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.
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

Julius Caesar

Gaius Julius Caesar was born on July 13, 100 BCE. Caesar was the first Roman politician to strike coins with his own portrait at the Rome mint during his lifetime. The aureus was produced between the first century BCE and the fourth century CE. It was originally worth 25 silver denarii.
A denarius of February or March, 44 B.C., on which Caesar displays his title “dictator for life.”In 44 B.C. Caesar became dictator for a term of 10 years and then ultimately dictator perpetuo (dictator for life). As the story goes, he received 23 stab wounds and was left to die at the foot of a statue of Pompey, his former adversary.
Among the last denarii struck before Caesar’s assassination, it portrays him wearing priest’s veil.

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 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.