antiquities

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They Found 13 Ancient Coffins in One Well. Then, 14 More

Archaeologists unearth 2,500-year-old sarcophagi near Egypt's Step Pyramid of Djoser

(Newser) - Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed more than two dozen ancient coffins in a vast necropolis south of Cairo, an official said Monday. The sarcophagi have remained unopened since they were buried more than 2,500 years ago near the famed Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, says Neveine el-Arif, a spokeswoman... More »

'Next to Miraculous' $9M Vase Found in Old Woman's Cupboard

Rediscovered Chinese porcelain dating back 275 years kept in open cupboard near cats, dogs

(Newser) - A delicate Chinese porcelain vase believed to have been crafted for an emperor 275 years ago has sold for more than $9 million after turning up in a cupboard in a country home in central Europe. The rare find—actually two vases in one, with a pierced outer layer of... More »

Authorities: Gilgamesh Tablet Needs to Leave the US

They say it must be returned to Iraq

(Newser) - A 3,500-year-old clay tablet bought by the Hobby Lobby for display in the Museum of the Bible should be returned to Iraq, US federal prosecutors said in a civil complaint Monday. The cuneiform tablet is inscribed with a portion of the Epic of Gilgamesh, hence, its name: the Gilgamesh... More »

Christie's Thinks This Is Worth $5M. Egypt Thinks It's Stolen

A tussle over a Tutankhamun statue

(Newser) - Last Monday Christie's let the world know that it planned to auction an Egyptian brown quartzite head of King Tut as the god of sun and air, Amun. It expected it to go for more than $5 million in the July 4 sale. Egyptian officials are now trying to... More »

Collector Had 'Staggering' Number of Human Bones

2K bones represent 500 humans, likely Native Americans

(Newser) - It was a collection "unlike anything we'd ever seen." That's how the head of the FBI's art crime unit describes some 42,000 artifacts discovered in the rural Indiana home of Don Miller during a 2014 raid . Almost five years later, Tim Carpenter of the... More »

Museum: Here's Your $4M Coffin. Sorry About That

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns the antiquity to Egypt

(Newser) - New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art says it's returning a prized artifact to Egypt after learning it was stolen from the country in 2011, the AP reports. The Met said Friday that the Manhattan District Attorney's office found evidence that the museum was given a false ownership... More »

Hidden in Rock Chambers, Egypt's First Big Find of 2019

40 mummies, including 10 that were children, unearthed at Tuna El-Gebel necropolis in Minya

(Newser) - Egypt says it just made what Ahram Online calls its "first antiquities discovery of 2019," and it's a big one: a number of ancient burial chambers containing some 40 mummies at the Tuna El-Gebel necropolis in the desert province of Minya, south of Cairo, the AP reports.... More »

Hobby Lobby's Smuggled Artifacts Headed Back to 'Rightful Owner'

3.8K of the ill-begotten artifacts are heading back overseas on Wednesday

(Newser) - Hobby Lobby's "passion for the Bible" may have made it a bit overzealous when it came to purchasing antiquities from other lands. The arts and crafts retailer obtained thousands of illegally smuggled artifacts from Iraq in 2010—then subsequently agreed to send them back —and now that... More »

Uproar Leads to Probe of 95-Year-Old 'Indiana Joan'

Some say Joan Howard's antiquities collection is illegal

(Newser) - Her collection of ancient artifacts, worth more than $750,000, includes a Roman dagger, Neolithic ax heads, a mummy mask, and a crucifix from the era of Jesus Christ—treasures unearthed in Egypt, Syria, Israel, and beyond. But her boasts about them have some red with anger rather than green... More »

Ancient Text by Father of Medicine Unearthed

Scientists say medicinal recipe attributed to Hippocrates revealed in Egyptian monastery

(Newser) - Hippocrates is considered the father of Western medicine, and now researchers in Egypt have found what they say is one of his original texts, reports National Geographic . The discovery came during restoration of the library at the ancient St. Catherine's Monastery in South Sinai, and it took some sleuthing.... More »

Hobby Lobby Has to Return Smuggled Artifacts

Chain will pay $3M over 'regrettable mistakes'

(Newser) - Hobby Lobby President Steve Green has apologized for what he calls "regrettable mistakes"—including buying thousands of artifacts after being warned they could have been looted from Iraq , and then shipping them to the US described only as "samples" or "ceramic tiles." The arts-and-crafts chain... More »

In Spate of Recent Finds, Egypt Unearths an Unusual One

Necropolis with 17 human mummies a rare find in area known for mummified animals

(Newser) - An Egyptian archaeological mission has found a necropolis holding at least 17 mummies near the Nile Valley city of Minya, in the first such find in the area, the antiquities ministry said on Saturday. The discovery was made in the village of Tuna al-Gabal, reports the AP , a vast archaeological... More »

Waiter Learns the Hard Way to Be Careful Around Ancient Art

Venus statue at London's British Museum had thumb knocked right off by catering server

(Newser) - A waiter who was all thumbs cost a priceless Roman sculpture one of its own. The BBC reports on the incident at London's British Museum, which the Art Newspaper says took place in December, in which the unfortunate unnamed server from an outside catering vendor was setting up for... More »

ISIS Driven Out of Palmyra

Syrian forces now combing historic city for booby traps

(Newser) - Syrian government forces backed by Russian airstrikes drove Islamic State fighters from Palmyra on Sunday, reports the AP , ending the group's 10-month reign of terror over a town whose famed 2,000-year-old ruins once drew tens of thousands of visitors each year. Government forces had been on the offensive... More »

Hobby Lobby Clan Suspected of Looting Iraq Antiquities

4-year federal probe looks into whether ancient tablets were smuggled into US

(Newser) - The Museum of the Bible being built in DC by the Christian family behind one of the nation's biggest arts-and-crafts retailers is coming along nicely. Maybe too nicely, per law enforcement sources, who tell the Daily Beast that the Green family—the ones whose Hobby Lobby chain claimed a... More »

ISIS Destroys Ancient 'Arch of Triumph'

It had stood in Palmyra for 2K years

(Newser) - Syrian activists say ISIS militants have destroyed a nearly 2,000-year-old arch in the ancient city of Palmyra, the latest victim in the group's campaign to destroy historic sites across the territory it controls in Iraq and Syria. The Arch of Triumph was one of the most recognizable sites... More »

New Mission in Iraq, Syria: Save Ancient Treasures From ISIS

Precious antiquities being destroyed by militants

(Newser) - ISIS militants have trashed museum pieces in Mosul with sledgehammers, bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, and yesterday destroyed the Hatra ruins in Iraq, reports the BBC . But while the New York Times catalogs everything that antiquities ministers and workers are doing to stave off the annihilation of some... More »

Chance Photo Leads to Alleged 'Cave of Skulls' Looters

Thieves sought ancient scrolls for local market, officials say

(Newser) - Trying to steal a comb is one thing—looting a 2,000-year-old comb from an ancient cave is quite another. Israel says it has apprehended a gang of thieves doing the latter from a Judean cave in the same region as the caves that once housed the Dead Sea Scrolls,... More »

Turkey to US Museums: We Want Our Stuff Back

Nation seeks return of looted antiquities

(Newser) - Turkey has taken note of how neighbors Italy and Greece have cajoled US museums into returning their long-lost antiquities, and it wants in. The government has asked four American facilities—the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Met, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks collection—to return... More »

Is This the Burial Box of Jesus' Brother? Still No Answer

Judge unable to determine whether ossuary once held bones of James

(Newser) - After seven years of hearings about a 2,000-year-old box, an Israeli judge has let an alleged forger off the hook without ruling on whether the burial box once held the bones of James, one of four brothers of Jesus named in the New Testament. The limestone box carries the... More »

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