One of my longer posts about the Rape of Europa phenomenon during World War II, the Monuments Men, and threats to art and monuments in zones of armed conflict.

…it only took us 60 years to forget that art as a valuable commodity–valuable with respect to ideology, economics, and emotions–is vulnerable in war and should be protected. So while the lessons of that past seem to have been somewhat lost in today’s armed conflicts, at least among looters and some fighters, the intellectual community is still engaged with this problem and outraged at the violence against art we continue to see in places like Syria.

Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists not only threaten the current Middle East - according to antiquities officials in Iraq and Syria, the terror group threatens to erase 5,000 years of history and relics in upper Mesopotamia, including one of the earliest Jewish synagogues.

Much of northern Iraq and eastern Syria, which is rich in the archaeological remains of numerous ancient civilizations, is now under the iron fist of ISIS which has been destroying pagan idols as well as selling relics on the international black market to raise funds, reports Associated Press (AP).

Syrian Director-General of Antiquities and Museums Maamoun Abdulkarim says looting from archaeological sites in the country has gone up tenfold since early 2013, with ISIS seizing numerous important ancient sites.

Aside from destroying pagan statues from the Assyrian period in Tell Ajaja, Abdulkarim noted the 2,300-year-old city of Dura Europos has come in for particularly intense looting.

More here.


Take with a grain of salt, but still!


A “vampire grave” containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as “Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones”.




Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city located in southern Bulgaria, close to the border with Greece.


The city, inhabited since 5,000 BC but only discovered 20 years ago, is believed to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius – the Greek God of wine and fertility. And among the finds at the site, which includes a hilltop citadel, a fortress and a sanctuary, are a series of “vampire graves”.


On Thursday Professor Ovcharov announced that he had found a remarkably-preserved Medieval skeleton at the site in what he termed “a vampire grave”.




"We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out," said Professor Ovcharov. He explained that the metal was driven through the corpse to stop a "bad" person from rising from the dead and terrorising the living.
"Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances – such as suicide."
The skeleton, thought to be of a man aged between 40 and 50, had a heavy piece of ploughshare – an iron rod, used in a plough – hammered through its chest. The left leg below the knee had also been removed and left beside the skeleton.

via

Take with a grain of salt, but still!

A “vampire grave” containing a skeleton with a stake driven through its chest has been unearthed by a man known as “Bulgaria’s Indiana Jones”.

Professor Nikolai Ovcharov – a crusading archaeologist who has dedicated his life to unearthing mysteries of ancient civilisations – said that he had made the discovery while excavating the ruins of Perperikon, an ancient Thracian city located in southern Bulgaria, close to the border with Greece.

The city, inhabited since 5,000 BC but only discovered 20 years ago, is believed to be the site of the Temple of Dionysius – the Greek God of wine and fertility. And among the finds at the site, which includes a hilltop citadel, a fortress and a sanctuary, are a series of “vampire graves”.

On Thursday Professor Ovcharov announced that he had found a remarkably-preserved Medieval skeleton at the site in what he termed “a vampire grave”.

"We have no doubts that once again we’re seeing an anti-vampire ritual being carried out," said Professor Ovcharov. He explained that the metal was driven through the corpse to stop a "bad" person from rising from the dead and terrorising the living.

"Often they were applied to people who had died in unusual circumstances – such as suicide."

The skeleton, thought to be of a man aged between 40 and 50, had a heavy piece of ploughshare – an iron rod, used in a plough – hammered through its chest. The left leg below the knee had also been removed and left beside the skeleton.

via


Archaeological excavations in the Hellenistic city of Parion, located in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Biga district, have revealed a 2,000-year-old footprint that is believed to have belonged to a laborer.“There is a footprint of a person on a brick. The person lived here 2,000 years ago. Its size shows us that it is a normal footprint. Most probably a worker mistakenly put his foot on the brick. There is also a paw print next to this footprint. We believe that it belongs to the dog of this worker. These prints are interesting findings in terms of archaeological history,” said the head of the excavations, Samsun 19 Mayıs University Archaeology Department Professor Vedat Keleş, hailing the important findings from this year’s excavations.“The height of ancient Roman-era people is almost the same as the height of today’s people,” he added.Excavations in the ancient city have been continuing in seven areas, including a southern necropolis, a theater, an odeon and a Roman bath.

Archaeological excavations in the Hellenistic city of Parion, located in the northwestern province of Çanakkale’s Biga district, have revealed a 2,000-year-old footprint that is believed to have belonged to a laborer.

“There is a footprint of a person on a brick. The person lived here 2,000 years ago. Its size shows us that it is a normal footprint. Most probably a worker mistakenly put his foot on the brick. There is also a paw print next to this footprint. We believe that it belongs to the dog of this worker. These prints are interesting findings in terms of archaeological history,” said the head of the excavations, Samsun 19 Mayıs University Archaeology Department Professor Vedat Keleş, hailing the important findings from this year’s excavations.

“The height of ancient Roman-era people is almost the same as the height of today’s people,” he added.
Excavations in the ancient city have been continuing in seven areas, including a southern necropolis, a theater, an odeon and a Roman bath.

Early last month, on a hill outside a tiny, windy village of almond and tobacco farmers in northeastern Greece, veteran archaeologist Katerina Peristeri announced that she and her team had discovered what is believed to be the biggest tomb in Greece.

The “massive, magnificent tomb,” Peristeri told reporters, is likely connected to the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia, which, in the fourth century B.C. produced Alexander the Great.

Shortly after Peristeri’s announcement, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras held his own press conference at the site — known as Amphipolis — declaring it an “exceptionally important discovery” from the “earth of our Macedonia.”

And since then there have been daily reports in the Greek media, even though Peristeri and her team have refused interviews. They release each tidbit of news — each discovery of a caryatid, sphinx and other impressive artifacts — in press releases through the Greek Ministry of Culture.

If you would like to read the detailed scholarly version of this story, the PDF of the article by Mayor, Colarusso, and Saunders is available through Hesperia, here.

archaeologicalnews

archaeologicalnews:

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A hoard of 22,000 Roman coins has been unearthed on land near Seaton in East Devon.

The “Seaton Down Hoard” of copper-alloy Roman coins is one of the largest and best preserved 4th Century collections to have ever been found in Britain.

The hoard was declared Treasure at a Devon Coroner’s…

MU, Italian Museum, City of Rome, Energy Company Partner for Historical Cultural Project

For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of historical artifacts dating back to before the founding of Rome have been stored in crates in the Capitoline Museums of Rome, where they have remained mostly untouched. Now, the City of Rome; the Capitoline Museums, the first public museum in the world; and Enel Green Power North America, a leading renewable energy company; have started a project, known as “The Hidden Treasure of Rome,” which will bring those artifacts into the laboratories of U.S. universities to be studied, restored, categorized and catalogued. The University of Missouri is the first university selected for this project.

Under the agreement, both MU scholars and students will have access to the antiquities. Graduate students in MU’s Department of Art History and Archaeology will be working directly with the collections and can use these objects for thesis and dissertation projects. The first set of loans — 249 black-gloss ceramics dating to the period of the Roman Republic (fifth to first centuries B.C.) —recently were received by the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology.