Sunday, 28 March 2021


Founded in the 7th century B.C., Cyrene was one of the principal cities in the Hellenic world. UNESCO added the site to its World Heritage List in 1992. “A thousand years of history is written into its ruins,” it said. Cyrene lies between the Egyptian border and Benghazi.
The ruins of the ancient Greek city of Cyrene survived Libya’s 2011 revolution and a decade of lawlessness but now face looters and bulldozers.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Sanxingdui Ruins

Sanxingdui (Chinese: 三星堆;'Three Star Mound') is a major Bronze Age site in modern Guanghan, Sichuan, China. It was populated in the 12th–11th centuries BCE. Archaeologists found six new sacrificial pits and unearthed more than 500 items dating back 3,000 years at the Sanxingdui Ruins in Sichuan Province last year.
Items from four of the pits included pieces of gold masks, gold foil, bronze masks, bronze tree relics and several ivory pieces.

Monday, 22 March 2021

Gold mask found in China

Archaeologists have uncovered a 3,000-year-old gold mask in southwest China. Weighing about 280 grams of 84% gold, the ceremonial mask is one of over 500 items unearthed from six newly discovered "sacrificial pits."
The finds were made at Sanxingdui, a 4.6-square-mile area outside the provincial capital of Chengdu. Experts say the items may shine light on the Shu state, a kingdom that ruled in the western Sichuan basin until 316 BC.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Bronze bull from ancient Olympia found

Greek archaeologists have unearthed by chance a 2,500-year-old bronze bull at the archaeological site of Olympia. With one of its horns sticking out of the ground after a heavy rainfall, the statuette was found intact, close to the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

Archaeologists believe the bull was part of the gifts offered to Zeus from 1,050 to 700 B.C.

Monday, 15 March 2021

High status female skeleton found at La Almoloya

A silver diadem still adorned the skull of a woman when her 3,700-year-old grave was discovered at the site of La Almoloya, Spain. The trove of ornate jewelry suggests she was elite status.
La Almoloya is an archaeological site about 35 miles northwest of Cartagena in southeastern Spain. Radiocarbon dating suggests the burial occured about 1700 B.C.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Huge ancient shipwreck examined

An ancient ship was found off the coast of Kefalonia - one of the Ionian islands near the west coast of Greece. The wreck of the 35 metres (110ft) ship, along with its cargo of 6,000 amphorae, was discovered at a depth of around 60 metres.(197ft) Goods such as cereal, wine, oil and olives were transported throughout the Mediterranean, with Rome often their final destination.
Study of the wreck could shed light on sea-routes, trading, amphorae hull stowage and shipbuilding in the period between first century BC and first century AD.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Antikythera Mechanism revealed

The Antikythera mechanism is an ancient Greek hand-powered orrery, the first analogue computer and the oldest known example of such a device.
It was used to predict astronomical positions and eclipses.
The artifact was retrieved from a shipwreck in 1901. It is dated to about 100 BC and represents lost technology. A complex clockwork mechanism composed of at least 30 meshing bronze gears was designed to convey our place in the universe and forecast celestial events like lunar and solar eclipses.

Friday, 12 March 2021

Roman floor found in Southern France

Developers in Nîmes, France, had to halt construction when archaeologists discovered an opulent tiled floor that once blanketed a Roman villa, or domu. This domu was lavish and featured a private bath, a concrete floor speckled with decorative gemstones, and a large central fountain made from Carrara white marble. One room even had remains of hypocaust heating, an inventive system that sent hot air underneath the flooring to warm the home.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

4.6 b yo meteorite found in Algeria

A 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite may be the oldest rock ever analyzed. The rock, named Erg Chech 002, was discovered in May 2020 in the Erg Chech area of southwestern Algeria. Unlike most discovered meteorites, which are made of basalt, created after lava has cooled, the meteorite is composed of a much rarer volcanic rock called andesite. Achrondites are igneous rocks that come from a body that has undergone internal melting that distinguishes the core from its crust. Silica-infused andesite crusts were likely common during our solar system’s protoplanet-forming stage.
Stones found in May 2020 totalling 22.8 kg were found showing distinctive large greenish orthopyroxene megacrysts.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Commodus aureus

An extremely rare aureus of Commodus was sold in 2019. Dating to 178 AD and struck in Rome. 25,000 euros.
Other rarities include a Manlia Scantilla aureus. 193 AD. Rome. Manlia Scantilla was the wife of Didius Julianus. Didius Julianus was Roman emperor for nine weeks from March to June 193, during the Year of the Five Emperors. He bought the title from the Praetorian Guard. Julianus was killed and succeeded by Septimius Severus. 35k Euro.

Elagabalus aureus. 218-219 AD. Rome. 16k Euro.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Statue of a Victorious Youth ordered returned to Italy

Among the J. Paul Getty Museum’s most treasured items is a bronze Greek statue of a young man, his weight shifted onto his right leg, his head crowned with an olive wreath — the prize bestowed on victorious athletes in ancient Greece. “Statue of a Victorious Youth” was discovered in the Adriatic Sea by Italian fishermen in 1964, and purchased by the Getty in 1977. It was made between 300 and 100 BCE. The Getty Museum Board of Trustees bought the bronze in the United Kingdom for $3.95 million.

In 1989, the Italian government asked the Getty to return “Statue of a Victorious Youth,” and the fight over the bronze has been ongoing ever since. A 1939 Italian law stipulates that Italy can lay claim to any antiquity discovered on its territory, but the Getty has argued that the law does not apply in this case because the statue was discovered in international waters.

In the wake of the most recent 2018 ruling, the Getty filed an appeal with the Court of Cassation, Italy’s highest judicial authority.
Romans probably carried the Greek statue off from its original location during the first century B.C., when Roman collecting of Greek art was at its height.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

Sargon of Akkad

Sargon of Akkad, also known as Sargon the Great "the Great King" was a Semitic Akkadian emperor famous for his conquest of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th and 23rd centuries BC. The founder of the Dynasty of Akkad, he was originally referred to as Sargon I until records of an Assyrian king also named Sargon (now usually referred to as Sargon I) were unearthed.

Sargon's vast empire is thought to have included large parts of Mesopotamia, and included parts of modern-day Iran, Asia Minor and Syria. He is often regarded as the first in recorded history to create a centrally ruled empire.
After coming to power, Sargon killed the king of Kish, and attacked Uruk. He captured Uruk and dismantled its famous walls. The defenders fled the city.

Sumerian forces fought two pitched battles against the Akkadians and were routed. Sargon pursued his enemies to Ur before moving eastwards to Lagash, to the Persian Gulf, and then to Umma.

Uruk was renowned for its walls which were first built 4,700 years ago by the Sumerian King Gilgamesh, hero of the epic named after him.
Akkadian influence was seen through trade throughout much of the known world from Eastern Europe to Northern Africa to India.

Akkadian customs – language, religion, art, architecture – were the standard for almost two millennia until the Greeks and Persians established their empires.

Friday, 5 March 2021

Marble Mosaic from Caligula's ‘Orgy Ship’

The square slab of marble flooring, decorated with a floral motif made of pieces of green and red porphyry, serpentine and molded glass, was discovered at an Italian collector's apartment in New York. The artifact was stolen from Italy's Roman Ship Museum after World War II and was seized by the New York district attorney's office from the collection of Helen Fioratti. She purchased the piece more than 45-years-ago from an aristocratic Italian family that lived on Lake Nemi. Lake Nemi is a small volcanic lake located about 30 km (19 mi) south of Rome.

The artifact dates to Caligula's reign, 37-41 AD and came from one of his three ships built at Lake Nemi. Described as “floating palaces” the ships were noted for their extreme opulence and luxury. The ships were over 70 meters long and were richly decorated with marble, gold and bronze.
After Caligula was killed, his ships were sunk and remained underwater for centuries. Benito Mussolini was the first to launch an organized exploration of the lake and two vessels were retrieved between 1928 and 1932. The third ship, which was the most luxurious of the three, was never retrieved.

The short reign of Caligula was extremely expensive for the citizens of Rome.

Lake Nemi

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Some of Kruger’s ‘lost hoard’ up for sale through SA Mint

The South African Mint has released a trove of South African gold coins – Kruger ponde – that were discovered in a Swiss vault. During the second Boer War in South Africa, gold was evacuated from Pretoria by the Transvaal government with no accurate account of its fate. These original, certified and graded coins are available for purchase.
Coins are available in two sets, the first comprising an 1893 to 1900 Lost Hoard Kruger half-pond, which is accompanied by a 2019 1/10 oz gold privy-mark proof Krugerrand. This set is limited to 233 units. The second set consists of an 1893 to 1900 Lost Hoard Kruger full-pond, and is accompanied by a 2019 quarter oz gold privy-mark proof Krugerrand. This set is limited to 677 units.