Friday, 31 March 2023

Caligula with divine Augustus - update

Spink is offering two of the most important coins of the ancient world. A Roman Imperatorial, Octavian and Julius Caesar (c. 43 B.C.) Gold Aureus graded NGC Ancients Ch AU★, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface. Showing Octavian opposite the deceased Julius Caesar, the coin has an estimate of £60,000 to £100,000. A very rare coin is Pharaonic Egypt, Nectanebo II (c. 361-343 B.C.) Gold Stater graded NGC Ancients Ch XF★, 4/5 Strike and 4/5 Surface was issued by the last native ruler of ancient Egypt. It has an estimate of £80,000 to £120,000
Caligula (37-41). Aureus with the divine Augustus 37-38, Lyon. NGC Ch AU 5/5 2/5 marks. Very rare with the bare head of Caligula, only 3 copies known. Minimal contact marks otherwise of remarkable quality. €120000. When Tiberius died on 16 March AD 37, his estate and the titles of the principate were left to Caligula and to Tiberius' own grandson, Gemellus. Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful. In October 37, Caligula fell seriously ill or was poisoned. He soon recovered from his illness but was forever changed.
See ----->Gold of the 12 Casears
See ----->Caligula coins

Wednesday, 29 March 2023

Prospector discovers 4.6kg gold nugget

More than 170 years after Australia’s Victoria’s goldfields rush ended, the area is still returning huge gold nuggets. The detectorist found the 4.6kg gold rock in Victoria’s “golden triangle” between Bendigo, Ballarat and St Arnaud.

Monday, 27 March 2023

Ancient sites without the tourists

Ruins are often the centerpieces of a trip overseas. Unfortunately everybody thinks the same: Stonehenge, Chichen Itza, the Great Pyramids, Pompeii. Take a less beaten path however and the ruins can be both spectacular and without any crowds.

The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento is an archaeological site in Agrigento (ancient Greek Akragas), Sicily. It is one of the most outstanding examples of ancient art and architecture in the world.
La Ciudad Perdida. Magdalena, Colombia.

Reached only after a grueling five-day trek through the Colombian jungle, it’s almost 1,000 years older than Machu Piccu. It was abandoned after the Spanish conquest and only rediscovered in the 1970s.
Acrocorinth. Corinth, Greece.

Acrocorinth, or Upper Corinth has sheep roaming among the ruins, not tourists. Acrocorinth was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century.
Ruins of Jerash. Jerash, Jordan.

The most intact Roman city outside of Italy, Jerash was a crossroads of many cultures. The city flourished until the mid-eighth century CE, when the 749 Galilee earthquake destroyed most of it. The ancient city has been gradually revealed through a series of excavations.

Sunday, 26 March 2023

2,000 mummified ram heads discovered in Temple of Ramses II

Researchers discovered 2,000 mummified ram heads inside the Temple of Ramses II. They also found mummified goats, dogs, cows, deer and a single ostrich. These were likely offerings to honor Ramses II, who was buried in the city of Abydos, after a reign spanning 67 years from 1279-1213 B.C.E.

Saturday, 25 March 2023

Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York fingered for looted artifacts

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has more than 1,000 objects in its collection that have ties to people involved in crimes related to the antiquities trade, according to a new report. At least 1,109 pieces in the Met's collection are suspect. The museum has almost two dozen pieces that once belonged to notorious American antiquities dealer Robert E. Hecht. The Met first started to acquire objects from Hecht in the 1950s, and continued to do so even after Hecht was charged by Italian prosecutors with smuggling in 1959 and 1961. The Met also has more than 800 objects that once belonged to Jonathan P. Rosen, a business partner of Hecht's who was charged alongside Hecht in Italy in 1997. Another 85 pieces in the Met's collection are connected to Subhash Kapoor, another famous antiquities thief, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in India last year for trafficking offenses.

Friday, 24 March 2023

China’s Ancient Treasures

Jade (nephrite) burial suit of Dou Wan from the Western Han dynasty
When the Han Dynasty princess Dou Wan died some 2,000 years ago, her corpse was encased within 2,160 small plates of solid jade. Carefully strung together with 700 grams’ worth of gold thread, the green stones formed a cocoon that conformed to the contours of her body, intended to preserve it for eternity. The jade burial suit was recovered with her husband’s in 1968 from their tombs in the northern Chinese province of Hebei.
Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties in 2018 featured over 160 objects on loan from 32 museums and archaeological institutions in China.

Lamp in the Shape of a Mythical Bird from the Western Han dynasty

Dog from the Eastern Han dynasty

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Evolution of Lipstick

Historians say it’s likely that lipstick evolved from prehistoric times when humans started to smear plant juices on their faces for religious ceremonies. As early as 2500 BC, and certainly by 1000 BC, Sumerian men and women in southern Mesopotamia invented and wore lipstick. They are thought to have crushed gemstones and used them to decorate their faces, mainly on the lips and around the eyes. Egyptians also adopted this fashion craze. According to records, they mixed a red dye extracted from seaweed with iodine and bromine mannite, which can be highly toxic.

Over time a safer lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles and ants was used.

For the next 1,000 years lipstick was both revered and despised.
In ancient Greece only prostitutes were allowed to flaunt scarlet lip paint. This led to the first law related to lipstick, which dictated that prostitutes be punished for posing as ladies if they appeared in public without their designated lip paint. In ancient Rome both genders used lipstick to distinguish social class. Around 1000 AD Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi perfected a formula for solid lipsticks. These perfumed sticks became the basis for today’s cosmetics.
During the Middle Ages religious groups condemned makeup for 'challenging God and his workmanship.' In the 1500s, pastors denounced lip paint as “the devil’s work.” That didn’t stop Queen Elizabeth I from using a mix of cochineal, gum Arabic, egg white and fig milk to produce crimson lips that became the rage. In 1770, Britain passed a law that condemned lipstick on the grounds that “women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft.”
It wasn’t until the late 1800s that lipstick started coming out of the closet. Famed actress Sarah Berhardt shocked the world by daring to apply lipstick in public. By 1912, suffragettes marched down the streets of New York proudly wearing their bright red lipstick. Red lipstick became the 'it' symbol of female rebellion.

According to various studies and surveys, the average woman today will use 9 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime and nearly half say they own more than 20 at any given time. Lipstick has truly arrived.

Monday, 20 March 2023

Gold of the 12 Casears

Suetonius’s work, De Vita Caesarium, or The Twelve Casears, chronicles the Roman Empire’s first twelve Caesars.
Aureus struck at a military mint c.43 B.C. bearing portraits of Julius Caesar and Octavian (Augustus). Aureus of Augustus, c.15–12 B.C.
Tiberius (A.D. 14–37). Caligula (A.D. 37–41) A.D. 37–38. Caligula's portrait appears with his deceased mother, Agrippina Senior.

Claudius (A.D. 41–54)

A.D. 46–47. Nero (A.D. 54–68) Aureus struck at Rome, A.D. 62–63.
Galba (A.D. 68–69)

Otho (A.D. 69)
Vitellius (A.D. 69)

Vespasian (A.D. 69–79)
Titus (A.D. 79–81) Aureus A.D. 75. This coin was struck while Titus was Caesar under his father.

Domitian (A.D. 81–96) A.D. 76.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Ancient gold coins

Example of the most successful coin in history; a gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their high gold content (99.4%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C. The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS. The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.
An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. Reverse with the goddess Victory. $7,000.