Wednesday, 31 October 2018

'Underworld' at the Getty Villa

“Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife,” is an exhibit on view at the Getty Villa in Malibu through March 18. One of the masterpieces is a Colossal krater from Altamura, Italy, dated about 350 B.C. The krater is almost 6 feet tall and would have been made for a high status member of society.

The exhibit provides a lens into the Underworld during that period of history.

Grave relief fragment with Danaids, Persephone and Hades, Hermes and Herakles, late 4th century B.C.
Gold burial offerings were intended to help the deceased navigate the afterlife.

Storage Jar with Sisyphus and the Uninitiated, about 525 BC
Orpheus emerges as a central figure. Orpheus traveled to the underworld to retrieve his wife, Eurydice. The quest did not turn out well for Orpheus, but he returned from the Underworld, a feat that made him a hero of the afterlife.
Weeping Siren, about 350 - 325 B.C.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The Werewolf

In folklore, a werewolf is a human with the ability to shapeshift into a wolf. The earliest example of man-to-wolf transformation is found in The Epic of Gilgamesh from around 2,100 BC. The werewolf as we know it first appeared in ancient Greece and Rome.

In 425 BC, Greek historian Herodotus described the Neuri, a nomadic tribe who changed into wolf shapes for several days of the year. The werewolf is a widespread concept in European folklore.
Belief in werewolves developed in parallel to the belief in witches. Most modern fiction describes werewolves as vulnerable to silver and highly resistant to injury. These features appeared in German folklore of the 19th century.

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.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Theater of ancient Metropolis - The Griffin

Ancient Metropolis overlooks the plains of the Torbalı district of the western province of İzmir, Turkey. Occupation at the site goes back to the Neolithic period. Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods are well represented at the site. The city’s nobles once watched events at the ancient city’s theater from a seat with griffins. A sculptor reproduced the seat with the griffin and the replica was installed in its original place in the theater.
Since antiquity, Griffins were known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. In Greek and Roman texts, griffins were associated with gold.The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

Because the lion was considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.
Greek Silver Griffin Stater from Teos, 510 BC
See ----->The Griffin

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Ancient Greek vessel is the World’s oldest intact shipwreck

Off the Bulgarian coast, just over a mile beneath the surface of the Black Sea, archaeologists have discovered what they believe is the world’s oldest intact shipwreck. Measuring some 75 feet (23 meters) long, the ship is thought to be an ancient Greek trading vessel. With its mast still standing, and its rudders and rowing benches still in place, it has lain undisturbed on the ocean floor for more than 2,400 years.

The ship has remained extremely well preserved because the waters around it are anoxic, or completely devoid of oxygen.
Fans of classical literature might recognize the newly discovered vessel as the type painted on ancient Greek pottery, the 'Siren Vase.'

Researchers removed a small piece of the ship to be carbon-dated, which confirmed its advanced age. The Black Sea was an important trade route between Europe and Asia.

Greek ships sailed from the Mediterranean carrying goods to its many colonies lining the Black Sea coast.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Graffiti changes the history of Pompeii

Researchers believe the graffiti was jotted down just a few days before Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD— but in October, instead of August as believed.A charcoal writing found on the wall of a house that was undergoing renovations in the year of the eruption, states that someone “indulged too much in food here on the sixteenth day before the kalends of November” meaning on 17 October. Charcoal is a volatile material that doesn’t withstand time.
Other discoveries were made in the Regio V area of the site — mosaics and frescoes.

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.

Jurassic-era piranha is world's earliest flesh-eating fish

The creature, found in South Germany, lived about 150 million years ago and had the distinctive teeth of modern-day piranhas.

The Jurassic marauders used their razor teeth to tear chunks of flesh and fins off other fish ... a renewable resource as the fins grew back.

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.