Monday, 16 December 2019

Biggest ever Roman shipwreck found in the eastern Mediterranean

Dated to between 100 BCE and 100 CE the find is the largest classical shipwreck found in the eastern Mediterranean. The wreck of the 110-foot (35-meter) ship, along with its cargo of 6,000 amphorae, was discovered at a depth of around 60m (197 feet) during a sonar-equipped survey of the seabed off the coast of Kefalonia -- one of the Ionian islands off the west coast of Greece. Most ships of that era were around 50 feet long.

Retrieving the wreck is a "very difficult and costly job." Instead, researchers want to recover an amphora and using DNA techniques find what it contained, wine, olive oil, nuts, wheat or barley.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Iron Age shield found in Pocklington

The bronze shield formed part of a chariot burial, which also contained the upright skeletons of two ponies. They were found on a building site at Pocklington in 2018. Its owner was a high status male, in his late 40s or older when he died, between 320BC to 174BC. The shield was well used and a slash made by a sword is clearly visible in the upper right hand side. The only other shield like it, the Wandsworth shield boss, found in the Thames river in 1849, is now in the British Museum.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Hoard of golden Russian rubles found

Treasure dating back to the reign of Tsar Nicholas II has been unearthed in Moscow. A tin chest containing 60 gold coins was discovered in the basement of a dilapidated building. Experts believe the trove may have been stored there during the Russian Revolution (March - November 1917) or the Russian Civil War (November 1917 - October 1922).

Nicholas and his family – Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Tatiana, Grand Duchess Maria, Grand Duchess Anastasia and Tsarevich Alexei – were executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Assyrian Empire collapsed due to climate change

Ancient Mesopotamia, the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, was the center of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The ancient superpower was the largest empire of its time, lasting from 912 BC to 609 BC in what is now Iraq and Syria.

At its height, the Assyrian state stretched from the Mediterranean and Egypt in the west to the Persian Gulf and western Iran in the east. Then a reversal of fortune, and the Neo-Assyrian Empire plummeted from its zenith (circa 650 BC) to complete collapse within the span of a few decades. The reasons why were a mystery. New research shows that climate change was the double-edged sword that first helped the meteoric rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire and then lead to its precipitous collapse.
Rainfall patterns over Mesopotamia were deduced from cave stalagmites. These are the cone-like structures from the cave floor. They grow slowly, as rainwater drips down from the cave ceiling. Oxygen isotope ratios build a timeline of how conditions changed, but don't reveal the amount of time that elapsed between them. Stalagmites also trap uranium. Over time, uranium decays into thorium at a predictable pace. Experts made high-precision uranium-thorium measurements.

The Neo-Assyrian state expanded during a 200 year interval of anomalously wet climate. This was followed by major droughts in the early-to-mid-seventh century BC. The period marked the swift collapse of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
Repeated crop failures likely exacerbated political unrest in Assyria, crippled its economy and empowered adjacent rivals.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

200-year-old set of false teeth go under the hammer

Peter Cross has found many objects during his 40 years of metal detecting. His find of upper dentures, made out of gold and possibly hippo ivory goes under the hammer in Derbyshire with an estimate of £3,000-£7,000.

They would have belonged to an extremely wealthy person and date to between 1800 and 1850. The dentures would have cost a fortune at the time. The only other slightly similar set of false teeth belonged to American president George Washington and date back to the late 1700s.

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Looted ancient coins, bracelets returned to Romania

In 2018 coins and bracelets from the 1st century that were looted from western Romania and smuggled out of the country were put on display after a joint investigation with Austria brought them back home. The hoard of gold and silver artifacts was presented at Romania's National History Museum.
473 coins and 18 bracelets were taken from archaeological sites in the Orastie Mountains that had been inhabited by Dacians, who fought against the Romans in the early 2nd century.
See ----->http://psjfactoids.blogspot.ca/2016/11/ancient-gold-of-romania.html

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Boba Fett J-slot action figure - $500k

Less than 30 of the Boba Fett J-slot action figures are thought to exist in the world. The Boba Fett bounty hunter persona first appeared in the Star Wars film franchise developed by George Lucas in 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, and was also resurrected for Return of the Jedi.

Friday, 25 October 2019

£15 Early American teapot makes £460k

Last year the bidding for the sixth known surviving piece from the John Bartlam factory in Cain Hoy, South Carolina opened at £10,000. It rose quickly in increments of £5000 up to £200,000. Then bids continued in increments of £10,000. The teapot was estimated at £10,000-20,000. It was found at a flea market.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

20 ancient wooden coffins uncovered in Egypt - Update

Archaeologists have uncovered at least 20 ancient wooden coffins in the southern city of Luxor. The ministry says archaeologists found the coffins in the Asasif Necropolis. The necropolis is located in the ancient town of West Thebes and includes tombs dating back to the Middle, New Kingdom and the Late Periods (1994 B.C. to 332 B.C.).
Researchers have cracked open the spectacular wooden coffins and have found perfectly preserved mummies. The find is being described as the most important in a century. The coffins are estimated to be 3,000 years old.
The coffins were found sealed and intact, featuring vibrant color inscriptions and well-preserved engravings, both inside and out.

Inscriptions suggest the coffins were for children and priests.

Monday, 14 October 2019

The Hanksville-Burpee Quarry

Hanksville-Burpee Quarry is a paleontological excavation site near Hanksville, Utah where scientists have found a large mix of remains dating between 145 million years ago to 150 million years ago. The remains deposited in this one location provide a unique opportunity for scientists to study the late Jurassic period.
The Hanksville dig site used to be an ancient river, and when dinosaurs would die the carcasses would be washed down the river and deposited along its banks.

Now some 147 million years later scientists and volunteers from the Burpee Museum are unearthing them.
The fossils date to the late Jurassic period and are mostly made up of Sauropods, the long neck dinosaurs. A very rare armored dinosaur called Mymoorapelta was discovered, one of only 8 specimens ever found.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Gold bedecked 4,500yo Minoan woman's skeleton found

A Minoan woman's skeleton has been found buried in her tomb along with a gold necklace and bronze mirror 4,500 years after she died. A large dig in the municipality of Sissi, on the north coast of Crete found remnants of an early Minoan settlement dating as far back as 2,600 B.C.

The Minoan civilization arose on Crete about 2600BC and flourished until around 1400BC when it mysteriously disappeared. The origins of the Minoan and their fate has puzzled archaeologists.
The Minoans were the first advanced civilization in Europe, leaving behind massive building complexes, tools, stunning artwork, writing systems, and a huge network of trade.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Ancient gold coins

Example of the most successful coin in history; an antique fine gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their very high gold content (99.40%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.00
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C. The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250.00
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS. The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.00
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An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. The legend reading:

D[ominvs] N[oster] BASILICVS P[ater] P[atriae] AVG[vstvs]
"Our Lord Basiliscus, Father of the People, Augustus"
The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross and wearing loose drapery. $7,000.00