Posts Tagged With: Romans

Interesting history on ancient Roman mining Technology:


One problem these old miners faced was pumping water out of mines once they dug below the water table. The reverse overshot water wheels were the solution.
The Romans dewatered the mines using several kinds of machine, especially reverse overshot water-wheels. These were used extensively in the copper mines at Rio Tinto in Spain, where one sequence comprised 16 such wheels arranged in pairs, and lifting water about 80 feet. They were worked as treadmills with miners standing on the top slats. Many examples of such devices have been found in old Roman mines and some examples are now preserved in the British Museum and the National Museum of Wales.
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Romans and nanotechnology…..


This colorful 1,600-year-old glass goblet shows the Romans were experts at nanotechnology … The glass chalice, known as the Lycurgus Cup because it bears a scene involving King Lycurgus of Thrace, appears jade green when lit from the front but blood-red when lit from behind … a property that puzzled scientists for decades … until researchers in England scrutinized broken fragments under a microscope and discovered that the Roman artisans were nanotechnology pioneers.
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The Treasure of the Copper Scrolls…..


Located to the west of the northern tip of the Dead Sea and near to the town of Kalya is the Qumran archaeological site. On a desert plateau carved by ravines are the caves where the famous Dead Sea Scrolls were initially discovered by bedouin in 1946. The later excavation of 11 caves by archaeologists sponsored by the Jordanian Department of Antiquities uncovered 972 parchment and papyrus texts and two unusual scrolls made of copper. These would turn out to be one scroll that had been divided into two pieces.

This rare find was discovered on the 14th March 1952 at the back of Cave 3, somewhat separate from the other finds. The scroll was badly oxidised and fragile to touch but it was obvious that it was different from the other leather and paper scrolls – it was a detailed list of 64 locations where significant amounts of gold and silver had been hidden. It was written as if anyone reading it would have familiarity with the places mentioned and is believed to have been created between 110 and 30 BCE. Although many historians believe that some of the treasure may have been located by the Romans during their occupation of the region it is reasonable to think that at least some of the locations were never revealed.

For Example:

Item 3. In the funeral shrine, in the 3rd row of stones: One hundred gold ingots. Item 5: In the ascent of the ‘staircase of refuge’, to the left-hand side, three cubits up from the floor are forty talents of silver. Item 32: In the cave that is next to (unknown) and belonging to the House of Hakkoz, dig six cubits. Within are six ingots of gold.

 

Treasure: Temple of Solomon / Jewish Military Reserves
Lost: Circa 100 BC
Current Estimated Value: $1.2 Billion +
Contents: Gold and silver coins, ingots and artefacts.
Location: Israel / Jordon

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copper-scroll-treasure

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2,000-Year-Old Treasure Discovered In Black Sea Fortress……


Residents of a town under siege by the Roman army about 2,000 years ago buried two hoards of treasure in the town’s citadel — treasure recently excavated by archaeologists.
More than 200 coins, mainly bronze, were found along with “various items of gold, silver and bronze jewelry and glass vessels” inside an ancient fortress within the Artezian settlement in the Crimea (in Ukraine), the researchers wrote in the most recent edition of the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia.
“The fortress had been besieged. Wealthy people from the settlement and the neighborhood had tried to hide there from the Romans. They had buried their hoards inside the citadel,” Nikolaï Vinokurov, a professor at Moscow State Pedagogical University, explained. [See Photos of the Buried Treasure]
Artezian, which covered an area of at least 3.2 acres (1.3 hectares) and also had a necropolis (a cemetery), was part of the Bosporus Kingdom. At the time, the kingdom’s fate was torn between two brothers —Mithridates VIII, who sought independence from Rome, and his younger brother, Cotys I, who was in favor of keeping the kingdom a client state of the growing empire. Rome sent an army to support Cotys, establishing him in the Bosporan capital and torching settlements controlled by Mithridates, including Artezian.
People huddled in the fortress for protection as the Romans attacked, but Vinokurov said they knew they were doomed. “We can say that these hoards were funeral sacrifices. It was obvious for the people that they were going to die shortly,” he wrote in an email to LiveScience. The siege and fall of the fortress occurred in AD 45.
Curiously, each hoard included exactly 55 coins minted by Mithridates VIII. “This is possibly just a simple coincidence, or perhaps these were equal sums received by the owners of these caskets from the supporters of Mithridates,” the team wrote in its paper.
A Greek lifestyle
Vinokurov’s team, including a number of volunteers, has been exploring Artezian since 1989 and has found that the people of the settlement followed a culture that was distinctly Greek. The population’s ethnicity was mixed, Vinokurov wrote, “but their culture was pure Greek. They spoke Greek language, had Greek school; the architecture and fortification were Greek as well. They were Hellenes by culture but not that pure by blood.”
Greeks are known to have created colonies on the Black Sea centuries earlier, intermarrying with the Crimeans. The customs and art forms they introduced appear to have persisted through the ages despite being practiced nearly 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Greece itself.
This Greek influence can be seen in the treasures the people of Artezian buried. Among them is a silver brooch engraved with an image of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, and gold rings with gems engraved with images of Nemesis and Tyche, both Greek deities.
When archaeologists excavated other portions of the torched site they found more evidence of a Greek lifestyle.
“In the burnt level of the early citadel, many fragmentary small terra cotta figures were found depicting Demeter, Cora, Cybele, Aphrodite with a dolphin, Psyche and Eros, a maiden with gifts, Hermes, Attis, foot soldiers and warriors on horseback, semi-naked youths,” the researchers wrote in their paper, adding fragments of a miniature oinochoai (a form of Greek pottery) and small jugs for libations also were found.
All this was torched by the Romans and later rebuilt by Cotys I, who had been successfully enthroned by Rome. However the treasures of the earlier inhabitants remained undiscovered beneath the surface, a testament to a desperate stand against the growing power of Rome.
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Celtic sacrifices confirmed at famed ancient site…….


Ancient Celts practiced startling ritual murder practices, decorating sacrifice sites with ghoulish entanglements of human bones, most likely as a warning to foes and the folks they ruled.

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The ancient Celts who cooked up the autumn festival of Samhain, a predecessor to today’s Halloween, a new study confirms such displays were serious business.
“The ancient Celts were most definitely head-hunters,” prone to displaying these trophies, says anthropologist Mary Voigt, who has long headed the Penn Museum’s excavations at the storied site of Gordion in modern-day Turkey. “And they were definitely Celts at Gordion.”

What were those Celts (pronounced with a hard “K” sound) doing in Turkey? Well, in a forthcoming study in the Journal of Osteoarchaeology by archaeologist Page Selinsky of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, it seems they were definitely continuing some startling ritual murder practices. They decorated sacrifice sites with ghoulish entanglements of human bones, perhaps as a warning to foes and the folks they ruled.

Gordion is the place where Alexander the Great famously severed the intractable “Gordian Knot,” a knot so complex that legend has it that whoever undid the knot would rule all of Asia, on his conquests around 334 B.C. The death of Alexander also brought Celts, originally mercenaries and later conquerors, to Gordion, a citadel mound in central Turkey that was once ruled by the King Midas of the golden touch myth.

But by 240 B.C., the time examined in Selinsky’s study, Gordion was ruled by a group of Celts called the Galatians (which very roughly means the “Greek Gauls,” where the Gauls were the Celtic tribes who ruled today’s France in the era when ancient Rome was a rising republic). Houses and pottery, loom weights and other artifacts at the site take on Celtic appearances from that time.

The other thing that takes on a Celtic appearance at the time, Selinsky reports in her study, is a graveyard. Bones and skulls from more than a dozen men, women and children arranged in odd ways appear to have been scattered around the site, in six clusters. Later Roman-era burials at the site, in contrast, are in rows of coffins and cremation urns, unlike the Galatian ones, with one exception.

“Understanding what they intended is the million-dollar question in Celtic ritual practices,” Selinsky says. “These are big questions of life and death and what they believed. We may be seeing several different types of rituals.”
In one case, a middle-aged woman’s skeleton, her skull dented by three hammer blows, lay atop a younger woman’s skeleton pinned under two large grinding stones. The bones of two children lay placed among them. In another, a teenager’s clearly-decapitated head was arranged amid dog bones. Perhaps most bizarre, three skeletons mingled in doubled-over positions include the skull of a woman who appears to have been decapitated. Several men appear to have been decapitated among the bone clusters, their heads displayed singly in the manner of war trophies.

The Celts were big fans of skulls, Voigt notes in a chapter of the bookSacred Killing: The Archaeology of Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East, edited by Anne Porter and Glenn Schwartz. The Romans noted they collected heads of enemies to hang from their horses, and they sacrificed criminals and captured enemies, using their death throes to foretell the future. “The heads of those enemies that were held in high esteem they would embalm in cedar oil and display them to their guests, and they would not think of having them ransomed even for an equal weight of gold,” wrote the ancient Greek historian, Strabo.

Voigt suggests that the bodies displayed by the Galatians, which would have been clearly visible to anyone living in the town below their citadel, were meant as a warning either to foes or the subject population of the town. Perhaps some were victims of ritual murder in attempts to tell the future when the Romans invaded their realm. While Selinsky is more cautious about attaching meaning to the bone displays than Voigt, her study does confirm violent death as the end for many of the skeletons, a suggestion that first made news a decade ago. “Here we see further investigation confirming a hypothesis, which is a good thing in science,” Selinsky says.
It’s worth noting that the Galatians didn’t expose everyone who died this way. One young woman found near the ritual area was buried in a wooden coffin and was wearing lion-headed gold earrings, according to Voigt. The Romans who buried people so nicely after them weren’t sweethearts either; they wiped out the Galatians in a war marked by genocide around 189 B.C.

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