Saturday 27 October 2018

Ancient gold Discovered on Danish Island

A metal detectorist found a hoard of gold and pearl artifacts dated to about A.D. 500 on a small island off the east coast of Jutland. Locals probably obtained the gold from the Romans and then made it into jewelry and buried it, possibly as an offering to the gods. Experts suggest a volcanic eruption in El Salvador and the resulting ash cloud and climate change could have prompted the burial of the treasure. In all, more than 32 pearls and pieces of gold have been found in a field on the island of Hjarnø in Horsens Fjord.

Thursday 25 October 2018

Golden treasure exposed due to low level of Danube River

Due to the record low level of the Danube River, a treasure trove has been exposed, including hundreds of gold and silver coins and ancient weapons.
The treasure is likely coming from a ship that sunk in the middle of the 18th century. Archaeologists discovered a large number of coins from Western Europe, such as Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The Danube hit a record low level of 38 cm in Budapest on Thursday.

The low level of the river has led to the discovery of many peculiar objects, such as the remains of the former Franz Josef Bridge, destroyed during the Second World War.

Saturday 20 October 2018

Lunar Meteorite brings $ 612k

A 12-pound (5.5 kilogram) meteorite discovered in Northwest Africa in 2017 has been sold at auction for US$612,500. Boston-based RR Auction announced the winning bid for the meteorite, composed of six fragments that fit together like a puzzle.

It is considered one of the most significant lunar meteorites ever found because of its large size and because it has “partial fusion crust” caused by the tremendous heat that sears the rock as it falls to Earth.

Friday 19 October 2018

Gold from the Pulaski

A stash of gold coins found in January is the latest piece of evidence that a shipwreck 40-plus miles off the North Carolina coast is that of the steamship Pulaski, which exploded and took half its wealthy passengers to the bottom of the Atlantic in 1838. Divers found 14 gold coins and 24 silver coins in a spot “no bigger than a cigar box.” All predate the ship’s sinking.

Those involved have one particular passenger in mind: Charles Ridge, a man who survived but lost $20,000 in the disaster, all of it in gold coins. So far, divers have found 51 U.S., Spanish and Mexican coins during a half dozen visits.

Thursday 18 October 2018

Ancient Chinese Four-goat Square Zun

Four-goat Square Zun. Height: 58.3cm Weight: around 34.5kg. Bronze. Late Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) The zun is a vase-like vessel used as a ritual container to hold wine in ancient China.

This vessel is the largest square zun from the Shang Dynasty known. It is displayed in the National Museum of China in Beijing.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

1,900-year-old branded designer lamps found in shipwreck

A Greek-U.S. team of marine archaeologists has located three ancient shipwrecks with pottery cargoes, including 1,900-year-old branded designer lamps, in a rich graveyard of ships in the eastern Aegean. The wrecks were found off Fourni island in notoriously treacherous waters between the larger islands of Ikaria and Samos.

Two of its 13 islets bear the ominous name Anthropofas, or Man-eater, in reference to the seamen who drowned off them.
Older wrecks date to the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C. and the 5th-6th centuries A.D.

Apart from the cargoes of amphorae — jars that contained wine, oil and foodstuffs, divers also recovered a group of 2nd-century A.D. terracotta lamps, incised with the names of the Corinthian artisans who made them, Octavius and Lucius.

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Archaeologists use ground-penetrating radar to discover buried Viking ship

Using ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists have discovered one of the world’s largest Viking ship graves. Intact finds of this size are incredibly rare.

The ship burial forms part of a larger mound cemetery and settlement site from the Iron Age next to the monumental Jell Mound.
There are no plans to physically excavate the grounds, yet.

The Oseberg ship burial mound was excavated in 1905. It contained numerous grave goods and two female skeletons. The ship dates to around AD 800.
The Oseberg Viking ship burial

Saturday 13 October 2018

Fifth-century child had “vampire burial”

Archaeologists have discovered the skeleton of a 10-year-old at an ancient Roman site in Italy with a rock carefully placed in its mouth. This suggests those who buried the child—who probably died of malaria during a deadly fifth century outbreak—feared it might rise from the dead and spread the disease to those who survived.

Virtually every culture has some version of a vampire (or proto-vampire) myth.

Locals are calling it the "Vampire of Lugnano."
Prior excavations unearthed various items commonly associated with magic at the time: raven talons, toad bones, and bronze cauldrons filled with ash. The oldest remains found previously were those of a three-year-old girl whose hands and feet were weighed down with stones.

Friday 12 October 2018

Minoan Gold

Minoan, about 1850-1550 BC. 'Master (or Mistress) of the Animals' From Aigina.
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age society that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from about the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC.

The term "Minoan" was coined after the mythic King Minos. Minos was associated in Greek myth with the labyrinth, which identified with the site at Knossos.

According to Greek mythology, King Minos of Crete had the craftsman Daedalus construct the Labyrinth in order to conceal the Minotaur. The Minotaur was a half bull and half man creature that yearly ate the Athernian tribute of fourteen young men and women.

The Bronze Age began in Crete as locals on the island developed centers of commerce. This enabled the upper classes to expand their influence. Eventually the ground would be laid for a monarchist power structure - a precondition for the creation of great empires.

Around 1450 BCE, Minoan culture experienced a turning point due to a natural catastrophe, possibly the massive eruption on Thera. The palace in Knossos seems to have remained largely intact. The Minoan palace sites were occupied by the Myceneans around 1420 BC.

By 1200 BC the Minoans had faded into history.

See ----->Santorini - Thera
See ----->Grave of ‘Griffin Warrior’ at Pylos

'Egyptian blue' has modern applications

Researchers have found that 'Egyptian blue' is 10 times more fluorescent than previously thought. Fluorescence is the emission of light from an object as a result of bombardment by other kinds of light or electromagnetic radiation. Previous research has shown that when Egyptian blue absorbs visible light, it subsequently emits light in the near-infrared range. Considered to be the first synthetic pigment, Egyptian blue—which is derived from calcium copper silicate—was routinely used on ancient depictions of gods and royalty in ancient Egypt. It was known to the Romans as "caeruleum," but after the Roman era the pigment fell from use.

As well as its potential to cool buildings, the fluorescence of Egyptian blue could also be harnessed to generate energy. If solar cells are applied to the edges of windows tinted with the blue pigment, they could convert the high quantities of reflected near-infrared energy to produce electricity.

Wednesday 10 October 2018

The Cup of Janus

A 2,500-year-old gold cup that spent 60 years in a box under its owner’s bed fetched £100,000 after being rediscovered during a house move. The cup was given to John Webber by his grandfather who acquired it in the 1930s. Because his grandfather dealt in brass and copper scrap, Webber assumed that it was made from those metals.

The cup, which is 5.5in (14 cm) high, is embossed with two female faces, each wearing a crown formed from snakes. The cup was made from very pure gold in the 3rd to 4th century BC in the Achaemenid Empire.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

The Coelacanth

The coelacanth is a living fossil, its appearance little changed in hundreds of millions of years. It evolved into roughly its current form approximately 400 million years ago. A new analysis of its scaly armour may reveal how it has stuck around for so long.

The coelacanth fish has scales that can change their internal structure if they are pierced by a predator to stop cracks spreading.
Isopedin is a network of collagen bundles present in the scales of most fishes. The scales of coelacanths have a three-dimensional arrangement of this network which is similar to twisted plywood. The successive fibrous layers cross at an angle.

These highly modified scales are known as cosmoid scales, and are only found on extinct fish species.

Monday 8 October 2018

The solidus

The solidus was introduced circa 310 in the Western part of the empire by Constantine I ‘the Great’ (307-337). The new gold standard of the empire, the solidus was struck at 72 per pound (about 4.5 grams) on a comparatively broad and thin planchet.

Solidus of Constantine I was struck at Antioch in about 324. It features a portrait of Constantine I on the obverse and the figure of the emperor on horseback on the reverse.

The solidus remained the standard gold coin for the rest of the Roman Empire and filled the same role for most of Byzantine history.