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Archaeologists unearth 1,200-year-old Wari temple complex

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Archaeologists from the University of Illinois Chicago have unearthed a 1,200-year-old Wari temple complex in Peru.

The Wari were a Middle Horizon civilisation that flourished in the south-central Andes and coastal area of modern-day Peru from around 600 to 1000 AD.

The Wari expanded their territory by allowing local leaders to maintain a degree of autonomy if they joined the Wari Empire. They required all subjects to commit to a policy of mit’a labor (non-reciprocal public labour for the state) as a form of tribute.

Excavations at Pakaytambo in southern Peru have uncovered a Wari ritual complex consisting of a D-shaped temple, patio-group architecture, several supporting buildings and a monumental platform construction.

The site is situated on an established prehistoric transit route at an important ecological and political location between the foothills of the Andean highlands and adjacent coastal valleys of Arequipa.

Temple complexes of this type served as a centre for ritual, political, and economic roles, often embedded within state-sponsored ceremonies and events organised by temple institutions that would have embedded local communities into the Wari sphere.

David Reid, UIC postdoctoral research associate said: “One of the most effective ways of bringing people into the empire was through shared beliefs and religious practices. Open plaza spaces associated with the temple complex at Pakaytambo would have allowed local communities to participate in ritual gatherings organised by the Wari.”

In a study published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, the researchers said: “Archaeological investigations at the newly discovered temple centre of Pakaytambo provide the first conclusive evidence of an intrusive Wari imperial presence in the Majes-Chuquibamba region of Arequipa, Peru. Pakaytambo provides invaluable insights into the production of state authority through public ritual and performance in regions beyond a state heartland.”

University of Illinois Chicago

Header Image Credit : University of Illinois Chicago

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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