Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Skeleton of pregnant woman found in Egypt

Archaeologists have found the remains of a woman who died towards the end of her pregnancy some 3500 years ago. The woman’s pelvis was fractured, and improper treatment likely killed her. Thought to be around 25 years old, the position of the fetus in her body suggested she had been due to give birth relatively soon. Researchers found beads made from the shells of ostrich eggs, as well as pottery and jars.

The find was in Kom Ombo, which lies about 30 miles north of the southern city of Aswan. Pottery in the tomb resembled pots from Nubia.
In 2005, Russian scientists unveiled the bones of a woman who died in childbirth 7,700 years ago. The grave was first discovered in 1997 in a Stone Age cemetery in Irkutsk.

Foetal bones revealed that the woman, who was between 20 and 25 years old, died while giving birth to twins - the earliest known evidence of twins in the archaeological record. Researchers believe that one of the twins may have been in the breech position and was only partially delivered. The second twin appears to have got trapped behind the first and died in the womb.

Duplicate foetal bones

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Lost ancient city of Tenea found

Archaeologists have located the first tangible remains of a lost city that the ancient Greeks believed was first settled by Trojan captives of war after the sack of Troy. Finds included walls, marble or stone floors of buildings, household pottery, a bone gaming die and more than 200 coins dating to the 4th century B.C.

Archaeologists discovered nine burials this year, finding gold, copper and bone jewelry, pottery and coins
There are artifact rich cemeteries surrounding Tenea. In one, antiquities smugglers dug up two remarkable 6th century B.C. marble statues of young men in 2010 and tried to sell them for 10 million euros.

Tenea survived the Roman destruction of neighboring Corinth in 146 B.C., and flourished under Roman rule. It appears to have been abandoned in the late 4th century A.D.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality is an exhibition in New Zealand. For more than 2,000 years, they secretly guarded the tomb of Qin Shihuang, China’s First Emperor. Discovered by chance in 1974, the underground army is one of the greatest archaeological finds known. The centerpiece is a phalanx of the funerary army, including soldiers, horses and chariots. Also included are works of ancient Chinese art crafted from gold, jade and bronze.
As many as 700,000 people toiled to create the army, mainly day labour, and probably conscripted. Each soldier was made from the feet up, with successive body parts shaped from coils of clay.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Hoard of mummified cats found in Egypt

Dozens of cat mummies and rare mummified scarab beetles have been unearthed in seven ancient Egyptian tombs south of Cairo. The tombs are thought to date to the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, which ruled Egypt from about 2,500 BC to 2,350 BC. Depictions of cats were common, reflecting the ancient Egyptian worship of the cat-headed god Bastet.
Scarabs also held great religious significance in ancient Egypt. They were associated with the sun god Khepri.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

China’s Ancient Treasures


Jade (nephrite) burial suit of Dou Wan from the Western Han dynasty
When the Han Dynasty princess Dou Wan died some 2,000 years ago, her corpse was encased within 2,160 small plates of solid jade. Carefully strung together with 700 grams’ worth of gold thread, the green stones formed a cocoon that conformed to the contours of her body, intended to preserve it for eternity. The jade burial suit was recovered with her husband’s in 1968 from their tombs in the northern Chinese province of Hebei.
Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties features over 160 objects on loan from 32 museums and archaeological institutions in China.

Lamp in the Shape of a Mythical Bird from the Western Han dynasty

Dog from the Eastern Han dynasty

Judaean Coins featured in Goldberg’s New York Sale


Two extremely rare Year 4 shekels are featured
The collection of Shlomo Moussaieff, consisting of over 150 extremely rare Judaean and Judaean-related Roman coins will be auctioned in the New York Sale held by Goldbergs Auction from January 8-10.Superb Year 5 shekel
This sela, dated in Year Two (133/134 CE) of the Second Revolt, was struck over a tetradrachm issued by the Roman Emperor Galba, who reigned briefly for seven months from 68 to 69 CE. The most well known Judaean-related Roman coin series is “Judaea Capta”, consisting of bronze, silver and gold coins celebrating the Roman victory over Judaea in 70 CE.Judaea Capta type sestertii generally have the inscription IVDAEA CAPTA or VICTORIA AUGUSTI, but this extremely rare hybrid features the strange legend IVDAEA AUGUST.
Very rare Judaea Capta type gold aureusThe most important Judaean-related Roman coin issued in between the two Jewish revolts against Rome features the Emperor Nerva (96-98 CE) SC (Senatus Consulto = by consent of the Senate).

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Yemeni Police stop smugglers of statues in Marib

The Yemeni news agency reported that security forces seized gold statues and gemstones at a military checkpoints outside the capital. The gang confessed to selling the relics to Arab merchants who acted as brokers.

The investigation revealed that many antiquities and gold bullion were smuggled out, and several archaeological sites have been destroyed. The aim of the Houthi militia is to destroy all national capabilities, including cultural heritage, where artifacts are seized in the Yemeni museums and official stores of the state and sold.
The Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah (anṣār allāh أنصار الله "Supporters of God"), is an Islamic religious-political-armed movement that emerged from Sa'dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s. They are of the Zaidi sect.The ancient kingdom of Saba ruled over the lands of southern Arabia, centered in modern day Yemen. Saba is better known as Sheba, whose famous Queen was recounted as having visited Solomon. Biblical accounts speak of it's vast wealth.
Sabean bronze. Circa 6th Century BC.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Ancient Jade Axe found in China.


A Ritual Jade Yue (battle-axe), Western Zhou Dynasty 西周玉鉞. Mottled with teeth inlays on the edge, for ritual purposes in Shang and Zhou Dynasty.
Archeologists have recently discovered jade ware that dates back over 4,000 years at a site in central China's Hubei Province. Jade battle-axes, an astronomical instrument and a tube, dating back to between 4,600 to 5,100 years ago, have been unearthed at the Mulintou site in Baokang County. Skeletons, stoneware and pottery have also been found at the site. A jade battle-axe was a symbol of power. The Qujialing culture is a late Neolithic culture discovered in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Ashurbanipal

Ashurbanipal was king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 668 BC to 627 BC. He is famed for amassing cuneiform documents for his palace at Nineveh. The Library of Ashurbanipal is now in the British Museum.
The British Museum also holds the Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal set of reliefs.

Ashurbanipal is considered by scholars as an archetypal academic librarian, in that his library set the course for how libraries of today operate.


Sunday, 4 November 2018

Gold Medallion of Roman emperor Maxentius

On April 5, 2011, the auction firm Numismatica Ars Classica sold a rare Roman gold aurei medallion, which established what auction officials claimed was a new world record price. The Gold Medallion depicts Roman emperor Maxentius and sold for $1,407,550 U.S. Maxentius was Roman Emperor from 306 to 312. He was the son of former Emperor Maximian and the son-in-law of Emperor Galerius. The latter part of his reign was preoccupied with civil war. He was defeated at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312, where Maxentius, with his army in flight, perished by drowning in the Tiber river.
The gold medallion is among the largest to survive, weighing eight aurei, and was part of cache intended for distribution to Maxentius’ military officers. Two survive with this example by far the finest.

On the obverse, Maxentius portrays himself bareheaded at a time when all of his contemporaries are crowned, and on the reverse he wears the robes of a senator. Every aspect of the medallion must have been carefully considered. The patriotic reverse represents Maxentius as the one charged by Roma herself to deliver the capital from the degradations threatened.
The inscription “to Eternal Rome, guardian of our emperor” speaks volumes of how Maxentius presented his case for sustaining the rebellion.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Greek police arrest antiquities looter


The Ionic-style capital is dated to either the Classical or Hellenistic age, anywhere from the 5th to the 2nd centuries BC.
A 51-year-old man was arrested in central Monastiraki Square in Athens for the illegal possession of a column capital. The recovered part of the Ionic column contains the volute — the spiral-shaped ornament characteristic of the Ionic and later styles — and the abacus — the weight-bearing flat slab at the top of the column.