Thursday, 31 August 2017

Ancient Roman sarcophagi discovered

Two ancient Roman sarcophagi have been unearthed close to Rome’s modern-day football stadium. The marble coffins boast elaborate bas-reliefs and were probably the final resting place of the children of a wealthy Roman family. Discovered by chance when an energy utility company started digging in the area, they appear to date from the third or fourth century AD.

The Ludovisi sarcophagus
Ancient artifacts are routinely discovered beneath the streets of Rome during construction and maintenance work. In 2015, a routine operation to repair gas pipes beneath a street in the capital revealed the remains of a 2,000-year-old villa, complete with frescoed walls.
This spring a priceless Roman sarcopagus was identified at Blenheim Palace
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2017/03/valuable-roman-sarcophagus-used-as.html

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Ancient gold necklace found at Bulgaria’s Heraclea Sintica site

Archaeologists at the Heraclea Sintica site near Petrich in Bulgaria have found an extremely well-preserved gold necklace, possibly dating from the fourth century CE. A Hellenistic and later Roman city, Heraclea Sintica, about 180km south of Sofia, was founded in the fourth century BCE and lasted about 800 years when it was destroyed by an earthquake. Earlier, the city was the site of a settlement by the Thracian tribe the Sintians.
Over the centuries, Heraclea Sintica experienced several strong earthquakes, eventually triggering the decline of the city.

Necklaces of the kind found at Heraclea Sintica were in fashion from the second to the fifth centuries. They were made in specialist workshops and were a typical Roman product, called Istmion. The necklace is 48cm long including the fasteners and weighs 50 grams.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Vault 'B' of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

All eyes are on the sealed 'vault B' of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, one of the richest shrines in the world, with a Supreme Court-appointed amicus curie to hasten the process of opening it. The 16th century temple shot to fame six years ago when one of its six vaults ('A') was found to contain ancient valuables estimated at Rs 1 lakh crore. ($20 billion)
The royal family and a section of devotees have opposed the opening of the sealed chamber on the grounds that such an action would “violate the sanctity of the temple”. They had earlier conducted an astrological ritual – devaprasnam – to perceive the mood of the deity, and informed the court that opening the vault amounted to violating the temple tradition in a manner that would invite divine wrath.

Vault 'A' contained antique gold coins that alone weighed over 600 kg. Of the two lakh items documented by government officials, 600 were found embedded with gems.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2015/12/the-sree-padmanabhaswamy-temple.html

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Drinking water in ancient Pompeii likely hazardous

The Romans were famous for their advanced engineering related to water supply. But the drinking water in the pipelines was probably poisoned on a scale that may have led to daily problems with vomiting, diarrhea, and liver and kidney damage. This according to an analysis of water pipe from Pompeii. Results suggest the pipes contained high levels of the toxic chemical element antimony.
Lead often takes the blame for the fall of the Roman Empire. Lead water pipes, lead cooking vessels, and lead utensils poisoned unwitting Romans, at least that was the theory. The fragment of an ancient lead pipe from Pompeii was loaded with antimony, a chemical that’s even more toxic than lead. The inside of lead pipes calcify quickly, forming a barrier between the poisonous lead and the drinking water flowing through the pipe. Antimony might have been the real culprit. A grey metal-like chemical used in making lead batteries, electronics, and other products, antimony is especially common in groundwater near volcanoes. Thus more samples from other locations is required for proof.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Ancient Helmets


Flattened copper helmet and skull found in the Royal Tomb at Ur
The most vulnerable part of the soldier in battle was his head, so the search for protection by some form of helmet goes back to the earliest times.

Helmets were purpose-built to protect the wearer against the specific weapons he faced. At first, ancient helmets seem to have been pointed at the top, to deflect the downward force. When the ax became popular as a weapon, the shape of the helmet was modified to counter the cutting edge of a downward-falling blade.

The Crosby Garrett Helmet is a copper alloy Roman cavalry helmet dating from the late 2nd or early 3rd century AD. It was found near Crosby Garrett in Cumbria, England

Bronze Helmet from Ancient Greece, around 460 BC

Roman horseman's helmet, found in the Peel district, The Netherlands
This 2,600-year-old bronze helmet was discovered in the waters of Haifa Bay, Israel in 2012. When it was made Greek colonies dotted the Mediterranean coast, stretching from the Black Sea to southern France.

This warrior was likely one of Egyptian pharaoh Necho II's troops, which he sent through Israel accompanied by a fleet of ancient ships. The pharaoh was involved in military campaigns in the region for nearly a decade, operations in which this warrior and his group likely were involved.
Ancient Greek helmets from the Archaic period (800 BC – 480 BCE). A Corinthian-type, found in Leivadia. The second is a Illyrian-type helmet from Leivadia. The third is from Agia Paraskevi near Kozani. All are made of bronze.

The Helmet of Agighiol is a Geto-Dacian silver helmet dating from the 5th century BC.

Sutton Hoo helmet reconstructed

The Golden Helmet of Coţofeneşti

Gladiator helmet from Pompei

Greek Spartan Crest Helmet

Spanish morion (helmet)


Helmet covered in heavy gold florets with spike top, visor front. Chou Dynasty, Emperor Wu Wang tomb complex at Laoyang, circa 1020 BC.

Helmet of a Yuan Dynasty officer

Japanese helmet, circa 1590–1640.

Chinese chichak-style helmet, Ming Dynasty

Helmet from 7th century Viking boat grave
A common myth about the Vikings was that they wore horned helmets in battle. Archaeologists have found no proof to say that their helmets had horns. The reason their helmets didn't have horns was because they would have gotten in the way in battles and may have ended up injuring the wearer.

Real Viking helmets had protective metal down and around the ears and some helmets found in burial mounts had a metal mask in front.

German helmet by famous armorsmith Jörg Seusenhofer ca. 1540

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Second Known Gold Magnesia Stater

Heritage Ancient Coins upcoming Long Beach Auction features one of two known gold staters from Magnesia. This is a completely unrecorded denomination and type for this city. Magnesia ad Meandrum was founded on the banks of the Lecathus, a tributary of the Meander river, in south-western Ionia circa the mid-700s BC.

Artemis graces the obverse, with reverse depiction of Nike driving a biga (a two-horse chariot). The coin is circa 155-145 BCE and graded NGC Choice AU 5/5 - 4/5. Estimate: $30,000 - $40,000.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

The Środa Treasure

The Środa Treasure is a massive hoard of silver and gold coins, plus gold jewellery and precious stones. The hoard dates from the mid 14th century. Środa is a medieval town in Silesia, southwestern Poland. In 1985 a worker doing some renovation in an old house on the town square smashed into an urn filled with about 3,000 silver coins. This was quickly secured by the Communist authorities.

Three years later more gold and silver started turning up.
The finds were kept quiet and most believe much of the discovery vanished into private hands. So much was found that eventually someone thought to scour the municipal dump, turning over piles of rubble taken from renovation projects.

More treasure was found there, including gold jewelry.
The Środa Treasure is one of the most valuable archaeological finds of the 20th century.

Much of the treasure is thought to have been lost to looting.
Over the following years, archaeologists and historians have speculated about the treasure's origins, while museums and wealthy individuals have competed for pieces of the treasure at auction.
It is now agreed that the treasure most likely belonged to the Emperor Charles IV of the House of Luxemburg. Around 1348, needing funds to support his claim to the Emperorship, Charles pawned various items to the Jewish banker Muscho (Mojżesz, Moishe) in Środa.

Soon afterwards, the black plague visited Środa. Mojżesz was not heard of again. It is believed that he either fled from the plague-struck town, died of plague, or perhaps fell victim as Jews were blamed for spreading the plague. What is certain is that no one ever reclaimed the treasure, which was left hidden in the town for hundreds of years.