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.

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.

Heir in UK strikes gold in old furniture

Amy Clapp, 37, from Derbyshire, was given a 20th century George II-style bureau by a long-lost distant cousin. It is estimated to be worth £60 to £80.

She never knew the relative and the will was written when she was 13 years old. Inside a hidden drawer was a Raymond IV Prince of Orange Franc A Pied coin which dates to 1365. It is expected to sell for up to £3,000 at auction

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Site linked to Caesar’s murder to open to public

A complex of ancient temples in Rome that are linked to the scene of Julius Caesar’s murder will be opened to the public. The below-street-level temple ruins at Largo Argentina will have walkways built inside the site so tourists can stroll through the ruins. The ruins include a stone pedestal from the Curia of Pompey, the meeting place of senators, where Caesar was slain in 44 B.C.

After Caesar's murder, Augustus Caesar removed the large statue of Pompey and had the hall walled up. Suetonius wrote that it was later made into a latrine.

Caesar Augustus

Monday, 18 February 2019

Romania recovers 49 ancient Dacian silver coins from the US

The 49 silver coins called Koson were stolen from the ancient Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa Regia between 2003 and 2006. A group of people found and stole 2,300 silver Koson coins, and sold them in batches of 600 in Germany. An American dealer in Chicago bought one of the batches, and he chose to work with the Romanian authorities in finding the source. Romania also recovered 202 coins three years ago. Romania's treasuries are being searched across the world with the help of the Interpol: 30 kilos of gold lysimach coins, 25 kilos of Koson coins, five royal iron shields, two bronze tablets and 11 gold spiral bracelets are known.
See ----->Ancient Gold of Romania
See ----->Ancient coins, bracelets looted from Romania returned

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Another close meteorite flyby - NASA Video

NASA Asteroid 2013 MD8, will pass Earth on a so-called “Earth Close Approach” in the afternoon hours of Tuesday, February 19. The asteroid is travelling approximately 13.6km per second – 30,422mph (48,960kph).

There are more than 600,000 known asteroids in our Solar System, more than 16,000 of which are Near-Earth objects 'NEOs'. MD8 measures somewhere in the range of 124.6ft to 282ft (38m to 86m) across. The approach is 15 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Ptolemy IV Mnaieion

A superb gold mnaieion of Ptolemy IV honoring his father Ptolemy III sold in 2016. In mint state, it realized $24,675.

Ptolemy IV was the fourth Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 221 to 204 BC. The decline of the Ptolemaic dynasty began under his reign. Mnaieions are among the most rare and desirable ancient gold coins. Ptolemaic gold mnaieions were one of the larger ancient gold denominations struck. They had a considerable face value of one mina, or 100 drachms.

A rare ancient gold coin was uncovered at Tell Kedesh in Israel near its Lebanese border in 2010. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel. The coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed 4.5 grams.

Friday, 15 February 2019

The Nemean Lion


Rubens, 1577-1640; Hercules and the Nemean Lion
The Nemean lion was a vicious monster in Greek mythology. It was killed by Heracles as his first labour. It could not be killed with mortals' weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than mortals' swords and could cut through any armor.

The lion is usually considered to have been the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. Other tales say it fell from the moon as the offspring of Zeus and Selene, or alternatively born of the Chimera. The Nemean lion was sent to Nemea in the Peloponnesus to terrorize the city. Heracles stunned the beast with his club. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers.
He eventually killed the lion by strangling it with his bare hands.
In order to prove his victory, Hercules (Greek) needed to bring the pelt back to King Eurystheus, but he couldn't cut it's pelt. Athena told him to use the lion's own claws to cut it. He brings the pelt back to Eurystheus but keeps it to use as his personal armor.
This is where the story connects to the Constellation Leo myth. It is mentioned in different texts that either Zeus (Greek mythology) or Hera (Greek mythology) decide at this point to create the Leo constellation.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Ancient spiders had glowing eyes

Researchers have unearthed fossils of an extinct spider family that contain reflective materials once contained inside the arachnids' eyes. When a light is shined upon the fossils, the eyes of the fossilized spiders still shimmer.

Structures like these can be found in many creatures alive today, typically among nocturnal predators like cats and dogs, but also among bovine and deep sea fish.
The fossils were unearthed from an area of Korean shale known as the Jinju Formation, and are dated from between 110 and 113 million years ago.

 The extinct family of spiders were clearly common in the Cretaceous.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Heart-shaped meteorite up for auction

Christie's is offering a heart-shaped meteorite, one that plummeted to Earth over Siberia in 1947. The meteorite once belonged to a colossal mass of iron that split from the asteroid belt 320 million years ago. It penetrated the Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 12, 1947, breaking into smaller meteorites and blazing over Siberia's Sikhote-Alin Mountains. The main body produced 200 craters, some up to 85 feet wide.

The overall size of the meteoroid is estimated at 90,000 kg (200,000 lb). It is composed of about 93% iron, 5.9% nickel, 0.42% cobalt, 0.46% phosphorus, and 0.28% sulfur, with trace amounts of germanium and iridium.

The specimen belongs to an uncommon group of iron meteorites known as IIAB. There are 134 type IIAB iron meteorites out of a total of over 60,000 known. The auction house expects it to sell for somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 due to it's large size and rarity.