04 maio 2018

Coin Collection From Classical Corinth Presents A Conundrum

A hoard of about 119 coins, together with an iron lock that may have locked the container holding the coins, have been found inside a collapsed building in the harbor of the ancient city of Corinth in Greece.

The earliest coin in the hoard dates to shortly after the death of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (who reigned from 306-337 CE), while the most recent two coins in the stash date to the reign of Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I (who reigned from 491-518 CE). Based on their weight and size, the coins from Anastasius I’s reign likely date to sometime between 491 and 498 CE, before Anastasius I reformed the Byzantine Empire’s coinage system. So the building collapse no sooner than the 500 CE. When the coins come from is not the conundrum, however.

Why didn’t anyone come to collect the stash after the building collapsed? That’s the big mystery that has archaeologists scratching their heads. The coin collection represents significant wealth at the time, and the lack of bodies suggests the collection’s owner wasn’t killed when the structure collapsed. The coins were found just 12 to 16 inches (30-40 centimeters) below modern ground level. It wouldn’t have been much work to retrieve the coins. But instead they were left, to be discovered by modern archaeologists. Not that the archaeologists are complaining!

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Medieval Berlin Discovered Under A Parking Garage

Archaeologists were very excited by a recent discovery in the heart of modern Berlin, found during construction of a parking garage. A church, a grave yard with skeletons, a school, and a cellar were found.

The cellar sounds the least exciting, but it recently became the prize find when its oak beams were dated for the first time. Berlin has previously been dated as far back as 1237, using Catholic Church records, the helpful friend of every Medievalist. The beams were cut in 1192. That’s a full forty year earlier than our earliest records of Berlin!

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Voyage to the Red Planet


NASA's InSight spacecraft rests aboard a ULA Atlas V rocket, awaiting launch scheduled on May 5, 2018.

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