Monday, 27 March 2017

500 BC Celtic tomb reveals Gold

In 2015 French archaeologists completed excavations of an ancient burial site revealing the decorated skeleton of a Celtic prince. The tomb 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 so-called 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 clothing, 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.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Mummies Revealed

Now at the American Museum of Natural History, a new “Mummies” exhibition explores how two civilizations on opposite sides of the globe, ancient Egypt and pre-Columbian Peru, both embraced mummification.

Though mummies are linked to Egypt, it was Peru’s Chinchorro people who first began mummifying their dead, some 7,000 years ago. The Gilded Lady has a face adorned with a thin layer of gold. CT scanning reveals she likely died in her 40s of tuberculosis, and had curly hair and an overbite.
The headdress is made of cartonnage, a papier-mâché like substance made from glued layers of papyrus or linen, then covered with gilding, a thin layer of gold. Ancient Egyptians believed the gold would enable the person’s eyes, nose, and mouth to stay intact for the afterlife. The golden skin was used to show divinity because after death, she would be transformed into the god Osiris, who had skin of gold.

Friday, 24 March 2017

Crusader-era Gold found off coast in Northern Israel

Thirty gold coins were found amid the remains of a Crusader-era shipwreck discovered off the coast of Acre in northern Israel. The city of Acre sits on Israel’s Mediterranean coast, just north of Haifa. In the 13th century it was one of the most important strongholds left to European Crusaders in the Holy Land. Archaeologists dated the shipwreck's wood to 1250 A.D. But the golden coins showed that the ship likely sailed later than that. The coins were golden florins, minted in Florence, Italy, starting in 1252. The ship must have sailed sometime in the last half of the 13th century.

Crusader Fortress : Old City of Acre – Northern Israel
At the siege of Acre, as Christians made a desperate attempt to flee the city, the knights made their doomed last stand.

As the Mamluks of Egyptian sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil were digging tunnels to get inside, the castle’s foundation collapsed, burying the doomed Templars. The sultan’s flag soon flew over Acre, and the Egyptian forces systematically dismantled the Crusader city, leaving its seaport in ruin.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Gold hoard found stuffed in old piano

An old piano, made by Broadwood & Sons in London in 1906 contained far more than the new owners bargained for ... a hoard of gold coins dating from 1847 to 1915.


The oldest coin in the hoard dates back to 1847, and bears the face of Queen Victoria. The hoard's true value is unknown but is described as a 'life-changing sum of money’.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Ancient Egyptian statue exported from UK

A 4,000-year-old Egyptian statue, controversially sold by a local council for £15.76m, had been blocked from export by the government in the hope it could be kept in the UK.

The statue of Sekhemka, a limestone figure 75cm high, was given to Northampton Museum by the Marquess of Northampton in the late 19th century. There was outrage when Northampton borough council sold it at auction through Christie’s in London last year to an unidentified overseas buyer. It went for almost £10m more than the guide price, breaking the record for ancient Egyptian art at auction. The statue is now believed to be in the U.S.

The culture minister, Ed Vaizey, announced a four-month temporary export bar on the figure, which dates from c2400BC and is considered the finest example of its kind anywhere in the world and of “outstanding aesthetic importance”. Arts Council England said the ban would be extended for a year until March 2016 “if a serious intention to raise funds to purchase the statue is made”.

The Sekhemka statue is a tomb model of a high official, wearing a short kilt and tight-fitting wig, surrounded by his wife, son and seven offering-bearers. He holds a papyrus on his knees on which are inscribed a list of offerings designed to serve the needs of the dead, including beer and cakes.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Leadership lessons from Julius Caesar

Today is the 'Ides of March', a historic date that represents the murder of Caesar and the moment when the Roman Republic morphed into the Roman Empire.

After a brief war with Pharnacles II of Pontus, Caesar had to write a report to Rome detailing his conquest. The commander didn't go into much detail, writing: "I came, I saw, I conquered." The sound bite proved so catchy that we still remember it to this day, centuries later.
In ancient Rome, crossing the Rubicon River with an army was tantamount to a declaration of war and could be punishable by death. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his legion on January 10, 49 BC, he put everything on the line. Suetonius writes that Caesar quoted an Athenian playwright as he crossed the river, declaring "the die is cast."
Caesar once wrote that "in war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes."

In his chronicle of the Gallic Wars, Caesar concludes that: "in most cases men willingly believe what they wish" when describing a tactical mistake on the part of his Gallic enemies.
Caesar writes: "The immortal gods are wont to allow those persons whom they wish to punish for their guilt sometimes a greater prosperity and longer impunity, in order that they may suffer the more severely from a reverse of circumstances."

As a young man, Julius Caesar was abducted by pirates. When the pirates demanded a ransom of twenty talents, Caesar burst out laughing. They did not know, he said, who it was that they had captured, and he volunteered to pay fifty. Caesar went on to promise the pirates that he'd personally kill them once he was free. After he was ransomed, he raised a fleet, hunted them down, and did exactly what he promised.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

2000 year old Gaza Statue lost again

Lost for centuries, an extremely rare bronze statue of the Greek god Apollo mysteriously resurfaced in the Gaza Strip in 2014, only to be seized by police and vanish. A fisherman says he scooped the 500-kg statue from the sea bed, and carried it home on a donkey cart.
Police from the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory, swiftly seized it. Archaeologists have not been able to get their hands on the Apollo since – to their great frustration.

From what they can tell, it was cast sometime between the 5th and the 1st century BC. The discoloured green-brown figure shows the youthful, athletic god standing upright on two, muscular legs; he has one arm outstretched, with the palm of his hand held up. He has compact, curly hair, and gazes out seriously at the world, one of his eyes apparently inlaid with a blue stone iris, the other just a vacant black slit.
The finder said he cut off one of the fingers to take to a metals expert, thinking it might have been made of gold. Unbeknownst to him, one of his brothers severed another finger for his own checks. This was then melted down by a jeweller.

Researchers say it is very, very rare to find a statue which is not in marble or in stone, but in metal. Some 5,000 years of history lie beneath the sands of the Gaza Strip, which was ruled at various times by ancient Egyptians, Philistines, Romans, Byzantines and crusaders. Alexander the Great besieged the city and the Roman emperor Hadrian visited.
The statue is unique and most experts say priceless. It's current whereabouts remains unknown.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Treasure of Vettersfelde


Scythian Golden Fish from the Treasure of Vettersfelde circa 500 B.C.
The Vettersfelde Treasure was found by chance in what was then Vettersfelde in the Province of Brandenburg (modern Witaszkowo, near Gubin, Poland) in 1882.

The objects in the trove are connected to the Scythians. The origin of the trove remains mysterious.

Golden plaque intended to cover the upper part of a sheath for a type of dagger.
The presence of these golden objects so far into northern Europe was explained by a Scythian expedition into central Europe, with the trove forming the grave-offerings of a Scythian prince, who had made it as far as Brandenburg.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/02/treasure-of-siberias-valley-of-kings.html
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/04/scythian-gold.html

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Ancient Egyptian Mummy Wearing Jewels Found

In 2015 Spanish archaeologists digging in Egypt unearthed a female mummy still wearing her jewels. The mummy was discovered in the necropolis below the temple of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (1490-1436 B.C.), on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor. The find dates to the Middle Kingdom (2137-1781 B.C.)

For nearly four millennia, the “Lady of the Jewels,” eluded tomb raiders, her sarcophagus trapped under a collapsed roof.
The archaeologists were cleaning and restoring several tombs in the necropolis that had been already looted in antiquity when they realized that in one of the chambers of tomb XIV, part of the roof had already collapsed before robbers entered it.

“A large boulder, which had fallen down before the tomb was looted, had crushed and buried a previously untouched coffin with all its content,” Egyptologists Myriam Seco, director of the Thutmosis III Temple Project, said in a statement.
“These spectacular findings confirm that an elite necropolis is located under the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III. Wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried there,” Seco said.