This book takes you through the steps of treasure hunting Street and Sidewalk Tear-outs with a Metal Detector. I talk about the detectors, coils and other equipment I have used over the years of treasure hunting during street and sidewalk construction. This has information from Diggers Hotline and Wisconsin State Statute for digging. Click the link to purchase your copy…https://www.amazon.com/Treasure-Hunting-Street-Road-Tearouts/dp/0692974695/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kenny+briggs&qid=1588815330&s=books&sr=1-1
Posts Tagged With: artifacts
SC Lowcountry Civil War Show Grows Under American Digger Banner
January 7-8, 2017:
The second annual American Digger Lowcountry Civil War & Artifact Show & Sell will be held Jan 7-8, 2017 at the Omar Shrine Temple in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Last year’s show, the first ever under the American Digger banner, was a great success and is expected to be even bigger this year.
With 200+ tables and 150+ vendors, special effort is being made by the promoters to increase public traffic. This translates into even more chances to buy and sell artifacts, or just to admire the finds and displays. It is also the first big show of the year, an appropriate start to the 2017 Civil War circuit. As last year, there will be numerous awards and door prizes for both vendors and the public.
The show venue, Mt. Pleasant, is just across the bridge from historic Charleston, so fine dining, entertainment, museums, and more are only minutes away. Bring the whole family, there is something for everyone here!
Living historians are also expected, and we hope to have a return this year of Gen. Robert E. Lee (David Chaltas)!
This is the second year that American Digger has sponsored the show, but the actual Lowcountry Civil War Show is in its 26th year. Always a popular event, it previously had been under the leadership of Mike Kent Productions. Due to date conflict with his gun shows, Mike passed the event on to American Digger Magazine in 2015.
Expected at this year’s show are (of course) Civil War relics, weapons, and artwork, along with other eras from ancient times up to WWII. Seminars will also be included in the admission price ($10) for those wishing to learn more about metal detecting and collecting.
As of this writing, there are still vendor and display tables available. Call 770-362-8671 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve yours!
Jan 7-8, 2017
American Digger Lowcountry Civil War & Artifact Show
Omar Shrine Temple
176 Patriots Point Street
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
One day admission: $10/ adults; children under 12 free.
An ancient legend speaks of a mysterious door which is located in the vicinity of Lake Titicaca. This door, will open one day and welcome the creator gods of all mankind. These gods will return in their “Solar Ships” and all mankind will be in awe.
Strangely such a door seems to exist according researchers. Located near the mountainous region of Hayu Brand, 35 Km of the city of Puno in Peru, we find the mysterious “Gate of the Gods”. Since immemorial time, this region has been revered by local natives who actually consider it as the “city of the gods” Even though a few structures have been discovered, researchers believe that there are numerous monuments hidden beneath the surface.
This “Gate” was discovered by accident when local tour guide Jose Luis Delgado Mamani was hiking in the surrounding area. Curiously Mamani stated that he had long before dreamed about this structure and saw what appeared to be a door covered with pink marble with several figures located to the sides. These visions are closely linked to the legends of the native Indians of the area that tell that this “door” was a “gateway to the land of the Gods”. Legends speak that in the distant past, great heroes crossed into the land of the gods, enjoying a prosperous and glorious immortal life.
Another legend says that during the time of the Spanish conquest, an Incan priest called Amaru Muru, from the temple of the seven rays fled from his temple with a sacred golden disk known as “the key to the gods of the seven rays“. The priest hid in the mountains of Hayu Brand afraid that the Spanish might take the key from him.
Later the priest arrived at the “Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca, where he showed the key to several priests and shamans of the area. After they performed a ritual, the door opened with a blue light emanating from it. The priest, Amaru Muru handed the golden disk to one of the shamans and entered the door, he was never seen again.
Mysteriously, researchers have found a circular depression to the side of the door where a smaller disk-shaped object could have been placed.
Visitors who have traveled to the “Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca, and who have placed their hands on the small door state that they feel a great energy that flows through their bodies, they have also described strange visions like stars, columns of fire and music which some described as being “rhythmic, unusual and extraordinary”.
Researchers have even found the remains of an ancient city beneath Lake Titicaca, presumed to have existed thousands of years ago, predating the known cultures of the region.
Is it possible that there are “portals” located on Earth which are connected to other galaxies? planets? dimensions? And that one of those portals is the “Gate of the Gods” at Hayu Marca? Is it possible that these ancient texts are more than just stories of the past? And that there is something true and unique about them? We look forward to finding out more about these mysterious locations and there hidden secrets.
With the use of sonar, oceanographer Dr. Meyer Verlag discovered giant glass pyramids at a depth of two-thousand meters. The use of other devices have allowed scientists to determine that these glass giants are both made of a crystal-like substance, and are nearly 3 times bigger than the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt
Dr. Verlag believes that further investigation into the secrets in the the pyramids center could reveal more information regarding the cases of mysterious disappearances associated with the Bermuda Triangle. In a press conference held in the Bahamas, the scientist presented a report with the exact coordinates of the pyramids, and made note that the technology at use is unknown to modern science. A more detailed study may bring results that are difficult for us to imagine. Who knows what will be discovered about these underwater architectural anomalies – perhaps something of shocking significance.
Built on Land – Lost During Last Pole Shift?
There are several Western scholars who argue that the pyramid on the seabed may have been initially made on the mainland, after which a devastating earthquake struck and changed the landscape completely. Other scientists argue that a few hundred years ago the waters of the Bermuda Triangle area may have as one of the cornerstone activities of the people of Atlantis, and Pyramids on the sea floor may be a supply warehouse for them.
A more detailed study over time will give results that are difficult to imagine. Scientists have processed all of the data and concluded that the surface is perfectly smooth for it to look like glass or ice. The size of the pyramids are nearly three times the size of the pyramids of Cheops. This news was sensational, and was discussed at a conference in Florida and even reported to local Florida newspapers.. The journalists present in it, have a lot of pictures and high resolution computerized data, which show three-dimensional pyramids perfectly smooth, without being covered with a surface free of debris or algae or cracks.
Discovery Challenges Current Archaelogical Theory
A gigantic structure, initially identified by a doctor in the 1960s, has recently been independently verified by diving teams from France and the U.S.
The discovery has rocked scientists around the world. Will they rush to investigate it? No, they’re more likely to studiously ignore it. If pressed, they’ll officially position themselves as highly skeptical—especially in light of the potential ramifications.
The pyramid could confirm some engineers’ contentions that pyramids were originally created as massive power sources, support the claim that the ancient city-state of Atlantis did exist, or even provide answers to the mysterious goings-on that have been recorded since the 19th Century in the region of the Atlantic dubbed the Bermuda Triangle.
First discovered in 1968
According to the history, the pyramid was accidentally discovered during 1968 by a doctor of naturopathy, Ray Brown of Mesa, Arizona.
Brown was in the Caribbean on vacation and making dives with friends in a region off the Bahamas known as “the Tongue of the Ocean.” The area acquired that name because a tongue-shaped portion of the seabed extends out from the island before sharply dropping off into much greater depths.
When relating his discovery, the doctor explained he became separated from his diving friends underwater. While attempting to rejoin them he came upon a massive structure rising from the ocean floor: a black, hulking object silhouetted against the lighter sun-filtered water. The object was shaped like a pyramid.
Because he was low on air, he didn’t spend much time investigating the pyramid, but did find a strange crystal sphere.
He brought it to the surface with him and later when the ancient crystal was studied researchers were astonished by its properties.
Properties of Crystal Pyramids
Some theories of Atlantis propose the island city’s power pyramids were made of crystal, or their tops were capped with a crystalline substance.
Could such a thing actually generate, store, and distribute energy on demand? Yes.
Experimenters discovered decades ago that pyramids do tend to act in some ways like a natural electrical capacitor gathering and storing energy around them. The larger the pyramid, the greater the capacity of gathering and storing energy. A pyramid’s composition is important too. Having one made of crystal, or an apex made of crystal, could vastly increase its power.
Crystal has long been known to have energy applications and exhibits natural piezoelectrical properties.
Early radio used germanium crystals to capture the radiowaves and convert them into electrical signals that could be processed and broadcast through headphones into soundwaves duplicating the human voice, music, and other sounds.
Pyramid power, say investigators, is intrinsic to the pyramid shape. It’s an architecture that’s proven to function as an energy accumulator and amplifier of energetic force.
As if to prove the investigators’ assertions true, recently some of the worlds pyramids began discharging beams of raw energy into space.
The bottom line? Pyramids are intrinsically natural generators of power.
Pyramids and the ‘Cavity Structural Effect’
Barry Carter calls attention to another property that pyramids exhibit called the “Cavity Structural Effect” (CSE) by its discoverer, Dr. Viktor S. Grebennikov. The scientist employed the CSE to construct a rudimentary anti-gravitic platform.
Carter explains that “Grebennikov also claimed that he could feel energies emitting from the apex of a pyramid: ‘You will soon pick up an active zone, a “clot”, where the Egyptians had their tombs. Another active zone (a “flame”) above the top of the pyramid is also well-perceived by the indicator if you drag its end over the top. The “clot” and the “flame” are well-felt by the finger inserted into the pyramid, or your palm moved above it after some practice. The pyramid effect, which generated many scary and mysterious stories over the centuries, is one of the CSE manifestations.’”
Another deadly phenomenon pyramids may create: an energy vortex
Besides the time and spatial anomalies reported in the Triangle, some survivors of terrifing incidents there have reported huge, swirling vortices suddenly appearing and disappearing .
Evidence exists that some missing ships may have gone missing because of this phenomenon.
Observations of some of the submerged pyramids reveals they sporadically generate intense vortices in the ocean water flowing around them. Those vortices may be caused by a discharge of internal energy.
If those submerged pyramids also discharge massive enegy through their apexes, that could account for the formation of deadly vortices on the surface of the sea that swallows up whole ships along with their doomed crews.
Future expeditions to these mysterious pyramids may finally uncover the truth and reveal amazing ancient technology.
Unfortunately, deep sea archaeology is very expensive and not well-funded. Most dives are to ancient wrecks that promise riches to risk-taking treasure hunters.
And, of course, the world’s universities are not especially eager to explore the idea that very ancient ruins containing high technology may exist that challenges virtually all of the foundations of their pet theories.
Barcelona (CNA).- The 2,500-year-old Empúries site on the Costa Brava continues to provide surprises. The last three weeks of excavations, carried out by thirty students attending the 70th edition of Archaeology Course of Empúries, lead to the largest treasure ever found on the site; a ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius dating from the 1st century B.C. Thanks to the good conditions of the treasure, the archaeologists have concluded that the treasure would have been hidden by its owner in one of the rooms of the houses which are also being excavated. The treasure would have been lost after a fire which hit the property. Besides this treasure, 24 amphorae of wine have been discovered in the cellar the house, a slab of bronze -‘simpulum’- to extract wine and two bracelets.
The discoveries were found on the oldest levels of the Roman city. In particular, inside a house of the 1st century BC which was excavated before. This time, the archaeologists have focuses on the cellar, where 24 amphorae of wine were found, most of them of Italic origin, a slab of bronze -‘simpulum’- to extract wine and two bracelets.
However, the most important discovery was found further from the cellar. A ceramic-vase in the shape of an amphorae with 200 silver denarius inside. According one of the responsible of the excavation team, Pere Castanyer “not even the most optimistic would have imagined that there were so many coins”.
Waiting for the analysis to be completed, the archaeologists believe that the treasure would have been hidden intentionally and that his owner never had the change to recover it. “This was a huge amount of money by that time and would have allowed the owner to live comfortably for quite a long time” stated Castanyer and explained that a soldiers’ wage was about 10 denarius and that a monthly rent in that period was around 2 denarius.
Empúries, a site with 108 years of success
Known as the ruins of Empúries, the excavations began up to 180 years ago and they have always “yielded results” since then, stressed Archaeology Museum of Catalonia’s Director, Josep Manuel Rueda. He also praised the research and good management that the team responsible for the site have carried out so far. All in all, he added, has allowed Empúries to become an international benchmark and “the most important” in Catalonia.
By Deborah Kyvrikosaios
ATHENS (Reuters) – At least 80 skeletons lie in a mass grave in an ancient Greek cemetery, their wrists clamped by iron shackles.
They are the victims, say archaeologists, of a mass execution. But who they were, how they got there and why they appear to have been buried with a measure of respect – that all remains a mystery.
They were found earlier this year in part of the Falyron Delta necropolis – a large ancient cemetery unearthed during the construction of a national opera house and library between downtown Athens and the port of Piraeus.
Few people have been able to get in to have a close look.
But on a rare tour of the site, archaeologists carefully showed Reuters the skeletons, some lying in a long neat row in the dug-out sandy ground, others piled on top of each other, arms and legs twisted with their jaws hanging open.
“They have been executed, all in the same manner. But they have been buried with respect,” Dr. Stella Chryssoulaki, head of excavations, said.
“They are all tied at the hands with handcuffs and most of them are very very young and in a very good state of health when they were executed.”
The experts hope DNA testing and research by anthropologists will uncover exactly how the rows of people died. Whatever happened was violent – most had their arms bound above their heads, the wrists tied together.
But the orderly way they have been buried suggest these were more than slaves or common criminals.
The cemetery dates from between the 8th and 5th century BC.
“It is a period of great unrest for Athenian society, a period where aristocrats, nobles, are battling with each other for power,” said Chryssoulaki.
One of the strongest theories is that they were supporters of Cylon, an Athenian noble and Olympic champion who staged an attempted coup in Athens in 632 BC with the help of his father-in–law, the tyrant of Megara.
The coup failed and Cylon hid in a temple of the Acropolis. He managed to escape, but the people who backed him were killed.
“Perhaps with the DNA tests that we will do on these skeletons we may confirm or not this hypothesis that these deceased, these young people could be … part of a coup … an attempt by a noble to take power by force,” said Chryssoulaki.
More than 1,500 bodies lie in the whole cemetery, some infants laid to rest in ceramic pots, other adults burned on funeral pyres or buried in stone coffins. One casket is made from a wooden boat.
Unlike Athens’ renowned ancient Kerameikos cemetery, the last resting place of many prominent ancient Greeks, these appear to be the inhabitants of regular neighborhoods.
The dig is within a 170,000 sq m landscaped park, shadowed by the vast new modern library and opera house buildings being built by the Stavros Niarchos philanthropic foundation.
High-rise apartments dot the skyline to the north while a noisy motorway snakes by the site’s east side.
Chryssoulaki wants to see a museum built on the spot, as a monument to the daily lives of Athenians from another era.
“A cemetery is a first and last photograph in antiquity of those people that pass from life to death,” she said.
Tomorrow from 3 to 6, (Sunday 21 Feb 2016) Sam Milner and I will be signing our Book, Uncharted Waters,40 years of Treasure Hunting, at the Lor-i-lei Restaurant in Islamorada, MM 82, Florida Keys.
Uncharted Waters can be found at http://www.treasureexpeditions.com (PayPal accepted) or a check for 24.95 plus 4 dollars for shipping to, Spanish Main Treasure Co. P.O. Box 1733, Tavernier Fl. 33070. Outside United States add 17.00 for shipping.
WHO IS CAPT CARL FISMER?
Carl Fismer is a world famous Treasure Diver, Cancer Survivor, World Traveler, Television Star and Dynamic Motivational Keynote Speaker.
With over 30 years of treasure search and salvage experience, Captain Carl Fismer is one of the most respected and knowledgeable diving professionals in the world. Carl has worked with some of the leaders in treasure hunting. Carl has worked over 30 years with respected Treasure Historian Jack Haskins and worked with Mel Fisher on the Atocha. His area of expertise is shipwrecks… especially Spanish shipwrecks. During his career, he has worked over 300 shipwrecks in the United States, Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Indian Ocean and Central and South America. He has recovered millions of dollars in Spanish gold, silver, jewels and other artifacts. “Fizz”, as he is known to friends, directed part of the salvage diving of the Santa Margarita, sister ship to the Nuestra Senora de Atocha which was discovered by Mel Fisher. Then in 1986, he led an expedition to the Silver Shoals in the Dominican Republic, and there located the famed galleon, Concepcion which sank during a hurricane in 1641. In 1992, he traveled to Sri Lanka and dived with Sir Arthur C. Clarke of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame, in association with the Great Basses Reef Treasures. In May, 2010, Captain Fismer was awarded the Mel Fisher Lifetime Achievement Award for perseverance in following his quest for life, his motivation of mankind in the search for knowledge, discovery and the ambitions of the human spirit and the ability to achieve in life what others might only dare to dream.
SPANISH MAIN TREASURE COMPANY (SMTC) was founded by Captain Carl E. Fismer in 1980. Since its inception, SMTC has salvaged artifacts and sunken treasure from shipwrecks around the world. SMTC maintains a considerable inventory of treasure, coins, artifacts, books and video documentaries for perusal or sale to museums, collectors and history enthusiasts. SMTC specializes in producing treasure-related speeches, treasure-related exhibitions and displays for conventions, theme and entertainment parks, shopping malls, cruise ships and any special occasion. These presentations have proven to increase attendance and interest wherever we go.
Carl Fismer lives the life of an adventurer. The type of life that they make books, movies and video games about. Carl Fismer, affectionately dubbed “Fizz”, is a treasure hunter that has dived on some of the world’s most famous shipwrecks. He is often described as a real life underwater Indiana Jones. Carl is an active treasure hunter who travels the world looking for treasure and artifacts. He has worked with Mel Fisher on the world famous treasure ship, the Atocha. Carl Fismer is often called in as an expert on shipwrecks and treasures of the Spanish Main when producers and writers want to add realism to their productions.
When Carl Fismer isn’t diving shipwrecks, he tours around the world as a motivational speaker. Imagine your next conference with an inspirational speaker as electrifying as Carl Fismer as your keynote speaker. The excitement of the crowd when they hear that a world famous treasure diver is is going to be featured. Carl’s story is fascinating and will motivate and inspire the room. Carl Fismer delights his audience with stories of shipwrecks, lost treasure, the Spanish Main, and treasure hunting. Carl is a motivational speaker like no other. Unlike usual speakers who are business people or politicians, your audience will be intrigued and inspired by Carl’s unique story.
Carl Fismer is a motivational speaker who left an ordinary job to lead the life of a treasure hunter. Carl has weathered hurricanes, starred in his own television series “Treasure Divers”, looked for lost treasure and found millions of dollars of sunken treasure.
Pictured: the gleaming riches no-one was meant to see belonging to an ancient nomad potentate, and his queen…or was she his concubine?
In all, some 9,300 decorative gold pieces were found here, not including the ‘uncountable golden beads’. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya
The royal tomb known as Arzhan 2 in the modern-day Republic of Tuva – to many, the most mysterious region in all Russia – is some 2,600 years old but its valuables match any trove from any era anywhere in the world.
Here inside a mound 80 metres wide was buried a warrior tsar with a sway that plainly reached over a vast territory of mountains and steppes, and whose magnificent possessions indicated close contacts with other civilisations.
Forget the notion of barbaric Siberian nomadic tribes in this epoch: well, don’t quite forget. These ancient warriors used the skulls of their vanquished foes as drinking cups, according to no less an authority than Greek historian Herodotus.
And this queen or concubine was almost certainly sacrificed to that she could be buried beside the dead ruler. And yet, as the pictures show, their exceptional artwork predates the influence of the Greeks, and displays a high degree of sophistication.
Unknown warrior was found literally covered in gold alongside with his woman. Pictures: Konstantin Chugunov, Anatoli Nagler and Hermann Parzinger; Vera Salnitskaya
The unknown monarch – a Siberian Tutankhamun – was entombed in this ancient necropolis with 14 horses, a defining symbol of wealth in these Scythian times; each animal was from a different herd.
Alongside him lay the woman in his life, his queen or, as is suspected, his favourite concubine, but in any event a woman held in great esteem who was ethnically distinct from this monarch’s retinue also buried alongside him which included 33 others, including five children. She was in all likelihood not alone in being sacrificed to accompany him to the afterlife…
The most breathtaking aspect of this Tuvan find are the contents of the burial chamber of this royal couple – pictured here – located by archeologists some two or three metres beneath the surface.
In all, some 9,300 decorative gold pieces were found here, not including the ‘uncountable golden beads’. Put in another way, there was more than 20 kilograms of gold, including earrings, pendants and beads, adorning the bodies of the royal couple all made in what is known as Animal Art style.
The ancient ruler was buried with a heavy necklace made of pure gold and gold quiver with fish scale decoration. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
Ancient robbers had sought to raid vast burial mound, just as they had successfully looted the neighbouring Arzhan 1 site, which was perhaps 150 years older. It could be that specially built ‘decoy’ graves threw these ancient looters’ off the scent.
Here in Arzhan 2, thieves had left a trail which archeologists unearthed but fortunately the raiders gave up shortly before reaching these treasures, which are made from iron, turquoise, amber and wood as well as gold.
So valuable are they that it is rumoured these wondrous objects – now held mainly in local capital Kyzyl but also in St Petersburg – cannot be exhibited abroad because of the cost of insurance.
The find has been described by Dr Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the Hermitage Museum as ‘an encyclopedia of Scythian Animal Art because you have all the animals which roamed the region, such as panther, lions, camels, deer…’ It includes ‘many great works of art – figures of animals, necklaces, pins with animals carved into a golden surface’, he told The New York Times.
‘This is the original Scythian style, from the Altai region, which eventually came to the Black Sea region and finally in contact with ancient Greece. And it resembles almost an Art Nouveau style.’
The reconstruction of the costumes made by the experts from Hermitage Museum. Picture: Hermitage Museum
Covered with two layers of larch logs, the royal burial chamber was carefully constructed like a blockhouse and stood inside a second, outer burial chamber of the same construction.
The four walls were presumably adorned by some kind of curtain. Long wooden sticks were found along the walls, which could have been used like curtain rails. The curtains themselves, as well as any other textile remains, were not preserved. On a carefully made boarded wooden floor – likely softened by felt – were the bodies of this sovereign and his companion.
The skulls had dislocated from the bodies because they had probably been placed on a kind of pillow, now decayed. The ancient ruler was buried with a heavy necklace made of pure gold and decorated all over with the carvings of animals.
His outer clothes, probably a kind of kaftan, had been decorated with thousands of small panther figures, each 2-to-3 centimetres in length, attached in vertical rows, also forming motifs such as wings on his back.
A gold pectoral in Animal Style decoration, golden earring with turquoise and a miniature gold cup. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya
On his boots, maybe originally of felt or leather, thousands of mini-beads – in diameter only about 1 millimetre – had been stitched; on the upper part they ended in golden turndowns. Alongside and under the skull were gold plaques with animal-shaped inlays: four winged horses and one deer originally attached to the headgear.
The total weight of his jewellery – including minute glass beads on his trousers – was 2 kilograms. The man’s weaponry consisted of an iron dagger, poorly preserved, on his right hip. This was connected to the belt by a strap, and both had been decorated with numerous golden adornments.
Beside the dagger was a miniature gold cup. On the left side of the deceased was a gold quiver with fish scale decoration. The wooden arrow shafts were painted in black and red. His arrow heads were made of iron, but also showed the remains of golden encrustation. The golden adornment on the belt – used for carrying his quiver into the afterlife – was extremely rich.
Below the quiver lay the wooden bow itself, studded with pieces of golden decoration. Between the quiver and the north-eastern wall of the burial chamber were two picks, one of iron with golden encrustation. To the left of the man’s head lay a bronze mirror.
His outer clothes, probably a kind of kaftan, had been decorated with thousands of small panther figures, each 2-to-3 centimetres in length. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
A second, slightly larger bronze mirror was located to the left of the woman’s head, a little bigger and with a gold handle. Below the woman’s head were three gold plaques in the shape of animals – two horses and a mystical winged creature – associated with the woman’s headdress.
Beside her head was a pair of gold pins, decorated with carvings in Animal Art style. The decoration of the woman’s dress corresponded to the man’s kaftan: thousands of golden panthers form different motifs, again, notably, wings on her back. Around her breasts, archeologists found golden earrings and many small beads of gold, amber, garnet, malachite and other precious materials.
Near her feet were thousands of mini-beads made of gold, which must have been fixed onto felt or leather boots which had been inlaid with golden ribbons and granulation.
On her right hip hung an iron knife, poorly preserved but with numerous excellent gold belt adornments. Her wrists were adorned with gold bracelets. Here, too, lay two bronze kettles, seen as exceptionally valuable for these times.
In the western corner of the burial chamber were three large amber beads, a wooden cup with a golden handle, a gold comb with wooden teeth, and a heap of various seeds. Within the heap of seeds was a gold pectoral in Animal Style decoration and a small bronze cup, still inside a small leather bag.
‘It’s hard to imagine that these fine pieces were made by nomads living in tents.’ Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
In other burials, which surrounded the prominent couple, bronze knives, an axe-type weapon, known as a Raven’s beak, arrowheads, bronze mirrors, belts, and much jewellery – beads made of glass, stone, amber, and golden earrings – were found. So too were fragments of cloth – felt, fur, and fabric.
Here too were discovered bridle sets made of bronze, mane ornaments and tail decorations cut from gold sheet.
What can we discern of the personal stories behind these ancient royals and their entourage found in Uyuk hollow, northern Tuva, and excavated by a joint Russian-German team between 2001 and 2004?
Professor Konstantin Chugunov, highly respected senior researcher at the world famous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, who headed the project, said DNA analysis of the group indicated those buried here were from the Iranian ethno-linguistic group.
According to the analysis of strontium isotopes in the bones, all those buried were locals except for one person – the ‘queen’, and it gives reason to think about dynastic marriage,’ he said.
Weapon: an iron dagger and iron arrowheads with golden encrustation. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
Totally 35 people – 16 men, 13 women, five children along with bones which cannot be identified by gender, were buried here, as were 14 horses.
The ‘king’ was between 40 and 50 years old and analysis of his remains revealed that he died of prostate cancer. ‘This is the earliest documentation of the disease,’ said Michael Schultz, a paleopathologist at the University of Gottingen. It is believed that in the last years of his life, this potentate could not have walked.
His female partner, accorded pride of place alongside him, was around 30 years old. Who was she?
We don’t know if the woman was a queen or a concubine,’ said Professor Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, and a joint leader of the excavations, ‘but since their ornaments were similar, both must have had high status.’
No cause of death can be detected for her, leading to a theory that she could have been poisoned or strangled, to be buried beside her liege, and to travel with him into the next world: willingly or not, she was a human sacrifice, according to this version.
‘Maybe she was poisoned,’ said Chugunov, ‘or maybe she chose to die to be with her husband.’ We may never know how she died, by natural causes around the same time as her master or in more sinister fashion, but others in the tsar’s entourage certainly had gruesome demises.
Early Scythians were people who knew good artwork when they saw it, and used contacts to obtain, or commission, jewellery and decorations. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
The scene archeologists uncovered here appears to match with remarkable accuracy a description by Herodotus of the macabre Scythian burial rite.
‘Based on accompanying burials, we also found evidence of phenomena described by Herodotus when the living would follow the deceased,’ Parzinger has explained. ‘Herodotus wrote that when a military leader died, his close circle – wife (or concubine), bodyguards, advisers, servants – were killed. As they were the property of the leader, they had to follow him to the tomb. And we identified particular evidence of their murder.’
Herodotus, who lived later, from 484 BC to 425 BC, wrote: ‘The body of the king is laid in the grave, stretched upon a mattress. Spears are fixed in the ground on either side of the corpse and beams stretched above it to form a roof.
‘In the open space around the body of the king they bury one of his concubines, first killing her by strangling, and also his cup-bearer, his cook, his groom, his lackey, his messenger, some of his horses… and some golden cups, for they use neither silver nor brass.’
It is believed that when the king died, he was mummified and his body travelled for 40 days across all his lands. And all expressed their sorrow. Then at some sacred place a burial mound was constructed and his entire entourage were slaughtered and buried there.
Cups: wooden cup with a golden handle and small golden cup. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
Herodotus did not describe how the ruler’s entourage were killed. While the queen or concubine shows no sign of a violent death – the assumption is that she was poisoned – one woman’s skull in Arzhan 2 was pierced four times with a war pick.
A man’s skull still retains the splinters from a wooden club used to kill him. In some cases archaeologists see evidence of blows to the head with kind of poleaxe: in other case, they suppose strangulation or poison.
Separately, on these human remains was found evidence of ‘battlefield surgery’ conducted on these warriors during earlier conflicts. Next to the burial mound, to the north, was found a separate burial where ‘chipped’ human and horse bones were mixed.
A ‘guess’ is that this fits another Herodotus description of the burial mound being guarded by dead horses pulling wagons with their wheels removed on which were placed dead horsemen.
The Greek historian described 50 young men, who were set around the mound. Those, who made the burial, went away and the mound remained. The corpses of the horses and riders were pecked by birds, eaten by animals, and all this decayed.
Decorations on the akinak – or short sword – show similarities to patterns used in Eastern Zhou (Eastern China). Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
More can be understood about these nomads from the riches lying beside this noble couple, although these ancient people left no written records, and hardly any sign of settlements that – some archeologists suspect – must have existed.
A royal burial such as this gives the ‘quintessence of information’ because the achievements of the culture at the time were laid to rest with the dead king, it has been said. As Parzinger has said: ‘It’s hard to imagine that these fine pieces were made by nomads living in tents.’ Chugunov concurs: ‘In Arzhan 2, the gold jewellery was clearly not made by nomadic artists.’
They fought and pillaged but as Dr Anatoil Nagler, from the German Archeological Institute, told National Geographic: ‘The people were excellent craftsmen. This puts the Scythian quality of life in a new light. It rejects the stereotype that Scythians were just wild horsemen and warriors, migrating and destroying other people. They had a high level of cultural development.’
Or so it seemed at the time when the discoveries were first made. Now it is seen as more likely that these early Scythians were people who knew good artwork when they saw it, and used contacts to obtain, or commission, jewellery and decorations that matched their needs and tastes. Not that anyone was meant to see these treasures encased in the burial tomb.
The gleaming riches no-one was meant to see. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya
Some probably originated on the territory of what is now present-day China; others owe their origins to the Near East, with more seemingly made by Scythians in non-nomadic settlements. Some treasures came from a distance of between 4,000 and 5,000 kilometres from this burial mound, yet at this point there were no contacts with the Ancient Greeks.
Even so, the treasures suggest the lost civilisation of Scythians were culturally more advanced that was once supposed. The experts surmise that it was Scythian craftsmen who cast the daggers, arrowheads, and gold plaques found at this site.
Decorations on the akinak – or short sword – show similarities to patterns used in Eastern Zhou (Eastern China) at around the same period. Bronze jars found in Inner Mongolia are compatible to a small bowl with horizontal a loop-like handle from the main burial in Arzhan 2.
The same applies to methods used in embroidery and the manufacture of earrings, the latter resembling a technique used close to the Aral Sea, some 3,600 km distant. Remains of fruit and seeds of plants found at Arzhan 2 had also come from far afield.
The Paracas skull mystery may have finally been solved. Scientists have been trying to pass these skulls off as cranial deformation. DNA tests using modern-day technology have finally been allowed on the Paracas skulls and the results are finally in.
It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans.
The geneticist commented on the peer group findings: “I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree,” in fact he went on to express that the DNA was so biologically different they would not have been able to interbreed with humans.
The skulls only contain one parietal plate, rather than two. The cranial volume of these skulls have been found to be up to 25 percent larger and 60 percent heavier than our human skulls, subsequently meaning they could not have been intentionally deformed through head cranial deformation.
This is just the first stage of testing. The second stage will be replicating the results to guarantee their analysis before a final conclusions can be drawn.
About the Paracas Skulls: In 1928 a Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, stumbled upon a graveyard filled with the remains of humanoid individuals with the largest elongated skulls found anywhere on the planet. Over 300 of these skulls have been found.