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

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

72 to 66 myo oviraptorosaur embryo

A 72 to 66 myo embryo found inside a fossilized dinosaur egg sheds new light on the link between the behavior of modern birds and dinosaurs. The embryo, dubbed Baby Yingliang, was discovered in Ganzhou, southern China and belongs to a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur. Oviraptorosaurs are a group of feathered theropod dinosaurs, closely related to modern-day birds, known from the Cretaceous of Asia and North America.

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Metal detector discoveries

The "Boot of Cortez" is one of the most unusual nuggets in the world, and at 389.4 ounces Troy (32.4 Troy pounds), it is the largest surviving placer nugget discovered in the Western Hemisphere. The solid gold nugget was found in the Mexican Sonora Desert near the Arizona border in 1989. It was found by a local prospector using a metal detector he bought at Radio Shack. The nugget sold for $1,853,500 at auction in Dallas in 2008.

An amateur prospector discovered a huge gold nugget in Australia's Victoria state in 2013. The nugget weighing 177 ounces, or 5.5 kilograms was unearthed with a metal detector just outside Ballarat.
Three-year-old James Hyatt may go down as one of the luckiest babies in history. Out for an afternoon walk with his dad in Essex, England in 2010, he was taking a turn with the detector when he discovered a one-inch pendant featuring engravings of the Virgin Mary clutching a cross along with “the five wounds of Christ,” believed to date from the 16th century. Likely worn by royalty, the rare 16th century gold reliquary pendant was used to hold religious relics.
One month after Nick Davies bought his metal detector in 2009, he found the largest collection of Roman coins, called “nummi,” in recent British history. The Shrewsbury Hoard (also known as the Shropshire Hoard) is a hoard of 9,315 bronze Roman coins. The coins date to the reign of Constantine I. The coins are all bronze and silver-washed bronze nummi, and date to the period between AD 313 and 335.
One hour into Dave Booth’s first metal detecting mission in Stirlingshire, Scotland in 2009, he made the discovery of a lifetime. Grouped together were four gold, silver and copper torcs. They date to between 300 and 100 BC and were buried deliberately at some point. The treasure was valued at $1.5m and is said to be the most significant discovery of Iron Age metalwork in Scotland.
When a neighbor showed 7-year-old Lucas Hall his collection of Civil War–era bullets that he'd found on his Virginia property using a metal detector, the boy became hooked. One week after Hall received a detector for his birthday he found a cavalry sword ... described as an 1840 or 1860 lightweight saber.

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Shrinking dinosaurs became modern birds

It's known that modern birds evolved from dinosaurs, but a study published in the journal Science shows that the key to this transformation was, for one group of giant lizards called theropods, to continually get smaller and smaller over a 50-million-year time span.
Researchers present a detailed family tree of these dinosaurs and their bird descendants which maps out this transformation. They showed that the branch of theropod dinosaurs which gave rise to modern birds were the only dinosaurs that kept getting smaller. These bird ancestors also evolved new adaptations four times faster than other dinosaurs.
Being smaller and lighter in the land of giants, with rapidly evolving anatomical adaptations, these bird ancestors grew the ability to climb trees, glide and fly. Ultimately, this evolutionary flexibility helped birds survive the meteorite impact which killed off all their dinosaurian cousins.
Paleontologists looking at fossils of meat-eating dinosaurs, particularly those that were small bipedal like the Veloceraptors, have pointed out how they share an uncanny number of traits with modern birds: everything from wishbones, light hollow skeletons and three-fingered hands that folded like bird wings to an array of bright, complex feathers. Many of them also had some ability to glide, perhaps even fly.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Egyptian mummy wearing jewels found

Spanish archaeologists digging in Egypt in 2017 unearthed a female mummy still wearing her jewels. The mummy was discovered in the necropolis below the temple of Pharaoh Thutmosis III (1490-1436 B.C.), on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor. The find dates to the Middle Kingdom (2137-1781 B.C.)
For nearly four millennia, the “Lady of the Jewels” eluded tomb raiders, her sarcophagus trapped under a collapsed roof.
Archaeologists were cleaning and restoring several tombs in the necropolis that had been looted in antiquity when they realized that in one of the chambers of tomb XIV, part of the roof had already collapsed before robbers entered it. A large boulder, which had fallen down before the tomb was looted, had crushed and buried a previously untouched coffin with all its content.
“These spectacular findings confirm that an elite necropolis is located under the mortuary temple of Thutmosis III. Wealthy and important individuals of the Middle Kingdom and their families were buried there."

Thursday, 9 December 2021

Yanghai armor

Nearly 3,000-year-old armor found in Yanghai cemetery, Northwest China, may have originally been made in the Neo-Assyrian Empire – a land that covered modern-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. The armor, dated to between 786 and 543 BCE, was originally found in 2013 in the tomb of a 30ish soldier. It is impossibly rare. There is currently no direct parallel to the Yanghai armor anywhere in the world except an example in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
That piece, stored in New York’s MET, has been radiocarbon dated to between the eighth and fifth centuries BCE. Researchers suggest armors of the Neo-Assyrian Empire are "rare actual proofs of West-East technology transfer across the Eurasian continent during the first half of the first millennium BCE." The world's oldest pants are 3300-year-old wool trousers discovered in the Yanghai cemetery.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Michael Steinhardt hands over antiquities worth $70m

US billionaire Michael Steinhardt has surrendered 180 stolen relics worth an estimated $70m and agreed to a lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities." Steinhardt viewed these precious artifacts as simple commodities -- things to collect and own," said authorities. Items seized include the Stag's Head Rhyton, a ceremonial vessel depicting a stag's head which dates to 400 BCE. It came to market after looting in Milas, Turkey, and is valued at $3.5m.

A larnax is a chest from Greece used to hold human remains. It dates from 1400-1200 BCE and is valued at $1m.
A gold bowl looted from Nimrud.
Three death masks, circa 6,000 to 7,000BC, were made from stone and originated in the foothills of the Judean mountains.
"For decades, Michael Steinhardt displayed a rapacious appetite for plundered artefacts without concern for the legality of his actions. He cared little about the legitimacy of the pieces he bought and sold, or the grievous cultural damage he wrought across the globe." Steinhardt denied criminal wrongdoing in resolving the matter, which ended a grand jury investigation into him.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Gold 'lotus flower' pendant discovered in Cyprus

Archaeologists unearthed the two Bronze Age tombs, both underground chambers, in the ancient city of Hala Sultan Tekke in 2018. 155 human remains and 500 funerary goods were found in the tombs. Grave goods include jewelry and other items made of gold, silver, bronze and ivory. Items included a red carnelian gemstone from India, a blue lapis lazuli gemstone from Afghanistan and amber from around the Baltic Sea. Researchers dated the gold jewelry by comparing it with similar finds from Egypt. Most of the objects come from around 1350 B.C.
A skeleton of a 5-year-old was found with a gold necklace, gold earrings and a gold tiara.

Monday, 6 December 2021

Opushki cemetery

The Opushki cemetery, located 20 km from Simferopol on the hills of the Crimean Peninsula, encompasses about 2 hectares. Only 3,500 square meters of that have been excavated so far. In 2016 excavation started in full force, with students and volunteers arriving to dig during the summer days of Crimea. The cemetery contains thousands of burials, from the first century B.C.E. and up to the 4th century C.E. It fell into disuse, but over its 500 years of history, it served as a burial center for five cultures: The late Scythian, middle and late Sarmatian, the Alans, and the Goths.
In 2021, a burial dug-out crypt with a rectangular entrance tunnel and a dromos, an underground corridor, was unearthed. Within, four bodies were entombed including two women and a child. They were laid to rest with jewelry, all embedded with carnelian gemstones.
This type of adornment is called polychrome pre-Hun and would only be owned by the elite.

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Roman dagger found in Switzerland

A volunteer archaeologist using a metal detector in Switzerland uncovered a 2000-year-old dagger. Due to its cross-shaped handle, the dagger can be dated back to 50 BC. Daggers of this type are rare. Only four are known. The dagger was found in the mountainous Graub√ľnden region of Switzerland, an area believed to be the site of battle where Imperial Roman soldiers fought Rhaetian warriors in 15 BC. His discovery sparked an excavation of the area that revealed a trove of ancient military artifacts including lead shot. A Roman coin minted between 29 BC and 26 BC during the reign of Emperor Augustus was found.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Jewels of ancient Egypt

Jewelry making in ancient Egypt dates to the Predynastic Period along the Nile River Delta in 3100 BC.

Pectoral is inlaid with colored glass and semi-precious stones. The motif of the scarab pushing solar disc has been elaborated to form "Nebkheprure".
The earlier Badarian culture inhabited Upper Egypt between 4500 BC and 3200 BC. From 2950 BC to the end of Pharaonic Egypt in 395 AD, there were a total of thirty-one dynasties, spanning 3,345 years.
Pectoral of King Senusret II from the tomb of Sit-Hathor Yunet, daughter of Senusret II.

A rebus pectoral scarab worn by King Tut-ankh-amun from Thebes. It symbolizes the birth of the moon and the sun and was part of the king's coronation regalia.

Queen Amanishaketo's bracelet

19th Dynasty inlaid diadem, or wig.
Winged Isis pectoral 538–519 B.C. gold. The ancient Egyptians placed great importance on the religious significance of certain sacred objects, which was heavily reflected in their jewelry motifs. Gem carvings known as "glyptic art" typically took the form of anthropomorphic religious symbols.

The collar of Khnumet
The Egyptian lapidary would use emery fragments or flint to carve softer stones, while bow-driven rotary tools were used on harder gems. Jewelry coloration was extremely important to the ancient Egyptians, and each color had a different symbolic meaning.

According to the "Book of the Dead" a deceased person would wear a red-colored necklace which was meant to satisfy the God Isis' need for blood.
Jewelry that featured the color green was meant to symbolize fertility and the success of new crops.

Bracelet with image of Hathor 100 B.C. Gold, enamel.
One insignificant king's treasure remained intact for thousands of years. That king was the now famous Pharaoh Tutankhamun, son of either Amenhotep III or Akhenaten.

His short reign as Pharaoh began at age 9. Although he ruled for only 9 years (1336—1327 BC), he was able to amass a modest legacy of wealth and treasure that lives on today.

Pectoral belonging to Tutankhamun