Sunday, 30 December 2018

Two Roman statues unearthed near Beit She’an

Two Roman statues were discovered after a Beit She’an resident took a stroll north of the ancient tell. A woman noticed the top of a head of one of the statues while walking around the ancient Biblical site, known in Roman times as Scythopolis. The resident and her husband alerted the authorities, which quickly arrived at the site and uncovered the statues.
Such artifacts are usually placed near or inside burial caves, and are intended to be a likeness of the deceased. They date to the late Roman-early Byzantine period (third to fourth centuries CE).

Similar sculptures have been found in the past near the region of Beit She’an, which sits at the junction of the Jordan River Valley and Jezreel Valley. Heavy winter rains bring such finds to the surface.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The Likho

Likho is an embodiment of evil fate and misfortune in Slavic mythology. A creature with one eye, it is often depicted as an old, skinny woman in black or as an evil male goblin. In ancient times, the likho was believed to be a servant of Death. During pre-Christian times villages would conduct a ritual during times of epidemic and burn an effigy of Likho.

Likho was supposed to come and eat a person. This was used to scare small children. Likho is a noun meaning bad luck in modern Russian.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Expensive US pennies

The 1914-S Lincoln cent. Over 4 million minted. What makes this coin extremely valuable is condition. $105,800 in 2016.

1944-D Lincoln Penny on a Zinc-Coated Steel Planchet. Over 430 million were struck. $115,000 in 2006.
1909-S VDB Lincoln Penny. $117,500 in 2014.

1872 Indian Head Penny. $126,500 in August 2007.
1877 Indian Head Penny. $149,500 in August 2007.

1914-D Lincoln Penny. $152,750 in 2017. An uncirculated example in its original mint state makes this coin extremely rare.
1864 Indian Head Penny–"L" on Ribbon. $161,000 in 2011.

1943 Lincoln Cent Struck on Bronze Alloy. $164,500 in 2013.
1856 Flying Eagle Cent. $172,500 in 2004

1909 VDB Matte Proof Lincoln Penny. $258,500 in 2014
1943-S Lincoln Cent Struck on Bronze. $282,000 in 2016.

1944-S Lincoln Steel Penny. $373,750 in 2008.
1943-D Lincoln Bronze Cent. $1,700,000 in September 2010. The only known example of a 1943 Lincoln penny struck at the Denver mint on the bronze alloy. All pennies produced in 1943 were to be struck on zinc-plated steel planchets instead of the regular copper alloy.

Some bronze cents from 1942 slipped into the production line. The single example from the Denver mint is unique and very likely the most expensive penny on earth.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Tree of life is dying: Africa's ancient baobab

Africa's ancient trees of life are being killed by climate change. Researches found that nine of the oldest 13 baobab trees and five of the six biggest ones have partially or completely died in the past 12 years. The baobab tree is revered in Africa. Medicinal compounds are extracted from its leaves, while the fruit -rich in vitamin C -- is used for nourishment and the seeds yield oil.

Three trees that were older than 2,000 years have all died in the past decade.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Truk Lagoon National Monument

A visual history lesson about World War II lies at the bottom of Truk Lagoon. The lagoon played host to Operation Hailstone on February 16/17, 1944 when American planes launched an aerial attack on anchored ships. Truk Lagoon was a major naval base with an extensive infrastructure for the Japanese Imperial Navy. Because of this, the base had earned the nickname "the Gibraltar of the Pacific."

Truk Lagoon was considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds in the Pacific.
Truk was Japan's equivalent of the Americans' Pearl Harbor, it was their largest forward naval base.
The Japanese fleet lost an estimated 10 warships, over 30 supply vessels, 275 aircraft, light cruisers, and destroyers, and an estimated 4,500 military personnel during the two-day strike.
Forewarned by intelligence a week before the US raid, the Japanese had withdrawn their larger warships (heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers) to Palau.

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Harnessed horse unearthed in ancient stable near Pompeii

Archaeologists have unearthed the petrified remains of a harnessed horse and saddle in the stable of a villa in Pompeii. It's thought the villa belonged to a high-ranking military officer. The remains of other horses were also found.
The villa's terraces had views of the Bay of Naples and Capri island. The area was previously excavated, during the early 1900s, but later re-buried. It's thought suffocating volcanic ash or boiling vapors killed the horses.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Egypt unveils spectacular tomb of ancient high priest

Archaeologists have discovered the tomb of a priest dating back more than 4,400 years in the pyramid complex of Saqqara south of Cairo. The tomb belongs to 'Wahtye' a high priest who served during the fifth dynasty reign of King Neferirkare. His tomb is decorated with scenes showing the royal priest alongside other members of his family.
Pharaoh Neferefre

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Cambodia home to Asia’s ancient ‘Land of Gold’?

Over two decades ago, in the remote reaches of Cambodia's Baset district, a group of villagers discovered a slab covered in ancient carvings, then three more. Soon they found themselves excavating the ruins of an ancient temple. What they found are clues to the location of the fabled ‘Land of Gold’, the ancient realm of Suvarnabhumi.
One inscription praised King Isanavarman I of the Chenla Empire, dated to the year 633. “The great King Isanavarman is full of glory and bravery. He is the King of Kings, who rules over Suvarnabhumi until the sea, which is the border, while the kings in the neighbouring states honour his order to their heads.”  Many have puzzled over the whereabouts of Suvarnabhumi, with references dating back to ancient Buddhist accounts.
Most of the inscriptions, like many others found in Southeast Asia, praises the king for his godlike power and dominion over the land, but the mention of Suvarnabhumi directly is a surprise to researchers.

The Minister of Culture and Fine Arts has requested to move the tablets to the National Museum in Phnom Penh. Locals objected due to 'ill omens.' Monks have been retained to arrange the required rituals and “avoid any curse”.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

'Mudlark' almost threw Roman treasure back into the Thames

'Mudlark' Alan Suttie almost threw a rare Roman lamp he found while walking on the Thames foreshore on his lunch break back into the river because he thought it was a fake. Now the artifact is going on display at the Museum of London along with other objects found by amateur treasure hunters.

The oil lamp, which was made in north Africa in the 4th to 5th century AD, dates from the end of Roman rule in Britain and has been designated an item of national importance.

The British Museum revealed the number of treasure discoveries made by the public has hit a record level for the second year running.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Expensive Ancient Coins

The record holder for an ancient Greek coin is the facing portrait gold stater of Pantikapaion, which brought $3.2m in a 2012 New York auction. Pantikapaion on the Black Sea coast of Crimea grew wealthy shipping grain from Ukraine’s fields to feed Greek cities. Weighing 9.12 grams, the coin was struck between 350 and 300 BCE. On the reverse a griffin stands over an ear of wheat, surrounded by the first three letters of the town’s name. The obverse shows the bearded head of a satyr.
Syracuse Tetradrachm of Kimon. Greek cities of Sicily during the fifth century BCE brought the art of coin die engraving to levels that would not be seen again for 1300 years. Cities like Syracuse, Akragas, Leontinoi and Naxos competed to celebrate their deities on large silver ancient coins. $3m a record for a Greek silver coin.
Akragas Dekadrachm. Until it was sacked by the Carthaginians in 406 BCE, Akragas (now Agrigento) was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the Greek world. $2.4m
Dekadrachm of Athens. With only around 40 genuine examples known (and many convincing fakes), the silver dekadrachm of Athens struck c. 467-465 BCE is one of the most desired ancient coins. The obverse depicts the helmeted head of the goddess Athena. The reverse shows an owl, wings outspread. At 42.5 grams, the coin is so large that it pushed the limits of hand-hammered minting. $ 850,000
Gold Stater of Athens. A handful of gold staters and fractions were struck as an emergency wartime issue in 406-407 BCE. Four examples of the 8.6 gram gold stater are known, three of them in museums. The fourth brought $ 783,000 in 2008.