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New discoveries at the Matriya Sun Temple

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Archaeologists from a German/Egyptian archaeological mission have made new discoveries at the Matriya Sun Temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis near Cairo, Egypt.

Heliopolis, meaning “City of the Sun”, was one of the oldest cities of Ancient Egypt that dates from the Predynastic Period. Heliopolis was the cult centre of the sun god, Atum (who later became identified with Ra and then Horus), where Kheperkare Nakhtnebef of the 30th dynasty constructed a sun temple in dedication.

A team of archaeologists from the Institute of Egyptology at Leipzig University, working in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, have uncovered more remains of the sun temple while conducting excavations in the surrounding area of the Matriya Open Museum.

The team found traces of flooring made from white ash and mud-brick buildings, in addition to a number of quartzite stone from the era of Horemheb, who was the last pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Excavations also revealed stonework from the reign of Psamtik II, a pharaoh who ruled during the 26th Dynasty, sections of limestone flooring, a royal statue yet to be identified, the base of a statue of King Ramses II, and a large inscription written on pink granite.

Dr Dietrich Raue, curator of the Egyptian Museum at Leipzig University said: “The mission also succeeded in uncovering several parts of statues of King Ramses II made of quartz stone and a piece from the era of King Ramses IX.”

The mission has been excavating the vicinity of the sun temple since 2012, where in 2018 they announced the discovery of reliefs and inscriptions built by Kheperkare Nakhtnebef from the 30th Dynasty, a number of temple building components and statue fragments, fragments of quartzite statues of Rameses II, an obelisk fragment from the time of Osorkon I, as well as a sanctuary for the deities Shu and Tefnut from the time of Psamtik II.

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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Archaeology

Giant catapult shots discovered from siege of Kenilworth Castle

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Archaeologists have uncovered eight 13th century catapult shots from the 1266 siege of Kenilworth Castle.

Kenilworth Castle, located in the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England, is both a semi-royal palace and historic fortress.

Founded in the 1120s, the castle was the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne and the Earl of Leicester’s reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.

During the First Civil War (1642 to 1646), Kenilworth formed a useful counterbalance to the Parliamentary stronghold of Warwick. Following the defeat of royalist forces, Parliament ordered the slighting of Kenilworth 1649, leaving the castle a romantic ruin and popular tourist attraction over the centuries.

Recent works to improve a pathway on castle grounds has led to the discovery of eight giant catapult shots. According to the archaeologists, the shots date from the Siege of Kenilworth (1266), a six-month siege of the castle during the Second Barons’ War.

The conflict was between a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort (who had custody of Kenilworth Castle) against the royalist forces of King Henry III, and later his son, the future King Edward I.

Image Credit : English Heritage

According to historical accounts, the siege was the largest to occur in Medieval England and involved numerous “turres ligneas” (wooden towers), trebuchets, and catapults which fired the giant shots.

The shots are of varying sizes, with the largest weighing 105 kg and the smallest just 1 kg. “’These would have caused some serious damage when fired from war machines. Records show that one of Henry III’s wooden siege towers, containing around 200 crossbowmen, was destroyed by just one well-aimed missile,” said Will Wyeth, English Heritage’s Properties Historian.

Header Image Credit : English Heritage

Sources : English Heritage

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

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Sappers clear over 4,700 dangerous objects from WWII

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A team of sappers under archaeological supervision have cleared over 4,700 dangerous objects from WWII on the Westerplatte Peninsula in Gdańsk, Poland.

Situated at the mouth of the Dead Vistula on the Baltic Sea coast, the peninsula was the site of the Battle of Westerplatte, one of the initial clashes between Polish and German forces during the invasion of Poland in WWII.

The Polish garrison held out for seven days, repelling thirteen German assaults. The battle became a symbol of Polish resistance, tying up substantial German forces at Westerplatte and preventing over 3,000 German soldiers from providing fire support in the nearby battles of Hel and Gdynia.

Image Credit : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk led the clearing of the Westerplatte area, working in conjunction with soldiers from the 43rd Naval Sapper Battalion, the Engineer Battalion Sapper Company from the 2nd Sapper Regiment from Kazuń Nowy, and a team of archaeologists to supervise and document any archaeological material.

The clearance works have uncovered over 4,700 dangerous objects in the duration of the project along with 180 historical artefacts.

“To date, specialists have penetrated an area of ​​over 13.5 hectares, resulting in the discovery of over 4,700 dangerous objects, including 3 air bombs, one of which weighing 500 kg was located only 30 cm below the ground surface ” – said the head of the Archaeological Department of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Filip Kuczma.

Some of these objects include almost 200 artillery shells, mortar and hand grenades, and small arms ammunition. Other WWII objects include elements from the soldier’s uniforms, lead seals, and parts of the railway infrastructure in Westerplatte.

The team also uncovered cannonballs, musket shells, coins, decorative stove tiles, and ceramics from the time of the War of the Polish succession (1733 to 1738) and the Napoleonic period (1799 to 1815).

Header Image Credit : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

Sources : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

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

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