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Spain returns pre-Columbian artifacts Email

Archaeological
Thursday, 29 October 2015 15:03

Spain returns to Ecuador Wednesday 49 pre-Columbian artifacts recovered by police in 2003 following an investigation into money laundering during a ceremony at the Museum of America in Madrid, where they had remained guarded.

The works are part of a collection of 885 pieces that were taken over from a Colombian marriage in 2003 as a result of the operation called Florence, where a Colombian family clan, based in Spain, dedicated to drug trafficking and money laundering was dismantled.

A bleaching methods used by the organization was the purchase of works of art, such as those included in the collection seized more than a decade ago, which had been bought in the 1990s in different stores purchase and sale of art and exported Colombia illegally.

The expert studies on the collection of works determined that they had "an exceptional value, both culturally and economically to be kept in an almost perfect state and represent almost all the pre-Columbian cultures," according to a statement from the Spanish police.

The majority of artifacts were returned Wednesday to Ecuador, and are made of ceramic, covering virtually the entire time range of the cultures of Ecuador and mainly represent shamans, characters with ceremonial robes and women praying. "It was imperative for our country to recover these pieces "to rescue" our historic identity and well fight the illegal trafficking of cultural heritage," said Ecuador's ambassador in Madrid, Miguel Calahorrano, at the ceremony held in Museum of America, the presence of the director general of the Spanish police, Ignacio Cosidó.

Before the delivery of these 49 works, Spain returned last year about 700 pieces and Colombia were identified among the 885 works seized five pieces from Panama, while the rest were considered fakes.

Courtesy: Diario Uno

 

 

Seized hoard of coins found in Shropshire ruled as treasure trove Email

Treasure
Monday, 26 October 2015 15:39

A hoard of 90 Roman coins seized by police in a south Shropshire man’s bedroom have been declared treasure trove – meaning they are now the property of the crown.

The silver coins – 87 complete and three broken, some still with soil stuck to them – are believed to date back as early as 71 AD.

They were seized by police from the bedroom of Brady Marston, of Station Crescent, Craven Arms.

The 24-year-old told the hearing that the coins had been left to him by his late grandfather.

Read more: Seized hoard of coins found in Shropshire ruled as treasure trove

152-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario Email

News
Monday, 26 October 2015 15:06

By Garret Ellison

LAKE ONTARIO — When it comes to Great Lakes shipwreck hunting, sometimes it's a matter of feast or famine.

In 2014, New York wreck sleuths Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski found four undiscovered shipwrecks in the waters of Lake Ontario.

This year, the duo found one — a propeller steamer named the Bay State, which foundered in a storm off Fair Haven, N.Y. in 1862. Discovery of the ship, launched before the Civil War, was announced on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

"We were getting pretty discouraged when something popped up on the depth finder," said Kennard. "About 15 seconds later, the side-scan sonar went over."

"Finally, we found something."

Read more: 152-year-old shipwreck discovered in Lake Ontario

Italians identify five locations where fabled Roman treasure hoard may be buried Email

Treasure
Monday, 26 October 2015 14:49

 

By Nick Squires, Rome

Italian scientists have identified five sites where they believe a 1,600-year-old hoard of Roman gold and treasure worth more than £700 million was buried, in what they described as a “real-life Indiana Jones hunt”.

Geologists will use drones, ground-penetrating radar, infra-red technology and electromagnetic instruments to try to find the tomb of King Alaric, a Visigoth chieftain who is said to have been buried alongside the loot in 410 AD in or around the town of Cosenza in southern Italy.

According to contemporary historical accounts, he was buried in a stone tomb after a local river was temporarily diverted and then returned to its natural course in order to protect the site from grave robbers.

Researchers believe that if the fifth century accounts are correct, then up to 25 tonnes of gold, worth around one billion euros (£734 million), could be waiting to be discovered, along with silver and gems.

The treasure is said to have come from the sack of Rome, carried out earlier in 410 AD by Alaric and his marauding Gothic tribesmen.

“It’s a real-life Indiana Jones hunt,” said Francesco Sisci, the project coordinator.

Read more: Italians identify five locations where fabled Roman treasure hoard may be buried

Mysterious Ancient Maya Mural Keeps Its Secrets Email

Archaeological
Sunday, 11 October 2015 19:34

Archaeologists have uncovered some inexplicable finds in a rare case involving the discovery of a Maya wall painting, or mural, at a shrine complex at the ancient site of Tulix Mul in northern Belize.

Buried anciently under a fill of large uncut stones at the beginning of the Maya Late Classic period, a vaulted room within a monumental structure features a plastered wall that hides two successive wall paintings, an unusual find for archaeologists investigating Maya remains. The discovery was first made in 2013 as a team of archaeologists, students and volunteers under the Blue Creek Archaeological Project with the Maya Research Program (MRP) and the University of Texas at Tyler began excavating a structure that showed intrusion by a looter's trench at the site of Tulix Mul, which is associated with another site known as Nojol Nah, a site where MRP has been excavating for years. Although excavations at this structure revealed the plastered, vaulted room, the biggest prize was the evidence of the wall painting, hidden beneath the plaster. Through time, small fragments had exfoliated from the plaster, revealing the underlying presence of a polychrome, fine-line mural. The mural style appeared generally similar to that found years before by other archaeologists at San Bartolo in Guatemala. Like San Bartolo, there are only a few other known Maya murals found in Central America. Aside from their artistic beauty, they have provided significant new information about Maya art, religious concepts, trade and interaction. The Tulix Mul mural may prove to be equally informative, especially as the site investigators suspect that another rubble-filled room (still unexcavated) may also contain a mural.

Read more: Mysterious Ancient Maya Mural Keeps Its Secrets

Search for Capt. Cook's Shipwrecked Endeavor Continues in Newport Harbor Email

Archaeological
Sunday, 11 October 2015 14:02

By MARK SCHIELDROP (Patch Staff)

NEWPORT RI, A team of marine archaeologists, scientists and volunteers continued their methodical work mapping shipwrecks in Newport Harbor last month in an ongoing effort to find and positively identify Capt. Cook’s famous vessel, the HM Bark Endeavor.

Eighteenth Century British Explorer Capt. James Cook explored more of the world than any man who ever lived and many researchers believe the Endeavor, his most-famous vessel, is among a fleet of 13 British transport ships sunk during the Revolutionary War in Newport Harbor.

When the vessel is believed to have been sunk in 1778, it by then had changed hands and was known as The Lord Sandwich. During a five day fieldwork exercise in September, members of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project and the Australian National Maritime Museum mapped the ninth shipwreck site and completed a pre-disturbance site map of an 18th century ballast pile.

Read more: Search for Capt. Cook's Shipwrecked Endeavor Continues in Newport Harbor

Spain hails the end of contract to exploit the galleon San Jose Email

Treasure
Friday, 02 October 2015 09:40

PANAMA - The National Institute of Culture (INAC) has decided not to extend its contract with Marine Research del Istmo SA, for the recovery of treasures from the galleon San Jose, which sank in the archipelago of Las Perlas in the seventeenth century.

The contract between the Government and the commercial firm Marine Research was signed in 2003 and expired on August 28, 2015, although one of its clauses establishing an extension to continue the recovery of treasures.

However, INAC officials reported anomalies that led to the end of the marina concession were detected. In fact, the agency has withheld hundreds of coins that were confiscated from one of the company representatives.

The managing director of INAC, Juan Francisco Guerrero said they have all the information they need to manage this legal issue. "It will act in the law accordingly," he said.

Read more: Spain hails the end of contract to exploit the galleon San Jose

Olmec carving stolen decades ago in Mexico found in France Email

Archaeological
Saturday, 26 September 2015 14:58

 

A nearly 3,000-year-old carving stolen more than four decades ago from a remote area of southern Mexico has been recovered in France.

The Olmec carving dating to around 900 B.C. had been chipped off the rock face sometime between the arrival of an archaeological team in 1968 and 1972, when the team returned to the area. It resurfaced recently in France under unclear circumstances.

John Clark, a professor of archaeology at Brigham Young University who learned about the find Thursday, said the carved sculpture showed the extent of the Olmec's reach in an area of Chiapas better known for ties to the Maya. In the decades since the theft, he said, scholars have made due with a replica created by examining archive photos of the piece.

The Olmec are best known for their enormous carved heads and are considered one of the founding cultures of Mesoamerica.

Read more: Olmec carving stolen decades ago in Mexico found in France

'Nazi Gold' Treasure Hunters Could Face Charges Email

Treasure
Saturday, 26 September 2015 10:53

By Tova Dvorin

 

Two men who claimed last month that they discovered a Nazi-era train laden with gold may face prosecution, Polish media revealed late Thursday - over a paperwork issue.

Last month, the two men sparked a gold rush by claiming they had found a tunnel in Walbrzych that contains a Nazi train that could be carrying valuables.

But the treasure-hunters - Piotr Koper, a Pole, and German national Andreas Richter - did not apply to government offices for permission to use the equipment in making the find, i.e. a ground-penetrating radar (GPR).

Lower Silesia's Conservator of Monuments Barbara Nowak-Obelinda has filed charges against the two to the District Prosecutor's Office in the city of Wałbrzych, Radio Poland reports, alleging the two were required under law to gain approval to use GPR prior to the find.

Just weeks ago, the treasure-hunters applied to the same office asking for 10% of the profits from the "Nazi gold" train. But it is unclear whether the find is real or not; Poland pledged it would deploy the military to look for the train that has sparked global fascination.

The outcome of the case - both whether the train is real and whether its discoverers will be charged for it - could set a precedent for future treasure-hunters.

Two weeks ago, another Polish explorer claimed to have found a network of tunnels also used by the Nazi regime - this time, part of the "Riese" (giant) system of railway tunnels, corridors and shelters that the Nazis were building during World War II in the mountains around the city of Walbrzych, which were used to protect thousands of people.

 

Courtesy: Israel National News

Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck Email

Archaeological
Friday, 25 September 2015 11:49

The 2015 expedition marked the first time archaeologists were able to join specialist divers in descending to the 55-meter (180 feet) deep site. The ten-man dive team used advanced technical diving equipment including closed-circuit rebreathers and trimix breathing gases, performing 61 dives in 10 days of diving on the wreck. (Brett Seymour, EUA/ARGO )

 

Archaeologists excavating the famous ancient Greek shipwreck that yielded the Antikythera mechanism have recovered more than 50 items including a bronze armrest (possibly part of a throne), remains of a bone flute, fine glassware, luxury ceramics, a pawn from an ancient board game, and several elements of the ship itself.  

“This shipwreck is far from exhausted,” reports project co-Director Dr. Brendan Foley, a marine archaeologist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). “Every single dive on it delivers fabulous finds, and reveals how the ‘1 percent’ lived in the time of Caesar.” 

The shipwreck dates to circa 65 B.C., and was discovered by Greek sponge fishermen in 1900 off the southwestern Aegean island of Antikythera. They salvaged 36 marble statues of mythological heroes and gods; a life-sized bronze statue of an athlete; pieces of several more bronze sculptures; scores of luxury items; and skeletal remains of crew and passengers. The wreck also relinquished fragments of the world’s first computer: the Antikythera Mechanism, a geared mechanical device that encoded the movements of the planets and stars and predicted eclipses. 

Read more: Marine Archaeologists Excavate Greek Antikythera Shipwreck