“It’s a spectacular find.” Even more extraordinary, the husband-and-wife team point out, is that the meticulously carved combat scene was painstakingly etched on a piece of hard stone measuring just 3.6 centimeters, or just over 1.4 inches, in length.
Indeed, many of the seal’s details, such as the intricate weaponry ornamentation and jewelry decoration, become clear only when viewed with a powerful camera lens and photomicroscopy.
A zealot and ascetic who as a youth had eagerly worked as an inquisitor before being elected to the Holy Office permanently in 1550, Antonio Ghislieri rose in the ranks to become inquisitor general for all of Christendom in less than seven years.
He was appointed by Pope Paul IV who, not coincidentally, was also a major proponent of the Inquisition and of an anti-Semitism so hateful and brutal that Hitler used his ghettoization system as a blueprint for his own.
Some had been buried with ornaments made of gold, silver, bronze, hard stones and amber, the superintendance [sic] said.
Here is an enlarged drawing of the artwork so you can see the astonishing detail the carver was able to achieve with whatever meagre magnification options were available in 1,500 B. (or maybe none at all): Beyond all the superlatives that can and should be showered upon this marvel of artistry, researchers believe the sealstone reveals new information of major significance about Minoan culture and their interactions with the Mycenaeans who so thirstily drank of Minoan culture and spread it throughout the Greek mainland.
In a series of presentations and a paper published last year, Davis and Stocker revealed that the discovery of four gold signet rings bearing highly detailed Minoan iconography, along with other Minoan-made riches found within the tomb, indicates a far greater and complex cultural interchange took place between the Mycenaeans and Minoans.
Bologna’s medieval Jewish cemetery has been rediscovered almost half a millennium after it was obliterated by order of Pope Pius IV.
Unearthed between 20 during archaeological explorations of a site slated for housing development, the cemetery contains 408 graves, all aligned in parallel rows heads pointing to the west, and zero gravestones.