Tag Archives: museum

Looted treasures return to Afghanistan

The artefacts confiscated in London go on display in Kabul shortly

The artefacts confiscated in London go on display in Kabul shortly

In a small room inside Kabul museum, staff are slowly unwrapping hundreds of stolen pieces of Afghanistan’s past.


Worth a fortune on the black market, the smugglers’ hoard was spotted and seized by customs officers at Heathrow airport in London.

Now it has been returned to Afghanistan.

More than 1,500 artefacts were recovered in an 11-day operation. Many are priceless objects of Islamic art looted in illegal excavations.

They include a magnificent tall bronze bird. Nine-hundred years ago, its owner would have burned incense in the drawer that slots into its puffed chest………………………..

read more here:


….The recovered items are a huge boost to the museum’s depleted collection – and to morale. But they’re just a fraction of what Afghanistan has already lost and of what is still slipping across its borders.

The 1,500 items seized at Heathrow were identified and catalogued by staff from the British Museum. They were eventually returned to Kabul with the help of the Red Cross and should go on public display here in the next few weeks.




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2000 year old sewn ship found in Croatia

Reconstruction of a seagoing sewn ship - Murman shnjaka.

Reconstruction of a seagoing sewn ship - Murman shnjaka.

Well, as I have just returned from Croatian Island of Cres (where I have been on survey – more about that later) I found this.. and could do with a find like tht myself!! Pity I can’t stand doing more than paddling!


read the whole article above

Archaeologists have found an ancient sewn ship over 2000 years old in Novalia, Croatia.

According to a report in Archaeological Discovery, the ship was found in the Caska Bay on the Island of Pag, near Novalja.

The lower part of the ship was found, body panels, ship skeleton and stitches, which the panels were connected with.

The research, which was organized by the city of Novalja in cooperation with the Zadar University and the French national institute for scientific research, was led by professor Zdenko Brusic from the Zadar University.

“In Roman times, Novalja was known for its port accommodation and was located on the old sea route from Greece to northern Italy and central Europe. The ships would wait in Novalja for suitable winds and because of that a town developed there that had various suitable services,” said Brusic.


see more about the sewn boat here, as well as images (like the one shown above) here


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Composer’s Neanderthal recreation


Neanderthals may even have been there at the origins of music

Neanderthals may even have been there at the origins of music

While at the Current Archaeology conference in Cardiff, I was lucky enough to see  part of this..

BBC news report..  and you even get to hear an excerpt

A musical experience with a difference is being previewed at the National Museum Wales in Cardiff – an attempt to recreate the sound of the Neanderthals.

Jazz composer Simon Thorne was given the task of creating the “soundscape” to provide a musical backdrop to some of the ancient exhibits on display.

The musician says the work is “probably the most unusual” he has undertaken.

Goes along with Steve Mithens work.

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One Ton Rat

The fossil skull, with a modern rat for comparisonNow for those of you who knew/know me as Rat, I have to confess a love for all things rodent.  Over the years some of my bet friends have been rats..  bless!    However, this news report did make me re-access if I would have been so happy at sharing my life with one of these monsters!  Though on teh other hand, it would be better than a Rottweiler!    Meet my friend GodzilRat….     I first thought that One Ton Rat was a type of chinese soup…  but after reading this I realised my mistake…   Enjoy!

Fossil hunters have unearthed the skull of a giant prehistoric rat that roamed South America four million years ago.

The fossilised skull of the largest rodent ever recorded has been described by scientists for the first time. The remains of the one-tonne beast, found in Uruguay, indicate that it would have been as big as a bull. It is thought that the three-metre-long herbivore would have roamed estuaries and forests 2-4 million years ago. The mammal, which is more than 15 times heavier than the largest living rodent, is described in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society.

 The authors say the animal would have lived alongside carnivorous “terror birds” and sabre-toothed cats. “If you are a rodent you cannot run so well so you would have had to fight with these predators,” said Dr Rudemar Ernesto Blanco of the Institute of Physics in Montevideo, Uruguay, one of the authors of the paper. “It might have reached this size to protect itself.” Fighting giants: The half-metre-long fossil skull was discovered by an amateur palaeontologist in a boulder on the Rio de La Plata coast in the south of the country.

The remains had lain in the Museum of Natural History in Montevideo for three years before being studied and identified as a new species, Josephoartigasia monesi. The pakarana is the creature’s closest living relative It was recognised as a new creature by examining and comparing its teeth with other known species of Josephoartigasia. “Its incisors are extraordinarily large – much larger than any other rodent,” said Dr Blanco. The researchers have speculated that the creature may have used the teeth to cut wood in a similar way to a modern day beaver.

“The other possibility is that they used them for fighting.” The team spent nearly one year estimating the body mass by comparing the skull with other living South American rodents. Most weigh less than 1kg. However, there are exceptions such as the 60kg capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), and the closest living relative of the newly discovered creature: the pakarana (Dinomys branickii).

Artist's reconstruction of the one-tonne beast, showing the fossil in light grey

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