represent workers in the afterlife.

So far, the Egyptian excavators have unearthed 40 sarcophagi

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Ancient Gold Coins

Example of the most successful coin in history; an antique fine gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their very high gold content (99.40%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.00
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, nimbate, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C.

The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250.00
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.00
An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. The legend reading:

D[ominvs] N[oster] BASILICVS P[ater] P[atriae] AVG[vstvs]
"Our Lord Basiliscus, Father of the People, Augustus"

The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross. $7,000.00

Monday, 26 February 2018

Headless statue of Aphrodite discovered at Thessaloniki

A headless statue of Aphrodite was discovered during subway work in the Greek port city of Thessaloniki, which has been ongoing amid metro construction lasting more than a decade. The headless Aphrodite—the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty and desire—was discovered near Thessaloniki's Hagia Sophia, an ancient church dating back to the Byzantine era. Further extensions of the line are expected to cost an estimated $1.5 billion. The discovery also included fourth century floor mosaics.
Around 300,000 antiquities have been discovered at the Thessaloniki archaeological site. The Aphrodite statue and floor mosaics were excavated last week and will be presented at a conference about archaeological finds in the Macedonia and Thrace regions of Greece.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

The Ekimmu

The Ekimmu (Edimmu) is one of the oldest vampires and myths, dating back to 4000 B.C.E. The vampire creature is one of the most feared among the Assyrians and Babylonians. The edimmu were envisioned as the ghosts of those who were not buried properly. They were considered vengeful toward the living and might possess people if they did not respect certain taboos. They were thought to cause disease in the living.
The edimmu were also thought to be "wind" spirits that sucked the life out of the susceptible and the sleeping.
An ekimmu is an angry undead spirit that hates humans, demihumans and humanoids, and seeks vengeance against the living. There were many ways that one could become an Ekimmu. Violent and premature death, unfulfilled love, and improper burial.

The Ekimmu were sometimes portrayed as winged demons, walking corpses, moving shadows or even rushing wind.

Submerged ancient Egyptian treasures

More than 200 objects were showcased in 2016 at an exhibition of Egyptian artifacts discovered in a sunken ancient city. Dating back some 2,300 years they were found over a decade ago near what is now the city of Alexandria.

In ancient times, the port city of Thonis-Heracleion was the main port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world.
The city was founded around the 8th century BC, underwent natural catastrophes, and eventually sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century CE.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Golden Kingdoms

Golden Kingdoms’ at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, showcases art and objects of the Incas, the Aztecs and their predecessors. Running from Feb. 28 to May 28, the exhibition showcases a history of goldworking in the ancient Americas with more than 300 works—including the paintings, jewelry and adornments of the Incas, the Aztecs and their predecessors, starting from 1000 B.C.A 1599 portrait depicts Don Francisco de Arobe (center), a community leader in what is now Ecuador, and his sons.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Roman “Gates of Hell”

Roman legend says that mortals could access the underworld at certain points on Earth. Located across the Mediterranean, these “gates of hell” were marked by stone passageways built over geologic features like hot springs or caves. In displays of supernatural power, ancient Roman priests would lead an animal through the passageways—an act that killed the creatures, but left the eunuchs unharmed.

Researchers say they’ve discovered how these gates work. The Hierapolis gate is still deadly to this day. Locals report finding dead mice, cats, weasels and even foxes at the site. So how did the ancient priests survive?
Hierapolis’ gate is positioned on a fault. Fissures emit a steady stream of volcanic carbon dioxide. Though the gas is harmless in limited quantities, clouds of CO2 can swiftly suffocate any living creatures that pass through. Researchers measured the CO2 concentration at various heights over time, and found that the concentrations of gas differ during day and night. With the sun overhead, the clouds of CO2 dissipate. But at night, the gas collects, forming a thick layer.

Trajan's Column in Rome
The concentrations grow high enough overnight that they could kill a person within a minute, according to the study. Since the clouds of CO2 streaming up from the fissure are denser than air, it collects at ground level.

This means that sacrificed bulls or rams, whose heads were too short to reach above the deadly layer of gas, would swiftly die. But the priests were likely tall enough to avoid death.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Diving Robbers Looting Underwater Treasure

4th century C.E. Roman shipwreck
Diving robbers looting underwater sites are the bane of marine archaeologists. The items stolen from the sea floor, ranging from coins to amphorae to scrap metal from World War II warships, are usually sold on the black market. Stopping the ravage of the ancient sites is all but impossible.

The problem of maritime looting is especially acute in Israel where the narrow Levantine coast has been inhabited throughout human history and traces of long-vanished civilizations remain on land and under water. Every storm exposes new artifacts on the seabed. It is often a matter of who gets there first – the authorities or thieves.

A bronze embolos - a ram used aboard ships of antiquity to smash holes in enemy vessels.
The sea is very shallow in Gaza, about 5 meters. The popular mentality says that the sea belongs to nobody.