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 ----->

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.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Largest Creatures to ever walk Earth

In 2016 paleontologists in Patagonia, southern Argentina announced they unearthed a 90-million year-old fossil of what they claim is the largest dinosaur found to date.

The dinosaur weighed about 80 tons, the equivalent of 14 grown elephants. The new dinosaur dwarfs even the Argentinosaurus, the previous largest contender.

A complete skeleton was found in a field discovered by a farm worker in 2014, where up to seven such complete skeletons are believed to exist.
The titanosaur lived during the Cretaceous and was a sauropod – a huge plant-eater. Vertebrae and rib bones were among the  finds  from the quarry at La Flecha ranch, Chubut Province in Argentina.

Meteorite smashed into Earth 12,800 years ago

Scientists in South Africa have discovered new evidence that the Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12,800 years ago, causing global climate change and mass extinction. Soil samples from an archaeological site called Wonderkrater outside a small town north of Pretoria found a spike in platinum levels, which they say supports the Younger Dryas Impact hypothesis. The theory assumes that a disintegrating asteroid, which is high in platinum, impacted Earth, causing an ice age.

Many large species were wiped out as a result off the Earth’s rapid cooling. The impact from the asteroid or comet sent dust into the air, which might have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching Earth.

Pollen from various plants also reveal a much cooler period, which is called the Younger Dryas. Scientists believe human populations may have also have been negatively affected.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Alexander the Great's gold distater

Athena was the protector of Hercules, and Alexander adopted her image on his gold coinage, showing her wearing a Corinthian helmet with a coiled snake.
Alexander the Great, born in 356 BC, was one of the most successful military leaders in history. He conquered a large part of Asia and ruled a kingdom that spanned from the Ionian sea to the Himalayas before he was 30 years old. One of his many achievements was a single currency across his empire. Flush with vast hoards of Persian gold he struck the largest Greek gold coin issued up to that time: the gold distater. Alexander the Great was determined to outdo the hero Hercules.

Sarcophagus of King Abdalonymos of Sidon
The reverse is represents Nike, the goddess of victory. Gold distaters were very valuable. This was inconvenient for daily use, so most were melted down. Staters weighed roughly 8.6g of .997 fine purity. Exceptional examples are always in high demand. Coins that were struck during his reign (lifetime issues) are the most desirable by collectors and the rarest.

See ----->Top Macedonian Artifacts

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Utah Dinosaur 'death trap' reveals tove of predators

A nine-ton block of sandstone that was pulled from a Utah mountain in 2014 holds the biggest fossil trove ever found of the giant predatory dinosaur known as Utahraptor. Utahraptor was covered in feathers, with a huge sickle claw on each second toe.
All the Utahraptor fossils are contained within a large block of sandstone that was once what geologists call a "dewatering feature," or quicksand.

The Utahraptor was the largest of a group of lightly-built carnivores, called the dromaeosaurs ('swift lizards'). It had large eyes, long grasping hands and powerfully clawed feet.
It was carnivorous and relied on a hooked, slashing claw on each foot rather than the jaws and teeth of a typical predator. Its toe joints were specially enlarged so that its massive claw could be raised upward and backward to avoid damage while running.

The dromaeosaur group also included Velociraptor, made famous by Steven Spielberg in 'Jurassic Park'.
By chipping off smaller pieces of the block, researchers uncovered bones from a 16-foot-long adult Utahraptor, four juveniles, and a baby that would have been only about three feet long.
Other bones at the site belong to a beaked, bipedal herbivore called an iguanodont. The dinosaurs may have been what attracted the Utahraptor group to the site.