Gold inlaid miquelet fowler crafted by Zarando…

Gold inlaid miquelet fowler crafted by Zarandona of Eibar, Spain, 1805.
From The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Silver inlaid flintlock breechloading shotgun,…

Silver inlaid flintlock breechloading shotgun, German, circa 1680.

from Hermann Historica

saltotheearth: 🍃



peashooter85: How to Move an Ancient Egyptian …


How to Move an Ancient Egyptian Temple — The Relocation of the Abu Simbel Temples.

In the 13th century BC the mighty pharaoh Ramses II ordered the construction of two large temples in southern Egypt to commemorate the Battle of Kadesh, to honor his queen Nefertari, and to impress his Nubian enemies to the south.  Carved directly into the sandstone hillsides, the large facade of the temples feature four colossus statues of Ramses himself, each standing 67 feet in height.  The facade itself stands an incredible 100 feet high and 119 feet wide.  Inside of the temples are a network of rooms and hallways with many priceless hieroglyphic carvings detailing Egyptian history, religion, and folklore.

By the 1960’s the Abu Simbel Temples were a national treasure for the new Egyptian nation.  However, Egypt’s industrial modernization would threaten the temples in a way that no pharaoh could have ever predicted.  Near Abu Simbel was the construction of a 364 foot hydroelectric dam known as the Aswan dam.  A key objective of the Egyptian government, the dam would provide electricity for the developing nation and kick start a new agricultural plan which would create a massive irrigation project.  However, Abu Simbel was literally in deep trouble, for construction of the damn would leave the ancient temples submerged at the bottom of the Lake Nasser Reservoir.

To save Abu Simbel, a team of archeologists, historians, engineers, architects, and construction workers were recruited by UNESCO to conduct one of the most ambitious rescue operations of an ancient structure.  The plan was to relocate the ancient temples above the flood plain of Lake Nasser.  Incredibly, the team cut the temple facade and structure into individual blocks weighing 20-30 tons.  Each block was numbered then recorded to keep track of where they would go when reassembled.  The blocks were lifted out of their original foundation using massive cranes, then transported to another site where they could be catalogued and stored for later.  From 1964-1965 over 10,000 stone blocks were cut, lifted, and transported away from the site. 

The new home for the temples was located 200 meters inland and at a height  65 meters higher than the original Abu Simbel site.  To recreate the look of a temple carved from a sandstone hill, artificial hills were created using concrete which simulated sandstone.  Once the new Abu Simbel site was ready, each block was meticulously fitted back into position, reconstructing the ancient temples anew.  In fact the reconstruction is so precise that it would impress ancient Egyptian engineers, on the façade of the temples there are no visible seams where the blocks meet.  Only a few joins can be found from within the temple complex.  The project was completed in 1968 and cost $40 million, over $250 million dollars today.  The cost was well worth it as the Abu Simbel complex is considered one of the great treasures of Egypt and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Over 500,000 tourists visit the temples every year.

Gold decorated Russian shashka sabre, early 20…

Gold decorated Russian shashka sabre, early 20th century.

from Czerny’s International Auction House

annethearcher: Before the Draw – Anne The Arc…


Before the Draw – Anne The Archer

cartespostalesantiques: Le “Jules-Ferry” dans …


Le “Jules-Ferry” dans le Bassin de SIDI-ABDALAH

French vintage postcard

Syrian kandshar dagger, circa 1900.

Syrian kandshar dagger, circa 1900.

from Hermann Historica

qsy-complains-a-lot: Adrian-type Mle1895 fire…


Adrian-type Mle1895 firefighter helmet

Manufactured in France c.1895~1915.
~1mm brass, Adrian M15 leather lining.

Look how shiny it is.

The tank that survived an atomic bomb then wen…


In August of 1953 a British built Centurion tank with the number


was parked 500 yards away from a 9 kiloton test bomb in the Australian Outback. To put it into perspective Little Boy which was dropped on Hiroshima was around 15 kilotons so it was not a very powerful bomb but still stronger than any conventional weapon in the arsenal at that time. The Centurion survived with some armor plating being torn off and the side facing the blast being sandblasted and scoured. The crew whom had driven it out there to begin with filled the gas tanks three days later and drove it away. The engine did throw a rod and it had a couple other problems but in the end a minor refit and the tank was as good as new. 

The tank continued to serve with the Australian military and in 1968 Australia sent a squadron of Centurions to Vietnam, among them Centurion 169041. In 1969 the Centurion was hit by an RPG injuring most of the crew but not killing any of them. 

It was sent back to Australia and repaired then used as a parade tank and training vehicle with the 1st Armoured Regiment at Robertson Barracks, Northern Territory where it remains today. 

Centurion 169041 remains the only tank to have survived a nuclear blast that was still operational and used in combat, mainly because the weapons the Americans were testing at the Nevada Test Site were much stronger and would have completely destroyed the Centurion. 

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