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Archaeologists uncover a pre-Columbian temple complex

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Archaeologists from the Jagiellonian University and the University of St. Mark in Lima have excavated a pre-Columbian temple complex near the city of Barranca in Peru.

Excavations are part of the Programa de investigacion “Los valles de Barranca” project, which is exploring four large mounds on the Cerro Colorado hill.

Research conducted on two of the mounds revealed human burials and monumental architecture made of dried bricks and stone blocks. This has led to a widescale excavation of the site where the project has uncovered destroyed burials in the form of burial bundles, placed within the remains of a temple complex built of dried brick.

One of the destroyed burials contains the remains of a young boy whose skull was intentionally deformed. He was originally placed in a 3-metre-long fabric which is decorated with totally unique zoomorphic representations and was buried with decorated textiles suggesting that he came from a high-status family.

Image Credit : Łukasz Majchrzak

A physico-chemical analysis and carbon dating of organic remains has placed the construction of the temple complex to around 2500-2200 BC, while the same technique applied to the burials suggests that they were interred between AD 772 and 989.

Bioarchaeologist, Łukasz Majchrzak, said: “Andeans used to set up necropolises in abandoned places of worship. This was also the case here, because the graves were dug into structures that were several thousand years older.”

Samples used for dating the structure were taken from grass mixed with mortar, which was used to hold together blocks that formed a small pyramid. During the 3rd millennium BC, settlements with monumental architecture were established in the Andes, and agriculture became widespread as a result of contacts with communities living in the Amazon.

The examined graves come from the period when the region was part of the Wari Empire. One of the most important sites of this culture, Castillo de Huarmey, is located only 70 km north of Barranca.

PAP

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Majchrzak

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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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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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