Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Ancient coins from Amman Citadel replaced with fakes

AMMAN — The Lower House Integrity Committee recently asked the tourism minister to provide a list containing the ancient artifacts, coins and antiquities that are displayed in the Kingdom’s museums. The request was made following the discovery of fake ancient gold and silver coins in the Citadel Museum in Amman.

There were 401 ancient coins in the Citadel Museum. 400 of these were replaced by fakes.
A French archaeologist discovered the ancient gold coins a few years ago. He brought students to Jordan to show them his discovery, and found out that the coins were fake.

He alerted authorities.
The Amman Citadel is a historical site at the center of downtown Amman, Jordan. Known in Arabic as Jabal al-Qal'a, the L-shaped hill is one of the seven jabals that originally made up Amman. There is evidence of occupation since the Neolithic period.
Most of the buildings still visible at the site are from the Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad periods.
The Temple of Hercules was built between 162-166AD when Geminius Marcianus was governor of the Province of Arabia. It is the most significant Roman structure in the Amman Citadel. The site contains a hand carved out of stone ... the hand of Hercules. It is the remains of a statue.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Flor de la Mar Treasure

The Flor de la Mar (Flower of the Sea) was a 400 ton Portuguese carrack (frigate) built in Lisbon during 1502 for traveling from Portugal to India and back. It was twice the size of other ships that had gone on the run.

The Flor’s service life had been long for a ship on the India run. Built for only three or four years of work, she lasted from 1502-1511. However, her design made her dangerously unseaworthy when fully loaded, and her service in various campaigns had necessitated many repairs.
In command of the Flor was Alfonso de Albuquerque. Alfonso was a Portuguese fidalgo, or nobleman, whose titles included Duke of Goa and Governor of Portuguese India. His successes in conquest were many and his bounty and tribute massive.

It was the largest treasure ever assembled by the Portuguese navy, and included 60 tons of gold from the house of the Sultan of Malacca. Supposedly, 200 gem chests were filled with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Accompanied by four other ships, the Flor set sail for Portugal in November, 1511.
A violent storm blew up in the Straits of Malacca and the heavily overloaded Flor de la Mar was shipwrecked on the reefs near the Straits, just northeast of Sumatra on the 20th of November 1511. The ship broke in two and although Alfonso was saved, the treasure was lost to the waves.

The exact location of the shipwreck is confused due to the inaccurate maps of the time. It is considered one of the richest treasure yet to be found.

Sceptre of the Armillary, King Joao VI of Portugal

Sunday, 14 May 2017

British treasure hunters caught hunting for the wreck of a 'Nazi gold ship'

SS Porta, sister ship to SS Minden.
A group of British treasure hunters have prompted a diplomatic row with Iceland after they were caught searching for a ‘Nazi gold ship’. Advanced Marine Services have been accused of looking for the wreckage of German cargo ship SS Minden by Icelandic authorities after a stationary Norwegian research boat Seabed Constructor, rented by the firm, was spotted in Icelandic waters.
SS Minden sank off the coast of Iceland on September 24, 1939. Minden was on its way from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Germany when it was stopped by British ship Calypso. As instructed by German authorities Minden’s crew sunk the ship so the British wouldn’t catch it. The cargo on board the ship is now a topic of debate. Historians claim records say the cargo on board was worthless. Some are saying gold was on board.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Treasure hunter who discovered Galloway Hoard will get £2million

Scot Derek McLennan, 49, stumbled across an unprecedented 10th century haul of rare Viking coins, jewellery and pottery in 2014. Now he has been handed his riches after Scotland national museums were told they must give him £1.98million for the find.

The Galloway Hoard was described by experts as “one of the most important finds ever discovered in Scotland”. The 100-item haul included an early Christian cross, silver brooches and bracelets and gold rings.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/08/the-galloway-viking-hoard.html

Friday, 12 May 2017

Ancient Roman monument gets needed makeover

The mausoleum of Emperor Augustus, a towering monument when it was built in 28 B.C. but long a decrepit eyesore in Rome’s historic center, is being restored. The 10-million-euro public-private facelift is expected to be completed in 2019.
The structure, located along the Tiber River, is made up of circular, vaulted corridors with the sepulcher in the center. It has been covered with trees, weeds and garbage and closed to the public since the 1970s because of safety concerns.
Augustus had the mausoleum built for himself and the imperial family, and it also houses the bones and ash of Emperors Vespasian, Nero and Tiberius, each indicated with a marble plaque. The structure was originally 90 meters in diameter and 45 meters high and featured a bronze sculpture of Augustus on the roof. Its location gave it maximum visibility around the city of Rome.
Over the centuries it was used as a fortress, for bullfights and for concerts. Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, eager to revive Roman imperial glory, restored the area and built a square piazza around it called Piazza Augusto Imperatore. The mausoleum itself was shut down in the 1930s, fenced off and left in disrepair.

Augustus was 35 when he had the mausoleum built, shortly after his victory in the naval Battle of Actium, where he defeated the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra, consolidating his power and making him the undisputed leader of the Roman Empire.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2017/04/octavian-and-battle-of-actium.html

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Ancient Gold of Romania

The first of what archaeologists called the "most sensational finds of the last century" surfaced not in a museum but at Christie's New York.
Among pieces of ancient jewelry for sale on December 8, 1999, was Lot 26, a spiraling, snake-shaped gold bracelet that the auction house identified as a "massive Greek or Thracian gold armband."

Christie's estimated it would sell for as much as $100,000. When the bidding stalled at $65,000, the sale was called off—and the bracelet and its owner disappeared back into the shadowy underworld of ancient artifacts.

Lot 26, a "massive Greek or Thracian gold arm band," circa 2nd-1st Century, B. C.
Lot 26 set off an international search to recover the lost heirlooms of Dacia, an empire that was once a rival to ancient Rome. After nearly a decade of sleuthing by everyone from FBI agents to Interpol investigators and Romanian prosecutors, more than a dozen similar bracelets have been found, along with hundreds of gold and silver coins. Their discovery has led to new insights into Dacian society and religion.

Sarmizegetusa was once the capital of the Dacians, a civilization crushed by the Roman Emperor Trajan in two bloody wars more than 1,900 years ago. The victory, Roman chroniclers boasted, yielded one of the largest treasures the ancient world had ever known: half a million pounds of gold and a million pounds of silver.

After his victory, Trajan took the spoils to Rome, where they paid for his famous forum. In that same complex, the Roman Senate erected a column dedicated to Trajan and illustrating the story of the wars. Sarmizegetusa was leveled and forgotten for centuries. But stories of Dacia's gold lived on, inspiring generations of peasants who lived nearby to dig in the steep valleys.

It wasn't until Romania's communist dictatorship collapsed in 1989 that dreams of striking it rich came true. Groups of local treasure hunters started using metal detectors (unavailable in communist times) to hunt for artifacts in the thick forests at the rugged site.
Treasure hunters hit the mother lode in May 2000, according to Romanian police. Their metal detector pinged over a stone slab about two feet wide, embedded in a steep hillside. Underneath, in a small chamber made of flat stones propped against each other, they found ten spiraling, elaborately decorated Dacian bracelets, all solid gold. One weighed two and a half pounds (1.2 kilograms). Over the next two years, Romanian police say, looters found at least 14 more bracelets at Sarmizegetusa.
Sarmizegetusa's stolen gold was nearly lost. Recovering it involved authorities in Europe and the United States and a decade of sleuthing by Romanian prosecutors and museum curators. In all, Romanian authorities have recovered 13 hammered gold bracelets and more than 27.5 pounds (12.5 kilograms) of gold.
The recovered bracelets—now on display in Bucharest, are the only ones of their kind discovered in Romania. At least another dozen, including the one still known as Lot 26, remain missing.