Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Olduvai Handaxe

The Olduvai Handaxe was found in Tanzania in the Olduvai Gorge. The stone tool dates to between 1.4 and 1.2 million years ago, and it was used mainly for the cutting of meat and woodworking. It was made from green volcanic lava, and was used by the first prehistoric people who were evolved enough to be truly comparable to modern day humans.

The handaxe found in the gorge coincided with the first known great migration of human ancestors who moved from Africa into Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, bringing the handaxe with them.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Gold-Gilded mask found at ancient Egypt necropolis

A silver face mask gilded with gold, a mummification workshop, mummies and sarcophagi have all been discovered at a tomb complex in Saqqara. The discovery is incredibly rare as most tombs were looted in antiquity.

Some of the finds date back around 2,500 years, including the silver face mask, which dates to sometime between 664 B.C. and 404 B.C. Researchers believe the mask belonged to a priest who served the sky God Mut.

Saqqara Step Pyramid
A workshop is in the remains of a building made of mudbrick and limestone. This building is above a large shaft that leads down to several burial chambers holding mummies, sarcophagi, alabaster vessels (used to hold the organs of the deceased) and shabti figurines — the Egyptians believed these figures could act as servants for the deceased in the afterlife.

Friday, 13 July 2018

SS Central America yields rare Territorial Gold Coins

Second finest known 1854 Kellogg $20 Territorial gold coin, graded PCGS MS62+
Latest coins from the SS Central America includes rare Territorial Gold Coins. "Territorial" is a term that encompasses a wide range of coins issued by private minters, semi-official entities, entrepreneurs, and opportunists.
Rare 884 THOUS variety 1853 U.S. Assay Office $20, graded PCGS AU55+

Small Head variety 1852 Wass Molitor $5 gold coin, with a counterstamp advertising Sacramento dentist W.W. Light
Nearly all of the coins arose out of necessity and were created to fill a void that government could not or would not fill. Until they intervened, these issue flourished; once the government entered the market, they effectively disappeared or were made illegal.
One of the finest known 1855 Wass Molitor Small Head variety $20 gold coins, PCGS AU58
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Traces of war found in ancient Lydian city Sardis

Military equipment has been unearthed in the ancient city of Sardis. Officials believe they might have been used in an ancient war between the Lydians and the Persians. The ancient city of Sardis was the capital of the Lydian Kingdom, and had been home to many civilizations since. The military equipment is believed to have been used in the war that caused the end of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 B.C.
The ancient city of Sardis is the first place where coins were minted and is home to one of the Seven Churches of Christianity. Artifacts that have been unearthed there are now displayed at Manisa Museum

Thursday, 12 July 2018

"Ides of March" Coins

Brutus issued a silver denarius celebrating the assassination of Caesar on the Ides of March (March 15). The denarius has a portrait of Brutus on the obverse, with on the reverse a liberty cap flanked by two daggers over the inscription EID(ibus) MAR(tiis). The liberty cap was the garment given to a manumitted slave to indicate his free status, so the reverse side symbolizes Brutus and Cassius liberating Rome with their daggers. There are about 60 known copies of the silver denarius including several in the British Museum collection. A superb example made $332,583 in a late 2016 auction. Silver specimens in extremely fine condition have sold at auction for $120,000. Lower grade silver examples can come on the market for around $50,000.
There is only one genuine gold aurei, and it went on display at the British museum last year, in honor of the 2,054th anniversary of Julius Caesar’s assassination.

In October of 42 B.C., just months after the coin was struck, Brutus and Cassius were routed by Marc Anthony and Octavian’s forces and died in the Battles of Philippi. Their coins were outlawed and very few survived.

Travancore royal against 'commercialization' of temple treasures

A member of the royal family of Travancore said he is against the 'commercialization' of the vast riches contained in the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. The Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu located in Thiruvananthapuram, India.

The temple and its assets belong to Lord Padmanabhaswamy, and are controlled by a trust run by the Royal family.

In June 2011, the Supreme Court directed authorities to open the secret chambers of the temple for inspection of the items kept inside. Some had not been opened in centuries.

The review of the temple's underground vaults led to the enumeration of a vast inventory of the temple's assets. 18th century Napoleonic era coins were found, as well as a three-and-a-half foot tall solid gold idol of Mahavishnu studded with rubies and emeralds.

Ceremonial attire adorning the deity was in the form of a gold anki weighing almost 30 kilograms (66 lb).
It's estimated that the value of the items is US$22b. This makes the Padmanabhaswamy temple the wealthiest temple in India and the world.

The treasures built up in the temple for centuries.

Vault B door with Cobra guardians
It was announced that a new hidden treasure vault had been discovered beyond the already documented Vault B. Adding to recent treasure findings in other vaults, researchers are estimating the total treasure could total over $1.5 trillion. ($25b US)

The temple has been shrouded in mystery and superstition. Two enormous Cobras are rumored to be protecting the innermost hidden chamber.
Legend holds that anyone who opens the vault will be met with certain doom.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Armadillo's Ancient Texas Roots

The Spaniards named them armadillos – “the little armored ones.” It was a term of affection. A man in east Texas shot one with a .38 and the bullet ricocheted off the armadillo’s thick plating and hit the man in the face. He recovered. The armadillo was never found but is probably still laughing. They are impressive survivors.
Four million years ago, their distant relatives roamed the earth, glyptodons. They reached a weight of two tons, about the size of a rhino.
In 2016 geneticists analyzed the ancient DNA of a glyptodon, comparing it with that of modern armadillos and found evidence that they are directly related. Why the original was so large or why its descendants became miniaturized is an unsolved mystery. The Texas armadillo has earned it's iconic status. During the Great Depression, an era many blamed on President Herbert Hoover, food was scarce, and many people in Texas hunted and ate armadillos, calling them “poor man’s pork” or “Hoover hogs.”
Armadillo (aka The Texas Speed Bump)
To properly honor all the positive influences of the armadillo in Texas, the 1995 legislature declared the nine-banded armadillo the official State Small Mammal of Texas.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

UK Heat Wave reveals Ancient presence - Crop Marks

Weeks of extreme heat and drought have baked Welsh fields to a crisp. But amidst the remains of crops, bizarre circles of green have emerged. It’s definitely not aliens. It’s the remains of ancient settlements emerging from centuries of slumber.

These are crop marks, the modern answer to crop circles. Crop marks are relics of the Iron Age, a period which lasted from roughly 800 B.C. until 50 A.D., showing where forts and settlements once existed. Iron Age settlements in Wales were usually surrounded by ditches that acted as deterrents for would be invaders. Over time, those settlements were abandoned, top soil filled in the ditches, making them both more fertile than the surrounding land and able to retain water.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Superb California Fractional Gold Coins from SS Central America

An amazing group of high quality California fractional gold coins were recovered from the fabled “Ship of Gold”, the SS Central America, that sank in 1857.

A total of 112 privately-minted, California Gold Rush fractional coins in denominations of 25 cents, 50 cents and $1 were retrieved from the Atlantic Ocean. 54 of them have been designated prooflike by PCGS.


Centaurs are half-human, half-horse creatures in Greek mythology. They have the body of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man. They were considered to be the children of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera.

One of the best known centaurs of myth is the wise Chiron. Although most centaurs were depicted as lustful and wild, Chiron was modest and known for his medicinal and teaching skills. He lived on Mount Pelion in Thessaly and was the tutor of Achilles and Aesculapius.
Chiron was immortal; however, he was accidentally wounded by Heracles with an arrow treated with the blood of the Hydra, causing him insufferable pain.

When Heracles asked his father to free Prometheus and Zeus demanded that someone must be sacrificed, Chiron volunteered and died, both to free Prometheus and himself from the pain.
Ironically, Chiron, the master of the healing arts, could not heal himself.

So he willingly gave up his immortality. He was honored with a place in the sky, identified by the Greeks as the constellation Centaurus.

Friday, 6 July 2018

Ancient Roman fridge kept products cool for months

Swiss archaeologists studying mysterious shafts unearthed at the Roman site of Augusta Raurica believe the four-metre pits were designed as ancient refrigerators. They believe that Romans used shafts as cool stores during summer.

The shafts were filled with snow and ice during winter and then covered with straw to keep the space cool well into the summer months, allowing everything from cheese to wine – and even oysters – to be preserved during warm weather.

The most significant archaeological prize at Augusta Raurica is the spectacular silver treasure of Kaiseraugst.

The hoard was found in 1961 and is presumed to have once been the property of a Roman commander.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Ancient jewelry discovered in Azerbaijan

During excavations of the necropolis in the Ganja-Gazakh region, researchers discovered gold and bronze jewelry related to the Khodjaly-Gadabay culture of the late Bronze Age.

The jewelry found in the necropolis and the remains of ceramic utensils are dated around 3,000-2,700 BC. Khodjaly-Gadabay culture sites are at Khojaly, Gadabay and Ganja in Azerbaijan.