Saturday, September 30, 2006

Edward I (20 Nov 1272 - 7 Jul 1307) Coinage And History

I thought it might be good to move back in time, to Edward The First. This was another time in Englands history that events happend that were to steer the course of Englands future.

With the formation of a more formal Parliment and codec of laws and taxation, it was also the time that The title of Prince of Wales was created.

The House Of Anjou (1272-1399)

Edward I (20 Nov 1272 - 7 Jul 1307) - born 17th June 1239 - two marriages with seventeen offspring

Edward proved a competent general and powerful leader in stark contrast to his father. His legal reforms and development of Parliament possibly at the expense of feudalism earned him the title ‘lawgiver’. He sought to unite Britain and started off by successfully invading and garrisoning Wales. He promised the Welsh nobility a domestic overlord, and later surprised them by re-creating the title and investing his son, Edward, as the Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle. His fruitless invasion of Scotland (thwarted by William Wallace and Robert I) merely incited a bitter enmity from the Scots that would develop for many years to come. Much to the relief of the Scots under Robert Bruce, Edward died aged 68 whilst preparing to re-invade them.

The long cross coinage continued into this reign and was now again quite crude, it was abandoned in 1279 and a new coinage substituted. The new coinage consisted of the Groat (or Fourpence) for the first time. Athough this proved not yet popular enough to last, over thirty dies were used to make this new denomination. Being of such a large diameter they proved quite popular as jewellery and are only genuinely rare these days if never mounted.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Shipwrecks, Coins And Salvage

Shipwrecks, Coins And Salvage

I found this to be an intriguing story, and it brings about some interesting questions about the rights of salvage, ownership and Sovereignty over underwater archaeological sites. Thats just the legal problems, it's also fascinating in the history around it and how it got there.

N.S. shipwreck discovery brews international storm

Randy Boswell
CanWest News Service
An American shipwreck hunter has found "thousands of coins" and other artifacts at a site off the coast of Nova Scotia where a War of 1812 gunboat thought to be carrying White House plunder sank in a storm on its return to Canada after the ransacking of Washington.
But the discovery, the strongest sign yet that Philadelphia-based Sovereign Exploration Associates may have discovered the remains of the legendary British frigate HMS Fantome or other ships from its fleet, sets the stage for a possible international legal showdown involving the salvage company, the British government and heritage officials in Canada and the U.S. over the future of the wreck site.
CanWest News Service has learned the British government has asked Canada to halt exploration at the possible Fantome site and insisted that nothing should be taken from the area without permission from London.
Wendy Barnable, a spokesperson with the Nova Scotia government's Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, said Wednesday the province has received a letter, via federal officials in Ottawa, in which Britain argues that the Fantome -- along with a sunken 18th-century British treasure ship, HMS Tilbury, also being sought by Sovereign off the Cape Breton coast -- "remain the property of the British government and can't be disturbed without their consent."
Describing the British intervention as unprecedented, Barnable said provincial heritage officials are studying the "very complex" issue and have, in the meantime, advised the U.S. salvager to seek British approval to continue its explorations.
In a statement announcing its latest finds, Sovereign said: "Our divers observed flatware, artifacts, ship fittings and thousands of coins. While our science team has not positively identified the vessels on the site, the new data combined with last year's recoveries . . . clearly establish the site as one of significant historical importance."
The search for the Fantome has been controversial and jurisdictionally complex because the British wreck lies in Canadian waters but is believed to hold gold and other treasures looted during a famous 1814 raid on the White House, treasury headquarters and other buildings in the U.S. capital. The same naval operation also inspired the "bombs bursting in air" imagery of The Star-Spangled Banner, the U.S. national anthem

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Charles II (30 Jan 1649 - 6 Feb 1685) Coinage And History

As yesterday, I Showed some Charles I coins, I thought it would make some sense to show one from when his son Charles II was restored to The Monarchy. The following coin is a Charles II twopence from 1678 along with some background information.


Charles II (30 Jan 1649 - 6 Feb 1685) - born 29th May 1630 - one marriage with no offspring

Several ill fated attempts to regain his inheritance from his father failed, as his armies were routed by the well organised Cromwell. A young Charles had to flee the country as the power of the Commonwealth steadily but surely took over, famously hiding in an oak tree en route to France. The restoration of the monarchy was negotiated by General George Monk who called for new elections, following a revival of royalist feeling in 1660. Charles II ascended to the throne after being recalled from his exile and the Restoration began on 29th May 1660. He was married in 1662 to Catherine Henrietta daughter of John IV Duke of Braganza, but failed to produce an heir. He did have sixteen illegitimate issue though after amorous affairs with various women including Nell Gwynn and Louise, duchess of Portsmouth. Charles was a keen horseman and actually rode several winners at Newmarket himself. He died aged 54 from complications following a stroke.

His reign was most important numismatically for the permanent introduction of machine made “milled” coinage from 1662 and for the introduction of a copper regal coinage of halfpennies and farthings from 1672 after the withdrawal of tradesman’s tokens. The hammered coinage finished being produced in early 1662, and the Roettier family designed the new coinage replacing Thomas Simon who was relegated to designing only the small silver coins and medallions. The major new milled denomination was the Guinea with it’s multiples and fractions which was valued at this time at twenty shillings. The silver denominations were the same as for Cromwell with the Sixpence in addition with the small silver from groat to penny. Some of the silver shillings have a plume on the centre of the reverse sometimes with a plume on the obverse as a mint mark, this indicates the silver came from Wales. Some of the gold coinage has an elepant below the bust indicating the gold came from Guinea in Africa.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Events That Happened On The Day You Were Born

Here is an interesting way to see what events happened the day you were born. Here are the events for my birthday it would be interesting to see what events happened for others.


I found it to be easier to just insert the day for other people than trying to run a search. So use the link above and put in your day if you like, and come back and post your events to the comment's section on my Blog. I think it could be fun.

July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining.


1014 - Byzantine-Bulgar Wars: Battle of Kleidion: Byzantine emperor Basil II inflicts a decisive defeat on the Bulgarian army, but his subsequent savage treatment of 15,000 prisoners reportedly causes Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria to die of shock.

1030 - Ladejarl-Fairhair succession wars: Battle of Stiklestad - King Olaf II fights and dies trying to regain his Norwegian throne from the Danes.

1565 - Mary Stuart, widowed, marries Lord Darnley, duke of Albany.

1567 - James VI is crowned King of Scotland at Stirling.

1588 - Anglo-Spanish War: Battle of Gravelines - English naval forces under command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeats the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France.

1693 - War of the Grand Alliance: Battle of Landen - France wins a Pyrrhic victory over Allied forces in the Netherlands.

1793 - John Graves Simcoe decides to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there.

1830 - Abdication of Charles X of France.

1836 - Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

1847 - Cumberland School of Law founded in Lebanon, Tennessee, USA. At the end of 1847 only 15 law schools exist in the United States.

1848 - Irish Potato Famine: Tipperary Revolt - In Tipperary, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule is put down by police.

1851 - Annibale de Gasparis discovers asteroid 15 Eunomia.

1858 - United States and Japan sign the Harris Treaty.

1864 - American Civil War: Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, DC.

1899 - The First Hague Convention is signed.

1900 - In Italy, King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated by Italian-born anarchist Gaetano Bresci.

1907 - Sir Robert Baden-Powell sets up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England. The camp ran from August 1-9, 1907, and is regarded as the founding of the Scouting movement.

1920 - Construction of the Link River Dam begins as part of the Klamath Reclamation Project.

1921 - Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

1932 - Great Depression: In Washington, DC, U.S. troops disperse the last of the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.

1945 - The BBC Light Programme radio station was launched for mainstream light entertainment and music.

1947 - After being shut off on November 9,

1946 for a memory upgrade, ENIAC, the world's first all-electronic digital computer, is reactivated. It will remain in continuous operation until October 2, 1955.

1948 - Olympic Games: The Games of the XIV Olympiad - After a hiatus of 12 years caused by World War II, the first Summer Olympics to be held since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin opened in London.

1957 - The International Atomic Energy Agency is established.

1958 - The U.S. Congress formally creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

1959 - First congressional elections in Hawaii as a state of the Union.

1965 - Vietnam War: The first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrive in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay.

1966 - Musician Bob Dylan crashes his Triumph motorcycle in upstate New York. He goes into seclusion for over a year before reemerging and reinventing himself artistically.

1967 - Vietnam War: Off the coast of North Vietnam the USS Forrestal catches on fire in the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134.

1967 - At the fourth day of celebrating its 400th anniversary, the city of Caracas, Venezuela was shaken by an earthquake, leaving approximately 500 dead.

1976 - In New York City, the "Son of Sam" kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks.

1981 - Lady Diana Spencer marries Charles, Prince of Wales.

1987 - British PM Margaret Thatcher and French president François Mitterrand sign the agreement to build the tunnel under the English Channel (Eurotunnel).

1987 - Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J. R. Jayawardene sign the Indo-Lankan Pact on ethnic issue.

1993 - The Israeli Supreme Court acquits accused Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk of all charges and he is set free.

1996 - The controversial child protection portion of the Communications Decency Act (1996) is struck down as too broad by a U.S. federal court.

2004 - U.S. Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts accepts the Democratic nomination for President of the United States at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.

2005 - Astronomers announce their discovery of Eris, a possible ninth planet.


1166 - Henry II of Champagne (d. 1197)

1605 - Simon Dach, German poet (d. 1659)

1763 - Philip Charles Durham, Royal Navy Admiral (d. 1845)

1801 - George Bradshaw, English publisher (d. 1853)

1805 - Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and political scientist (d. 1859)

1843 - Johannes Schmidt, German linguist (d. 1901)

1849 - Max Nordau, Austrian author, philosopher, and Zionist leader (d. 1923)

1865 - Alexander Glazunov, Russian composer (d. 1936)

1869 - Booth Tarkington, American author (d. 1946)

1872 - Eric Alfred Knudsen, American author, folklorist (d. 1957)

1874 - James Shaver Woodsworth, Canadian minister, social worker, and politician (d. 1942)

1876 - Maria Ouspenskaya, Russian-born actress (d. 1949)

1878 - Don Marquis, American author (d. 1937)

1883 - Porfirio Barba-Jacob, Colombian poet and writer (d. 1942)

1883 - Benito Mussolini, Italian dictator (d. 1945)

1884 - Ralph A. Bard, U.S. Navy Undersecretary (d. 1975)

1887 - Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian-born composer (d. 1951)

1892 - William Powell, American actor (d. 1984)

1897 - Sir Neil Ritchie, British general (d. 1983)

1898 - Isidor Isaac Rabi, American physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1988)

1900 - Eyvind Johnson, Swedish writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1976)

1904 - J. R. D. Tata, Indian pioneer aviator and entrepreneur (d. 1993)

1905 - Clara Bow, American actress (d. 1965)

1905 - Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish 2nd UN Secretary-General, Nobel Prize Laureate (d. 1961)

1905 - Stanley Kunitz, American poet (d. 2006)

1905 - Thelma Todd, American actress (d. 1935)

1906 - Diana Vreeland, French-born fashion editor (d. 1989)

1907 - Melvin Belli, American lawyer and actor (d. 1996)

1913 - Erich Priebke, Nazi war criminal

1914 - Irwin Corey, American stand-up comedian.

1916 - Charlie Christian, American jazz guitar virtuoso (d. 1942)

1918 - Edwin O'Connor, American novelist and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner (d. 1968)

1920 - Rodolfo Acosta, Mexican actor (d. 1974)

1924 - Lloyd Bochner, Canadian actor (d. 2005)

1925 - Mikis Theodorakis, Greek composer

1925 - Ted Lindsay, professional ice hockey player

1927 - Harry Mulisch, Dutch author

1929 - Jean Baudrillard, French philosopher

1930 - Paul Taylor, American dancer and choreographer

1932 - Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, U.S. Senator from Kansas

1933 - Lou Albano, Wrestling manager

1935 - Peter Schreier, German tenor

1936 - Elizabeth Dole, U.S. Senator from North Carolina

1937 - Daniel McFadden, American economist, Nobel Prize Laureate

1938 - Peter Jennings, Canadian-born television journalist (d. 2005)

1941 - David Warner, Canadian actor

1942 - Tony Sirico, American actor

1943 - David Taylor, English snooker player

1951 - Dan Driessen, baseball player

1953 - Ken Burns, American producer and director

1953 - Geddy Lee, Canadian musician(Rush)

1957 - Nellie Kim, Russian gymnast

1955 - Dave Stevens, Illustrator

1959 - Sanjay Dutt, Indian actor

1959 - Ruud Janssen, Dutch writer and artist

1959 - Dave LaPoint, baseball player

1962 - Scott Steiner, US professional wrestler

1965 - Chang-Rae Lee, Korean-born author

1965 - Luis Alicea, Baseball player

1966 - Martina McBride, American singer

1972 - Wil Wheaton, American actor

1973 - Stephen Dorff, American actor

1973 - Wanya Morris, American singer (Boyz II Men)

1975 - Corrado Grabbi, Italian footballer

1976 - Josh Radnor, American actor

1979 - Abs Breen, English singer

1979 - Karim Essediri, Tunisian footballer

1980 - Fernando González, Chilean tennis player

1981 - Fernando Alonso, Spanish race car driver

1982 - Allison Mack, American actress


238 - Pupienus, Roman Emperor

238 - Balbinus, Roman Emperor

1030 - Olaf II of Norway (b. 995)

1099 - Pope Urban II (b. 1042)

1108 - Philip I of France (b. 1052)

1507 - Martin Behaim, German-born navigator and geographer (b. 1459)

1612 - Jacques Bongars, French scholar and diplomat (b. 1554)

1644 - Pope Urban VIII (b. 1568)

1752 - Peter Warren, British admiral

1781 - Johann Kies, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1713)

1792 - René Nicolas Charles Augustin de Maupeou, Chancellor of France (b. 1714)

1813 - Jean-Andoche Junot, French general (b. 1771)

1833 - William Wilberforce, English abolitionist (b. 1759)

1839 - Gaspard de Prony, French mathematician (b. 1755)

1844 - Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, Austrian composer (b. 1791)

1856 - Robert Schumann, German composer (b. 1810)

1887 - Agostino Depretis, Italian statesman (d. 1813)

1890 - Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (b. 1853)

1900 - King Umberto I of Italy (b. 1844)

1913 - Tobias Michael Carel Asser, Dutch jurist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1838)

1938 - Nikolai Krylenko, Russian/Soviet jurist and politician (b. 1885)

1951 - Hozumi Shigeto, Japanese author (b. 1883)

1954 - Coen de Koning, Dutch speed skater (b. 1879)

1970 - John Barbirolli, English conductor (b. 1899)

1973 - Roger Williamson, English racing driver (b. 1948)

1974 - Cass Elliot, American musician (b. 1941)

1974 - Erich Kästner, German author (b. 1899)

1975 - James Blish, American writer (b. 1921)

1976 - Mickey Cohen, American gangster (b. 1913)

1979 - Herbert Marcuse, German philosopher (b. 1898)

1979 - Bill Todman, American television producer (b. 1916)

1981 - Robert Moses, New York public works official (b. 1888)

1982 - Harold Sakata, Japanese-American actor (b. 1920)

1982 - Vladimir Zworykin, Russian physicist and inventor (b. 1889)

1983 - Luis Buñuel, Spanish director (b. 1900)

1983 - Raymond Massey, Canadian actor (b. 1896)

1983 - David Niven, English actor (b. 1910)

1984 - Fred Waring, American band leader and inventor (b. 1900)

1990 - Bruno Kreisky, Chancellor of Austria (b. 1911)

1994 - Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1910)

1994 - Megan Kanka, rape victim, basis of Megan's Law (b. 1986)

1996 - Jason Thirsk, American bassist (Pennywise) (b. 1967)

1996 - Marcel Schützenberger, French mathematician (b. 1920)

1998 - Jerome Robbins, American choregrapher (b. 1918)

2001 - Edward Gierek, Polish politician (b. 1913)

2001 - Wau Holland, German hacker (b. 1951)

2003 - Foday Sankoh, Sierra Leonean rebel leader (b. 1937)

2004 - Rena Vlahopoulou, Greek actress (b. 1923)

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) Coinage And History

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) Coinage And History

The following two images are a Halfcrown of Charles I Eye Mintmark that dates it to 1645 Tower Mint Under parliament, even though it looks worn, it's in a rather good state for it's age as that at that time because of the war, it was common for the coinage to have problems with the control of standards.

The Second image is of a Charles I Scottish Twenty Shilling, Thistle Mintmark the most probable identification would be Spink 5590 or 5591. Third coinage (1637- 42), bust of new style. My guess is 5590, which is described as 'bust wholly within inner circle, F over crown on rev' or 5591, no F on reverse, but it's difficult to tell due to wear. Even though it's worn it's easy to tell that the quality is better for a hammered coin from this time period, The betterstriking was perhaps a combination of the fact that the Master of the Mint was Nicholas Briot (from 1636 to 1642) and that the coins were produced on a screw press. Later his son-in-law John Falconer took over the role. Some further history can be found below.

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) - born 19 November 1600 - one marriage with nine offspring

Charles I the second son of James I had a weak and sickly childhood and was of quite small stature. He inherited a weak inflationary economy due to the influx of gold and silver from America, and impoverished it by his extravagance. He was deposed for disregarding Parliament, trying to arrest five members and unwisely levying taxes without its consent. This caused the emergence of a radical republican army under the command of Oliver Cromwell. Charles had to leave London relying on traditional Royalist strongholds like Oxford. This means that the coinage of Charles I is one of the most complicated and fascinating in the entire British series, with the great number of provincial Royalist issues and the intriguing Obsidonal coinages from the City’s under siege.

Charles was captured in 1648 and was beheaded at the Mansion House on Whitehall in 1649 aged 48. He famously gave Bishop Juxon a large gold five pound piece as a last act on the scaffold and this has become known as the Juxon Medal and is on display in the British Museum.The reign is one of the most diverse and interesting numismatically ranging from the fine machine made coins of Nicholas Briot to the crudely struck siege pieces of the Civil War struck on old silver plate. Branch Mints were set up around the country starting with Aberystwyth in 1637. The Farthing issues continued under the Duchess of Richmond and Lord Maltravers, finishing in 1644 when the licence was revoked by Parliament.

At the other end of the spectrum were the silver Pounds, the largest British coins ever minted, and the magnificent gold Triple Unites, the largest gold coins ever produced. Many different locations in England and Wales had their own mints throughout the reign and during Civil War. The provincial mints are Aberystwyth, Asbhy, Bridgnorth, Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Hartlebury Castle, Hereford, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Truro, Worcester, York, and the siege mints of Carlisle, Newark, Scarborough and Pontefract. With the large number of mints and denominations coupled with the troubled times during the reign, this equates to an enormous number of different coinages, showing the history and movements of the King in a very unusual period.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Elizabeth I (17 Nov 1558 - 24 March 1603) Coinage and History

Over time I hope to post images of some of the coins in my collection and bit of the history around them.


Elizabeth I (17 Nov 1558 - 24 March 1603) - born 7th September 1533

The Virgin Queen Elizabeth or ‘Gloriana’ un-did Catholic Mary’s work as England reverted to Protestantism and pacified the religious divide. Skilled at politics, she was lucky to be surrounded by talented advisors, but angered them by avoiding the issue of marriage and of course never had children. She assisted Dutch Protestants, and is most famous for defeating her unpopular brother in law, Philip II during the Spanish Armada war of 1588. Her reign is also known for the introduction of the potato and tobacco from the “New World” by Sir Francis Drake. A long and prosperous reign ended in 1603 when Elizabeth died of old age at 75.

A significant reign for coinage as the first machine made pieces were struck from the presses of the Frenchman Eloye Mestrelle in 1561. However they were not popular as production was slow with the horse drawn mill press, though the quality was very good. Mestrelle was dismissed in 1572 and later executed for his collusion with forgers in 1578 some historians believe this may have been engineered by rivals. Elizabeth enjoyed a long reign and this covered many different denominations being issued at various times. The gold crowns were again issued and it was not till 1600 that the large silver crown was again minted. In 1559 the old debased coins of Edward VI were called in for counter marking at a lower face value and the silver fineness was restored to 0.925 by 1582. A new denomination the three-farthings was introduced to help with small change transactions. The first attempt at international trade coins occurred in 1600-01 with the Portcullis Money for use in the East Indies with weights equivalent to the already popular Spanish trade Reales.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Interesting Phishing

I was a bit bored,when I received another one of those Phishing mails from someone pretending to be E-Bay at that's a Phishing scam thats been around for awhile just with some slight twists here and there, So for fun I decided to trace their route. Here are the results.

They covered their tracks with some masking IP's, but if I were to hazard an educated guess, I would say it came out of North Korea, it takes you to a site called or Both of which you would want to avoid. They are searching for information. They are what we call information harvesting.

Tracing route to over a maximum of 30 hops

1 292 ms 99 ms 102 ms
2 7 ms 15 ms 9 ms [66.
3 115 ms 9 ms 5 ms [
4 16 ms 7 ms 6 ms [66
5 23 ms 23 ms 40 ms [66.185.80
6 297 ms 386 ms 583 ms [154.54.12
7 779 ms 489 ms 394 ms [154.54.2.
8 27 ms 28 ms * [
9 59 ms 71 ms 76 ms [
10 81 ms 67 ms 55 ms [
11 858 ms 312 ms 282 ms [
12 96 ms 110 ms 114 ms [154.54.1
13 92 ms 187 ms 198 ms [
14 171 ms 166 ms 172 ms [154.54.10
15 740 ms 537 ms 548 ms
16 509 ms 527 ms 506 ms
17 604 ms 613 ms 608 ms
18 * 718 ms 773 ms
19 1182 ms 979 ms 658 ms
20 1049 ms 1213 ms 1228 ms
21 1013 ms 1017 ms 983 ms
22 1363 ms 719 ms 790 ms

Trace complete.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

MicroSoft We Share Your Pain

It's a bit old but still funny, if only they really did feel our pain.

WSYP Project:
"We Share Your Pain"

Now I am all for increasing the connection
between Microsoft's customers and the software product
teams...especially, the individual developer.

So, if you've ever wondered what happens when
you press the Send Error Report button after an application failure,
you need to watch the four minute video!

We Feel Your Pain

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Friday, September 08, 2006


This is just the single off thier newest CD, overall it's very good and the play is much tighter and more thought out than thier first album.

It reminds me a lot of the early Manchester years of rave culture, 1993 or so with overtones of Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Charlatans U.K and so on, yet from the perspective of what's going on in 2006.

Thracian Dagger 3000 B.C.E

Here is an interesting article about a dagger that was found in Bugaria, it becomes even more fascinating when we consider the metal working knowlege that would have been needed to make it. On another note, this is also the region where a lot of forgerys of ancient coins comes out of.

Thracian Dagger 3000 B.C.E

Ancient dagger found in Bulgaria
By Nick Thorpe BBC News
Archaeologists have discovered a precious golden dagger dated to about 3,000BC in a Thracian tomb in the centre of Bulgaria.
It is the latest find from one of many tombs believed to have formed the cradle of Thracian civilisation.
The dagger, made of an alloy of gold and platinum, was found near the village of Dubovo.
Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of Bulgaria's National Museum, told Reuters news agency the discovery was "sensational".
It is the latest in a string of finds in the area in recent years which has excited archaeologists and has provided more details of the skills of the still mysterious Thracian civilisation.
According to officials at the museum, the dagger is 16cm (6in) long and is sharp enough to shave with.
More than 500 other miniature gold items were found in the same tomb.
The detail on the dagger suggests that it was used for sacrificial purposes.
The Thracian civilisation thrived on the edge of the ancient Greek and Roman empires in what is now Bulgaria, Romania, northern Greece and Turkey, and is believed to have lasted up to 4,000 years.
The historian Herodotus described the Thracian as savage, bloodthirsty warriors and provided a description of the elaborate funeral procedures for their rulers.
Other finds in recent years include a gold mask, an ancient Thracian temple, a crown and thousands of items of jewellery.
The alloy used in the latest find suggests a far greater degree of sophistication in metal-working that was previously known for that period.
"This significant find confirmed that people in this region were familiar with what was then high technology in metal processing," Mr Dimitrov told Reuters.

A Start

Well just finished some fine tuning. I hope to have more going on as, I ajust to the learning curve here, but in the meantime here is something to inspire. I hope to be up in running well within the next week or so.