Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum

A catalogue of the Roman Republican Coins in the British Museum, with descriptions and chronology based on M.H. Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (1974) - this catalogue brings together over 12,000 coins.

It aims to provide an introduction to the coinage, the history of the Museum collection and an aid to the identification of coin types.

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Fillet of dolphin? Polar bear steak? As world population increases, people in coastal poverty-stricken areas are turning to the ocean for their meals, consuming marine mammals such as dolphins and seals, new research suggests.

The fishing of larger marine mammals, like humpback whales, is strictly regulated and monitored; but the extent to which these smaller warm-blooded marine species, including dolphins and seals, are caught, killed and eaten has been largely unstudied and unmonitored.

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Pirate attacks

Sunken treasure lies hidden at the bottom of New York Harbor

Sunken treasure lies hidden at the bottom of New York HarborGoing through old links this morning, I found a story originally published in New York Magazine back in 2009 about the waters of New York City-a maritime metropolis that, many forget, is also an archipelago.

"What, exactly, is down there?" the magazine asked, looking out at the urban waters. "For starters, a 350-foot steamship, 1,600 bars of silver, a freight train, and four-foot-long cement-eating worms.

There are also the now submerged ruins of "Coney Island's great early theme parks," discarded in the waters after the fun ran out.

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Thank //Epex

If we THINK You stole it; it gets seized

A Swiss court has ordered the confiscation of a very rare ancient silver coin that was allegedly illegally excavated in northern Greece and sold at auction in Switzerland, Greek and Swiss officials say.

The lawyer representing Greece in the case said Thursday that the ruling in October opens the way for the early 5th century B.C. coin’s return to Greece. The debt-crippled country’s rich cultural heritage has long suffered depredations from antiquities smugglers supplying a lucrative international market.

“The coin was treated in the Swiss court ruling as a product of criminal activity that was illegally exported from our country and was then illegally offered (for sale) abroad,” Ilias Bisias told The Associated Press.

Greek authorities were officially notified of the ruling this week.

Swiss prosecutors said the coin has been confiscated while they await a legally binding verdict on the circumstances of its discovery from Greece, which regards all its antiquities as state property.

The high-denomination octadrachm — or eight-drachma — coin was struck by a little-known Thracian ruler named Mosses around 480 B.C., the time of the second failed Persian invasion of Greece.

Thessaloniki University professor of archaeology Michalis Tiverios said examples of Mosses’ currency are very rare.

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Forbidden Knowledge

Sunken City In Lake Huron

The recovery of a mysterious wooden pole at the bottom of Lake Huron is fueling excitement among U.S. and Canadian researchers that they have found more evidence of a "lost world" of North American caribou hunters from nearly 10,000 years ago.

The scientists believe that these prehistoric Aboriginal People - who would have been among the earliest in-habitants of the continent - had a "kill site" along a ridge straddling the present-day U.S.-Canada border that was eventually submerged by rising waters when the glaciers melted at the end of the last Ice Age.

Now drowned under about 35 metres of water in Lake Huron, the Alpena-Amberley Ridge is named for the Michigan and Ontario towns that respectively mark the western and eastern ends of the 160-km-long, 16-km-wide feature.

The theory that the ridge was an ancient hunting ground was first announced in 2009 after the discovery of lake-bottom rock features that appeared to have been arranged by human hands to herd migrating caribou in-to narrow corridors ideal for spear hunting.

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Rare Ichthyosaur Rewrites Fossil Record

German experts have found a new species of prehistoric marine giant from a time when most of that family of reptiles were thought to have died out.

The rare ichthyosaur find from the Braunschweig area, northern Germany, is 130 million years old, dating from the Lower Cretaceous era.

Most ichthyosaur fossils date from the Jurassic era, millions of years before.

The Braunschweig fossil revelations were reported in the science journal Plos One on Tuesday.

The new type of ichthyosaur, discovered during roadworks in 2005, has been called Acamptonectes densus - "Stiff Swimmer".

The neck vertebrae were so tightly packed that "it couldn't move its neck, so it must have shot through the water like a dart", said palaeontologist Ulrich Joger of the Braunschweig Natural History Museum.

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Pirate attacks

Can They Shoot?

British MPs on Thursday called on the government to clarify if weapons should be allowed to be used by merchant vessels under attacks from Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

British Prime minister David Cameron announced in late 2011 that private armed guards are allowed on British vessels, but a report on Somali piracy published on Thursday by the Foreign Affairs Committee suggested the government should clarify whether these armed guards could shoot pirates.

The report also called for the British government to secure “the widest possible international participation in counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.”

“It is unacceptable that 2.6 million square miles of the Indian Ocean has become a no-go area for small vessels, and a dangerous one for commercial shipping. There is a clear need to take decisive action,” said MP Richard Ottaway who is also chair of the Committee.

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Pirate attacks

U.S. Navy Saves Iran From Pirates

Just days after Iran threatened the U.S. Navy and bloviated about closing off the Strait of Hormuz, the Navy saved 13 Iranian commercial sailors from pirates. Anytime you want to express your gratitude, Tehran, the Pentagon will take your call.

The incident occurred Thursday in the northern Arabian Sea, the Navy said, after the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John C. Stennis’ battle group left the strait. The Stennis received a distress call from a ship warning of a pirate assault.

That led the U.S.S. Kidd, a destroyer in the battle group, to the al-Molai, an Iranian-flagged fishing vessel that the pirates had hijacked over a month ago and used as a mothership.

A boarding team from the Kidd apparently faced little resistance from the pirates, whose nationalities the Navy has yet to verify, although Somali pirates have clashed with Iranians before.

The Kidd team freed the Iranian hostages and took 15 pirates back to the Stennis, where they’re currently detained.

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