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  • Created by: ZodiacRat
  • Created on: 11-05-15 13:31

The Rosetta Stone

  • The Rosetta Stone is a text written by a group of priests in Egypt to honour the Egyptian pharaoh. It lists all of the things that the pharaoh has done that are good for the priests and the people of Egypt.
  • The Rosetta Stone is a stone with writing on it in two languages, using three scripts.
  • The Rosetta Stone was found by French soldiers who were rebuilding a fort in Egypt.
  • It was discovered in 1799 by a soldier during the Napoleonic expedition to Egypt. 
  • Since then it has circulated Europe and now resides in the British Museum. 
  • It has spent longer in the British Museum than in its place of origin. 


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The Getty Aphrodite

  • The Getty Aphrodite is a large limestone and marble statue of a female deity, probably Aphrodite, Hera or Demeter, dating from 425–400 BC.
  • The statue is thought to have been excavated illegally in 1977 or 1978 from or close to the ruins of the fifth- to first-century BC town of Morgantina in Sicily.
  • It was acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1988 and returned to Italy in 2007.
  • The statue was purposefully broken into three parts to facilitate its illegal transport from Italy to Switzerland.
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The Elgin Marbles

  • The Elgin Marbles are part of a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures, inscriptions and architecural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.
  • They are currently in the British Museum. 
  • They were acquired by Lord Elgin from the Parthenon in Athens between 1801 and 1805, during his time as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, of which Athens was a part.
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El Manatí Wooden Olmec Busts

  • A collection of small Olmec figural carvings found in a single archaeological context in Mexico.
  • Busts of this style have been seen on the art market and have been seized.
  • Some questions have been raised around issues of authenticity.
  • Some busts were seized from Spain and Germany.
  • We don't know whether they are authentic or not because we cannot date all of them as it would be damaging to the artefacts. 
  • Looting and illegal export of artefacts from El Manatí is not impossible. 
  • It is likely that some of the busts were kept by locals before archaeologists excavated, and they sold them on to local dealers. 
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Hopi Native American Tribal Masks and Kachina Doll

  • The masks are revered as sacred ritual artefacts by the Hopi Native American tride in Arizona.
  • They were auctioned in France in 2014 despite dispute with Native Americans over the artefacts. 
  • The auction house stated that the objects are 'no longer sacred' and 'you cannot break property law'.
  • The Hopi tribe treat such masks as the 'living dead' and claim the items in Paris were stolen nearly 100 years ago.
  • Objects such as these are believed to hold spirits or guide them into the afterlife. Once removed from their original context and sold they are effectively nullified and some believe the spirits will be stuck in a sort of purgatory.
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Head Smashed In

South-west Alberta

Marked trails and an aboriginal camp,

Vast quantities of buffalo (American Bison) skeletons found at the bottom of a precipice.

Evidence of a custom practised by aboriginal peoples of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years.

Using knowledge of the topography and of buffalo behaviour, they killed their prey by chasing them over a precipice; the carcasses were later carved up in the camp below.

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Uluburun Shipwreck

  • The Uluburun Shipwreck is a well-documented late 14th century BC shipwreck of the Late Bronze Age period, discovered off the south coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea
  • A Turkish sponge diver found it in 1982.
  • The wreck represents a merchant ship of Near Eastern, probably Cypriot or Levantine, origin.
  • 15 m long and could stow ca. 20 tons of cargo.
  • It carried 354 (ca. 10 tons) of copper ingots in the typical oxhide-shape, 40 tin ingots, which contain very little lead (possibly from Spain or Afghanistan), Egyptian jewellery, blue glass, amber, ostrich eggs, gold, resin (in Canaanite jars), food, and vessels of ivory, faience, clay lamps, pithoi, bronze tools, European spearheads, a sword from Italy, a Bulgarian stone ceremonial axe, etc. 
  •  The hull had been badly damaged, but some parts are preserved, partly by the corrosion products of the copper ingots.
  • One opinion is that the ship was outbound from Cyprus (parts of which, at least, were then known as Alashiya), and carried a consignment of 6 tons of copper ingots (from the copper mines of Cyprus, verified by analysis).
  • The nationality of the ship has not been determined, since the articles carried were Mycenaean, Cypriot, Canaanite, Kassite, Egyptian, and Assyrian.
  • Judging from the vast wealth of the cargo (more than 18,000 catalogued artifacts were raised from the seabed), the vessel may have been bound for the Nile River, which was at the time a remarkable center of trade, or the cargo may have comprised offerings to Egyptian Pharaohs.
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Scar Boat Burial

  • Lead bullion weight found, once used by Norse traders to weigh gold and silver on a balance scale.
  • Wood of the boat had rotted away, but marks were left in the sand by over 300 rusted iron rivets and marked out the shape of the vessel that had carried its occupants to the Viking otherworld.
  • The boat had been buried in a stone-lined pit which had been dug too big. Because of this, the vessel had been packed securely into position with stones.
  • A stone wall had been built across the interior of the boat, forming a chamber of sorts and in this were the remains of three people - a man, a woman and a child.
  • grave goods - objects that were included to accompany the deceased into the afterlife: decorated whalebone plaque, gilded brooch, iron sword, quiver with eight arrows, bone combs, game set with 22 pieces, sickle, weaving sword, two spindle whorls. 
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Varna Necropolis

  • Burial site in the western industrial zone of Varna, Bulgaria, internationally considered one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory. The oldest golden treasure in the world, dating to 5,000 BC, was discovered at the site.
  • There are crouched and extended inhumations.
  • Some graves do not contain a skeleton, but grave gifts. These symbolic graves are the richest in gold artefacts.
  • Three thousand gold artefacts were found, with a weight of approximately six kilograms.
  • Grave 43 contained more gold than has been found in the entire rest of the world for that epoch.
  • Three symbolic graves contained masks of unfired clay.
  • Findings showed that the Varna culture had trade relations with distant lands, perhaps exporting metal goods and salt from the Provadiya rock salt mine.
  • Mediterranean spondylus shells found in the graves may have served as currency.
  • The culture had sophisticated religious beliefs about afterlife and developed hierarchal status differences: it offers the oldest known burial evidence of an elite male. Males were generally buried with more gold than females. 
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Sutton Hoo

  • Anglo-Saxon king with luxurious grave goods.
  • Helmet placed next to the head to show that the owner was a fierce warrior.
  • A sceptre is held by a king or queen on special occasions to show that they are royal. The person buried at Sutton Hoo had a huge, very heavy sceptre. The main part of it is made of stone - actually a big whetstone, used to sharpen swords on. also included a stag - king of the forest. 
  • Sword - was often passed down from father to son. Warriors were buried with their swords beside them.
  • More silver found in the ship than in any other Anglo-Saxon burial. Most of this was tableware, used in the owner's Great Hall for feasting.
  • Large bronze bowl was one of three that were hung on tripods in the Hall, were filled with wine or water.
  • Gold belt buckle, decorated with a pattern of interwoven snakes.
  • Purse made of leather and ivory. 
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Star Carr

  • Star Carr is a Mesolithic archaeological site in North Yorkshire, England. 
  • Red deer antler headdresses.
  • Barbed points, flint, shale beads and amber and early timber platforms discovered. 
  • This area of land (the Carrs) has been extensively drained and used as farmland which has caused the peat to deteriorate. Artefacts that were once preserved in this environment are also deteriorating, so the site was re-excavated as a result. 
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Haiyantang Water Clock Fountain

  • Water clock fountain consisting of 12 bronze Chinese zodiac statues - the statues would spout water to tell the time. 
  • The bronze-cast heads of the stone statues were among the treasures looted during the destruction of the Old Summer Palace by British andFrench expeditionary forces in 1860 during the Second Opium War.
  • The statues are stored in the Poly Art Museum (Beijing), the Museum of China, the Capital Museum and other locations. 
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Trajan's Column

Trajan's Column is a Roman triumphal column in RomeItaly, that commemorates Roman emperor Trajan's victory in the Dacian Wars.

It is assumed that the column drums were lifted by cranes into their place. Ancient sources, as well as a substantial body of archaeological evidence, show that Roman engineers were capable of raising large weights clear off the ground.

The statue depicts different scenarios, particularly battles, and involve the use of horses in combat. 

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Evidence of storage of olive oil and wine in barrels and amphorae.

Samian artefacts were found, also local copies of Samian artefacts.

Fort used as protection and to display boundaries. 

Housing and storage within fort. 

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  • Wooden quayside and buildings.
  • Pumping mechanisms.
  • Store rooms and warehousing.
  • Storage barrels.
  • Roman road network.
  • Shops and markets.
  • Roman coins.
  • Fort, housing, military bases.
  • Roman military, civil domination.
  • Military housing marked boundaries.
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  • Iron Age Britons were importing olives from the Mediterranean a century before the Romans arrived - oldest olive stone ever found in Britain.
  • Silchester (Calleva Atrebatum) was the centre of the territory of the Atrebates, one of the major late Iron Age tribes in southern Britain. 
  • Romans imposed a north-south grid of streets upon the ancient Atrebatic tribal capital, and buildings were constructed along them.
  • Prior to the Roman conquest the Atrebates, led successively by kings who issued coinage employing Roman designs and using Latin, had enjoyed extensive trading relations with the Roman world. Evidence for this, mainly in the formof metalwork, glass and pottery, but also foodstuffs, food flavourings and wine, has been discovered.
  • Small intaglio found, a carved gemstone which may originally have fitted into a signet ring and been used for sealing documents. Made from reddish orange carnelian, it has the image of the Roman Goddess Minerva, a carving which would require a high degree of skill to create. 
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