Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Oxus chariot

The Oxus chariot is one of the most outstanding pieces in the Oxus Treasure, which dates from the fourth century BCE.
The model chariot is pulled by four ponies. In it are two figures wearing Median dress. The Medes were from Iran, the centre of the Achaemenid empire. The front of the chariot is decorated with the Egyptian dwarf-god Bes, a popular protective deity.
The likely origin for the treasure is a temple, where votive offerings were deposited. The treasure represents the most important survival of what was once great production of Achaemenid work in precious metal. Although found on the eastern frontier near Afghanistan, the technique of its metal-working shows that it must have been made in central Persia.
See ----->The Oxus Treasure

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Royal Chinese gold

Researchers at the royal Haihunhou cemetery in Nanchang City in eastern China in 2016 unearthed gold coins, gold sheets, gold ingots, and other relics from the Han Dynasty. In addition to the gold coins, hoof-shaped gold ingots, jade pendants and goose-shaped bronze lamps were found. Finds include 20 thin gold sheets.
The excavation site is believed to be the tomb of Liu He. Liu He was the first Haihunhou, or marquis of Haihun State, a small kingdom in the north Jiangxi Province. The cemetery has been excavated since 2011. More than 10,000 items have been discovered. Many are on exhibition at the Jiangxi Provincial Museum in Nanchang.
Turtle-shaped jade stamp

Monday, 29 May 2023

Ancient Gold Coins

Example of the most successful coin in history; an antique fine 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 very high gold content (99.40%) 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. $1,250.00
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, nimbate, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
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. $2,250.00
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. $3,250.00
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. The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross. $7,000.00

Sunday, 28 May 2023

Gilgamesh tablet back in Iraq

The Gilgamesh Tablet is a 3,500-year-old Mesopotamian cuneiform clay tablet that was looted from Iraq and illegally imported into the US. It is believed to have been stolen from an Iraqi museum in 1991 while the country was caught up in the first Gulf War. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered one of the oldest pieces of literature in the world, telling the story of a Mesopotamian king on a quest for immortality.

Saturday, 27 May 2023

The Środa Treasure

The Środa Treasure is a massive hoard of silver and gold coins, plus gold jewellery and precious stones. The hoard dates from the mid 14th century. Środa is a medieval town in Silesia, southwestern Poland. In 1985 a worker doing some renovation in an old house on the town square smashed into an urn filled with about 3,000 silver coins. This was quickly secured by the Communist authorities. Three years later more gold and silver started turning up.
Much of the discovery vanished. So much was found that eventually someone thought to scour the municipal dump, turning over piles of rubble taken from renovation projects.
More treasure was found there, including gold jewelry.
The Środa Treasure is one of the most valuable archaeological finds of the 20th century.

Much of the treasure is thought to have been lost to looting.
Over the following years, archaeologists and historians have speculated about the treasure's origins, while museums and wealthy individuals have competed for pieces of the treasure at auction. It is now agreed that the treasure most likely belonged to the Emperor Charles IV of the House of Luxemburg.
Around 1348, needing funds to support his claim to the Emperorship, Charles pawned various items to the Jewish banker Muscho (Mojżesz, Moishe) in Środa. Soon afterwards, the black plague descended on Środa. Mojżesz was not heard of again. It is believed that he either fled from the plague-struck town, died of plague, or perhaps fell victim as Jews were blamed for spreading the plague. What is certain is that no one ever reclaimed the treasure, which was left hidden in the town for hundreds of years.

Friday, 26 May 2023

Florida treasure hunters find $4.5m in lost gold

A team of treasure hunters scouring the waters off Florida in 2017 recovered a $4.5m bounty of gold coins – including several made for the king of Spain, Philip V, in the early 1700s. The find was made off the coast of Vero Beach, Florida. Bret Brisben, captain of the S/V Capitana and his crew reportedly found 350 gold coins, nine of which are known as Royals and valued at $300k each.
Brisben’s find comes a month after one of his subcontractors, Eric Schmitt, found 52 gold coins worth more than $1 million. Schmitt found the gold while diving about 150 feet off the coast of Fort Pierce in Florida during his yearly treasure-hunting trip with his wife, his sister and his parents.
"It resonates with everybody -- every demographic, young and old, rich and poor," Brisben told the newspaper. "People freak out that we're literally 10-15 feet off the beach in 2-3 feet of water."

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Panticapaeum stater = $6m

The Panticapaeum stater sold at auction for $6 million at Numismatica Ars Classica in Switzerland making it the most expensive ancient coin ever sold at auction. The soaring price has been attributed to the coin’s quality, rarity, and the fact the supply of similar specimens is extremely limited with most housed in museums. The coin is thought to reference king Satyros I, who ruled a Greco-Scythian empire in eastern Crimea from 432 to 389 B.C.E. Panticapaeum was an ancient Greek city on the eastern shore of Crimea, which the Greeks called Taurica. The city lay on the western side of the Cimmerian Bosporus, and was founded by Milesians in the late 7th or early 6th century BC, on a hill named Mount Mithridat. Its ruins now lie in the modern city of Kerch.
The coin was minted circa 340–25 B.C.E. and features a satyr on the obverse and a griffin gripping a spear in its beak on the reverse. The coin was part of the State Hermitage Museum’s collection, but was sold off in 1934 as part of Stalin’s push to sell works of art.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Titus Pullo dead

Ray Stevenson, who played the roguish Titus Pullo in 'Rome,' has died at the age of 58. Rome ran from 2005 to 2007.