Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gold of the Varna Necropolis

Varna is one of the oldest cities of Europe, it was founded in 570 BC by the Milethians, but it was populated much earlier than that.

In the 1970s, archaeologists in Bulgaria stumbled upon a Copper Age necropolis from the 5th millennium BC containing the oldest golden artifacts ever discovered. But it was not until they reached grave 43 that they realized the real significance of the find. Inside burial 43 were the remains of a high status male with unfathomable gold riches.

The Varna Necropolis is near Lake Varna, about 4 km from the city center.

The city is on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast and is considered one of the key archaeological sites in world prehistory.
294 graves have been found in the necropolis, many containing sophisticated examples of metallurgy (gold and copper), pottery, high-quality flint and obsidian blades, beads, and shells. The graves have been dated to 4560-4450 BC by radiocarbon dating.

A total of over six kilograms of gold, comprising more than 38 different kinds of objects unique to Varna were found. The gold is very pure - 23.5 carat and experts are unable to agree on its source.
The artifacts can be seen at the Varna Archaeological Museum and at the National Historical Museum in Sofia. The gold of Varna started touring the world in 1973.
In 2012 archaeologists in eastern Bulgaria unearthed the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe, along with an ancient salt production site that gives a strong clue about why massive riches were discovered in the region.
The area is home to huge rock-salt deposits, some of the largest in southeast Europe and the only ones to be exploited as early as the sixth millennium BC.

Excavations at the site near the town of Provadia uncovered the remains of a settlement of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals as well as parts of a gate, bastion structures and three later fortification walls – all carbon dated between the middle and late Chalcolithic age from 4,700 to 4,200 BC.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Strange Discoveries

Kepler-78b is a planet that should not exist. This scorching lava world circles its star every eight and a half hours at a space of less than one million miles – among the tightest known orbits. Based on present theories of planet formation, it could not have formed so close to its star, nor could it have proceeded there.
The ancient burial site “El Cementerio,” near the Mexican village of Onavas was disturbed in 1999. Villagers unearthed 25 skulls, 13 of which did not look entirely human.

Experts theorize that the deformity of the skulls were intentionally produced through the ritual of head flattening, otherwise called cranial deformation, in which the skull is compressed between two wooden boards from childhood.

Otzi the Iceman. In 1991, a group of hikers were trekking in the mountains of Austria when they came across an awful sight: a frozen body was buried in the ice at their feet. That body belonged to a 5,300 year old man.

By studying the body, scientists have been able to discover some surprisingly specific facts. When he was alive, he had parasites in his intestines, was lactose intolerant, and had been sick three times in the past six months. His death seems to have been caused by an arrow wound to his back.

In 2012 Australian scientists unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon.

Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to roam the earth, weighing up to 2.8 tonnes, lived between two million and 50,000 years ago and died out around the time indigenous tribes first appeared.
Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the LurĂ­n River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire.

The adult dead in the newfound tomb were found in the fetal position and were surrounded by a ring of baby skeletons.
Road crew workers working on the expansion of a road from Weymouth, Dorset to the lsle of Portland came across a mass grave of fifty-four skeletons and fifty-one heads of Scandinavian men who were executed sometime between A.D. 910 and 1030.

After further analysis, archaeologists determined that it was likely the grave of the Jomsvikings, a merciless group that terrorized the coast of England around 1000. An execution of the Jomsvikings captured in the Battle of Horundarfjord (Hjorunga Bay) occurred in A.D. 986.

In the second century, Bulgaria was known as “Little Rome”. This title was verified when a gravesite of Roman soldiers was uncovered during a construction accident. Archaeologists say the tomb belongs to soldiers from the eighth legion of Augustus.

In its Roman heyday, Debelt was known as Deultum and held an important place in the Roman Empire. Among the items found there were gold jewelry needles, beads, scrapers used for bathing and massage, medicine, and gold medallions.

B2Gold Corp - BTO.t

B2Gold Corp - BTO.t is a Vancouver based gold producer with four operating mines (two in Nicaragua, one in the Philippines and one in Namibia) and a strong portfolio of development and exploration assets in Nicaragua, Mali, Burkina Faso and Colombia.

B2Gold achieved another record year of production in 2014 producing 384,003 ounces of gold and completed the year with a record fourth quarter producing 111,804 ounces of gold.

On April 15, 2015 the company reported Numbers

"B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO, NYSE MKT: BTG, NSX: B2G) (“B2Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce its gold production and revenue for the first quarter of 2015. All dollar figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.

2015 First Quarter Highlights

 Record quarterly consolidated gold production of 115,859 ounces (including 18,815 ounces of pre-commercial production from Otjikoto), 20% greater than in the same period in 2014
 Record gold sales of 114,799 ounces (or 133,265 ounces including 18,466 ounces of pre-commercial sales from Otjikoto)
 Gold revenue of $138.9 million (or a record of $162 million including $23.1 million of pre-commercial sales from Otjikoto)
 New Otjikoto Mine in Namibia successfully transitioned into production, achieving commercial production one month ahead of schedule on February 28, 2015
 Otjikoto mill expansion from 2.5 million tonnes per year to 3.0 million tonnes per year remains on schedule, expecting to increase gold production starting in September 2015
 Company is on track to meet its 2015 guidance of 500,000 to 540,000 ounces of gold production at cash operating costs between $630 to $660 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs between $950 and $1,025 per ounce
 In Mali, the Fekola Project feasibility study is well underway with completion expected in the second quarter of 2015; Road construction and site earthworks commenced in February 2015

First Quarter 2015 Gold Production

Consolidated gold production in the first quarter of 2015 was 115,859 ounces (including 18,815 ounces of pre-commercial production from Otjikoto)