the will of the ancients

The Catalina Giants: Back in 2012 the curator of the Catalina Island Museum opened the door to a musty backroom hoping to find material for an upcoming exhibition. As he made his way to a back corner, he noticed a row of trunks. He carried the largest trunk, belonging to Ralph Glidden an amateur archaeologist, to a table, blew off the dust and lifted the lid.

Inside were leather-bound journals and yellowing photographs showing freshly unearthed skeletons lying on their backs or sides, or curled as if in sleep. Many were surrounded by grinding stones, pots and beadwork.

L.A. Marzulli, who in his on-going search for giants that once roamed the earth, went out to Catalina Island and he was allowed to search through the archives and while digging through another trunk of Ralph Glidden’s stuff he found a picture in a protective plastic sleeve, tucked into a envelope, which was then hidden away in a sealed vault.

The picture showed a giant skeleton just under nine feet in height!

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Archaeological Museum of Thebes

Offering gifts to the goddess

Main element of the Mycenaean religious ritual was the procession of female worshippers towards the shrine, the temple, or the altar of the seated, sometimes enthroned goddess.The depiction of processions on murals, and gold seal-rings was particularly frequent.

The preserved part of a large mural composition from the palace of Thebes (14th/13th century BC) shows a procession of female adorants in traditional Minoan dress. They advance majestically holding their offerings: lilies, wild roses, a casket with jewellery, a necklace, and a luxury vase perhaps filled with aromatic oil. They move in two opposite directions, perhaps towards a central female deity who receives their offerings.

I think I have finally solved the flounced skirt mystery. In my opinion it’s a large rectangle piece of textile, straight from the loom, perhaps decorated at the top and bottom border with added woven bands. The textile is draped around the hips, then tied with the top toppling down. Multiple layers can be worn, toppling down and giving the look of the flounced skirt. Similarly the vest, could be a tunic, again rectangle pieces of textile can be used, with decorative woven bands binding them together at the seams. 

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THE ROMAN HOXNE HOARD: 

THE Hoxne Hoard is the largest cache of late Roman gold found anywhere in the Roman Empire. Discovered by a metal detectorist in Suffolk, in the east of England in 1992 CE, the incredible collection contains 14,865 late-4th  and early-5th century CE Roman gold, silver and bronze coins, and 200 items of silver tableware and gold jewelery. 

The hoard amounts to a total of 7.7lb of gold and 52.4 lb of silver, and its current value is estimated at around $4.3 million. As the finder reported his discovery immediately, the cache was professionally excavated by archaeologists and conserved soon afterward so the vital context of the objects and their condition were preserved. 

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Article by Brian Haughton on AHE

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THE MONASTIC MOVEMENT: ORIGINS AND PURPOSES: 

IN 313 CE, Constantine the Great (272 – 337 CE) ended the sporadic-yet-terrifying Christian persecutions under the Roman Empire with his “Edict of Milan,” and brought the Christian church under imperial protection. Not surprisingly, public social activities and normative culture changed, quite dramatically and favorably, for the early Christians. 

Previously, early Christians faced dangers from outside of the faith and often had to “worship underground,” in order to avoid both physical dangers and social oppression from various Pagan and Jewish factions in the first three centuries of the faith. However, after Constantine’s imperial endorsement and favoritism for Christian leaders and the laity, a new cultural permissiveness and secularism arose within the faith; and pious believers began to worry more about inner church immorality, abuse, and vice.

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Article by John S. Knox on AHE

New Scans of Ancient Pompeii Victims Reveal Great Teeth and Good Health

CT scanners are being used on the plaster casts of the Mount Vesuvius victims from Pompeii. Preliminary results show that, in general, they had great teeth and were in remarkably good health before the volcanic eruption. This new discovery goes against the commonly held belief that Romans were often hedonists that enjoyed consuming in excess whenever possible.

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