Archaeologists have found a collection of Medieval artefacts dated from the 11th and 12th century AD in Daromin, a village in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, south-central Poland.
Excavations were carried out by the Nadwiślańska Grupa Poszukiwawcza “Szansa” Association, in which archaeologists found a clasp and two denarii from the Roman period, and a rich collection of artefacts from the early Middle Ages.
Dr Marek Florek, from the Institute of Archaeology of the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, said: “Apart from fragments of pottery, there are: coins, including a denarii of Bolesław the Bold, silver, lead and copper alloy ornaments, lead and bronze crosses, everyday objects such as knives and flintlocks, lead and iron weights coated with bronze, militaria and elements of equestrian gear”.
Several of the items, such as the crosses, rings made of copper wire, silver ornaments and an appliqué depicting a rider, were imported from the historic region of Carpathian Rutheni or the Baltic.
Excavations also uncovered a small bronze representation of a horse and a lead mace, likely decorative symbols of military power. The bronze horse is of the Lutomiersk type which were worn by the knightly elites of the early Piast state.
Dr. Florek suggests that the finds, especially those of an elite nature, indicate that a knight’s court could have been located in the vicinity of Daromin in the 11th-12th century AD.
This interpretation is supported by the discovery of barrel-shaped and polyhedral bronze-coated iron weights.
“From the accounts of Ibrahim ibn Jakub, a Jewish merchant from Spain, who reached the Polish lands in the 1060s, we know that Mieszko I was supposed to collect taxes in the form of weights and used them to pay salaries of his men. Therefore, if there was a knight’s court in Daromin in the 11th-12th centuries, their presence, as well as elements of armament and elite items, should not be surprising,” added Florek.
The artefacts are currently being stored in the Sandomierz branch of the Provincial Monument Protection Office in Kielce for further study, after which they will be transferred to the Castle Museum in Sandomierz for display.
Header Image Credit : Dr Marek Florek
New chambers discovered in Ancient Egyptian pyramid of Sahura
An Egyptian-German archaeological mission has discovered several new chambers in the pyramid of Sahura, located in the Abu Sir Pyramid Field south of Giza.
Sahura, meaning “He who is close to Re”, was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and the second ruler of the Fifth Dynasty (2465 BC to 2325 BC). Sahure’s reign is seen as one of economic and cultural prosperity, opening new trading links to the land of Punt and expanding the flow of goods from the Levantine coast.
Choosing not to follow the tradition of being buried in the royal necropolises of Saqqara and Giza, Sahura instead chose for his pyramid to be constructed at Abusir. Although smaller in size than the pyramids of his predecessors, Sahura’s pyramid complex was decorated with over 10,000 m2 of finely carved reliefs, some of which are considered “unparalleled in Egyptian art.”
The interior chambers of the pyramid were extensively damaged by grave robbers during antiquity, making it impossible to precisely reconstruct the substructure plan.
Image Credit : Mohamed Khaled
A restoration project led by Egyptologist Dr. Mohamed Ismail Khaled of the Department of Egyptology at Julius-Maximilians-Universität of Würzburg (JMU) has discovered a series of storage chambers and passageways. The northern and southern parts of these chambers are badly damaged, however, remnants of the original walls and parts of the floor can still be seen.
Using 3D laser scanning with a ZEB Horizon portable LiDAR scanner, the team conducted detailed surveys to map the extensive external areas and the narrow corridors and chambers inside.
According to the researchers: “Careful documentation of the floor plan and dimensions of each storage chamber has greatly enhanced our understanding of the pyramid’s interior. During restoration, a balance between preservation and presentation was pursued to ensure the structural integrity of the chambers while making them accessible for future study and potentially the public.”
During the restoration work, the project was also able to uncover the floor plan of the antechamber which had deteriorated over time. Consequently, the destroyed walls were replaced with new retaining walls. The eastern wall of the antechamber was badly damaged, and only the northeast corner and about 30 centimetres of the eastern wall were still visible.
Header Image – Pyramid of Sahura – Public Domain
Archaeologists identify runesmith who carved the Jelling Stone runes
Archaeologists using 3D scans have identified who carved the Jelling Stone runes, located in the town of Jelling, Denmark.
The first of the two Jelling stones was erected by King Gorm the Old in honour of his wife Thyra. Following this, a second stone was raised by King Gorm’s son, Harald Bluetooth, to commemorate his parents and to mark his victorious rule over Denmark and Norway, as well as his role in converting the Danish people to Christianity.
Researchers from the National Museum in Copenhagen have conducted 3D scans to analyse the carving tracks of the runes. Similar to handwriting, the carving techniques are relatively unique to each runesmith, as each stonemason holds the chisel at a certain angle and strikes with a certain force with the hammer.
By studying the angle of the chisel grooves and the distance between them, comparisons can be made with other rune stones, such as the Laeborg Runestone which stands approximately 30 kilometres southwest of Jelling
The analysis has revealed that the Laeborg Runestone has the same carving technique, which also has the inscription: “Ravnunge-Tue carved these runes after Thyra, his queen”.
Queen Thyra is mentioned in the two Jelling stones as the mother of Harald Bluetooth, wife of Gorm the Elder and “penitent of Denmark”, but Thyra’s name is also mentioned in two other runestones, that of Læborg, carved by Ravnunge-Tue in honor of Thyra, his queen, and that of Bække 1, which bears the inscription “Ravnunge-Tue and Fundin and Gnyple, the three made the stop of Thyra.”
For many years, researchers have debated whether Læborgstenen’s Queen Thyra is the same as the Thyra mentioned on the stones from Jelling.
According to the researchers: “The discovery in itself is interesting because it can link another person to the Jelling dynasty, but it is especially interesting because the realization brings with it another startling revelation, explains Lisbeth Imer, runologist and senior researcher at the National Museum.”
“It is an absolutely incredible discovery that we now know the name of the rune maker behind the Jelling stone, but what makes the discovery even wilder is that we know Ravnunge-Tue’s boss. It is Queen Thyra from Jelling, i.e. Harald Blåtand’s mother, there can no longer be much doubt about that, and that puts the discovery in a completely different light,” says Lisbeth Imer.
Header Image Credit : Shutterstock
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