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What is special about King Tut’s brooch?

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King Tutankhamun was the last of his family to rule Egypt 1334 – 1325 BC. He is famous because of the discovery of his treasure, together with his mummy, in his tomb, by Howard Carter in 1922. On the breastplate  of the mummy, there was a winger scarab broach, fashioned from yellow glass. 
 
Scarab beetles were worshipped in Egypt, as symbols of death and rebirth. They are active at night, finding their way by the distant rays of light from the Milky Way, rather than by bright stars. The scarab broach, belonging to King Tut, has itself an amazing connection to the cosmos.
 
It was discovered that the glass used, could not have been produced at the time of his death. Investigation revealed that it is desert glass, that originated in the Sahara desert. It is formed from  the impact of a comet that fell to Earth, twenty eight million years ago! The discovery of the remains of a comet, a black pebble, found during excavations in the desert, was an astronomical first. Only dust fragments of comets, had been  found before then.
 
So King Tut’s brooch is indeed a very special broach, as it was made from glass formed by the impact of a comet that fell to earth millions of years ago, an  archaeological as well as an astronomical first.

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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archeology

An important archaeological discovery in Pompeii

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After almost 2000 years a tomb of a freedman, Marcus Venerius, whose body rested semi embalmed was discovered this week.

To the east of the ancient city, at the necropolis of Porta Sarno, archaeologists found the intact burial of Marcus Venerius Secundio . A very special tomb, because at the time in the city the bodies were incinerated, while that of Marco Venerio is a tomb and his body is inside, lying in a corner, with the nape covered with white and semi-mummified hair. His body was kept inside a cell which allowed its preservation.

Marco Venerio, was over 60 when he died and was a freedman which means a former slave who had gained his freedom. He had been the guardian of the Temple of Venus, protector of the city of Pompeii, minister of the Augustals and then, after the liberation, Augustale, or member of a college of priests of the imperial cult. What is amazing of all this is the fact that a former slave could make enough money to buy himself a posh tomb.  Two cinerary urns were found externally in the tomb enclosure, one belonging to a woman named Novia Amabilis, probably  Marco Venerio’s wife. Specialists are also analysing what remains of the funeral tunic, which was made of asbestos, which may have contributed to the preservation of the body. Asbestos was often used for embalming

This new discovery is very important as it contains many details of life at the time while at the same time adding a few unanswered questions.

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The Perfect Gifts for people who love Stonehenge

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In the beautiful English countryside Stonehenge, the mythical stone ring, is the ancient monument, as known as Buckingham Palace, and is easily recognisable even by people normally not interested in archeology. 

There are hundreds of stone circles all over the world, but the size of the Stonehenge, the innovative and mysterious design of the building and the combination of stones with gigantic rock boulders to make it really special.

Located in the Salisbury Plain, on the southwestern part of England in the county of Wiltshire, Stonehenge is surrounded by a strange landscape of burial mounds and ancient earthwork  near to the beautiful Cathedral city of Salisbury. 

Together with the stone circle of Avebury, also in Wiltshire, Stonehenge became a World Heritage Site in 1986. Tourists flock all the time (when there are no pandemics) and while in the past people could actually go near the stones and touch them, now everything is fenced off. But it’s still an incredible experience. 

We have collected a series of gifts for people who love Stonehenge, so you don’t have to look for them. You will find anything from books to Tshirts, from chess sets to puzzles. 

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Arbor Low, the small Stonehenge in Derbyshire

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Everyone knows Stonehenge but fewer people will know Arbor Low which is located in the Peak District in Derbyshire. The boulders here are nothing like those of Stonehenge, but Arbor Low forms a perfect circle in a beautiful countryside area.

Once the boulders used to stand but now they are all on the ground, in any case the place has something magical about it. The boulders are about 50 and surround what appears to be a larger boulder that probably formed a primitive chamber. This feature is found only in the most important Neolithic archaeological sites and therefore suggests that Arbor Low was a very important place at the time.

 

Nearby is a tumulus from the Bronze Age, as often happens in these Neolithic sites nearby there are always tombs. The mound is located on Gib Hill. Although Arbor Low is normally referred to as the Stonehenge of the North or the Stonehenge of the Peak District it’s more similar to Avebury, another important Neolithic site.

The good news is that you can visit it and admission is also free. It is managed by English Heritage.

How to get to Arbor Low?

Getting there without your own vehicle is a bit messy but with a bit of planning it’sfeasible. In most cases you will still be in the area and include Arbor Low on a visit to the Peak District. In any case you must first reach Derby where you can take bus number 114 to Ashbourne.

Get off at the market square and take bus number 441 to Buxton. Get off at The Rake and you will have to walk about a mile to get to the Neolithic circle.

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