Posts Tagged With: knives

‘Royal Treasure’ Brought Up From Hawaiian King’s 191-Year-Old Shipwreck….


LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — A museum in Hawaii is preparing to open a treasure-trove of artifacts from the shipwreck of a royal yacht sunk off the coast of Kauai 191 years ago.

Richard Rogers, a Hawaii shipwreck chaser, worked with scientists from the Smithsonian Institution to dredge up the findings from the ship owned by King Kamehameha II, aka Liholiho, the second king of Hawaii.

“We found gold, silver, Hawaiian poi pounders, gemstones, a boat whistle, knives, forks, mica, things from all over the world, high- and low-end European stuff. Every bit of it is royal treasure,” Rogers said.

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A cupid furniture mount in the Empire style, originally gilded, was found in the wreckage of a ship belonging to King Kamehameha II, aka Liholiho, the second king of Hawaii, which sunk off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii in 1824. The cupid is sharpening an arrow on a lubricated grind stone. (AP/Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Harold Dorwin)

Rogers volunteered his time aboard his research vessel, the Pilialoha, over a five year period in four-week intervals from 1995 to 2001 to pull up the treasures.

“It’s all pickled and nice and ready to be displayed,” Rogers said. “There are over a thousand artifacts. We did our homework and this find is invaluable because it all belonged to the king. It is a fabulous window into the 1820s.”

Rogers said the king’s belongings were buried in 10 feet of water and 10 feet of sand. His favorite discovery was a trumpet shell.

“I found it under a bunch of sand and carried it onto the deck. This was in 1999. I blew it and it made the most beautiful sound going out over Hanalei Bay,” Rogers recalled. “I thought about how it hadn’t been blown in over 170 years.”

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This photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History on April 8, 2015 in conjunction with the upcoming book “Shipwrecked in Paradise: Cleopatra’s Barge in Hawaii,” shows a sampling of Hawaiian artifacts found in the wreckage. At center is the royal pu, or conch horn. Around it are ulu maika game stones, pounders, canoe breakers, and a stone rubber. (AP/Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Richard Strauss)

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A vegetal ivory finger ring was found. (AP/Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Hugh Talman)

Kamehameha II purchased the yacht from George Crowninshield II, who named it “Cleopatra’s Barge” in 1816. According to historian and Kauai Museum volunteer Zenon Wong, it cost $50,000 to build the 192 ton yacht. Rogers said it was the first luxury ocean-going yacht built in the United States.

Wong said reports were conflicting about the condition of the crew of the 83-foot long ship, which had been renamed Ha?aheo o Hawai?i (“Pride of Hawaii”). Some documents indicate everyone on board was drunk April 6, 1824, when the ship went aground on a shallow reef. Other historical accounts report everyone was intoxicated except the captain. The cause of the wreck is unfounded but speculation shows it may have been the combination of an unexpected wind gale and a snapped anchor cable. There are no reports that anyone died aboard the ship, which was crewed entirely by Hawaiians.

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A watercolor painting by Capt. Richard W. Rogers contains historical and archaeological information on the ship belonging to King Kamehameha II, aka Liholiho. (AP/Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Richard W. Rogers)

The principal value of the artifacts is historical, said Paul F. Johnston, Ph.D., Curator of Maritime History at the National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution. They represent the only known objects from the short but intense reign of Kamehameha II, the man who abolished the Hawaiian kapu (taboo) socio-cultural system and allowed Christian missionaries into the kingdom.

“He only reigned from 1819 -1824, but Old Hawaii changed forever and irrevocably from the changes he put into place during that short period. He was an important member of our nation’s only authentic royalty,” Johnston said.

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This is a diagram of the wreckage of the stern of the ship. (AP/Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, Thomas Ormsby)

The State of Hawaii owns the artifacts and loaned them to the Smithsonian for conservation and study. The findings were in the custody of the Smithsonian from the time of their recovery, with the exception of some artifacts going to the Underwater Conservation Lab at Texas A&M University. Those objects were returned to the Smithsonian after cataloging, conservation and stabilization. Several years ago a sampling of the artifacts were displayed at the Smithsonian.

Four crates of recovered artifacts weighing nearly 1,200 pounds were delivered to The Kauai Museum in March. Two to three additional crates are scheduled for delivery and will complete the collection.

Kauai Museum Director Jane Gray said she expects to open the crates soon and unveil the contents to the public after everything has been carefully unpacked.

Categories: Archaeology, gold, gold coins, Legends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Historic Indian sword was masterfully crafted…….


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The master craftsmanship behind Indian swords was highlighted when scientists and conservationists from Italy and the UK joined forces to study a curved single-edged sword called a shamsheer. The study, led by Eliza Barzagli of the Institute for Complex Systems and the University of Florence in Italy, is published in Springer’s journalApplied Physics A – Materials Science & Processing.

The 75-centimeter-long sword from the Wallace Collection in London was made in India in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century. The design is of Persian origin, from where it spread across Asia and eventually gave rise to a family of similar weapons called scimitars being forged in various Southeast Asian countries.

Two different approaches were used to examine the shamsheer: the classical one (metallography) and a non-destructive technique (neutron diffraction). This allowed the researchers to test the differences and complementarities of the two techniques.

The sword in question first underwent metallographic tests at the laboratories of the Wallace Collection to ascertain its composition. Samples to be viewed under the microscope were collected from already damaged sections of the weapon. The sword was then sent to the ISIS pulsed spallation neutron source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. Two non-invasive neutron diffraction techniques not damaging to artefacts were used to further shed light on the processes and materials behind its forging.

“Ancient objects are scarce, and the most interesting ones are usually in an excellent state of conservation. Because it is unthinkable to apply techniques with a destructive approach, neutron diffraction techniques provide an ideal solution to characterize archaeological specimens made from metal when we cannot or do not want to sample the object,” said Barzagli, explaining why different methods were used.

It was established that the steel used is quite pure. Its high carbon content of at least one percent shows it is made of wootz steel. This type of crucible steel was historically used in India and Central Asia to make high-quality swords and other prestige objects. Its band-like pattern is caused when a mixture of iron and carbon crystalizes into cementite. This forms when craftsmen allow cast pieces of metal (called ingots) to cool down very slowly, before being forged carefully at low temperatures. Barzagli’s team reckons that the craftsman of this particular sword allowed the blade to cool in the air, rather than plunging it into a liquid of some sort. Results explaining the item’s composition also lead the researchers to presume that the particular sword was probably used in battle.

Craftsmen often enhanced the characteristic “watered silk” pattern of wootz steel by doing micro-etching on the surface. Barzagli explains that through overcleaning some of these original ‘watered’ surfaces have since been obscured, or removed entirely. “A non-destructive method able to identify which of the shiny surface blades are actually of wootz steel is very welcome from a conservative point of view,” she added.

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Exotic hoard artefacts found in field hint at long-distance Bronze Age sea travel……


A photo of a series of jagged stone bronze age artefacts against a black background

Metal detectorists, farmers and archaeologists have helped discover a Bronze Age hoard in west Wales© National Museum Wales

Archaeologists investigating a 2.5-kilogram hoard of sword blades, scabbards and knives found by a metal detectorist in January 2013 say the plough-disturbed artefacts could have been delivered to Wales by sea from southern England or northern France.

Two blade fragments, a scabbard fitting, a multi-edged knife and six copper ingot fragments were discovered by Adrian Young a few metres apart from each other in the corner of a field in Marloes and St Brides .

The Coroner for Pembrokeshire has now officially declared the hoard treasure, with archaeologists at National Museum Wales dating it to between 2,800 and 3,000 years ago.

“The combination of objects found in this hoard hints at the long-distance sea travel of finished objects during the Late Bronze Age, from southern England and northern France to west Wales,” says Adam Gwilt, the Principal Curator for Prehistory at National Museum Wales.

“The swords, scabbard and knife are exotic types, not typical for the region.

“We can now see that copper ingot fragments are common components within hoards from Pembrokeshire, similar to a pattern also seen in Cornwall.”

An as-yet-undecided public museum collection will acquire the hoard once it has been independently valued.

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2011 Stats..assault weapons, knives, medical…..


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Mass killings have a long history…….not a new event


He came along with a shotgun on his shoulder while a group of children were playing in front of the school. Without warning or provocation, he raised the gun to his shoulder, took deliberate aim, and fired into the crowd of boys.

Although it sounds sadly modern, the account was published in the New York Times more than a century ago.

Dated April 10, 1891, the article described an elderly man firing a shotgun at children playing in front of St. Mary’s Parochial School in Newburgh, NY.

“None of the children were killed, but several were well filled with lead,” the report said.

More than a century earlier, on July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in what is considered the earliest known U.S. mass school shooting.

Indeed, killing or trying to kill a mass of people is not a modern phenomenon. For as long as there has been history, there have been gruesome mass murders.

“The terms amok, a Malayan word, and berserk, a Norse word, have been used to describe individuals going on killing sprees. Both terms have been around for centuries, which reflects the fact that mass murder is neither a modern nor a uniquely American phenomenon,” Grant Duwe,director of research at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told Discovery News.
Defined as bloody events that occur within a 24-hour period and that involve a minimum of four victims, mass murders have occurred all over the world, in different times, societies and cultures.

Some of the earliest recorded cases include the 1893 killing with guns and swords of 11 people (including an infant) in Osaka, Japan, the 1914 shooting of 7 people in the Italian village of Camerata Cornello, not to mention the case of German spree killer Ernst August Wagner.
In 1913, he stabbed to death his wife and four children in Degerloch, near Stuttgart, then drove to Mühlhausen an der Enz where he opened fire on 20 people, killing at least nine, leaving two animals dead and several buildings burned to the ground.

In 1927, South African farmer Stephanus Swart shot dead at least 8 people and injured 3 others in Charlestown, South Africa, before committing suicide.

In 1938 almost half of the population of the rural village of Kaio, near Tsuyama city in Japan, was murdered as 21-year-old Mutsuo Toi killed 30 people with a shotgun, sword and axe, injured three others and then shot himself to death.

Between 1954 and 1957, William Unek murdered a total of 57 people in two separate spree killings in the Belgian Congo.

He first killed 21 people with an axe, then shot dead ten men, eight women and eight children, slaughtered six more men with the axe, burned two women and a child, and strangled a 15-year-old girl.
More recently in the bloody timeline of shooting sprees, some of the most dramatic incidents include the 1987 Hungerford massacre in England, where gun enthusiast Michael Ryan shot 16 people dead and wounded another 15 before committing suicide, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, where 28 year old Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 21 before being caught by police, and the 1996 school shooting in the Scottish town of Dunblane.

There, failed shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school, killing 16 children and a teacher before turning his gun on his mouth.

“I could have been one of those children,” tennis player Andy Murray wrote in his autobiography, “Hitting Back.”

Britain’s highest ranked player, Murray was eight when Hamilton burst into the school and began shooting. He and his 10-year-old brother Jamie escaped the fire by hiding under a desk.

In the United States, two mass murder waves characterized the 20th century. One appeared in the 1920s and 30s and another in the mid-1960s, following a tranquil period in the 1940s and 50s.

The two waves, however, were qualitatively different, according to Duwe.

The author of “Mass Murder in the United States: A History,” Duwe researched 909 cases of mass killing that occurred in the United States between 1900 and 1999.

“The first mass murder wave in the 1920s and 30s was comprised mainly of familicides and felony-related massacres, which, then as now, are less likely to garner extensive media coverage,” Duwe said.

On the contrary, the second mass murder wave from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s consisted of a greater number of mass public shootings, similar to the recent Aurora movie theater shooting and Newtown school shooting.

These incidents “have always captured a great deal of interest and concern,” Duwe said.

Marked by the 1966 Texas Tower shootings where student Charles Whitman climbed a 27-story tower on the University of Texas campus shooting dead 14 people and wounding 31 others, the mid-1960s do not actually represent the beginning of an unprecedented mass murder wave in the United States.

“Since 1900, the highest mass murder rate was in 1929. Mass public shootings are one of several types of mass murder and generally account for roughly 10-15 percent of all mass killings in the U.S.,” Duwe said.

According to the criminologists, the 1990s had the highest number of mass public shootings with a little more than 40 — an average of a little more than 4 each year.

The number of mass public shootings dropped below 30 in the years between 2000 and 2009.

“This year, however, the U.S. has had at least seven mass public shootings, which is the highest number since 1999,” Duwe said.

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