Monday, 28 October 2019


Berserkers were Norse warriors who are reported to have fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury, which later gave rise to the English word berserk.

They were said to wear the pelt of a wolf or bear into battle. The name berserker derives from the Old Norse berserkr. This expression likely canme from their habit of wearing a kind of shirt or coat (serkr) made from the pelt of a bear (ber-) during battle. The bear was one of the animals representing Odin, and by wearing such a pelt the warriors sought to gain the strength of a bear and the favor of Odin. Berserkers are described as Odin's special warriors.
Berserkers appear prominently in sagas and poems, many of which describe them as ravenous men who loot, plunder, and kill indiscriminately. Later, Christian interpreters referred to the berserkers as a "heathen devils".

The berserker were said to be able to do things that normal humans could not. According to ancient legend, the berserkers were indestructible, and no weapon could break them from their trance. They were described as being immune to fire and to the strike of a sword, continuing on their rampage despite injury.
The fury of the berserkers would start with chills and teeth chattering and give way to a purpling of the face, as they literally became ‘hot-headed’, and culminating in a great, uncontrollable rage accompanied by grunts and howls.

Some claim that berserker behavior can be explained by the ingestion of the plant known as bog myrtle, one of the main ingredients in Nordic grog. Myrica gale is a species of flowering plant in the genus Myrica, native to northern and western Europe. It is a deciduous shrub.

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.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Sumerian antiquities seized from dealer returned to Iraq

In 2018, after years in police storage, 8 objects were taken to the British Museum for analysis. They were quickly identified as being from the site of ancient Girsu (modern Tello) in Southern Iraq, one of the earliest known cities of the world. The British Museum has been conducting archaeological excavations there since 2016.

Inscriptions linked the cones with the Eninnu temple complex at Girsu.
It's believed the objects were removed in 2003, around the time of the fall of Saddam Hussein.

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.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Devil's Coulee - Alberta

Devil’s Coulee is the richest dinosaur nesting site in Canada and the third nesting site discovered in North America. The site was found in May 1987 near Warner, Alberta when ten fossilized Hadrosaur eggs were found. The site was designated a Provincial Historic Resource the same year. Finds at the site include young dinosaurs, eggs, embryonic bones, and nests of hadrosaurs.
The find dates from the Late Cretaceous. (100-65 mya). Hadrosaurids, or duck-billed dinosaurs, were a common herbivore in the period.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum reports the Devil’s Coulee site is rich with ancient nests of at least two separate duck-billed dinosaurs and five different Cretaceous-era carnivores.

The Devil's Coulee area was once part of a vast inland sea.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Hoard of Bronze Age weapons found by banks of the Thames.

The Bronze Age in Britain began around 2,000 BC and lasted for nearly 1,500 years. It was a time when sophisticated bronze tools, pots and weapons were brought over from continental Europe.The hoard of ancient weapons discovered on a building site by the banks of the Thames may have been an offering to the gods, experts say. The 453 artifacts date back nearly 3,000 years and were discovered in Havering, east London.

Axes, swords, spears, rings, daggers and copper ingots make up the ancient collection, which dates from between 800BC and 900BC.
The placement of hundreds of weapons carefully buried in groups close together suggests the site in Havering might have been a metal worker’s former armoury recycling metal. Many of the objects were damaged or broken. The objects will go on display for the first time at the Museum of London Docklands.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Coinage of Akragas

Akragas was a wealthy and powerful Greek state on the southern coast of Sicily, second only to Syracuse in importance. The city was famous for its lavish building projects.

Obol (Silver, 0.79 g), c. 410-406 BCE.
The early designs of the coinage of Akragas remained consistent for nearly a century, depicting Zeus’ standing eagle on the obverse and a crab on the reverse.

Around 415 BCE, a dramatic shift took place, reinvigorating all denominations of their coinage. The designs became much more intricate. The coins have been ranked as some of the most beautiful coins ever produced.
Carthaginians sacked the city in 406 BCE, an attack from which Akragas never fully recovered and which put an abrupt end to a period of outstanding coinage.

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.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

The Age of King Midas - The Phrygia Kingdom

In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Turkey, centered on the Sakarya River. Legendary kings were Phrygians: Gordias whose Gordian Knot would later be cut by Alexander the Great, Midas, and Mygdon who warred with the Amazons.
According to Homer's Iliad, the Phrygians were allies of the Trojans and fought in the Trojan War against the Achaeans. Phrygian power reached its peak in the late 8th century BC. The later Midas was the last independent king of Phrygia before its capital Gordium was sacked by Cimmerians around 695 BC. Phrygia then became subject to Lydia, then to Persia, Alexander the Great, Pergamon, Rome and Byzantium. Phrygians were fully assimilated by the early medieval era.
Classical Greek iconography preserved the Phrygian cap, which was worn by Mithras and survived into modern imagery as the "Liberty cap" of French and American revolutionaries.

A spectacular array of 150 artifacts were on display in 2017. 'The Golden Age of King Midas' was an exhibition developed by the Penn Museum

Goat jug

Ivory statuette of a lion tamer found at Delphi