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The mystery of the Roman Lycurgus Cup: Nanotechnology in the ancient world?
The British Museum holds a very beautiful ancient exhibit – the Roman Lycurgus Cup. But he is more famous for his unusual optical properties. Under normal lighting, the goblet appears yellowish-green, and in transmitted light it acquires a deep wine-red hue. Only in 1990, scientists were able to reveal the secret of these unique properties, but how could such an effect be achieved in ancient times? After all, these are the real nanotechnologies …
The cup is a so-called diatret – a double-walled bell covered with a figured pattern. Its height is 16.5, and its diameter is 13.2 centimeters.
The earliest found diatrets belong to the 1st century BC. n e., and their heyday reached its production in the III and IV centuries. Diatrets in that era were considered very expensive items and were available only to the rich. Continue reading
10 archaeological discoveries, because of which rewrote the history of ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is undoubtedly one of the most impressive “chapters” in the history of mankind. The complexity and duration of the existence of Greek culture is impressive today, because after this civilization, many ruins and objects of art remained. Archaeologists still find lost cities and strange artifacts, which often reveal new facts about the life of the ancient Greeks.
1. Ancient mall
In those days, a group of shops was called a portico. When archaeologists excavated in 2013 a neighborhood of the ancient coastal city of Argylos, they found a similar portico. Located in Greece near the Aegean Sea, the old shopping center served hundreds of customers about 2,500 years ago. This makes it the oldest ever found in northern Greece. Continue reading
The Riddle of Easter Island: What Archaeologists Know About Gigantic Scenery
The mystery of Easter Island stirs the minds of historians and enthusiasts over the centuries. It has not yet been possible to explain the origin of the giant stone statues installed on the most remote inhabited island. Scientists are puzzled over how the multi-ton statues moved around the island, and what the drawings on their bases, found during excavations, mean.
Scientists suggest that the indigenous peoples who lived on the island created stone statues of moai in memory of their ancestors. A new sculpture appeared in honor of every deceased chief of the tribe or other important personages.
The islanders carved statues from volcanic rock. To implement their plans, the sculptors have developed a special technology. At first, they plentifully moistened the rock, waiting for it to soften, and only after that they began to work with it. A team of 5-6 sculptors usually worked on one statue, it took about a year to create a moai. The manufacturing process took place at a quarry located in the center of the island in the crater of an extinct volcano. Many statues still remain there. The main mystery is connected with those moai, which are installed on the coast. Understand how the islanders delivered stone giants to the right place until it is possible. Continue reading