Relive the Past

The biggest gold treasure found in Israel


The biggest gold treasure of over 2,000 ever found in Israel .That was exposed by chance off the coast of the ancient port city of Caesarea, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The gold coins dating back more than 1,000 years were found 12 meters underwater by a group of scuba divers .They reported the discovery to their the diving club manager, who then called in Israel Antiquities Authority officials. Now they look forward to to find more coins in the area.

“The gold coins are in superb condition, and despite remaining at the bottom of the sea for over 1,000 years, they did not need any preservation lab treatment,” Robert Cole, a coins specialist at the Antiquities Authority said. Some of the coins were bent and had bite marks, representing a physical authenticity check, according to Cole.

Yaakov Sharvit, head of marine archaeology at the antiquities authority, says the coins, scattered by the Fatimid Caliphate who ruled over much of the Mediterranean coast of Africa and the Middle East between the 10th and 12th centuries, were aboard a ship that sank off the Caesarean shore.
Sharvit said he hopes archaeological digs in the area will shed further light on the finding, and provide answers to the many questions about the treasure.

At least 2,000 gold coins dating back over 1,000 years were found 12 meters underwater by a group of scuba divers earlier in February, who quickly reported the discovery to their the diving club manager, who then called in Israel Antiquities Authority officials.

Antiquities Authority divers, using metal detectors, went back to the site along with the original divers, and uncovered six kilograms worth of golden coins, which had been exposed due to winter storms, according to the authority’s statement.

They expect to find more coins in the area.

Caesarea was an main port city during the Fatimid Caliphate period, serving as a key spot for maritime trade.

The coins were minted in various locations in the Fatimid kingdom, this collection included two types: a Dinar and a quarter Dinar. The oldest coin exposed was minted in the Sicilian city of Palermo, dating back to the 9th century. The latest coin was minted in 1036, confirming the ship sunk sometime after that year, though an exact date could not yet be determined.

February 19th, 2015 at 6:48 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Egyptian Mummies discovered in sewage


Two ancient Egyptian mummies with their wooden sarcophagi have been found from sewage water near El Minya, Egypt.

Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities says these Greco-Roman period mummies had been buried in tombs in a small village in northeastern Egypt, 150 miles south of Cairo. The mummies, which were found wrapped in several layers of thick linen and still in their wooden sarcophagi.

Very few human leftovers were recovered from these wrappings. The wooden sarcophagi containing the mummies had suffered wide damage due the foul water.The artifacts dated back to the Greco-Roman era of Egyptian narration, from 332 B.C. to 395 A.D.

Looting and illegal excavation or historical sites is a problem about the world, and political turmoil doesn’t make the condition easier for officials. According to experts, looters will strip Egypt of most of its archaeological heritage within the next 25 years except something is done to stop it.

A satellite survey project, invented in part by the National Geographic Society, has examined more than 4,000 archaeological sites in Egypt using Google Earth satellite imagery, and already tens of thousands of looting pits have been found across the site. Egypt employs about 1,200 guards at archaeological sites, most make only about $40 a week, leaving them tempted by giving bribes. Others may be scared off by armed gangs.

Restoration and conservation of ancient artifacts is a time overriding and exacting practice, and the loss of the sarcophagi is a blow to conservationists and the wider community of civilization and heritage preservation. The condition of the El Minya mummies is poor, but Khalifa has announced the mummies and sarcophagi will be restored as much as probable and put on display at the Hermopolis Museum.

February 10th, 2015 at 9:17 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

55,000-Year-Old partial modern Skull exposed in Israel


A 55,000-year-old partial modern human skull has been exposed in Israel’s Manot Cave,the human skull which supports existing theories of modern human progression and migration. The skull is anatomically related to that of modern humans.

The findings could give the scientists applicable latest insights on when the modern humans first started interbreeding with the Neanderthals.

According to the scientists, the modern humans first appeared between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago in Africa.

The scientist says that the modern humans started to abscond Africa and explore other regions between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago.

Researchers say that this mass dispersion still remains a scientific mystery because there are very few human fossils as proof from those times.

Researcher have newly a discovered 55,000 year old skull in Israel, which they believe, dates back to the times when recent humans started to expand out of Africa and migrate towards what is now known as Europe.

The experts who analyzed the skull remains report that the anatomy of the fossils may suggest some clues on how the early Europeans looked like.

The skull fossil was unearthed by accident in 2008, when a bulldozer was digging as part of a building project and came across a cave.

The skull was exposed in a cave in Manot, located in the northern side of Israel.

The cave had its entrance sealed by rocks which covered it about 30,000 years ago.

Ofer Marder, one of the authors of the new study, said that for more than 30,000 years the cave has been reserved like a time capsule.

This skull fossil was named Manot 1 and features only the top fraction of the skull, known as the skullcap.

According to Bruce Latimers, a paleontology expert at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland , the skull enclosed a brain of about 1,100 milliliters, a relatively small brain compared to that of a modern human, which is measures about 1,400 milliliters.

January 30th, 2015 at 9:28 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Ancient Greek Tomb found with Remains of five People

amphipolis tomb finds

Archaeologists found a huge tomb built in the time of Alexander the Great in Greece contains the ancient remains of five people. Including a woman aged over 60, a child baby, two men aged between 35 and 45 and another grown person of indeterminate age.
The bones of one of the men bore cut marks which were likely to have come from a sword or a dagger, the Greek civilization ministry said, adding a new twist to the occupants of the graveyard. The fifth person, whose gender and age has not been recognized so far, had been cremated.

Since the tomb was exposed at Amphipolis in northern Greece last year there has been intense theory that it may have been build for Alexander the Great, or failing that one of his generals or his mother. Most experts have discounted the Alexander theory, saying that he was maybe covered in Egypt. The tomb has been dated to between 325 B.C. – two years before the death of the warrior-king – and 300 B.C.

Alexander forged one of the main empires the world had ever seen, a sprawling variety of territories that stretched from the Mediterranean to the Indus. He is supposed to have died in 323 BC, at the age of 32, after an all-night drinking bout in Babylonia, with his body then elated to Alexandria, a city that he founded, for burial. After his death, his generals fought over control of the empire he had recognized.

Throughout those wars, Alexander’s mother, widow, son and half-brother were all murdered – most of them near Amphiboles. Inside the huge tomb – the major ever to have been found in Greece – archaeologists have found two marble statues of sphinxes and a beautiful mosaic pavement which depicts the abduction of Persephone, the daughter of Zeus, by Hades, king of the underworld.

Tests will be conducted on the bones of the woman and two men to decide if they were connected. “Part of the analysis will look into a probable blood relationship … but the lack of teeth and cranial parts that are used in ancient DNA analysis may not allow for a victorious identification,” the culture ministry said.

January 21st, 2015 at 8:39 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink

Chinese archaeologists find 2,800-year old funeral of chariots and horses


A team of Chinese archaeologists has unearthed a set of sophisticated tombs surrounded by 28 chariots and 98 horses in the region of Hubei in China.

The 2,800-year-old group of tombs, which dates back to the spring and Autumn Period (770 BC-476 BC) is situated in the city of Zaoyang, in the province of Hubei. Present explorations have found at least 30 tombs of various sizes.

Preliminary studies show that the tombs belong to high-ranking upper class of the period in Chinese history.
Now a new 33-meter long, four-meter wide chariot pit has been exposed. “This chariot and horse pit is different from those discovered before along the Yangtze River. The chariots and horses were densely buried,” said Liu Xu, professor from School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University. ” Many of the wheels were taken off and the remaining parts of the chariots were placed one by one.”

At least 28 chariots were found in three months of excavation. About five meters away the chariot pit was a horse pit, where at least 49 pairs of horse skeletons were exposed.

“Judging from the way the horses were hidden, they were buried after they were killed, as there was no outline of struggle. Second, it is the way they were laid. They were laid back to back, lying on their sides. It means that two horses pull one chariot,” said Huang Wenxin, examiner from the provincial archaeological institute.
Liu Xu said the number of chariots and horses stand for the ranks of the deceased.

The number of chariots often established the strength of a country at that time. More chariots mean that the country was powerful. The strength was calculated by the number of chariots. In modern words, the chariots represent a kind of high-tech product. Only people with rather high ranks can own chariots,” Liu said.

The name of the disordered “Spring and Autumn Period” in Chinese history is based on Confucius’ history of the dyna`sty of the time, according to some sources. His book was called “spring and Autumn Annals.

The period was noticeable by the end of feudalism, nascent urbanization and the birth of powerful states formed by the consolidation of smaller principalities, as well as a certain increase in secularism. Among the social changes was the birth of a wealthy merchant class – which may have been among those hidden in the tombs now uncovered.

Why horses were buried with the chariots must stay speculative, but it is known that in ancient China of the time, human and animal sacrifices were made to appease the gods of weather, on whose goodwill mankind depended.

The Chinese were far from alone in enormous ceremonial burials. The ancient Egyptians of the time were also notorious for human give up, burying servants with their departed pharaohs – but that was in a much earlier time, around 3100 BC to 2900 BC, the era of the First Dynasty. After that period, the live retainers were replaced by figurines.

January 9th, 2015 at 6:33 am | Comments & Trackbacks (0) | Permalink