Thursday, 30 December 2021

Santorini - Thera

Researchers have presented evidence of a catastrophic tsunami that followed the eruption of Thera. They excavated at the archaeological site of Çesme-Bağlararası, located in the resort town of Çesme on Turkey’s Aegean coast and more than 100 miles north-northeast of Santorini. Found was a first-of-its-kind articulated skeleton of a human (and his dog) believed to have been killed by the tidal wave following the volcanic eruption that devastated the Aegean island. Due to calibrated radiocarbon ages found within the tsunami deposit, researchers say the skeletal remains date no earlier than 1612 BCE.
Santorini, classically Thera, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. The eruption of Thera was a major catastrophic eruption which is estimated to have occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. It was the largest volcanic event on Earth in recorded history. The eruption devastated the island of Thera.
New research into ancient tree rings from half a world away could settle lingering questions about when Thera erupted. Scientists believe the volcano erupted in the 16th century B.C., about 3,400 years ago, blowing some 24 cubic miles of rock and ash into the atmosphere. The eruption had long lasting and wide ranging effects. Researchers were able to determine colder years in the tree rings of Irish oaks and bristlecone pines in California. Scientists believe that the eruption happened between 1600 and 1525 B.C.
The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep and may have led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.

There is evidence that the myth of Atlantis, described by Plato, is based upon the Santorini eruption.

Excavations starting in 1967 at Akrotiri made Thera the best-known Minoan site outside Crete. Only the southern tip of a large town has been uncovered, yet it has revealed complexes of multi-level buildings, streets, and squares with remains of walls standing as high as eight metres, all entombed in the solidified ash.

Pipes with running water and water closets found at Akrotiri are the oldest such utilities discovered. The advanced architecture, and the apparent layout of Akrotiri resemble Plato's description of the legendary lost city of Atlantis.
In 2015 a team of marine archaeologists discovered 39 ingots scattered across the sea floor near a 2,600-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Sicily. The ingots were made from orichalcum, a rare cast metal which ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote was from the legendary city of Atlantis.

X-ray fluorescence analysis indicate the ingots were made from a mixture of zinc (15-20 per cent), charcoal and copper (75-80 per cent) with traces of nickel, lead and iron. Scholars suggest that orichalcum is a brass-like alloy, which was made in antiquity through the process of cementation, which was achieved through the reaction of zinc ore, charcoal and copper metal in a crucible.

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Classical Greek Statues

The Artemision Bronze (God from the Sea) is an ancient Greek sculpture that was recovered from the sea off Cape Artemision, in northern Euboea.

It represents either Zeus or Poseidon, is slightly over lifesize, and would have held either a thunderbolt, if Zeus, or a trident if Poseidon.

The Charioteer of Delphi is one of the best-known statues surviving from ancient Greece, and is considered one of the finest examples of ancient bronze statues. The life-size statue of a chariot driver was found in 1896 at the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. It is now in the Delphi Archaeological Museum.

Caryatids from Erechtheion. A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar. The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyai", an ancient town of Peloponnese. The best-known and most-copied examples are those of the six figures of the Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis at Athens.
The statue of Laocoön and His Sons was excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed on public display in the Vatican. The marble figures are near life-size and the group is a little over 2m (6 ft 7 in) in height, showing the Trojan priest Laocoön and his sons Antiphantes and Thymbraeus being attacked by sea serpents.
The Discobolus of Myron ("discus thrower") circa 460–450 BC. The original Greek bronze is lost but the work is known through numerous Roman copies, both full-scale ones in marble and smaller versions in bronze.

"Ides of March" Coins

Brutus issued a silver denarius celebrating the assassination of Caesar on the Ides of March (March 15). The denarius has a portrait of Brutus on the obverse, with on the reverse a liberty cap flanked by two daggers over the inscription EID(ibus) MAR(tiis). The liberty cap was the garment given to a manumitted slave to indicate his free status, so the reverse side symbolizes Brutus and Cassius liberating Rome with their daggers. There are about 60 known copies of the silver denarius. A superb example made $332k in a 2016 auction. Silver specimens in extremely fine condition have sold at auction for $120k. Low grade silver examples come on the market for around $50k.
An ‘Ides of March’ aureus is one of three known examples. It was recently discovered hidden away in a private European collection. The coin is in mint condition and has been described as “the undisputed masterpiece of ancient coinage.” It made $3.5m.
In October of 42 B.C., months after the coins were struck, Brutus and Cassius were routed by Marc Anthony and Octavian’s forces and died in the Battles of Philippi. Their coins were outlawed and few survived.

Monday, 27 December 2021

The Five Good Emperors

The five Good Emperors refers to the succession of Nerva (96–98 CE), Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161), and Marcus Aurelius (161–180). They presided over the most majestic days of the mighty Roman Empire.
After the death of Marcus Aurelius in 180, the empire quickly descended into chaos which was not ended until the assassination of Commodus (December 31, 192 AD) and the triumph of Septimius Severus. With Commodus' murder, the Nerva–Antonine dynasty came to an end. Turmoil continued until the 'Year of the Five Emperors'. The Roman Empire would never be as great again.


Antoninus Pius

Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, 26 December 2021

'Good Shepherd' Roman gold ring

The title given to Christ, the “Good Shepherd”, alludes to John (Jn 10:11): “I am the good shepherd, the true shepherd, who lays down his life for his sheep.”
Israeli researchers unveiled a Roman-era golden ring with a Christian symbol for Jesus inscribed in its gemstone, found in a shipwreck off the ancient port of Caesarea. The thick octagonal gold ring with its green gemstone has the figure of the "Good Shepherd" in the form of a shepherd boy in a tunic with a sheep across his shoulders. The ring was found among a trove of third century Roman coins, as well as a bronze eagle figurine, bells to ward off evil spirits, pottery, and a Roman pantomimus figurine.
Due to its small size, the ring belonged to a woman.
See ----->Roman artifacts from the ancient port of Caesarea

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Otzi the 5,300-year-old Tyrolean Iceman Mummy

In 1991 a group of hikers in the mountains of Austria came across an awful sight: a frozen body was buried in the ice. That body belonged to a 5,300 year old man. Scientists have discovered some specific facts. When he was alive, he had parasites in his intestines, was lactose intolerant, and had been sick three times in the past six months.

A reconstruction of Otzi, based on forensics and 3D modeling.
He's older than the Giza pyramids and Stonehenge, Otzi the Tyrolean Iceman continues to teach us things. The latest study of the weapons he was found with reveals that Otzi was right-handed and had recently resharpened and reshaped some of his tools before his death. Otzi was shot in the back with an arrow and became naturally preserved in the ice. Otzi, his clothing and his tools were well-preserved. The arrowhead, embedded in his left shoulder, wasn't found until 2001. He would have bled out and died shortly after because it pierced a vital artery.
With goat-leather leggings and a brown bear fur hat, Otzi must have strutted the Alps with style. Otzi the Iceman left behind his leather-heavy wardrobe and a slew of his accessories when he died in the Italian Alps.

He was found with a very valuable copper ax. It is the only one of its kind ever found. During the Copper Age, copper axes were owned by men of high rank and buried with them. Copper was extremely valuable and a symbol of high status.
Otzi’s final meal was high in fat, with traces of red deer and ibex in his stomach along with einkorn wheat. When he died his stomach was full, meaning he ate shortly before he was attacked.
The Iceman has 61 marks on his body made by fine incisions into which charcoal was rubbed. His are the oldest tattoos known.