Friday, 31 January 2020

The Jersey Hoard (Grouville Hoard)

The last coins from an ancient Celtic hoard discovered in a field in Jersey have been successfully removed from the dirt they were buried in.

Dating from around 30-50 BC, the collection of 69,347 coins was six times larger than any other similar Celtic artifacts and also included jewellery, beads and fabric.

The Jersey Hoard (Grouville Hoard) is a hoard of late Iron Age and Roman coins discovered in June 2012. It was discovered in a field in the parish of Grouville on the east side of Jersey in the Channel Islands.

The hoard is thought to have belonged to a Curiosolitae tribe fleeing Julius Caesar's armies around 50 to 60 BC.

Jersey Heritage's conservation team have been excavating an area known to contain gold jewelery. One end of a solid gold torc was uncovered.

The find follows the discovery of two other solid gold torcs - one gold-plated and one of an unknown alloy - along with a silver brooch and a crushed sheet gold tube.
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At least 50,000 coins dating back to the time of Julius Caesar were found in a field in Jersey. The Roman and Celtic coins, which date from the 1st Century BC, were found by two metal detector enthusiasts.

Archaeologists said the hoard weighed about three quarters of a tonne.
It is the first hoard of coins found in the island for more than 60 years.

Several hoards of Celtic coins have been found in Jersey before but the largest was in 1935 at La Marquanderie when more than 11,000 were discovered.
This is the world's biggest Celtic coin hoard ever, and was a significant part of a tribe's wealth.

It is also one of the world's biggest coin hoards and certainly the biggest coin hoard found in Britain. The value of the hoard was estimated at up to £10m when it was first removed from the ground.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Sarcophagus dedicated to sky god found

Egypt unveiled the tombs of ancient high priests and a sarcophagus dedicated to the sky god Horus at an archaeological site in Minya. The shared tombs were dedicated to high priests of the god Djehuty, from the Late Period around 3,000 years ago. One of the stone sarcophagi was dedicated to the god Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, and features a depiction of the goddess Nut spreading her wings.
The ministry also unveiled 10,000 blue and green ushabti (funerary figurines), 700 amulets—including some made of pure gold bearing scarab shapes, and one bearing the figure of a winged cobra.

Horus is the name of a sky god in ancient Egyptian mythology which designates primarily two deities: Horus the Elder (Horus the Great), the last born of the first five original gods, and Horus the Younger, the son of Osiris and Isis.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

The sarcophagus of Hercules

The sarcophagus of Hercules was brought from Zurich to Istanbul in 2017 and was put on display in the museum of Antalya, a southern city where the second century artifact originated. The sarcophagus is believed to have been stolen from the ancient city of Perge, 18 kilometers (11 miles) east of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast, sometime in the 1960s. After undergoing restoration in the U.K. several years ago, it was seized by Swiss customs authorities in 2010. The fabled Twelve Labors of Hercules, from the killing of a mythological lion to cleaning the stables, are depicted on the exterior of the sarcophagus.

Since 2003, Turkey has been pursuing a legal process for the retrieval of several artifacts. Over 4,000 smuggled historical artifacts were repatriated to Turkey from 2004 to 2016.
The piece was placed next to the "Weary Heracles" statue, which itself was retrieved from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The top half of the statue was missing for decades before being located in the Boston museum, which purchased it in 1982. The bottom part was discovered in Perge in 1980 and was showcased in the Antalya Museum.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

The Gjermundbu Helmet

On March 30 1943, during World War II in Nazi-occupied Norway a rich discovery was made. A burial mound on a farm in Ringerike contained the burnt remains of two males and 76 different objects. They were placed in a wheelbarrow and hidden from the Germans. Among the objects, which date to the 900s, was a Viking helmet.

77 years after the finds, the Gjermundbu helmet is still very special.
The Gjermundbu helmet was found in nine fragments and was restored.

The helmet remains the first and only known helmet dating back to the Viking era. Research indicates that Vikings rarely used metal helmets. Despite popular culture, there is no evidence that Vikings used horned helmets in battle. The helmet was made of iron and was in the shape of a peaked cap made from four plates.

Monday, 27 January 2020

Rare Roman Aureus found at Mount Zion

In 2017 archaeological excavations at Mount Zion in Jerusalem for the first time discovered a gold coin bearing the likeness of Roman Emperor Nero. The coin had been struck in either 56 and 57 AD. The gold coin (aureus) bears the portrait of the younger Nero as Caesar.

The coin would have been minted a little more than a decade before the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The archaeologists hypothesized that the gold coin was part of a Jewish store of wealth, amassed before their mansions were razed – along with the rest of the city – by Titus and the Roman legions.

The coin was likely hidden prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and simply overlooked by Roman soldiers looting in the aftermath of their demolition.
The Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 was the decisive event of the First Jewish–Roman War. The destruction of both the first and second temples is still mourned annually as the Jewish fast Tisha B'Av.

The Arch of Titus, celebrating the Roman sack of Jerusalem and the Temple, still stands in Rome.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Florida treasure hunters find $4.5m in lost gold

A team of treasure hunters scouring the waters off Florida in 2017 recovered a $4.5m bounty of gold coins – including several made for the king of Spain, Philip V, in the early 1700s.

The find was made off the coast of Vero Beach, Florida. Bret Brisben, captain of the S/V Capitana and his crew reportedly found 350 gold coins, nine of which are known as Royals and valued at $300k each.
Brisben’s find comes a month after one of his subcontractors, Eric Schmitt, found 52 gold coins worth more than $1 million. Schmitt found the gold while diving about 150 feet off the coast of Fort Pierce in Florida during his yearly treasure-hunting trip with his wife, his sister and his parents.
"It resonates with everybody -- every demographic, young and old, rich and poor," Brisben told the newspaper. "People freak out that we're literally 10-15 feet off the beach in 2-3 feet of water."

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the coast of Ionia, three kilometres southwest of present-day Selçuk in İzmir Province, Turkey. It was constructed in the 10th century BC by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists. During the Classical Greek era it was one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League.

The city flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 BC. Ephesus was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Among many monumental buildings are the Library of Celsus, and a theatre capable of holding 25,000 spectators. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia cited in the Book of Revelation. The Gospel of John may have been written there.
The Romans made Ephesus the capital of the Asian State, and the city became one of the biggest settlements in Anatolia. Today Ephesus is one of Turkey’s leading tourist attractions.
A extremely rare ancient Ephesus coin (625-600 B.C.) crossed the block in New York.

The electrum coin is related to the god of light, Phanes. There are only two other known examples. It made $300k.

Expensive Ancient Statues at Auction


In 2002 the sale of the statue broke the world auction record for an antiquity sale (of that time) after selling for nearly $12 million at Christie’s London.
The Jenkins Venus: $11.7 Million. The Jenkis Venus, also known as the Barberini Venus is a copy of the Aphrodite of Knidos statue, which is was one of the most famous works of Praxiteles, an ancient Greek sculptor.


Considered the most important Cycladic idol ever to come to auction, the Cycladic reclining female figure with an estimated value of $3-5 million, was sold by Christie’s for a jaw-dropping almost $17 million in December of 2010.

Bronze Figure Of A Tapir: $12 Million. This bronze figure is a preeminent example of Chinese figurines of the 4th century B.C. The bronze figure portrayed a pig-like mammal that became extinct in China about 10,000 years ago.
The statue depicting Leda and the swan was discovered around 1775 in Rome, and is a Roman replica of a Greek statue from about 300 B.C. The statue was sold by Sotheby’s New York for over $19 million.

The sculpture, ‘Roman Bust of Antinous’, was sold by Sotheby’s in 2010 for almost $24 million.

Artemis and the Stag: $28.6 Million. Artemis and the Stag, was the highest priced statue ever sold at the time (2007).
Found near Baghdad, Iraq, the Guennol Lioness is a 5,000-year-old limestone Mesopotamian statue. The sculpture was described by Sotheby’s as “one of the last known masterworks from the dawn of civilization remaining in private hands.” The sculpture portrays an anthropomorphic lioness-woman and was sold for $57.2 million in 2007

$ 60k to $ 90k
On December 8, 2015 Sotheby's presented a sale dedicated to ancient Egyptian sculpture and works of art, the first auction of its kind in recent memory.

Highlights include a fine small-scale basalt bust of King Tuthmosis III, an imposing over-lifesize fragmentary red granite head of King Amenhotep III from the last ten years of his reign, and a monumental granite enthroned figure of the goddess Sekhmet, once the property of John Lennon

Black Basalt Head Of Tuthmosis III, 18th Dynasty, 1479-1426 B.C. $200k to $ 300k

Wood mask with inlaid eyes, 25th/26th Dynasty. $ 300k to $ 500k

Limestone mask, 30th Dynasty/early Ptolemaic Period. $200k to $ 300k

Granite enthroned figure of the goddess Sekhmet. $ 3m to $ 5m

Statuette of the Lady Iset , priestess of the god Sobek, dating to the early 19th Dynasty. $600k to $ 900k

A record for an ancient Egyptian work of art was set at Christie’s in 2012 when a 29 inch sculpture of the goddess, Isis, dating from the Late Period Dynasty, c 664 - 525 BC, sold for £3.7 million.
A 30-inch statue representing the god Sekhemka broke the world record for highest auction price of an Egyptian artwork in 2014. The statue was estimated to sell for $7 to $11 million, but sold for $27 million. The Sekhemka statue is a tomb model of a high official, wearing a short kilt and tight-fitting wig, surrounded by his wife, son and seven offering-bearers. He holds a papyrus on his knees on which are inscribed a list of offerings designed to serve the needs of the dead, including beer and cakes.

An Egyptian Green Peridotite Head of a Man

Egyptian blue-glazed steatite figure of Taweret, goddess of childbirth

Block statue of a man and the sacred baboon of Thoth, Egyptian, serpentine, 26th/30th Dynasty, 664-342 B.C. Sold for $856,000 in 2006

Sphinx of Egyptian queen, green porphry, Roman Imperial, circa A.D. 81-96. $5,234,500.

Egyptian steatite figure of Sobek

Djehuty-Mose (Tothmes), polychrome limestone ushabti, Egyptian 19th Dynasty,1292-1190 B.C. $1,314,500

Black granite or basalt relief fragment from the 30th Dynasty/Early Ptolemaic Period, reign of Nectanebo II /Ptolemy I, 360-282 B.C. $211,500 in 1998

Limestone figure of lion, 30th Dynasty/Ptolemaic Period, 380-30 B.C. $154,250 in 2001.