Thursday, 28 February 2019

Top Macedonian Artifacts

The Golden Larnax
A larnax is a small closed coffin, box or "ash-chest" used as a container for human remains. A 4th century BC example found at Vergina in Macedonia is made of solid gold. The tomb where it was found is thought to have belonged to King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great.
The cremated bones of Alexander IV, the posthumous son of Alexander the Great who was murdered, along with his mother, Roxane, by Alexander's former general Cassander in 311/310 B.C.

The ashes had been placed in a silver hydria, crowned by a golden wreath. They were found in 1978 at Vergina.
The Derveni Krater is a volute krater, discovered in 1962 in a tomb at Derveni, not far from Thessaloniki. Weighing 40 kg, it is made of an alloy of bronze and tin. It is dated to the late 4th century BC, and was probably made in Athens. Large metalwork vessels are extremely rare survivals and the Derveni Krater is the finest known.
Alexander the Great Bust. Due to its original inscription, the figure can be definitely identified as Alexander the Great. The work is a copy of a work from 330 BC attributed to Lysippos.
Philippeioi, later called Alexanders were the gold coins used in the ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia. First issued at some point between 355 and 347 BCE, the coins featured a portrait of the Greek deity Apollo, and on the reverse, an illustration of a biga, a Greek chariot drawn by two horses. They had the value of one gold stater each. The majority of the coins were struck by Alexander the Great and were known as "alexanders".
The Alexander Mosaic, dating from 100 BC, is a Roman floor mosaic originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. It depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The mosaic is believed to be a copy of an early 3rd-century BC Hellenistic painting.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Denisova Cave

Researchers didn’t have high hopes when they examined some 700 shards of bone. The fossils were from Denisova Cave — a site in southern Siberia where, in 2010, scientists had discovered a previously unknown group of ancient humans. Researchers called them Denisovans.

In June 2015 a 2-centimetre sliver of bone tested positive for hominin collagen. Last year it was found the bone belonged to a woman who lived around 100,000 years ago. Her mother was a Neanderthal and father a Denisovan.
Other hominin bone fragments were found in Denisova Cave, and now efforts are extending the search for Denisovans across the continent, where traces of their DNA are found in many modern human populations. Scientists hope to find more complete Denisovan remains.

The DNA found suggests that Denisovans and Neanderthals are both descended from an ancestral population that diverged from that of modern humans in the past 800,000 years.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


To ancient Greeks, Nemesis is the goddess who enacts retribution for evil deeds, undeserved good fortune, and against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). Her name was derived from the Greek words nemêsis and nemô, meaning "dispenser of dues." A purveyor of justice, Nemesis was often depicted with a sword and scales. She is a winged goddess often wielding a whip or a dagger.

Her Roman counterpart was Invidia, the goddess of jealousy and vengeance. Nemesis brought much sorrow to mortals.

Justice (Dike, on the left) and Divine Vengeance (Nemesis) are pursuing the murderer. Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1808
Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care being taken that happiness was not too frequent or excessive. If this happened, Nemesis could bring about losses and suffering. She was an avenging agent and punishing power of fate, who, sooner or later, overtakes the reckless sinner.

Narcissus was a popular choice among elite Romans seeking to decorate their homes.

Monday, 25 February 2019

The 3,245-year-old rope that sealed King Tut's tomb

More than 3,000 years ago someone sealed one of a series of nested shrines protecting the final resting place of the young pharoah Tutankhamun with an intricate combination of knots and sealed with clay. There it remained, fully intact for more than 32 centuries, until until Feb. 16, 1923, when Howard Carter breached the seal and explored the riches of the inner burial shrines for the first time.

The rope binding the fifth shrine door to Tut's final rest place benefited from the extremely arid environment of the desert region and the low levels of oxygen of the sealed tomb. Bacteria can break things down as long as they have oxygen. The rope was likely made from the stem of the papyrus plant. It has great longevity in arid conditions thanks to its composition of highly rot-resistant cellulose.
An analyst thought it would be easy to undo the half hitches and the spiral wrap, but one would not be able to undo the rope between the handles without breaking the seal. Howard Carter cut the rope. Had he not the seal would still be intact to this day.
See ----->Gold of Tutankhamun

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Magic Amulets

The Eye of Horus, also known as wadjet, wedjat or udjat, is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power, and good health.

The Eye of Horus is similar to the Eye of Ra, which belongs to a different god, but represents many of the same concepts.
In ancient Mesopotamia, Pazuzu was the king of the demons of the wind, brother of Humbaba and son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms and drought. Although Pazuzu is considered to be an evil spirit, he drives and frightens away other evil spirits, thus protecting humans against plagues and misfortunes.
A popular god in Indian mythology, Kuber rules over money and the material. Kuber is well fed, dwarf-like, and often carries a bag of gold. His domain is a garden of perfect happiness, where all may be obtained without exertion or struggle.
The Hand of Fatima (Hand of Miriam) is an ancient talisman that symbolizes feminine power. Originating from the Hebrew word hamesh, literally meaning five, the hand is worn as a defense against negative energy, deflecting the gaze of the evil eye away from the wearer. Believed to channel the forces of good, the Hand of Fatima promotes healing and fosters miracles.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Divining the will of the Gods

Clay model of a sheep’s liver used for instruction in liver divination in a Babylonian Temple School, c. 2000 B.C.
The ancient world offered up a myriad of ways of telling the future and divining the will of the gods. In second-millennium B.C. Mesopotamia, professional oracle-priests would ritually sacrifice an animal and read the it's entrails (a process called extispicy). The priests chose to inspect and evaluate a sacrificed animal’s liver, which was deemed the location of the soul and number-one site for all internal activity. Divining by inspecting the liver was called hepatomancy.
In Ancient Rome, a haruspex was a person trained to practice this form of divination. On behalf of the person who brought the animal to the temple, the priests asked the gods a question; the gods inscribed the answer in the entrails. Over the centuries, liver models became popular across the ancient Near East, from Assyria to Babylonia, Anatolia to Cyprus.
Rich kings often split up his multiple diviners into groups so they couldn’t conspire to lie to him. It was common for kings to order omens until they got the answer they wanted.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Otzi the 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman Mummy

In 1991, a group of hikers were trekking in the mountains of Austria when they came across an awful sight: a frozen body was buried in the ice at their feet. That body belonged to a 5,300 year old man. Scientists have discovered some surprisingly specific facts since then.

When he was alive, he had parasites in his intestines, was lactose intolerant, and had been sick three times in the past six months.

A reconstruction of Otzi, based on forensics and 3D modeling.
He's older than the Giza pyramids and Stonehenge, Otzi the Tyrolean Iceman continues to teach us things.

The latest study of the weapons he was found with reveals that Otzi was right-handed and had recently resharpened and reshaped some of his tools before his death. Otzi was shot in the back with an arrow by an archer and became naturally preserved in the ice. Otzi, his clothing and his tools were well-preserved. The arrowhead, embedded in his left shoulder, wasn't found until 2001. He would have bled out and died shortly after because it pierced a vital artery.
With goat-leather leggings and a brown bear fur hat, Otzi must have strutted the Alps with style. Otzi the Iceman left behind his leather-heavy wardrobe and a slew of his accessories when he died in the Italian Alps.

He was found with a very valuable copper ax. It is the only one of its kind ever found. During the Copper Age, copper axes were owned by men of high rank and buried with them. Copper was extremely valuable and a symbol of high status.
Otzi’s final meal was high in fat, with traces of red deer and ibex — a type of wild goat — in his stomach along with einkorn wheat. When he died his stomach was full, meaning he probably ate shortly before he was attacked or was eating when the arrow hit.Otzi left behind a stone dagger, bows, leather quiver, tinder fungus, birch.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Sphinx

The sphinx was said to have the body of a lion, the head of a woman, and the wings of an eagle. The sphinx is perhaps known best for her role in the legend of Oedipus.

Oedipus was traveling when he is confronted by the creature.
The sphinx blocks Oedipus’ path and confronts him with a riddle. Although the exact riddle is not mentioned in legend, the popular version goes ... "What is that which in the morning goeth upon four feet; upon two feet in the afternoon; and in the evening upon three?”

Oedipus correctly answers: Man - who crawls on all fours as a child, then on two feet as an adult, and finally (with the help of a cane) on three feet during the sunset of life. Having been bested at her game, the Sphinx throws herself from a high cliff.

The nose on the face is missing. The Arab historian al-Maqrīzī, writing in the 15th century, attributes the loss of the nose to iconoclasm by Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr.
The Great Sphinx of Giza is a limestone statue of a reclining sphinx. The Great Sphinx is one of the world's largest and oldest statues.

Facing directly from West to East, it stands on the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile in Giza, Egypt. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the Pharaoh Khafre, 2558–2532 BC.