Monday, December 28, 2015

Ring 'belonging to Joan of Arc' is set to go under the hammer at auction

A 15th century ring believed to have been owned by Joan of Arc will go under the hammer in London.

The ring, thought to have been worn by the patron saint before her death and handed down through King Henry VII, is set to be auctioned in February.

The piece is said to have been given to the French heroine by her parents before she was burned at the stake by the British when she was just 19 years old in 1431.

The ring matches a description, revealed in transcripts, given by Joan of Arc herself during the trial which resulted in her death.

She said it has the inscription 'Jhesus Maria' as well as three crosses, and was made from either gold or brass. She claimed it was on her hand when she touched St Catherine, who appeared before her in a vision.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Celtic find near Lavau in France leaves archaeologists baffled


The remains of an ancient Celtic prince or princess found still wearing a solid gold torque and lavish bracelets in a grave filled with riches has left archaeologists baffled.

The 2,500 year old royal grave, which is thought to date to the fifth century BC, was discovered in Lavau, near Troyes, is thought to have belonged to a member of a Celtic royal family.

Lying at the centre of the tomb, the skeleton had been laid to rest inside an ornate two-wheeled chariot with a 580g (1.2lbs) golden torque decorated with elaborate winged monsters around its neck.

However, French archaeologists who have been leading the excavation have yet to establish the sex of the individual in the tomb, but believe it may have been a Celtic prince or princess of Lavau.

The strange assortment of items found alongside the body have added to the mystery of who the tomb belonged to.

There have been several tombs of princesses from fifth century BC found in north east France, including the Lady of Vix, which was discovered in northern Burgundy in 1953.


See Also:

Archaeologists found a 2,600-year-old Celtic Princess in Germany


German archaeologists discovered a Celtic grave in 2011 in the Danube heartland, where they found the remains of a Celtic princess, from 2,600 years ago, buried with her gold and amber jewelry.

The princess had remained in her final resting place since about 609BC. German experts began to dig out the 80 tonnes of clay covering the grave to remove it bring it their offices where it could be examined.

Experts believe that the manner that she was buried, with expensive jewels, shows that she was of a high social rank. The brooches found are particularly beautiful with Celtic designs in gold and amber. According to BBC reports the remains of a child were also found in the grave. The child is presumed to be the princess'.


Read More Here:
National Geographic: Celtic Princess Tomb



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

King Tutankhamun tomb's hidden chamber discovered through testing temperature | Daily Mail Online

An investigation of King Tutankhamun's tomb may have led to the indication of hidden chambers, according to a statement from Egypt's antiquity ministry.

A team from Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering and a Paris-based organization called the Heritage, Innovation and Preservation Institute used infrared thermography to measure the temperature of each of the walls of the tomb.

Preliminary analysis of the non-invasive search showed that one area of the northern wall was a different temperature than other areas, which is a potential sign of a hidden chamber.

The completion of the experiment comes, on the 93rd anniversary of the find, and at the same time that researchers unveiled newly colorized photos of the discovery of the tomb.




The Deadly History of Women Using Perfume as Poison

Beauty has always been a direction marker. In his essay "Privacy in the Films of Lana Turner," the writer Wayne Koestenbaum describes it as a vector—and one that may not have a clear trajectory. In The Secret History, Donna Tartt writes the same and goes further: To her, death is the mother of beauty, and we endlessly seek its capture because we want to live forever. Appropriately, much of the history of beauty—and in particular, of perfume—has been a one-way ticket, paid for in alcohol and essential oil, straight into the afterlife.

We could start in most countries when it comes to death by perfume—it's actually a tale older than Christ. People were poisoning each other for political gain and biological warfare many thousands of years before Jesus walked.

5 Top Beauty Tips of Ancient Empress Dowager Cixi Revealed - All China Women's Federation

Empress Dowager Cixi, the regent who effectively controlled the Chinese government in the late Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) for 47 years, enjoyed longevity of 74 years at a time when life expectancy in the country was around 50.
At 60, her skin was "tender and smooth, as fair as that of a young lady," her maid Der Ling recorded in one of her texts.  "Dowager Cixi was 70, but she looked just like in her 30s," wrote Katharine Carl, a U.S. artist who often painted portraits of the empress.  What are the secrets of such a healthy and beautiful long life?

Joan of Arc – A Behind the Scenes Exclusive - Idol Chatter

Joan of Arc is a holiday season special airing on BYUtv on Thanksgiving, November 26 at 6 PM MT with rebroadcasts throughout the holiday season. It includes dramatized scenes of Joan’s life, filmed on location in France, and interviews with scholars and experts. The film is based on the true story of the courageous Joan of Arc. She heard a voice, was given direction and from there she forges forward with a journey.

Could a nineteen-year-old girl change the course of history simply by faith? From ordinary farm girl to extraordinary hero, the life of Joan of Arc was one of conviction and courage. Fifteenth-century France was devastated by an ongoing war in which women did not fight. Yet Joan heeded the counsel of angels and transformed into a military leader – something her country needed but many feared. In this BYUtv original special, discover the stalwart spirit, military prowess, and enduring influence of Joan of Arc.




Review: Stacy Schiff’s The Witches By John Semley

Review: Stacy Schiff’s The Witches is a nimbly woven tapestry - The Globe and Mail

The Witches is a book as sensitive to the practicalities and banalities of the colonies as the grander intellectual and religious forces that conspired to propel one of America’s earliest, most memorable and vicious ordeals. Like all historical traumas, the Salem trials linger in the imagination because they seem like nothing less than the structural collapse of the whole project of humanity; a failure of civilization itself. The evil that men do has a way of diabolically disguising itself in the trappings and suits of logic, reason and civility. But, in the end, such twisted, toxic rationales jury-rigged to justify barbarism, cruelty and the highest forms of inhumanity amount to just so much proverbial duck-weighing.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Judean Seal In 2,000-year-old Russian Warrior Woman’s Grave

A spectacular find was made near the Black Sea this summer: Excavating the 2,000-year-old grave of a Sarmatian noblewoman, which miraculously hadn't been looted, the archeologists found a wealth of artifacts – including a carnelian seal with ancient Hebrew letters, centuries older than the tomb.

The woman's grave, located at Rostov-on-Don, was replete with burial offerings. The items, dating from the 1st century BCE to the 1st century AD, included wooden dishes and a cup lying by her right hand. By her feet were pieces of a bronze bucket with a floral design and a ladle with the head of the Gorgon, and by her pelvis was a gold vial with a lid and fossilized contents. Four clay vessels were found in the northeast corner of the tomb, as well as knives, over a hundred arrows and a harness, and an unfinished sword with an intricate handle inlay.