Awesome Artifacts (123 Pics)

Spherical Astrolabe, c. 1480 - 1481
This astrolabe is made of brass with the inscriptions, hour-lines, meridians and circles of altitude in silver; the rotating star map is made of brass, laminated with silver on the ecliptic and equatorial circles.

2000 year old Egyptian 20 sided dice with Greek characters. 2nd century B.C.–4th century A.D.

A medieval manuscript that was peed on by a cat
The scribe was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, and drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:
[Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]
Cologne, Historisches Archiv, G.B. quarto, 249, fol. 68r
 A road sign pointing the way to a brothel in Pompeii, 79 AD
Spintrii, ancient tokens used to enter Roman brothels
Original Pooh and his friends given as gifts by author A. A. Milne to his son Christopher Robin Milne between 1920 and 1922.

The Horned Helmet of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, 1514.
 Samurai helmet (kabuko) shaped like an octopus. About 18th century, Japan.
Mask of Xiutecuhlti, god of fire; 1325-1521 CE, Aztec-Mixtec, Mexico
Shame Mask. Worn as punishment to shame a person convicted of a minor crime.
From the Medieval Crime Museum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Lead sling bullet, inscribed with DEXAI, (meaning in greek"Catch!“) 4th Century Greece
Partridge cup (you drink from the neck)
1600, Germany by Jorg Ruel
Carved olive pit from China, 1737

The most expensive pocket watch in the world made for Marie Antoinette
It’s self winding, has a minute repeater, perpetual calendar, equation of time, jumping hour, power reserve indicator, and a bimetallic thermometer. This watch was originally designed by Breguet himself and has more pieces (823) than an iPhone. It took forty-four years for the original to be constructed and Breguet and Marie Antoinette both died before it was completed.
Planetarium clock made in 1770 in Paris.

 Napoleon’s three chamber box lock pistol.
Elephant armor from India. 17th century.
This fabulous 17th century armor is composed of 5,840 plates and weighs 118kg, some plates are missing and originally the total number would be 8,439 and weigh 159kg! The tusk swords that accompany this armour (not on display) weigh in at 10kg.
It is the only animal armour of this scale on public display and recently entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest animal armour in the world.
 Corsican vendetta knife
The blade reads: “Che la mia ferita sia mortale" - or roughly: “may all your wounds be mortal”.
The only surviving Ho 229 - German WW2 aircraft, the first pure flying wing powered by jet engines. 1944
This First World War period protective face mask
Worn in the Battle of Cambrai by the tank crews, 20 November 1917.
Ancient Roman folding multi-tool device.
The tool features a knife, a spoon, a three-tined fork, a spike, a spatula, and a small pick. 1800 years old. 
 Joseph Enouy’s 8-cylinder, 48-shot percussion revolver
Napoleon’s toothbrush, c 1795
 Universal tool. Nuremberg, from 1560 to 1570.
Iron, partially blackened. Box length 15.8 cm Width 3.85 cm Height 3.6 cm Weight 926 g |The ornamented with the figure of Fortuna iron box with sliding lids and a false floor contains fourteen anchored small tools, on the one hand, three rasps, a pointed Winder, a jig saw, a knife and a detour, on the other a key, four files, a square spade and a gimlet. The universal instrument is in its way a forerunner of today’s popular pocket knife.
 300 year old Tibetan carved skull.
The letters on the jaw are in devanagari script.
Roman slave collar with inscription...
“I have fled, hold me; when you bring me back to my master Zoninus you receive a solidus [gold coin]”, 4th century AD
Greek coin with octopus from Eretria, c. 2500 years old
Roman Lycurgus Cup is a 1,600-year-old jade green Roman chalice.
When you put a source of the light inside this cup changes colour. It appears jade green when lit from the front, but blood-red when lit from behind or inside. Now we know that Romans achieved this by dissolving silver and gold particles into the glass. These particles are 50 nanometers wide, less than one-thousandth the size of a grain of table salt.
“Devil’s Work” ball with fourteen movable balls made of one piece of ivory. Canton, China, 19th century, Qing dynasty.
Made for export to Europe, balls such as this demanded exceptional artisanship. Several openings were drilled in a solid ivory ball, reaching almost to the center, and then special tools were used to loosen the innermost ball and carve a design in it. Successive balls were loosened and carved in the same way, each one moving freely inside the other. The outer ball is the most intricately carved, and the long chain is crafted from a single piece of ivory.

One of two known surviving tea chests from the Boston Tea Party, December 16, 1773.
Shout out to my home town!

Etruscan dentistry , 4th century BC
Performed around 700 B.C, this is the first time in history a form of prosthetics was ever used in the mouth, and would be the only use for many years. The two centre teeth are donor teeth. Human and animal teeth were used as artificial teeth.
Titanic’s last menu
Chinese Qing Dynasty abacus ring, c. 300 years old.

Head-to-toe jade suits that promised immortality to the Chinese imperial family - 2200 years old
Corpses, such as that of emperor Liu Sheng and his wife the princess Dou Wan, have been found in spectacular jade suits made of thousands of small plaques sewn together with gold thread. The Chinese believed that jade would protect the corpses from decay; it was a symbol of life and vitality.

 Bird armour on display in the Prague castle
 Roman Gold Key Ring, 3rd-4th Century AD.
Set with fragmentary onyx cameo of a hand pinching an earlobe, inscribed “MNHMNEYE” meaning “Remember” (me).
A carbonised loaf of bread with the stamp ‘Property of Celer, Slave of Q. Granius Verus’ from Herculaneum (near Pompeii), 79

Welbike - British single-seat motorcycle in cannister used at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden
Welbikes were designed to fit into a standard parachute airdrop container 51 inches (130 cm) long, 15 inches (38 cm) high, and 12 inches (30 cm) wide. Once deployed, they were easily assembled and ready for use as quickly as possible. It is the smallest motorcycle ever used by the British Armed Forces. Between 1942 and 1943, 3,641 units were built and, although not much used by the SOE, some were issued to the British 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions.

An elephant sword, these were attached to the tusks of war elephants. India 15-17th C.

Hand brand, for use on felons or deserters, England, 1642-1649
A bronze polyphallic tintinnabulum of Mercury from Pompeii.
In ancient Rome, a tintinnabulum (less often titanium) was a wind chime or assemblage of bells. The missing bells were attached to each tip. A tintinnabulum often took the form of a bronze phallic figure or fascinum, a magico-religious phallus thought to ward off the evil eye and bring good fortune and prosperity.
Part of a biscuit eaten by Napoleon Bonaparte on an English ship taking him to Saint Helena Island

Goliath - Nazi tracked mine

Captured by the Polish troops during Warsaw Uprising in 1944. Each Goliath was disposable, being intended to be blown up with its target. It carried 60 or 100 kilograms (130 or 220 lb) of high explosives, depending on the model, and was intended to be used for multiple purposes, such as destroying tanks, disrupting dense infantry formations, and demolition of buildings and bridges. Two of the strands were used to move and steer the Goliath, while the third was used for detonation. The Goliath had 650 metres (2,130 ft) of cable.
17th century silver skull watch, Louvre Museum

The Kwakwaka’wakw mask that inspired the Seattle Seahawks Logo. 19th century, Vancouver Island.

The oldest known wine: 4th-century AD Roman nobleman’s tomb in Germany.
The bottle is 1.5-litres and was discovered during an excavation within a 4th-century AD Roman nobleman’s tomb. The tomb contained two sarcophagi, one holding the body of a man and one a woman. One source says the man was a Roman legionnaire and the wine was a provision for his celestial journey. Of the six glass bottles in the woman’s sarcophagus and the ten vessels in the man’s sarcophagus, only one still contained a liquid. There is a clear liquid in the bottom third, and a mixture similar to rosin above. While it has lost its ethanol content, analysis is consistent with at least part of the liquid having been wine. The wine, likely produced in the same region, was diluted with a mixture of herbs. The preservation of the wine is attributed to the large amount of thick olive oil, added to the bottle to seal the wine off from air, along with a hot wax seal.
Aztec sacrificial knife

End of Charles Darwin’s walking stick - 19th century

Made a whalebone with the top caved of ivory.

Eight sarcophagi containing mummies standing on a cliff side

Referred to by local residents as the “ancient wise men.” The remaining six sarcophagi or purunmachus (two of the eight are lost) stand up to 2.5 meters tall. Chachapoya culture, 15th c. Peru

Ancient Roman lead pipes in Bath, England. Some of them are still in use. 1-2nd century AD.

 Viking Boot
This particular boot is more than 1000 years old and was found in Coney Street, York. It’s rare for organic materials like leather to last for so long.
 Chinese 2400-year-old pot of soup found in a tomb near the ancient capital of Xian. The soup was made of dog.
Archaeologists have analyzed the bones from the 2400-year-old pot of soup found in a tomb near the ancient capital of Xian, and despite how painfully stereotypical this is, it turns out those bones belonged to a dog. A puppy, no less :(
There were 37 bones found in the bronze vessel from the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC), and another bronze container held the remains of what appears to be wine. The food and drink were offerings made to the deceased and his ancestors by his surviving family.

 Hunley submarine, which was the first combat submarine to sink a warship (1864)

As part of its conservation process, the ship remains fully submerged so it can slowly and safely release accumulated salts to the water. If it were exposed to air the salt would quickly destroy the remaining metal.

 Mounted Samurai wearing Tatehagidō Armor with horse wearing a horned dragon mask.

Early Edo Period, 17th century CE, Japan

Padlock and Key, Germany, 1580’s “Meisterstück”

To become a master locksmith an apprentice had to produce a ‘masterpiece’. Here the locksmith demonstrated his skill by creating a robust and secure lock and refining its appearance with delicate etching. Similar patterns decorated other 16th century goods and furnishings, from embroidery to tooled leather. Designs circulated among craftspeople through printed versions on paper and were widely recommended in pattern books.

Shigir Idol - oldest known wooden sculpture in the world, made during the Mesolithic period, around 10 000 BC.

Yekaterinburg, Russia.

 Inky paw prints left by a cat on a 15th century manuscript.

Great helm of Albert von Prankh. 14th century, Germany

 Ancient roman dice tower used in the playing of dice games. 4th century AD, found in Germany

The main inscription on the front reads Pictos victos, Hostis deleta, Ludite securi – “Now the Picts have been conquered and the enemies destroyed, play safely”. The other words are utere felix vivas – “use and be lucky”.
Original Jolly Roger pirate flag captured in 1789 from pirate’s Captain William Kidd.
Roman Farmer’s calendar.
Each side bears the names of three months of the year. For each month we can see, starting from the top: the number of days in it; the day on which the Nones (the day of the Moon’s first quarter) falls; the duration of the day and night expressed in hours; the sign of the zodiac; the protecting divinity; work to be attended to in the fields; and the most important festivities.

16th century French encryption book from the court of Henri II

Standing cup; nautilus shell mounted in silver, gilt and chased; 1526-1575
Ashkenazi Jewish wedding ring from Erfurt, German. Inside this gold ring is a moving gold marble. 1300-1400
Smoking Pipe. Russia, Late 18th century

One of the oldest known soccer ball, found in the rafters of a bedroom in Stirling Castle, 16th century

A Japanese kabuto, a ceremonial samurai helmet, in the shape of a lobster.
Wrist-wearable maps, c. 1920
Tutankhamun’s trumpets
Considered to be the oldest operational trumpets in the world. Both of them were sounded for the first time in over 3000 years to a live audience of 150 million listeners through a BBC broadcast aired on April 16, 1939.
Beautiful large bore wheel lock pistol, circa 1560 south Germany (possibly Augsburg).
An Example of a Memento Mori hung on a Rosary, Carved from Ivory, c. 16th Century
Hitler’s blood transfusion set, kept aboard his official yacht, the Grille
Parchment holes in manuscript repaired using embroidery circa 1417, currently in University Library Uppsala, Sweden
Otzi, the Iceman’s dagger with scabbard. 13 cm long. c. 3300 BCE
Ötzi is a nickname given to the well-preserved natural mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE. The mummy was found in September 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence the nickname "Ötzi". He is Europe's oldest known natural human mummy
Leather purse with metal buckle. Vienna, 15th century
Pomander (ball with perfumes) said to have belonged to Mary Queen of Scots. 16th century
Mongol whistling arrow. 14th Century
Whistling arrows are useful during hunting, because the effect on animals of an arrow whistling away high above the ground is often to make it stop, curious to see what is in the air. This gives the hunter time to launch a second arrow, this time with a game head to kill the animal. These whistling arrows made by inserting an arrowhead of bone in which air channels have been created. When shot, such arrowheads make a very audible sound through the air.

Aztec sacrificial stone of Tizoc

The stone is called a cuauhxicalli: a vessel used by the Aztecs to contain human hearts extracted in sacrificial ceremonies. 1480s, Mexico
The oldest known globe to depict the Americas, made on the lower halves of two ostrich eggs. Made in 1504
Russian empress Catherine the Great’s mules, ca. 1770
 Lantern hung in the Old North Church on April 18, 1775
Made famous due to Paul Revere’s midnight ride to alert the towns outlying Boston of the British approach. The next day (April 19), the Battles of Lexington and Concord began the American Revolution.
 Napoleon’s pearl-handled grooming kit with gold accents
Roman graffiti - Located in the Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii.
The subject/ victim of this caricature is portrayed with a pointy chin, laurel wreath, and a rather large nose. The Latin text above the figure reads ‘Rufus est’ (This is Rufus) - Mr. Magoo?
Mahiole - Hawai’i, 18th century
These were symbols of the highest rank reserved for the men of the chiefly class of Hawaii. These helmets are made from a woven frame structure decorated with bird feathers.
Viking’s graffiti made in Hagia Sofia, Instanbul, Turkey in 10th century AD.
Osterby Man: bog body of which only the skull and hair survive.
The hair is unusually well preserved and is tied above the right temple in a Suebian knot. 70-220 AD, Germany
Roman soldier’s tweezers, ear scoop and nail cleaner, around A.D. 43
Board game pieces - From the Viking town Birka, Sweden. (8th-10th century)
Printed in the late 16th century book is an example of sixfold dos-à-dos binding
Sixfold dos-à-dos binding is where six books are conjoined into a single publication but can be read individually with the help of six perfectly placed clasps. This particular book was printed in Germany and like almost all books at the time is a religious devotional text.
Frogs taxidermy found inside French mansion that had been sealed for 100 years
The Kniphausen Hawk, a ceremonial pouring vessel made in 1697 for George William von Kniphausen, Count of the Holy Roman Empi
Inspiration for the Maltese Falcon
Tebarantauti, porcupine fish helmet from Kiribati, 19th century. The British Museum.
The Gilbertese (the people of the Gilbert Islands) used the porcupine fish to make head dresses for warriors.
 "The Tooth Worm as Hell’s Demon"
18th century ivory carving from Southern France known as ‘The Tooth Worm as Hell’s Demon.’
An unknown artist created two molar teeth 10.5 cm (4 inches) tall out of ivory showing the infernal torments of a toothache depicted as a battle with the the so-called ‘tooth worm’ complete with mini skulls, hellfire, and naked humans wielding clubs.
What many people do not understand today, is that before the advent of the current medical establishment, many ancient cultures had believed that worms were the cause of various illnesses and diseases such as tooth decay known as cavities today.
This drawing was made 700 years ago by a 7-years-old boy named Onfim
Onfim lived in Novogrod. He left his notes and homework exercises scratched in soft birch bark which was preserved in the clay soil of Novgorod. Onfim, who was six or seven at the time of his writings, wrote in Old Slavic; besides letters and syllables, he drew “battle scenes and drawings of himself and his teacher”
George Washington’s false teeth. Contrary to legend, none of Washington's false teeth were made of wood.
Dentist Dr. John Greenwood fashioned a technologically advanced set of dentures carved out of hippopotamus ivory and employing gold wire springs and brass screws holding human teeth.
Sample of penicillin mould presented by Alexander Fleming to Douglas Macleod, 1935
German and French firefighter’s early rescue masks. Dates from between the mid-1800s and World War I
Thought to be the inspiration for Darth Vader and C-3PO!
Janis Joplin’s Porsche 356c
In 1968, Janis Joplin bought herself a 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet, one of 16,674 356c’s ever produced. It had one of the most desirable configurations with convertible spec, disc brakes and the hot engine. She had her roadie, Dave Richards painted it while she was on tour, a psychedelic paint job he called, “the history of the universe”. While on tour with Janis, the car was once stolen and the thief had the mural painted over until police recovered the vehicle and Richards restored his paintwork. After Janis passed away suddenly, many journalists were led to believe the car was sitting in a museum in Texas, but it turned out to be a copy. For many years, her Porsche was considered to be a “lost car” and rumors of the mysterious car were often reported during the 1970s. It turned out that the car had been left to Janis’ parents when the will was settled, who gave it to Janis’ manager Albert Grossman. He used it as a courtesy car on his New York estate for many years where it fell into disrepair. Janis’ family finally took back the car in 1975 and restored it, but the original paintwork was in such bad shape and couldn’t be saved. The car is now on loan and on display at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll hall of fame museum.
Hitler’s own designs for the Nazi Party symbol, 1920.
Foot of a mummy missing its big toe and beside it a prosthetic toe of leather and wood
Ancient Egypt, 1000-600 BC
 Japanese dragonfly helmet, 17th century
Craftsmen covered the underlying iron bowl with papier-mâché over a wooden framework to form the body of the insect, and covered it with lacquer. Wooden wings flare to the sides, while the insect’s eyes are rendered as large golden orbs. In Japan, the dragonfly symbolizes focused endeavor and vigilance because of its manner of moving up, down, and sideways while continuing to face forward.
Chained Library, early 17th century
Each book is fitted with a metal clasp, usually on the back cover, and then a metal chain is attached and strung through a long metal rod. The rod is then locked in place either to a lectern (or to a bookcase, depending on the library).
During the later middle ages, more and more people were interested in reading, and chained libraries provided an excellent resource for those who could not afford to purchase books themselves. The system of locking the books to the room, thus allowed the public free access to read, while at the same time safe-guarding the library’s valuable collection from potential thieves. So despite the rather austere measures enacted to prevent book-theft, these chained libraries were truly the world’s first public libraries.

The guillotine blade that beheaded queen Marie-Antoinette in 1793

A Japanese kabuto, a ceremonial samurai helmet, in the shape of a Turbo cornutus, a species of sea snail
Terbutje' - sword from the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati. Made from coconut wood and have sharks’ teeth attached along the edge
Terbutje' - sword from the Gilbert Islands, Kiribati. Made from coconut wood and have sharks’ teeth attached along the edge

 The cockpit of the Spirit of St. Louis, the first aircraft to complete a non-stop transatlantic flight
Tollund man - 2400 years old bog body found in Denmark.
Chinese sword with gold hilt. Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC), found in Shaanxi
Celtic war trumpet - 2nd century BC

The hat Abraham Lincoln wore on the night he was assassinated

Ancient roman leather shoes found in Britain. 1st century AD
 Iron restraining collar, England, 16th century
Collars, also called jougs, were used as a form of public punishment in the 16th and 17th centuries sometimes in the same way as stocks. The collar could be attached to a chain or post and the wearer was subject to public ridicule and abuse for a specified period. The weight of the collar combined with the studs and spikes made it a very uncomfortable experience whether a public or private penance.
Roman folding pocketknife, 50CE
Golden Helmet of Coţofeneşti. Almost a kilogram heavy Geto-Dacian helmet. About 2400 years old.
A watch belonging to Akito Kawagoe which stopped at 8:15 exact time of the explosion. Hiroshima, 1945
Unfinished obelisk in Aswan, Egypt. 1500 BC
It is the largest known ancient obelisk.  It is nearly one third larger than any ancient Egyptian obelisk ever erected. If finished it would have measured around 42 m (approximately 137 feet) and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons. The obelisk’s creators began to carve it directly out of bedrock, but cracks appeared in the granite and the project was abandoned. The bottom side of the obelisk is still attached to the bedrock. The unfinished obelisk offers unusual insights into ancient Egyptian stone-working techniques, with marks from workers’ tools still clearly visible as well as ocher-colored lines marking where they were working.
Car in which archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914.
Car in which archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria The 1911 Gräf & Stift 28/32 PS Double Phaeton. Above rear wheel there is a bullet hole which killed Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg
Crown of Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos, circa 1042
The so-called Charlemagne Chessmen
Charlemagne never played Chess. However, these pieces were at the Saint Denis Abbey since the end of the 13th century. They are dated from the end of the 11th century and were probably manufactured in Salerne, near Napoli in South Italy. This is confirmed by their Normand military equipment.
With the presence of Elephants, those pieces are obviously of Arabic influence. The pieces are carved from elephant ivory. They could have been made for Robert Guiscard (dead 1085), a tireless Normand warrior who dreamed of conquering an empire, or Pope Gergory VII? The way they came to Paris is unknown, perhaps as a gift to French King Philippe II Auguste or Philippe III. In 1598, 30 pieces were inventoried. They were 16 in 1794 following the turmoil of the French Revolution : 2 Kings, 2 Queens, 4 Elephants, 4 Knights, 3 Chariots and 1 Foot Soldier.
Mayan skull with teeth decorated with jade jewellery. c. 900 AD
Awesome Artifacts (123 Pics) Awesome Artifacts (123 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on December 27, 2017 Rating: 5

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