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.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

The Salvation of Rome: Gordian III

Rome in the third century was a time of turmoil and encroaching chaos. Gordian III assumed the throne in 238 CE at the age of 13, making him the youngest de facto emperor in Roman history. Gordian served for almost six years before dying under mysterious circumstances while fighting against the Sassanian Persians. He was succeeded by his by-then praetorian prefect, Philip the Arab.

The Latin word “aureus” means “golden”, and derives from the Roman word for gold: aurum. The aureus was originally produced in the first century BCE and was still being struck in the fourth century CE. It was initially valued at 25 silver denarii.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Gigantopithecus blacki

In 1935, anthropologist Gustav von Koenigswald came across several strange teeth in drug stores in Hong Kong and southern China. Sold as “dragon teeth,” and ground up for use in Chinese medicine, they were special: They were apelike, but huge. Their size suggested that Gigantopithecus blacki was the largest primate ever discovered, towering 3 meters. By piecing together clues from proteins in the enamel of a 1.9myo tooth found in southern China, researchers have evidence that places G. blacki on the primate family tree.

The giant ape was most closely related to orangutans. The two lineages probably split off between 10 million and 12 million years ago.

G. blacki became extinct around 100,000 years ago.
Adult male G. blacki are believed to have stood almost 10 feet tall and weighed as much as 600kg, making it three to four times as heavy as modern gorillas and eight times as heavy as the orangutan, its closest living relative. It's thought G. blacki consumed bamboo and other vegetable foods including seeds and fruit. Gigantopithecus blacki is the largest known hominid.

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.

Friday, 15 November 2019

12,000 yo lake toasted in failed treasure hunt for Roman gold

A 12,000-year-old lake is gone after a team of treasure hunters carried out an authorized excavation to unearth an ancient trove in Turkey's northern Gümüşhane province. Located in the Taşköprü Plateau, Lake Dipsiz (Bottomless) was drained after an application to the Gümüşhane Governor's Office to carry out an excavation. The governor and the Gümüşhane Culture and Tourism Directorate both authorized the controversial excavation.
No gold was found and the excavation was stopped after four days.

The treasure hunters were trying to find gold of the 15th Apollinaris Legion (Legio XV Apollinaris), which was one of the four largest military units of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor. It was recruited by Octavian (Augustus) in 41/40 BC. The legion was stationed in the area around 134. Dating back to the last ice age, Lake Dipsiz does not have a source of water.

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