Category Archives: WORLD

Iron Age Gold Coin Hoard Declared Treasure

Iron Age Gold Coin Hoard Declared Treasure

A collection of Iron Age gold coins has been declared treasure by Suffolk’s senior coroner, having been discovered almost a year ago.

The gold Stater coins found near Blythburgh, east Suffolk last February. Image courtesy of Suffolk County Council.

19 coins were found near Blythburgh, east Suffolk last February by a metal detectorist.

The anonymous finder reported the discovery to Suffolk County Council, and through them, the coins have been the subject of extensive cleaning and analysis for the past year, ready for sale to museums keen to display the collection to the public.

The gold hoard has been described as “really unusual” given the area it was found, with experts usually finding these types of coins just north of the River Thames – some 90 miles away from Blythburgh. The hoard even includes one previously-undiscovered style of coin.

The Iron Age was a rough period of time at its longest, ranging from 1200BC to 15BC, though this timeframe varies per country in Europe.

The prevalence of iron spread across the world from Asia and the Middle-East to Europe around this time and led to the development of improved tools, weapons, and armour.

Speaking to the BBC about the find, archaeologist Dr. Anna Booth described the significant find as an example of “cross-cultural interaction” between nearby counties.

Tribes took the place of counties in the Iron Age period, and the ‘minting’ (hammering) of the coins is thought to have occurred between 45-25BC, though Dr. Booth estimates that the coins were later buried – perhaps around 20AD.

The gold Stater coins and two of the smaller quarter Staters. Image courtesy of Suffolk County Council.

Many of the coins – determined as gold Staters and quarter Staters – depict Addedomaros, King of Trinovantes.

Bearing that in mind, it would be logical to assume that the trading was between the Trinovantes, who occupied Suffolk and Essex, and the Catuvellauni – located in the place of modern-day Hertfordshire and London. This would connect it to the Thames region.

However, territories varied and it could well have been that the Trinovantes occupied territory north of the River Thames, but may well have lost Blythburgh, which lies near the border with the Iceni tribe of Celts who occupy what would be Norfolk and parts of the Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire Fens.

Museums across the UK have begun declaring their interest in taking the coins from Suffolk County Council, with Dr. Booth speaking of “a lot of interest” in the Blythburgh hoard.

Expert Invasion – How the Romans conquered Britain – Roman Rule

The Helmet That Shows Celtic Warriors Helped the Roman Army Conquer Briton

An important find was discovered at an old Iron Age shrine in England. It included coins and other items from both the Iron Age and the Roman era.

A 2,000-year-old unique Roman cavalry helmet was found among the finds. Having been re-examined some 10 years after is first discovered, some believe that the helmet throws an interesting new light on the nature of early relations between Britons and Rome and the development of Roman auxiliary forces.

The helmet was found as part of a treasure that was uncovered by a retired teacher, Ken Wallace, with a hand-held metal detector that he bought for approximately $300 (£260). 

It was found in Hallaton, Leicestershire, in the East Midlands. Mr. Wallace knew he had found something big and he immediately reported his find to the relevant local authorities. Later he was paid $200,000 (£150,000) and the owner of the land where the find was made received a similar amount.

Experts began an extensive dig of the site in 2010 and according to the Daily Telegraph they uncovered “5,000 coins and the remains of a feast of suckling pigs.” There was also found some ingots and fragments of metal that came from a Roman cavalryman’s helmet. The find of the headgear was hailed as very important and it came to be known as the ‘Hallaton helmet’ after the area where it was unearthed.

Hallaton hoard parade helmet

According to the Daily Telegraph, the cavalry helmet was “restored from 1,000 fragments by experts at the British Museum.” It was made of sheet iron and was once ornately decorated with gold leaf designs and had cheek pieces and was most likely worn by a cavalryman. 

The reconstruction of the Roman helmet allowed specialists to study it and they were able to find designs with images of battles, victories and a female figure escorted by lions, probably a goddess. There is also the figure of a Roman Emperor on a horse who is apparently, accompanied by Victoria, the goddess of Victory, on one of the cheekpieces.

Parts of the decorated cheek pieces of the helmet. Remains of 7 cheekpieces in all were found, meaning there were pieces of several helmets left at the shrine.

The helmet pieces were dated to the Roman invasion of Britain (43 BC), which was ordered by Emperor Claudius (10 BC-54 AD) of the Claudian-Flavian Dynasty.

It was something of a mystery as to why the helmet was offered at the shrine and also its origin, as at the time it would have been controlled by local Celtic tribes. There were several theories proposed for the presence of what would have been a highly prized object at the shrine including it was a diplomatic gift or booty from a raid.

Roman Cavalry Reenactment – Roman Festival at Augusta Raurica.

However, the theory was put forward and it was one that had dramatic implications for our understanding of the Roman conquest of Britain. It has been proposed that the helmet did not belong to a Roman but to a Briton and that he deposited it at the shrine. The BBC reported that “its date, close to the Roman invasion of 43 AD, meant it could be evidence of Celtic tribes serving with the Roman army.” 

This theory is very plausible because there are an extensive documentary and archaeological evidence that non-Romans served in the Emperor’s armies as auxiliaries.

These were recruited from tribes inside and outside the Empire and they provided extra manpower to the legions – for example, many Germans fought with Julius Caesar during the conquest of Gaul. 

The reconstructed helmet possibly indicates that Celtic Britons served as auxiliaries during the reign of Claudius.  It is well-known that they served as auxiliaries, but it was not thought that they fought with the Romans at such an early date. Moreover, such an elaborate helmet may show that Britons may even have risen to a high rank in the Roman army.

The discovery led some to conclude that some Celtic tribesmen actually served with the invaders during the conquest of modern-day England.

The helmet provides strong evidence that was even Celts from Briton who served in the Roman army before the conquest, having dramatic implications for our understanding of Ancient Britain and the evolution of the Roman army.

Ancient Assyrian rock carvings in Iraq show a procession of gods riding mythical animals

Ancient Assyrian rock carvings in Iraq show a procession of gods riding mythical animals

Ancient Assyrian reliefs of a king in a procession of gods and goddesses riding on animals and mythical creatures have been uncovered by archaeologists.

The Assyrian carvings are nearly 3,000 years old and were discovered late last year by Italian and Iraqi archaeologists excavating in the district of Faida, south of Duhok city, about 300 miles (480 kilometers) north of Baghdad, in the region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.

Dr. Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, from the Italian University of Udine and with the help of archaeologists from the Department of Antiquities, is responsible for the land of Nineveh Archeological Project.

According to the university’s excavation chief at Faida, with the exception of the carvings at the archaeological site of Khinnis discovered near the city of Mosul in 1845, there exists “no other” comparable Assyrian rock art.

Dating back about 2,800 years ago, the story of Assyrian King Sargon II on both sides of a procession of the seven major Assyrian gods and goddesses was cut off from the rocks in relief over an ancient irrigation canal in a time of expanding in the Assyrian Empire.

The excavation site where the Assyrian relief carvings were found, cut into the bedrock above an ancient irrigation canal in the Faida district of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

All gods and goddesses are riding animals and mythical creatures, including horses, bulls, lions, and dragons, each facing the direction that the water once flowed under them into the ancient canal.

The unearthed Assyrian relief carvings showing a procession of the seven main Assyrian gods and goddesses, standing or seated on mythical animals, and the Assyrian king Sargon II.

According to an article in Live Science, Dr. Morandi Bonacossi said the carving feature: the sun god Shamash on a horse and the moon god Sin is on the back of a horned lion. Furthermore, the god of wisdom is mounted on a dragon, while the weather god is on a horned lion and a bull.

Ishtar, the goddess of love and war sits on a lion and Ashur, the chief Assyrian god, is perched upon a dragon and a horned lion, while his wife Mullissu sits on a decorated throne supported by a lion.

The famous Assyrian king Sargon ruled from 722 BC until 705 BC and according to the Hebrew Bible, he invaded and defeated the  Kingdom of Israel. It was under his rule that the canal had been built for local irrigation.

His son and successor, Sennacherib, ruled until 681 BC and rebuilt the ancient city of Nineveh alongside the Tigris River, on the outskirts of modern Mosul. He integrated his father’s canal into a much more expansive irrigation network that transformed the Assyrian Empire into an agricultural giant.

Close up of the Assyrian relief carvings showing some of the gods and goddesses standing or seated on a mythical creature.

In a National Geographic article about the new discovery, Hassan Ahmed Qasim Duhok from the Directorate of Antiquities said the carvings were first seen in 1973 by a British team who noted the tops of three stone panels but tensions between Kurds and the Baathist regime in Baghdad prevented further work.

Then, in 2012, Dr. Morandi Bonacossi identified six more reliefs but all archaeological work was abandoned in 2014 when ISIS captured nearby Mosul. However, a full scientific excavation resumed in 2017 after the terrorist organization was finally driven out of the region.

You would think such an incredible discovery would more than satisfy archaeologists, but it only seems to have peeked their exploratory natures, as they now suspect more might lie beneath. Dr. Morandi Bonacossi told Live Science that the 4-mile-long (6.5 km) canal, which once carried water to farmland in the Faida district during the eighth century BC, had been filled in a long time ago.

However, the archaeologist says it’s “highly probable” that more reliefs and maybe monumental celebratory cuneiform inscriptions are still buried under the soil debris that filled the canal, waiting to be uncovered.

The Faida archaeological site has traditionally been the focus of vandalism and looting caused by rapid and urban expansion, including the construction of a modern aqueduct nearby, which now threatens the site, according to Dr. Morandi Bonacoss.

However, Faida is currently undergoing a major salvage and restoration project, and a new archaeological park is being created nearby, which will help protect the site from further incursions. 

Egypt breakthrough: ‘Lost fourth Pyramid of Giza FOUND’ after the remarkable discovery

Egypt breakthrough: ‘Lost fourth Pyramid of Giza FOUND’ after the remarkable discovery

The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Khafre pyramid and the Menkaure pyramid build on the outskirts of Cairo, all of which are constructed during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.

But the fourth pyramid once stood on the west of the Menkaure Pyramid, which was later destroyed to build the Cairo city according to Frederik Ludvig Nord’s account, in 1737.

Nearly 300 years later Sibson revisited the definition to see if there could be hard evidence to share the findings of his “Ancient Architects” YouTube channel.

He said: “Using Norden’s own words, looking at the topography of the land and also drawing on my research from the past couple of years, I believe I have found the location for where the lost, fourth pyramid of Giza once stood.

“Looking at satellite photos of Giza, we are looking for an area slightly west of the main rough diagonal axis, an area beyond the Pyramid of Menkaure.

“I used to think the pyramid may well have sat in the rectangular enclosure to the west of the Menkaure pyramid, but this doesn’t really work as it doesn’t match Norden’s words.

“Looking at his map, we can instantly see that it isn’t to scale or accurate when comparing it to a satellite photo, but it does give us a rough estimate of how the pyramids were laid out and the fourth pyramid certainly isn’t due west of the Menkaure pyramid.

“This sketch by Norden, looking towards the southwest also shows that the fourth pyramid is on the diagonal and again is not due west of the Menkaure pyramid.

“So the obvious place for the pyramid to be is in the space outside the Menkaure enclosure and the rectangular enclosure as well.” But Sibson then made a breakthrough in his research, matching the location with what he believes to be an ancient causeway.

He added: “This would put the missing pyramid slightly due west of the rough axis of the three main pyramids on what looks to be some flat prepared ground.

“You may say that this is just guesswork, but then I remembered the Wall of the Crow, a 650-feet-long and 32-foot-high wall located to the south of the Sphinx. “It displays truly incredible stonework, with enormous blocks of stone used in its construction.

“Experts date it to the Fourth Dynasty, but I and many others suspect it actually predates the pyramids, making it one of the oldest pieces of architecture in the Giza Plateau.

“Nobody knows why it was built, but I suspect it was an old causeway, leading from where the River Nile used to be, up to the Giza Plateau, just like the three other pyramids.

“The Wall of the Crow, if extended, leads to nothing of note, but that would only be true if you are unaware of Norden’s description of a lost fourth pyramid.” Each of the three pyramids of Giza has a long causeway leading to where the River Nile once extended. Sibson’s description appears to reveal a fourth, leading to the suspected location of another pyramid.

He added: “What I’ve discovered is the Wall of the Crow would lead directly to this small patch of land that I’ve already identified as the best possible location for the fourth pyramid based on the topography and Norden’s description.

“Interestingly, it also perfectly aligns with Khufu and Khafre’s pyramids.

“I think it is certainly possible, but what happened to it? Well, some authors have suggested that it was dismantled in the 1700s, and the stone used for building the nearby city of Cairo.

“According to research, there is evidence of a pyramid being dismantled in 1759 and took 10 months.

“This pyramid would have been quite different from the others, around 100 feet smaller than the others and apparently had a cube on top, which I would guess was for a statue.” Most experts tend to dismiss the notion of a fourth pyramid, suggesting Nordon mistook one of the so-called “satellite” pyramids of Menakure as a fourth Pyramid. But, this contradicts his account, which describes the pyramid as entirely different from the others.

In his book “Voyage d’Egypte et de Nubie” (Travels in Egypt and Nubia), Norden describes the mysterious pyramid as being made of “stone more black than the common granite.” Interestingly, the description and illustrations of Norden are of superb quality, and they position the fourth, black pyramid at some distance from the three Pyramids of Giza. He also accounts for seven, possibly eight, smaller pyramids in the Giza Plateau.

Sibson revisited the description to see if he could find any hard evidence, posting the results his YouTube channel “Ancient Architects”,

Paleolithic Art – c. 14000-year-old Bull and Cow Bison found in the Le Tuc d’Audoubert cave, Ariege, France

Museum of Artifacts: 14000 Years Old Bisons Sculpture Found in Le d’Audoubert Cave, Ariege, France

The bison stood next to each other, built from the cave walls, leaning against a small boulder in the darkness.

While they are 18 feet twenty-four inches long, they are beautifully constructed and durability is remarkable.

The bison remained alone for thousands of years in the dark French cave until it was discovered in the early 20th century.

The cave of Tuc Audoubert was discovered by the three sons of Count Henri three Bégouën on 20 July and 10 October 1912.

The artist’s hand signs are still clearly visible and the techniques used to render the face and mane details Objects like these clearly demonstrate that man used clay for artistic expression long before the actual firing of clay was discovered.

The walls of these caves also are covered with drawings of bison and other game animals, marked in carbon from the fires, as well as the earth minerals such as iron oxide and manganese, showing that these ceramic coloring materials that we still use today were known to our earliest ancestors.

The bisons’ shaggy mane and beard appear to be carved with a tool, but the jaws are traced by the sculptor’s fingernail.

The impression given is one of immense naturalistic beauty. The female bison is ready to mate, while the Bull is sniffing the air.

Both animals are supported by a central rock and are unbelievably well preserved (proving perhaps that there was never a passage connecting the Tuc d’Audoubert cave with the Trois Freres), although they have suffered some drying out, which has caused some cracks to appear across their bodies.

Also in the chamber are two other bison figures, both engraved on the ground.

Prehistorians have theorized that a small group of people (including a child) remained in the Tuc d’Audoubert cave with the sole reason of participating in certain ceremonies associated with cave art.

The remote location of the clay bison – beneath a low ceiling at the very end of the upper gallery, roughly 650 meters from the entrance, is consistent with their involvement in some type of ritualistic or shamanistic process.

Construction Workers Stumble Across Old Pots With 1,300 Pounds Of Ancient Roman Coins Inside

Construction Workers Stumble Across Old Pots With 1,300 Pounds Of Ancient Roman Coins Inside

Building companies discovered a hoard of bronze Roman coins concealed in jugs in Tomares, Spain during this week.

19 pottery jugs were discovered in the Zaudin Park when the workers digged ditches. The urns were packed with coins showing an emperor on one side and various depictions of Roman stories on the back reported the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

According to the Archeological Museum of Seville, where the treasure was carried, the coins weigh more than 1,300 pounds date back to the third or fourth centuries.

The workers were digging a ditch to run electricity to a park when they came across these old-looking pots. These pots are actually called amphoras, and they were made during the time when Rome ruled much of Europe.
There actually turned out to be 19 of these amphoras in the area. All of them were full the brim with bronze Roman Empire coins.
The weight of the coins totaled about 1,300 pounds! There was quite a bit of these thing.

Ana Navarro Ortega, who heads the museum, said that 10 of the jugs broke during the dig.

“I can assure you that the jugs cannot be lifted by one person because of their weight and the quantity of the coins inside,” she said. “So now what we have to do is begin to understand the historical and archaeological context of this discovery.”

Why so many coins would be hidden in jugs raises interesting questions for archaeologists and historians.

Investigators floated the hypothesis that the money was set aside to pay imperial taxes or army levies, reported El Pais. The jugs appeared deliberately concealed underground, covered by a few bricks and ceramic fillers, according to the Andalusian department of culture.

Richard Weigel, a professor of ancient Greece and Rome at Western Kentucky University, told the PBS NewsHour that the coins likely were buried during an era of “great discord in the Roman empire.”

The central authority in Rome broke down in the middle of the third century, he said. Germanic tribes invaded the country from time to time, in addition to other challenges to the various emperors.

Once the coins are thoroughly examined by researchers, they will be placed into the Seville Archeological Museum for everyone to enjoy.
It’s amazing that these amphoras and coins survived hundreds of years buried underground.

The part of southern Spain where the coins were discovered would have been considered a distant land to emperors before it became a normal part of the Roman Empire, said, Weigel.

“The suggestion that they were collected to pay taxes to the Roman Empire is, of course, possible,” he said. “But I suspect that they could have been stored to pay one of the Roman legions in the area and to hide the money from invaders in the region.”

Once the emperors on the coins are identified, he continued, it should be easier to date the coins and put them in the context of military activities and invasions.

Greek Farmer Finds Ancient Cemetery Full of Naked Statues

Greek Farmer Finds Ancient Cemetery Full of Naked Statues

A farmer in Atalanti, Central Greece, wanted to plant olive trees but found an ancient statue of a Kouros instead.

While the farmer was preparing the soil in his plot, his tools hit something that looked like a statue.

He informed authorities that started a broader excavation and the result was: four Kouros statues and a part of an Ancient Greek cemetery that suggests it belonged to the ancient city of Opus.

A Kouros is a name given to free-standing ancient Greek sculptures that first appear in the Archaic period in Greece and represent nude male youths. In Ancient Greek kouros means “youth, boy, especially of noble rank”.

Although Kouroi have been found in many ancient Greek territories, they were especially prominent in Attica and Boiotia.

The discovery of the first Kouros statue took place in the middle of October, the Greek Culture Ministry said in a statement, adding that the excavation the followed discovered more amazing findings.

Archaeologists unearthed four limestone statues of natural size and a part of a base for a statue.

After the first statue was discovered, the head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Fthiotida and Evritania instructed archaeologist Maria Papageorgiou to conduct field trials.

Two more statues were unearthed.

The archaic statues were not intact and the parts that were found had a height of 0.86m to 1.22m.

The excavation was conducted in a small part of the field only. In earth layers deeper than where the sculptures were found, an organized cemetery with so far seven graves has been discovered.

The graves seemed to have been used from the 5th century BC until the 2nd century BC. The existence of the ancient cemetery in proximity to the modern city of Atalanti suggests that part of the organized cemetery of the ancient Opus has been probably identified.

Opus is the ancient name of Atalanti, believed to be one of the most ancient towns in Greece.

Pindar’s ninth Olympian ode concerns Opus. It was said to have been founded by Opus, a son of Locrus and Protogeneia; and in its neighborhood Deucalion and Pyrrha were reported to have resided.

It was the native city of Patroclus and it is mentioned in the Homeric Catalogue of Ships as one of the Locrian towns whose troops were led by Ajax the Lesser, son of Oileus the king of Locris, in the Iliad.

Archaeologist Busted for Faking Artifacts Showing Jesus Crucifixion

Archaeologist Busted for Faking Artifacts Showing Jesus Crucifixion

An archaeologist accused of forging a trove of Roman artifacts that allegedly show a third-century depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion, Egyptian hieroglyphics and the early use of the Basque language. 

The Telegraph also announced that archeologist Eliseo Gil and his two former fellow members were present in a criminal court this week in the Spanish Basque Country’s capital Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Their allegation is that they have created forgeries of ancient graffiti on hundreds of pieces of pottery, glass, and brick that they claim was found in the Roman ruins at Iruña-Veleia, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) west of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Gil claimed the graffiti on the artifacts showed very early links between the Roman settlement in Spain and the Basque language; he also claimed that a drawing of three crosses scratched on a piece of ancient pottery was the earliest known portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 

But other archaeologists have disputed the finds. Among other major discrepancies, they pointed out that some of the languages of the graffiti show that it was made in modern times. 

Gil and his former colleagues, geologist Óscar Escribano and materials analyst Rubén Cerdán, say they are not guilty of any deception.

Gil and Escribano are facing five and a half years in prison if they are found guilty of fraud and damaging heritage items, while Cerdán faces two and a half years in prison if he is found guilty of making fraudulent documents vouching for the authenticity of the artifacts.

The artifacts were inscribed with phrases in Latin from the wrong period, Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and a modern form of the Basque language.

Gil became a celebrity in Spain’s Basque Country in 2006 when he claimed that hundreds of broken ceramic pieces known as “ostraca” — covered with drawings; phrases in Latin, Greek and Basque; and Egyptian hieroglyphics — had been unearthed at the Iruña-Veleia site.

But some other archaeologists became suspicious, and they alerted officials in the Álava provincial government, which owns the Iruña-Veleia site.

The other archaeologists alleged that writing on the artifacts, supposedly from the second to the fifth centuries, contained words and spellings from hundreds of years later, modern commas and the mixed-use of uppercase and lowercase letters, a practice which dates from after the eighth century.

The graffiti on some of the artifacts also contained hieroglyphics spelling out the name of the ancient Egyptian queen Nefertiti, who was probably unknown until her rediscovery in the early 20th century, and a Latin motto created around 1913 for an international court at The Hague in the Netherlands.

Experts also considered that the Christian iconography of the crucifixion portrayed on the most famous artifact dated from hundreds of years later than claimed. 

A scientific commission convened by the provincial government in 2008 ruled that 476 of the artifacts were manipulated or outright fakes and that Gil and his colleagues had perpetrated an elaborate fraud, according to its report. In response, the provincial government stopped Gil and his company from working at Iruña-Veleia and pressed charges, which have now come to court.

Gil maintains that he is innocent and that there is no scientific evidence that the artifacts are fake. At a news conference in 2015, Gil said the accusations, as well as his ostracism from the archaeological world, we’re like “going through torture.”

As well as ancient languages from the wrong time periods, some artifacts are inscribed with modern punctuation marks and a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters not used until more than 1,000 years later.

The prosecutor’s office of the provincial government is seeking more than 285,000 euros ($313,000) for damage to authentic artifacts from Iruña-Veleia allegedly inscribed with fake graffiti.

They’ve also asked the court to jail Gil and his associates, fine them and disqualify them from working on archaeological sites.  Many archaeologists are convinced that the artifacts are fake, but they don’t know if Gil and his associates are responsible for the inauthenticity of the artifacts. 

“I have no doubts about their falsity,” said archaeologist Ignacio Rodríguez Temiño, told BBC in an email. “There is no dispute on the Iruña-Veleia case in the academic world.”

Rodríguez Temiño works in Seville for the provincial government of Andalucía. He is the author of a paper published in the archaeological journal Zephyrus in 2017 that detailed evidence that the artifacts from Iruña-Veleia are fakes and possible reasons for the deception. He noted that Basque public companies and government bodies awarded Gil and his associates sponsorships worth millions of dollars for their work at Iruña-Veleia.

The fake artifacts were an attempt to promote certain ideas about Basque nationalism, including the early use of the Basque language and the early Christianization of what is now the Basque Country, he said. 

Both are “stories that a certain segment of Basque society longs to hear,” he said.