Category Archives: EUROPE

Metal detectorist unearths stunning £15,000 gold hat pin from 1485 which may have belonged to King Edward IV

Metal detectorist unearths stunning £15,000 gold hat pin from 1485 which may have belonged to King Edward IV

In a region in Lincolnshire, England, a metal detector discovered a silver hat pin from the 15th century.

It is thought that the jewel belonged to Edward IV, a prince who was known in the Wars of the Roses for both his good looks and his spectacular achievements.

The ring is estimated as being worth as much as $18,000. Lisa Grace, 42, an amateur detectorist, discovered the medieval jewel, which is in pristine condition.

“It is believed the pin is linked to royalty as Edward IV and his circle wore strikingly similar pieces during his two reigns as King from 1460 until his end in 1483,” wrote the Daily Mail.

“The jewel is designed as a sun in splendor — the personal emblem of Edward IV.”

The piece may have been lost in battle.

A metal detectorist has unearthed a gold hatpin that may have links to King Edward IV and is worth £15,000. Lisa Grace spotted the Medieval jewel while searching a recently-ploughed field in Lincolnshire

Other clues to its royal ownership: At the center of the piece is a purple amethyst stone, another of Edward IV’s favorites. The pin closely resembles a jewel depicted on Edward IV’s hat in a portrait preserved in The Museum Calvet in Avignon, France.

Grace said she was stunned at her discovery, just a few inches below the surface. “When I found it, the jewel wasn’t far under the ground at all as the field had recently been ploughed,” she said to the media.

Specialists say they have been experiencing “early interest from both collectors and museums and are expecting offers between £10,000 and £15,000.”

Edward IV of England meets with Louis XI of France at Picquigny to affirm the Treaty of Picquigny

An official from Duke’s Auctioneers said: “The jewel does bear a striking resemblance to the one in a well-known portrait of Edward IV from the Musee Calvet.” But he also said that it could have belonged to a courtier.

“The fact is we shall never know, but it clearly belonged to someone of high status in the upper echelons of medieval society.” Edward IV was not born the son of a king but was the oldest son of Richard, Duke of York, descended from Edward III.

Richard and his supporters came into conflict with Henry VI, the Lancaster ruler who was widely derided for his weak character and suffered from at least one complete mental breakdown.

King Edward IV

Richard of York served as regent during Henry VI’s incapacity. He died when Edward was in his teens and Edward became the claimant of the throne as the Yorks attempted to assume leadership of England through defeating the Lancasters in battle. Edward IV was made a king of England on March 4, 1461.

Weeks after declaring himself king, he challenged the Lancasters in the Battle of Towton. It was one of the bloodiest battles in English history, with nearly 30,000 dead, and Edward won, even though the Lancaster army had more men. In battles, Edward IV was an inspiring and able general.

Battle of Towton

Edward was over six feet tall and considered very handsome. The Croyland Chronicler described Edward as “a person of most elegant appearance and remarkable beyond all others for the attractions of his person.” He was interested in creating a fashionable and glamorous court.

His chief supporters wanted him to make a dynastic marriage but he fell in love with a beautiful widow, Elizabeth Woodville, and made her queen. She was highly unpopular, and Edward lost his throne to a resurgent Lancaster force for a time. After more battles, he was made king again in 1471.

Edward IV, line engraving by Simon François Ravenet. National Portrait Gallery, London

After this comeback, Edward IV ruled until his sudden demise from illness in 1483. He had become overweight and devoted to his mistresses.

When he passed, his oldest son was only 12, and Richard III, Edward’s younger brother, usurped the throne. Edward’s two sons were both imprisoned in the Tower of London and disappeared from public view.

Edward IV’s oldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, married Henry VII, the Lancaster claimant who vanquished Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth. Their son, Henry VIII, resembled his grandfather, Edward IV, in his height and some say his character. The present queen, Elizabeth II, is directly descended from Edward IV.

3,300-Year-Old Chamber Tombs Filled With Bones Discovered in Greece

3,300-Year-Old Chamber Tombs Filled With Bones Discovered in Greece

In an interesting burial ground in Greece in the Mycenaean era, two big chamber tombs dating back to around 1300 BC were discovered.

Previously discovered tombs in the area were extensively looted, but these two are completely intact, offering exciting new insights into the culture and period.

In the course of a study supported by the Corinthian Ephorate of Antiquities, the Greek Minister for Culture announced that it had been found under the guidance of Konstantinos Kissa, Assistant Professor of Archeology in Graz Universities in Austria and Trier in Germany.

The tombs are located in the south of Greece, at Aidonia, not far from the modern town of Nemea, in the hilly terrain of the Peloponnese. 

They are also near the historic Nemea site, which is rich in archaeological ruins, including a famous temple of Zeus. Aidonia is also known for its cluster of ancient tombs, but most of them had been raided in the 1970s.

One of the newly discovered tombs with an intact roof and sealed orifice.

Mycenaean Cemetery

According to Kathimerini, the tombs are at the eastern section of the Mycenaean cemetery.

The Mycenaeans were a Late Bronze Age civilization that was very influential on the culture of Classical Greece. This culture was famed for its palaces and its aristocratic warrior-culture. This period is often associated with the Homeric epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

The tombs are believed to date ‘’from 1400 to 1200 BC’’, from the Late Mycenaean period according to Greece News. The first tomb found was roofed and contained two burials where the bones of 14 people were unearthed.

These are secondary burials as the ‘’remains had been transferred from other tombs’’ reports Global News.  The second tomb’s roof had collapsed but three burials were found at the site.

A burial found in a chamber at Aidonia. 

3000-Year-Old Grave Goods

Both the chamber tombs had burial goods that are over 3000 years old. Archaeologists found a number of clay utensils, some figurines and smaller objects, including buttons.

In the tomb whose roof had not collapsed, archaeologists found some ‘’pots, false amphoras and narrow-leaved basins’’ reports Kathimerini. gr . These were probably offerings to the dead, a common practice at the time.

The two recently discovered tombs are from the high-point of the Bronze-Age culture when the Mycenaeans were building monumental palaces such as those found at Mycenae.

According to the Pressroom, the finds made in the two tombs are being compared with those found at burial sites of the early Mycenaean period (ca. 1,600 – 1,400 BC), which were excavated in previous years at Adidonia.

The cemetery contains a number of tombs that date from 1700-1100 BC and is not far from a major Mycenaean settlement.

The tombs also contained clay pots and basins.

Grave Robbers

What makes the discovery of the two tombs so remarkable is that they are intact, unlike the other burials in the cemetery. The other Mycenaean tombs had “been extensively looted, probably in 1976-77’’ according to Global News.

These robberies led to a number of digs that were carried out by the Greek Archaeological Service. Archaeologists led by Kalliopi Crystal-Votsi and Constantina Kaza made a number of important discoveries in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In total, some 20 chamber tombs were unearthed. Despite being previously looted, the burials still yielded a ‘’a stunning array of jewelry’’ according to the Pressroom.

Among the other items found were weapons, storage vessels, and even tableware. 

Some of the golden objects that had been previously looted from these tombs were recovered by the Greek government. They came to light after an attempt to auction them in New York in the 1990s.

Newly-discovered chamber tomb with fallen roof and two pits.

The newly discovered tombs can help us to understand the development of the site and the region in the Mycenaean period. The nature of the tombs can be contrasted with earlier examples. More importantly, the burial goods and their design can tell us much about the material culture of civilization.

There are plans to excavate the site further as more burials may come to light. 

A study of the unearthed skeletons revealed that the deceased lived nearly 1,500 years ago and were all boys belonging to different cultural groups.

Ancient Alien-Like Heads Discovered in Croatia

Three Ancient Skeletons have been discovered by the archeologists in Croatia, and two of them had pointy, artificially deformed skulls.

Each of those skulls had been melded into a different shape, possibly as a way to show they belonged to a specific cultural group.

Artificial cranial deformation has been practiced in various parts of the world, from Eurasia and Africa to South America.

It is the practice of shaping a person’s skull — such as through using tight headdresses, bandages or rigid tools — while the skull bones are still malleable in infancy.

Ancient cultures had different reasons for the practice, from indicating social status to creating what they thought was a more beautiful skull.

The earliest known instance of this practice occurred 12,000 years ago in ancient China, but it’s unclear if the practice spread from there or if it emerged independently in different parts of the world.

In this case, archeologists found these three skeletons in a burial pit in Croatia’s Hermanov vinograd archeological site in 2013.

Between 2014 and 2017, they analyzed the skeletons using various methods, including DNA analysis and radiographic imaging— a method that involves using radiation to view the inside of an object such as a skull. 

Their analysis revealed that the skeletons were all males who had died between ages 12 and 16. They all showed evidence of malnutrition, but that’s not necessarily how they died.  

They could have had “some kind of disease that killed them quickly and didn’t leave any traces on their bones,” such as plague, said senior author Mario Novak, a bioarchaeologist at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Zagreb, Croatia. 

The archaeologists didn’t find artifacts in the burial that could have revealed the boys’ social status, Novak said. 

The burial pit where the individuals were found — Hermanov vinograd site.

The analysis also revealed that the three had lived between A.D. 415 and 560, a time that corresponds to the Great Migration Period, which is “a very turbulent period in Europe’s history.

Right after the fall of the Roman Empire, completely new populations of people and cultures began to arrive in Europe and become the basis for modern European nations. “In other words, this period set the foundations of Europe as we know it today,” Novak said.

Indeed, DNA analysis of the ancient trio revealed that one of them had a West Eurasian ancestry, another a near-Eastern ancestry and the third an East Asian ancestry.

The boy who was of near-Eastern ancestry had a circular-erect type cranial deformation, which means that the frontal bone behind the forehead was flattened and the height of the skull was “significantly increased,” Novak said.

The boy who likely came from West Eurasia didn’t have any skull deformation, and the boy with East Asian ancestry had a skull with an “oblique” deformation, which means the skull was elongated diagonally upward.

“We propose that different skull deformation types in Europe were used as a visual indicator of association with a certain cultural group,” Novak said. As of yet, it’s unclear what cultural groups they belonged to, though the East Asian boy could have been a Hun.

Now, Novak and his team hope to find more samples of cranial deformation from Europe to understand this phenomenon on a larger scale.

A Search for a Lost Hammer Led to the Largest Cache of Roman Treasure Ever Found in Britain

A Farmer’s Misplaced Hammer Led to the Largest Roman Treasure in Britain

When Eric Lawes set off for a field in Hoxne village, Suffolk on November 16, 1992, it wasn’t on a treasure hunt.

The metal detector he’d received as a retirement gift was meant to find a hammer lost on the farmland.

But the detector picked up a strong signal in the earth, leading Lawes to start digging, and it quickly became apparent that he had indeed found treasure.

Hoxne Village. 

The Guardian reports that, when Lawes saw that his preliminary digging had yielded a few gold coins and silver spoons, he immediately contacted both the local archaeological society and the police department.

Archaeologists came to the property the following day and had the area of earth holding the treasure carefully sectioned-off and removed. Their hope was that at a later stage, in their laboratory, they could examine the items in order to identify both their age and how they were stored.

Hoxne Hoard: Display case at the British Museum showing a reconstruction of the arrangement of the hoard treasure when excavated in 1992. 

When all was said and done, close to 60 pounds of items made from silver and gold were found on the site. These included more than 15,000 Roman coins, 200 gold objects, and several silver spoons.

For archaeologists, this find — which later became labeled as the Hoxne Hoard — was an incredible discovery. AP News reported that archaeologist Judith Plouviez was over-the-moon about the discovery, saying that it was “an incredibly exciting and amazing find.” What’s more, another archaeologist, Rachel Wilkinson, told Smithsonian Magazine that this discovery was “the largest and latest ever found in Britain.”

Ordinarily, archaeologists would use radiocarbon dating as a means of identifying the age of ancient relics. However, they couldn’t locate any suitable material from the haul. Consequently, they determined the age by examining the writing on the coins, as well as the ruler carved into them, estimating that the treasure was probably buried in either 408 or 409 AD.

The silver “Hoxne Tigress” – the broken-off handle from an unknown object – is the best known single piece out of some 15,000 in the hoard.

Roman-era archaeologist Peter Guest told Smithsonian Magazine that “if you look at them a little more carefully, then they should be dated to the period after the separation of Britain from the Roman Empire.”

He offers as part of his evidence the fact that almost all of the coins found in the Hoxne Hoard were clipped – in other words, small chunks of their edges had been taken off. These clippings would have been used to create coins which were similar to the Roman coins of that era.

A silver-gilt spoon with a marine beast from the Hoxne Hoard. Currently in the British Museum. 

A guest has a logical reason for this, arguing that “The Roman Empire wasn’t supplying Britain with new gold and silver coins, and in light of that, the population tried to get over this sudden cutoff in the supply of their precious metals by making the existing supplies go further.”

Reconstruction of the Hoxne treasure chest. 

Archaeologists also believe that the treasure belonged to a Romano-British family. During that time, considering that there was so much societal discord and upheaval, it was common for Romans who had settled in Britain to bury their most prized possessions.

Two gold bracelets from the Hoxne Hoard, in the British Museum.

That said, one archaeologist is of the belief that the hoard had a lot of sentimental value for the Romano-British family to whom it is believed to have belonged. In her book The Hoxne Late Roman Treasure: Gold Jewellery and Silver Plate, Catherine Johns claims that the manner in which the treasure was kept supported this claim.

Some of the items which were recovered had been packaged in small, wooden boxes which were lined with leather. What’s more, pieces of wood, locks, and nails, among other things, surrounded the gold and silver pieces. This leads Catherine to assert that the package was carefully buried and not simply chucked away in a rush.

Three silver-gilt Roman piperatoria or pepper pots from the Hoxne Hoard on display at the British Museum

Interestingly enough, the items unearthed might shed some light on the identity of the family who owned them. They cite a gold bracelet bearing the inscription “UTERE FELIX DOMINA IULIANE,” which roughly translates to “use this happily Lady Juliane”.


A second name “Aurelius Ursicinus” has also been discovered. This has consequently led some to believe that Juliane and Aurelius were the couples and the original owners of the treasure. That said, that has yet to be confirmed.

Two toiletry items, one in the shape of a crane-like bird; the other with an empty socket, probably for bristles for a makeup brush. 

All in all, the discovery was a real treasure for archaeologists, and by extension, for Lawes. According to Smithsonian Magazine, in recognition of his discovery and willingness to contact authorities, the British government rewarded him with over £1.7 million, an amount which he shared with the farmer whose land was dug out in order to get the treasure.

Funnily enough, apart from the treasure, Lawes also found his lost hammer — which now resides in the British Museum.

The Town that is Literally Living Under a Rock

The Town that is Literally Living Under a Rock

In the province of Cádiz in southern Spain, there is a tiny settlement where individuals seem to have discovered a way to live more efficiently and with nature.

Many of the homes are literally located under the rock, just like the saying and like cavemen, but not exactly.

Concealed from the scorching Spanish sun, Setenil de las Bodegas is a small pueblo Blanco (Andalusian white village) and is home today to almost 3,000 residents and a tourist attraction for thousands.

A Spanish town built into the cliffs. Setenil de las Bodegas, one of the well-known “white villages” in Spain.

At first glance, the place makes one wonder if the houses were formed beneath these rocks, or if it was vice versa.

The first homes were built into the cliff-face thousands of years ago, and over the years have been expanded between the boulders and beneath the rocky overhang that shelters these white houses from the heat of the Spanish summers.

Setenil de Las Bodegas has played an important role throughout Spanish history.

According to popular belief, the natural caves of Setenil were indeed inhabited from the dawn of time, or at least as far back as 20,000 B.C.

At least this is what nearby prehistoric cave settlements suggest. For instance, the Cueva de la Pileta that sits just outside the magnificent mountain top city of Ronda, in Malaga province, just 20 to 30 minutes drive from Setenil, have been found to show signs of humans from the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods. Drawings inside the caves here are believed to be more than 20,000 years old.

Most amazingly, one large overhang covers an entire block of white houses, providing shade and natural cooling during warm summers in southern Spain.

What this highly unusual village does offer are blinding white houses with rock instead of ceilings for a hundred homes and shops, and olive groves instead of roofs; it’s a unique experience to walk or drink a cup of coffee in the shade below a giant looming rock, as well as a chance to learn the peculiar history of how it got its name and why it was built as it is, here above the Rio Trejo and right in the middle of the well-trodden pathway through the White Villages of Andalucía.

What is known for sure is that it was continually inhabited from the 12th century, in the Arabic Almohad period?

There are also indications of pre-Roman inhabitants and noticeable traces of former Roman dwellers scattered here and there to back a claim that the town existed even earlier, 2,000 years ago when allegedly it was seized and held by the Romans during their invasion of the Iberian peninsula.

View of the town of Setenil de las Bodegas, in the province of Cádiz (Spain).

The same claim says that during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania and the Umayyad Caliphate expansion across Europe in 8th century A.D., Moors captured the whole peninsula.

This village then fell under their rule and it was theirs to keep for seven long centuries until the Christians recaptured it once again, expelled the Moors, and marked the fall of the Nasrid Dynasty (the last Arab Muslim dynasty in Iberia). Which proved to be a harder task than was first believed.

According to town history, Setenil de las Bodegas’s steep and rocky nature proved to be “solid as a rock” and of an advantage to the medieval Arabian inhabitants as they were trying to fend off the Christians’ attacks, which they did successfully six times and over 80 years, allegedly until 1484, when on the seventh, and after 15 days of constant siege, Christian forces finally managed to overrun the town’s castle. What’s left of Castillo de Setenil de las Bodegas speaks about this epic holdout, its rich history, and how this place got its name.

It comes from two Latin words, “septem nihil,” which means seven nothings, or seven times no. As for the second part of its name, “de las Bodegas,” it came from what followed after 1484 and these legendary skirmishes.

The Catholic settlers furnished Setenil as a modern town and brought olives, almonds, and vineyards along with recipes for dried meat specialties when they arrived.

They began to use the shade of the rocks and their natural air-conditioning capability to store their products, especially grapes, usually placed in large storerooms under the giant overhangs.

Which is most probably how the place earned its name de las Bodegas, “of the vineyards.” Unfortunately, the vineyards were all wiped out by phylloxera insect infestation during the mid-1800s, when almost all of the wine industry in Europe was destroyed by these pests.

The same thing still happens to this day. Pests can disturb the lives of so many people, as well as infesting any area that they are seemingly attracted to, such as dirty environments and gardens. Luckily, anyone who is affected by this problem can contact someone like these pest control experts to come and efficiently exterminate all of these pests without causing them harm – something that probably wouldn’t have existed back in the mid-1800s. So, whilst we have come a long way in this area, pests still exist and they always will do, something that the wine industry knew all too well back then.

With that being said, two of the vineyards are still flourishing after all this time on top of the hills of Setenil, and the well-preserved Moorish fortress looms on the top of the ravine in which the village was built.

There’s also a street where one humongous overhang covers a whole block of white-painted cafes and dozens of small restaurants and where a local owner can tell you all about this place while serving you a cup of wine and amazing chorizo, Setenil’s special.

The same thing still happens to this day. Pests can disturb the lives of so many people, as well as infesting any area that they are seemingly attracted to, such as dirty environments and gardens. Luckily, anyone who is affected by this problem can contact someone like these pest control experts to come and efficiently exterminate all of these pests without causing them harm – something that probably wouldn’t have existed back in the mid-1800s. So, whilst we have come a long way in this area, pests still exist and they always will do, something that the wine industry knew all too well back then.

With that being said, two of the vineyards are still flourishing after all this time on top of the hills of Setenil, and the well-preserved Moorish fortress looms on the top of the ravine in which the village was built.

There’s also a street where one humongous overhang covers a whole block of white-painted cafes and dozens of small restaurants and where a local owner can tell you all about this place while serving you a cup of wine and amazing chorizo, Setenil’s special.

2000-year-old preserved loaf of bread found in the ruins of Pompeii

2000-year-old preserved loaf of bread found in the ruins of Pompeii

This is the ultimate piece of toast: a loaf of bread made in the first century AD, which was discovered at Pompeii, preserved for centuries in the volcanic ashes of Mount Vesuvius.

The markings visible on the top are made from a Roman bread stamp, which bakeries were required to use in order to mark the source of the loaves, and to prevent fraud.

I can’t get over how well it maintained its shape and texture, through both the volcano eruption and the ravages of time. It’s a very unsettling tribute to the normalcy of day-to-day life leading up to the catastrophic event: a (sort of) edible memento mori.

The ruins of Pompeii were first “discovered” in the late 16th century, even though the existence of an ancient city, hidden for centuries somewhere below the ground, was well known.

With the help of modern archaeology, the remains of more than 1,500 people were recovered, and with them numerous mundane objects, encompassing the daily life of a Roman town — frozen in time.

Herculaneum was engulfed by a fast-moving wave of hot mud, whereas Pompeii was buried by a hailstorm of ash and lumps of rock.

Roman bakery oven – archaeological remains at Ruins of Pompeii. The city was an ancient Roman city destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius. Pompeii, Campania, Italy.

The volcanic material solidified into up to 50 feet of rock that preserved all kinds of objects such as furniture, family portraits, and mosaics. Because the rock kept out the air, organic materials including leather, wood, and foodstuffs were also saved from decay.

The most amazing human remains have been found at Pompeii. Unable to escape the destruction, it is thought that most of the residents were killed by the intense heat.

The petrified bodies decayed to leave hollow impressions in the rock. In around 1860, superintendent of the excavations, Giuseppe Fiorelli, poured wet plaster into the mysterious cavities his team was finding — revealing finely detailed molds of the ancient Pompeians.

Oven and stone hand mills (mola asinaria) for grinding grain, Pompeii, Campania, Italy.

One object among the thousands of interesting artifacts has received much attention from both the scientific community as well as the general public. Loaves of bread were found in an oven inside the ruins of a bakery, preserved in charcoal, covered in ancient ash, with their texture and shape looking like they just came out of the oven.

Each is marked with the baker’s stamp, which was used as a guarantee of quality and a mark of the bakery in which the loaf was made.

The baker’s oven with the bread was first discovered around 1880, and while the loaf has long since been part of museum exhibitions, the bakery remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Pompeii today.

A portrait depicting the baker, Terentius Neo, and his wife was also found. What makes the portrait even more interesting is the way the wife is depicted — holding a writing plate, indicating that she was literate and standing with her husband as an equal, both in marriage and in business.

The Roman kitchen of a Thermopolium in Via Consolare street at Ruins of Pompeii, Campania, Italy.

Food remains, among other things, were discovered in both cities, giving us a rare and exquisite insight into the diet of an average Roman citizen.

In 1930, archaeologists discovered another carbonized loaf of bread inside an oven in Herculaneum. The Roman bread exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples was later borrowed by the British Museum. For their 2013 live cinema event, “Pompeii Live from the British Museum,” London-based Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli was invited to recreate the 2000-year-old recipe.

Bases for a roman stone hand mills (mola asinarae) of a bakery at Ruins of Pompeii. The city was an ancient Roman city destroyed by the volcano Vesuvius. Pompei, Campania, Italy.

“In AD 79, a baker put his loaf of bread into the oven. Nearly 2,000 years later it was found during excavations in Herculaneum. The British Museum asked Giorgio Locatelli to recreate the recipe as part of his culinary investigations for Pompeii Live,” explains the British Museum.

Charred loaf, from Modestus’ bakery, Pompeii, Campania, Italy. Roman civilization, 1st century. Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale (Archaeological Museum) 

With recreating the ancient bread recipe, Locatelli and the British Museum offered a glimpse into something quite ordinary, yet it so fascinating to be able to understand how people ate their bread 2000 years ago.

The objects, the food, the furniture, and − above all − the plaster casts of the people, today serve as a tribute to a time long lost, when life was violently interrupted by the forces of nature and left to be rediscovered centuries later.

The oldest bottle of wine in the world remains unopened since the 4th Century

The oldest bottle of wine in the world remains unopened since the 4th Century

For a few years now, contemporary historians have been debating the future of the oldest bottle of wine in the world, known as the Speyer wine bottle, or “Römerwein.”

Historians have split opinions on whether the bottle should be opened or not. This extremely rare artifact is 1,650-years-old and it is placed in the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Germany.

The glass amphora has handled in the shape of dolphins and is sealed with wax.

The contents of the bottle are about one-third olive oil which in the past was used as a preservative that prevented the wine from oxidizing.

The Speyer bottle was found in the grave of a Roman nobleman in 1867, in the Rhineland-Palatine region of Germany and caused a real stir among historians and archaeologists at the time.

It’s been said that the noble owner, believed to be a high ranking Legionnaire, was buried with the bottle of wine, an ancient custom which represents the Romans’ beliefs in the after-life, that is, sending valuable objects with the body of the deceased so she or he can use them in the “hereafter.”

Reportedly, the tomb near the city of Speyer also contained the sarcophagi of his two spouses.

The Speyer wine bottle. 

The antique bottle, which represents thousands of years of human history and customs, was named after the city of Speyer.

In the glory days of Ancient Rome, wine and wine cults were diligently observed.

One of the inventions of Hero of Alexandria, an engineer who was centuries ahead of his time, was a delightful party centerpiece that seemingly turned one liquid into another.

Speyer, Germany

His trick jug incorporated two separate, sealed compartments and some clever pneumatics to make it seem that water added to the vessel was dispensed as wine. This is one of several similar devices that Hero describes in his Pneumatica.

During WWI, a chemist analyzed the Speyer bottle but never opened it so the wine was given to the Historical Museum of the Palatinate collection in Speyer. Over time, numerous scientists have hoped to obtain permission to analyze the bottle’s contents thoroughly, though nobody has been granted one yet.

Some scientists and microbiologists are adamant that the bottle shouldn’t be opened, among them Ludger Tekampe, the curator of the Folklore Wine Museum collection.

“We are not sure whether or not it could stand the shock to the air. It is still liquid and there are some who believe it should be subjected to new scientific analysis but we are not sure,” said Tekampe on the matter.

The world’s oldest known bottle of wine, 325 AD, Historical Museum of the Palatinate, Speyer, Germany. 

This rare artifact of the ancient world was created during the early days of the tradition of wine production and consumption, which was begun by the ancient Greeks.

The tradition was later embraced by the ancient Romans, who also took Dionysus, the Greek god of agriculture, wine, and fertility, and renamed him, Bacchus.

Contrary to the general notion and belief that the older the wine is, the better, the Speyer wine is presumed to be undrinkable.

According to the Daily Mail, Professor Monika Christmann said that although the Speyer wine might not be microbiologically spoiled, it “would not bring joy to the palate.”

Archaeologists Have Finally Found Greece’s Lost City Of Tenea

Archaeologists Have Finally Found Greece’s Lost City Of Tenea

The story goes, that Tenea was founded by the survivors of the Trojan War in the 12th or 13th century BC, Until now, its location (and very existence) was entirely reliant on the words of historical text.

But the Ministry of Culture of the country announced the discovery of jewelry, pottery and even infrastructures by a team of archeologists, seemingly confirming where it was on a site near the village of Chiliomodi in southern Greece.

It’s a city that the ancient Greeks thought was settled by Trojan captives of war after the sack of Troy in the 12th or 13th century BC and up to now showed up only in texts.

Tenea Project Photo by Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece

Also found were household pottery, a bone gaming die, and 200 coins dating from the 4th century BC and up to later in the Roman era.

Specifically, coins discovered were dated to the era of Roman emperor Septimius Severus, who ruled from 193 to 211.

Past digs have found clues near the city, but the most recent excavation uncovered the “city’s urban fabric,” including floors, walls and door openings, the culture ministry said, according to USA Today.

Satellite map

An unsettling discovery was a pottery jar containing the remains of two human fetuses, within the foundations of a building. Usually in Greek culture, the dead were buried in cemeteries.

Legend says the city thrived until the end of the Roman Empire, at which point it seems to have been damaged in a Gothic invasion. According to the Ministry, the city may have been left deserted in the 6th century CE during the Avar and Slavic raids.

Photo by Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece

Lead archaeologist Elena Korka told the Associated Press that the discoveries indicated the citizens of Tenea had been “remarkably affluent.”

The city would have been located on a trade route between the cities of Corinth and Argos in the northern Peloponnese.

“(The city) had distinctive pottery shapes with eastern influences, maintained contacts with both east and west… and had its own thinking, which, to the extent that it could, shaped its own policies,” she told the AP.

Pottery found on location.

Throughout history, not much was known about Tenea, apart from ancient references to the reputed link with Troy and to its citizens having formed the bulk of the Greek colonists who founded the city of Syracuse in Sicily.

Korka said more should emerge during the excavations, which will continue over the coming years.

″(The city) had distinctive pottery shapes with eastern influences, maintained contacts with both east and west … and had its own way of thinking, which, to the extent that it could, shaped its own policies,” she said.

According to Reuters, among the findings was a golden coin to pay for the journey to an afterlife and an iron ring with a seal that depicted the Greek god Serapis sitting on a throne, Cerberus, which is a three-headed mythical dog that guards the gates of Ades, beside him.

Trojan War

The Trojan War is believed to have taken place near the end of the Bronze Age, around 1200 B.C. It took place around the time that a civilization called Mycenaean was active in Greece. They built palaces and developed a system of writing.

The earliest accounts of this war come from Homer, who lived around the eighth century B.C., several centuries after the events that took place. They do not appear to have been written down until even later, likely during the sixth century B.C.

The site of Hisarlik, in northwest Turkey, has been identified as Troy. It was inhabited for almost 4,000 years starting around 3000 B.C. After one city was destroyed, a new city would be built on top.

“There is no one single Troy; there are at least 10, lying in layers on top of each other,” writes University of Amsterdam researcher Gert Jan van Wijngaarden in a chapter of the book Troy: City, Homer, and Turkey.