Saturday, 29 July 2017

‘Alien boy’ found in 2,000-year-old Crimean tomb was a trainee Sarmatian fighter

An "alien boy" with a weirdly elongated skull found in a tomb in Crimea was in fact a trainee ancient warrior, say archeologists. Elongated skulls were traditional for the Sarmatian culture. The artificially elongated skull was a sign of a "true warrior".

The deformation process began early in childhood when the bones were still soft, and no surgery was needed. Special wooden planks were tied to the skull, pressing the bones and gradually altering the shape. The boy warrior from the second century AD is believed to have been aged between 18 months and two years old when he died.

DNA reveals fate of the mysterious Canaanites

When the pharaohs ruled Egypt and the ancient Greeks built their first cities, a mysterious people called the Canaanites dominated the Near East. Around 4000 years ago, they built great cities, yet they left no surviving written records, leaving researchers to piece together their history. One of those sources is the Bible’s Old Testament, which suggests a grisly end for many Canaanites: After the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, God ordered them to destroy Canaan and its people.

Ancient DNA recovered from five Canaanite skeletons suggests that they survived to contribute their genes to millions of people living today. The new samples come from Sidon, a coastal city in Lebanon.
Scientists found that the present-day Lebanese population is largely descended from the ancient Canaanites, inheriting more than 90% of their genes from this ancient source.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Treasures From the Ancient City of Teotihuacan

One of the most significant archaeological sites in the world will take center stage at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) this fall with the de Young Museum’s “Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire.” The exhibition features over 200 artifacts and artworks from the site, with loans from major collections in Mexico as well as recently excavated objects.

At its zenith Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas, with a population estimated at 125,000 or more, making it at least the sixth largest city in the world during its epoch.

At 63 meters tall, the Sun Pyramid was one of the largest and tallest structures in the Western Hemisphere. The city reached its peak around 450 AD.

Great Goddess of Teotihuacan

Water Goddess; from Teotihuacán

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ifrit Monsters

Ifrit are supernatural creatures in some Middle Eastern stories. In Islam, this term refers to the most powerful and dangerous Jinns.

The Ifrits are a class of infernal spirits, classified as a jinn and also held to be a death spirit drawn to the life-force (or blood) of a murdered victim seeking revenge on the murderer. As with ordinary jinn, an Ifrit may be either a believer or an unbeliever, good or evil, but it is most often depicted as a wicked, ruthless and evil being; a powerful Shaitan (demon).

According to Islamic sources, the ifrit has a fiery appearance with leaping flames from his mouth. In early folklore, the ifrit is said to be formed from the blood of a murder victim. Driving an unused nail into the blood was supposed to stop their formation. The creatures were reported as being able to take the form of Satan, the murder victim, or even a sandstorm. Ifrits are believed to inhabit the underworld, or in desolated places like ruins or caves.

Crack China’s ancient riddle of the bones for big cash rewards

A picture may be worth a thousand words but one mysterious ancient Chinese character could be a 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) payday for anybody who can definitively say what it means. The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, Henan province, has issued a worldwide appeal for help to decipher thousands of esoteric characters cut into bones and shells dating back more than 3,000 years to the Shang dynasty.

The inscriptions are the earliest written records of Chin­ese civilization and shed light on life and society at the time. They were carved by fortune-tellers on turtle shells and ox shoulder blades known as oracle bones, and record questions on everything from weather to taxes.
So far, scholars have managed to crack the code to less than half of the roughly 5,000 characters found on excavated oracle bones. Around 3,000 of them remain a mystery. The museum is encouraging researchers to use cloud computing and big data to generate breakthroughs. The museum started offering the rewards because progress on deciphering the characters had stalled in recent years. For researchers studying the ancient Chinese texts, making sense of one character can be a career-defining achievement.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Peru reconstructs face of Lord of Sipan

Peruvian authorities have revealed the reconstructed face of the Lord of Sipan, a pre-Columbian ruler whose remains were discovered in 1987 and hailed as one of the country's most stunning archaeological finds. A full body representation of the ancient ruler, believed to have died around the year 250, was unveiled Thursday at the Museum of the Royal Tombs of Sipan in the northern city of Chiclayo.

The Moche culture ruler's face was reconstructed by anthropologists based on the skull and facial bones of the man's mummy. Archaeologists discovered the mummy buried with a large cache of gold and silver in the Huaca Rajada adobe pyramid complex.

Experts believe the Lord of Sipan was between the age of 45 and 55 when he died.

Tomb of the Lord of Sipan in Chiclayo, Peru
See ----->

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Perfectly preserved gilded body of 1,000-year-old Buddhist Master Ci Xian

The mummified body of a Buddhist Master from 1,000 years ago still has healthy bones and a complete brain, a CT scan has revealed. Master Ci Xian was said to be a respected monk who had travelled from ancient India to ancient China to promote Buddhism.
According to historic records, Master Ci Xian was originally from India. He travelled to the Kingdom of Khitan (916-1125) in north-east part of modern China near the Korean Peninsula to spread Buddhist philosophy.

The respected monk's remains were varnished before being gilded
After Master Ci Xian passed away, his disciples had his body preserved but it later went lost over the years. His remains were re-discovered in 1970s inside a cave. Master Du from the Dinghui Temple said Buddhist Master Ci Xian's preserved body had been worshipped at the Dinghui Temple since 2011. The temple decided to have the remains gilded last year. 

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Bust of Hitler, Nazi guns and ancient fossils found in Buenos Aires raid

Among the items found by the Argentine Federal police as they conducted the raids were a bust of Adolf Hitler, a sculpture of the German imperial eagle, and various weapons bearing the Nazi insignia such as daggers and pistols. The search teams also found fossil artifacts such as polished ammonites, amber and pieces of the shell of a Glyptodon.

Glyptodon is an ancient relative of the armadillo that lived in south America around 2.5 million years ago.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Peru reveals replica of face of ancient female ruler - Lady of Cao

She died in her twenties some 1,700 years ago, and is believed to have ruled over a desert valley in ancient Peru where her elaborately tattooed body was buried with weapons and gold. But a glimpse of the former priestess, the Lady of Cao, can now be seen in a replica of her face.

Using 3D imaging technology and forensics archaeology, the replica was based on the Lady of Cao's skull structure.

The discovery of the Lady of Cao's mummified remains in 2005 shattered the belief that the ancient Moche society, which occupied the Chicama Valley from about 100 to 700 A.D., was patriarchal. Several Moche female mummies have been found since in graves with objects denoting high political and religious standing. Archaeologists believe the Lady of Cao died due to complications of childbirth.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Roman Gold and Silver Coins Uncovered in Spain

Gold and silver Roman coins have been found at a copper mining site in southwestern Spain. The cache of coins is thought to have been stored in a leather pouch by a wealthy resident of the Roman mining settlement of Orium. (modern Huelva)
The coins, which date from the 2nd century AD, are said to be from the era of Nero and Trajan.
Ruins of the Roman town of Segóbriga, Spain

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Heritage Auction features rare Gold Coins

Nearly 500 lots from every era and region are scheduled to be sold on August 3, 2017 by Heritage.

125 ancient coins are featured. An array of Greek coins is highlighted by an unrecorded gold stater of Magnesia in Ionia, a run of Lydian electrum and gold, and 10 gold pieces of Ptolemaic Egypt.
The Judaean section includes an incredible rarity: A silver quarter-shekel from year four of the Jewish War, one of  four known.

High quality Japanese coins from the Meiji period, dated 1870 to 1871, are of the highest rarity and may be unique.