Sunday, 27 September 2020

Ancient Egyptian boy reconstructed

Researchers have unveiled a 3-D facial reconstruction of an Egyptian boy who was mummified during the first century A.D. Analysis of the skeleton’s bones and teeth suggests the boy was roughly 3 to 4 years old at the time of his death. To create the 3-D reconstruction, the researchers took computerized tomography (CT) scans of the 30-inch-long skeleton encased in the linen mummy wrappings. Their analysis suggested the boy likely succumbed to pneumonia.
Researchers conclude that the similarities between the reconstruction and the portrait are so striking that the painting must have been created just before or after the boy’s death.

Attaching so-called “mummy portraits” to the front of mummified corpses was a popular practice among certain strata of Roman Egyptian society between the first and third centuries A.D.

Friday, 25 September 2020

Royal Germanic grave found

Remains of 11 animals were found, including cattle, horses and dogs. The grave of a Germanic lord who lived 1,500 years ago has been unearthed in Saxony-Anhalt, near Brück. Builders were clearing land for a new chicken farm and stumbled across a royal cemetery. Ashes may be inside a bronze cauldron in the central tomb, which is around 13 feet by 13 feet in size. The cauldron is the focal point of the mounded tomb, and is surrounded by six women buried in a radial alignment from the pot, like the hands of a clock.
A glass bowl was among the objects found.
Vestment clasps.The site dates from between AD480 and AD530, a period following the fall of the Roman Empire which saw many Germanic tribes, such as the Huns, invade territories which were no longer under Roman protection.

A gold coin found at the site features Eastern Roman emperor Zeno. It dates to around 480.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Siberian archaeologists unearth 2,500 yo Scythian grave

Archaeologists in Siberia have unearthed a 2,500-year-old grave of an ancient couple. Both are believed to have died in their 30s and were buried together with a newborn and an elderly woman.

The couple are thought to be spouses, whereas the elderly woman might have been their servant as she had no valuables. Remains of the baby were scattered throughout the grave, most likely due to rodents eating the flesh. All of the people from the grave are from the Tagar culture that was part of the Scythian civilization.
An impressive set of weaponry was found including close fight weapons in a female grave, which is not typical. Women Scythian warriors typically used long range bows and arrows. The woman had a battle axe so she was a part of a warrior elite.

Monday, 21 September 2020

New dinosaur discovered in China - Changmiania liaoningensis

Palaeontologists have discovered a new species of dinosaur estimated to be up to 125 myo. The fossils were found in the Lujiatun Beds, in north-eastern China, after being buried by a volcanic eruption.

Scientists believe the eruption would have trapped the creatures at the bottom of their burrows. About 1.2 metres long, it is thought the dinosaur’s powerful hind legs and stiff tail would have made it a fast runner. The skeleton suggests that creature could dig burrows, much like rabbits do today.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt

Statue of Pharaoh Amenemhet III 19th cent. BC
"Pharaoh: King of Ancient Egypt," was a major loan exhibition of ancient masterpieces from the British Museum in London that opened March 13, 2016 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. The British Museum famously acquired all the booty gathered by Napoleon after the British defeated the French occupation of Egypt in 1801.

The show was meant to reveal both the beauty and meaning of ancient Egyptian art.

Figure of a squatting baboon, about 1391-1353 B.C., Red quartzite. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Amenhotep III

Kneeling king in pose of jubilation, about 715-332 BC. Late Period. Egypt. Bronze

Kneeling falcon-headed deity in pose of jubilation, about 715-332 BC. Late Period. Egypt. Bronze

Head of Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, about 1479-1425 BC. New Kingdom. Karnak, Thebes, Egypt. Green siltstone

Fragment from the sarcophagus lid of Pharaoh Ramses VI, about 1143-1136 BC. New Kingdom, Dynasty 20, reign of Ramses VI

Shabti of Pharaoh Seti I, about 1294-1279 BC. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19

Figurine of Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV, about 1401-1391 BC. Bronze

Seated statue of Pharaoh Seti II, about 1200-1194 BC. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19

Statue of the god Ra-Horakhty, about 1279-1213. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19

Hathor capital, about 874-850 BC. Third Intermediate Period, Dynasty 22, reign of Osorkon II. Red granite

Figurine of the god Amun-Ra, about 1069-715 BC. Gilded silver

Figured ostracon: Ramses II suckled by a goddess, about 1279-1213 BC. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19. Painted limestone

Seated statue of Pharaoh Seti II, about 1200-1194 BC. New Kingdom, Dynasty 19, Quartzite sandstone

Bust of Amenhotep III

Monday, 14 September 2020

The Empusa

The Empusa is a shape-shifting monster in Greek myth who was often depicted as a beautiful woman, who transforms into a creature with sharp teeth, flaming hair, and (in some tales) bat wings.
Empusa was said to be a demigoddess under the control of the goddess Hecate who hungers for male human flesh.

The Empusa would often seduce young men traveling alone. Having taken the form of a woman, they would sleep with the man, sapping their strength. Once the unsuspecting youth was fast asleep, the creature would shift into her hideous form and devour his flesh and drink the blood for sustenance.

The Empusa is probably best known for terrifying the god Dionysus as he travels to the underworld.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Ancient Grave in Heuneburg filled with treasure

An Iron Age tomb brimming with treasures fashioned out of gold, bronze and amber was uncovered in 2017 after lying undisturbed by the Danube River for nearly 2,600 years.
The hoard surrounded the skeleton of a woman who died between the age of 30 and 40. She was an elite member of a Celtic society that buried her in southern Germany at a hill fort called Heuneburg in 583 B.C. Multiple graves around the woman's burial had been looted over the millenia, with looters digging tunnels from tomb to tomb. The newfound grave was untouched. It is one of the few undisturbed graves from the first half of the sixth century in Heuneburg.
Heuneburg is a prehistoric hill fort near the Danube River. The Celtic city-state was founded around the sixth century B.C.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Silver and gold coins at Bulgaria’s Kaliakra Fortress

Researchers working at the site of the Kaliakra Fortress on Bulgaria’s northern Black Sea coast in 2018 found a small clay pot containing close to 1000 objects, including silver and gold coins and jewellery. The items in the clay pot included 873 silver and 28 gold coins, 11 appliqués and buckles, 28 silver and bronze buttons, 11 gold earrings, two rings, one of them gold, and four beads made of precious stones and gold.

The discovery was beneath the floor of a room that was burnt in the 14th century.
Kaliakra is a long and narrow headland in the Southern Dobruja region of the northern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Ottoman coins make up about 60 per cent of the hoard. They are from the time of Sultan Bayazid Yildirum (1389-1402), and his predecessor, Murad I.
This is the third treasure to be found at the site, following two finds in earlier years, one of 60 coins, and another of 80 coins. In 2014, three gold coins, dating from the Nicene dynasty in the 13th century were found.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Painted coffins found at Saqqara

The 2,500-year-old wooden coffins are so well preserved that the intricate designs on them, painted in blue, gold, white, black and red, are still visible.Archaeologists have discovered more than 13 ancient Egyptian coffins piled one on top of the other within a burial well at the desert necropolis of Saqqara.
Researchers have yet to look inside the sealed coffins, which haven't been opened since the bodies were interred within.

Located 20 miles (30km) south of Cairo, Saqqara was the final resting place of the kings who ruled during the first and second dynasties, including Djoser, the first king of the third dynasty, who had the famous step pyramid at Saqqara constructed.