Thursday, 30 August 2018

Mamertine Prison

The most famed prison of ancient Rome was damaged when the roof of a central Roman church fell in. The church was closed at the time. The vault of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (St Joseph of the Carpenters), at the Roman forum, caved in, damaging the Mamertine Prison beneath it. According to tradition, Mamertine Prison was constructed around 640–616 BC, by Ancus Marcius.
It was created as a cistern for a spring in the floor of the second lower level. Prisoners were lowered through an opening into the dungeon. The Mamertine Prison was used to house Rome's defeated enemies. Many were executed there. Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls during the Gallic War, was executed at Caesar's Triumph in 46 BC; Jugurtha, King of Numidia, died of starvation there in 104 BC; St Paul; and St. Peter, who was imprisoned there before being crucified.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The Vespasianus Titus Tunnel

The 1,380-meter-long Vespasianus Titus Tunnel was built completely by man power during the Roman period in the town of Çevlik of Turkey's southern Hatay province. It was built to combat the constant threat posed by the floodwater from nearby mountains.Construction of the tunnel began in the first century A.D. during the reign of Roman emperor Vespasianus and continued under his son Titus and his successor Antonius Pius.
The whole tunnel was carved through solid rock with hammers and chisels. The Vespasianus-Titus Tunnel has long claimed to be the longest tunnel in the world dug by hand.
The Vespasianus Titus Tunnel was submitted to UNESCO on April 15, 2014, and is currently on the Tentative List of its World Heritage Sites.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Salt of the Alps: White Gold of Hallstatt

All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world's oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps is no exception.

But Hallstatt isn't like other mines. Exploited for some 7,000 years, the mine has yielded not only a steady supply of salt but also archaeological discoveries. So far only a fraction of the prehistoric tunnel network is thought to have been explored. Hallstatt was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
Among the most striking discoveries was a wooden staircase dating back to 1100 BC, the oldest such staircase found. Other items date back much further. An axe made from staghorn dating from 5,000 BC showed that as early as then, miners were at work. Salt, known as "white gold"—was priceless at the time as a food preservative.
See ----->Salt Mining

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Remains of 5,000-Year-Old 'Giants' Discovered in China

Last year archaeologists in China found graves bearing the ancient remains of a 'giant' people buried approximately 5,000 years ago. The bones, uncovered during an excavation in Shandong Province in south-east China, reveal at least one male individual who would have reached 1.9m (6 ft, 3 in) in height, along with others measuring 1.8m (5 ft, 11 in) tall – making them giants in their time who would have towered over their neolithic contemporaries.

In addition to the human remains and building foundations, archaeologists uncovered pig bones and teeth – suggesting the villagers farmed the animals – along with a range of pottery and jade objects.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

2000 yo black granite sarcophagus opened in Alexandria - Update

Three drawings, incised on three sheets of gold, have been discovered in a massive black granite sarcophagus in Alexandria.

Researchers also learned more about the three skeletons. One came from a woman who was between 20 and 25 years old when she died, while the other two came from men who were in their 30s or 40s.
The most enigmatic drawings show what may be the seed pod of an opium poppy within a shrine. Opium was popular at the time.

The skull of one of the men has a hole. He may have undergone "trepanation," a medical procedure often used in ancient times.
Archaeologists in Egypt have opened a mysterious ancient black granite sarcophagus. The massive coffin was recently excavated in the city of Alexandria. Three skeletons and sewage water were found inside.
A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicated that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago. The sarcophagus was found buried 16.4 feet below the surface. A carved alabaster head, which may depict one of the tomb’s occupants, was also discovered. The Ministry of Antiquities said one of the skeletons bore an arrow wound, evidence the men might have been soldiers.

Measuring nine-feet long, the black granite coffin is the largest ever to have been discovered in the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria. It was speculated that it might have contained the remains of Alexander the Great, who was rumored to have been buried in Alexandria.

Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel makes $ 4.56m

Described as the most valuable U.S. nickel in existence, a rare nickel from 1913 sold for $4.56 million at the World's Fair of Money in Philadelphia. The Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel is one of only five produced. The coin is one of the best-known and most coveted rarities in American numismatics.

The Eliasberg specimen is the finest known 1913 Liberty Head nickel, with a grade of 66 from various professional grading services, including PCGS and NGC.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

The Basilisk

In European legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile said to be king of the serpents and to have the power to cause death with a glance. According to Pliny the Elder, the basilisk of Cyrene leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal; its only weakness is the odor of the weasel.

The legend of the basilisk and its association with the weasel in Europe may be inspired by accounts of Asiatic snakes (such as the king cobra) and their natural predator, the mongoose.
Stories gradually added to the basilisk's deadly capabilities, such as describing it as a larger beast, capable of breathing fire and killing with the sound of its voice.

Some even claimed it could kill not only by touch, but also by touching something that is touching the victim, like a sword held in the hand. Some stories even claim its breath to be highly toxic and will cause horrible death.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Young Roman woman buried with beauty essentials for the afterlife

The LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn in Germany announced that they have unearthed a 1,700-year-old sarcophagus containing the remains of a young Roman woman buried alongside "essentials" for her journey into the afterlife: elegant glass perfume bottles, a makeup palette, a decorative knife, beaded and pearl necklaces, and a silver hand mirror.
Bone needles with golden heads.The discovery of the sarcophagus was made at Zülpich, known in Roman times as Tolbiacum, along an ancient Roman road in what is now western Germany. The stone coffin dates to the third century CE. Burials as extravagant as this were only reserved for wealthy Roman elites in northern provinces. The woman was thought to be between 25 and 30 years old.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Amazing Historical Artifacts

Broadsword of Oliver Cromwell. Made in England c. 1650. This is one of the finest surviving swords of a type favored during the English Civil War (1642-51).

The association of this sword with English statesman Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is consistent with the unusual inscription and heraldic arms of England and Ireland on the blade, and with the outstanding quality of the hilt's chiseled decoration. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Monomachus Crown – Hungarian National Museum, Budapest. The crown is engraved Byzantine goldwork, decorated with cloisonné enamel. King Constantine Monomachus ruled the Byzantine kingdom from 1042 to 1055 with his wife Zoe and her sister Theodora. It was probably made in Constantinople in 1042.

It was found in 1860 by a farmer while plowing. The objects passed to the local landowning nobility, who sold it in four transactions to the Hungarian National Museum between 1861 and 1870.
A Surviving Crate from the Boston Tea Party – The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, Boston.

The Boston Tea Party was the spark in the powder keg for the American War of Independence. The rebelling colonials climbed aboard a ship carrying England’s most valuable commodity – tea, and threw it overboard in an act of open defiance. Two crates survived.

The Axe of Pharoah Ahmes – The Egyptian Museum, Cairo. This gold ceremonial axe was found among the treasures in the Tomb of Ahmes. It is funerary object that was not used in the life of the pharaoh. One of the sides of the blade is adorned with Nekhbet, vulture goddess and the guardian of Upper and Lower Egypt, and other deities who protect the pharaoh . The other side of the blade depicts the pharaoh tormenting one of his enemies as a symbol for sovereign power.
Corinthian Helmet and Skull from the Battle of Marathon 490 BCE – Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army.

A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet (with skull inside) belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.

The story of the man who ran back to Athens with the news of the victory became synonymous with the long distance running event in the Olympics.
The Bullet that killed Lincoln – National Museum of Health and Medicine, Silver Spring, USA.

On April 14, 1865, five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox, Virginia, an actor named John Wilkes Booth achieved historical immortality by firing the shot that claimed the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Roman Iron Slave Collar 4 CE – The Museo Nazionale alle Terme di Diocleziano, Rome Italy.

The inscription on the collar reads – “I have run away; hold me. When you have returned me to my master, Zoninus, you will receive a solidus" (gold coin)

Blood Stained Cloak of Archduke Franz Ferdinand – Austrian Military Museum, Vienna. The murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand plunged the world into the first World War.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Mythology of Ajax the Lesser

Ancient Greek-Lokris, Lokri Opuntii. Silver Stater ca. 350-340 BC. The reverse depicts the hero “Ajax the Lesser”, commander of the Lokrians in the Trojan War. Counted among the heroes of the Greeks, he was arrogant and conceited, and because of this, he died by the hand of the gods. After the capture of Troy, the king’s daughter Cassandra fled to the Temple of Athena to plead for protection. Ajax the Lesser found her and dragged her from the temple, toppling the statue in the process. As punishment Athena sent a major storm on the fleet of the Greeks, scattering the ships. Athena sank Ajax’s ship with a thunderbolt, he survived by clinging to a rock.
He boasted that he had braved the wrath of the gods, but Poseidon, upon hearing this display of hubris, split the rock with his trident, causing Ajax to drown.