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Possible burial pits from Battle of Marston Moor identified using drones



An amateur archaeologist has identified possible burial pits at the site of the Battle of Marston Moor using drones equipped with thermal cameras.

The Battle of Marston Moor took place in 1644 during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639 – 1653), near Long Marston in Yorkshire, England.

The battle was fought between a combined force of Scottish Covenanters commanded by the Earl of Leven and English Parliamentarians led by Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester, against the Royalist army commanded by Prince Rupert of the Rhine and the Marquess of Newcastle.

The deciding action in the battle was led by Oliver Cromwell commanding the Parliamentarian cavalry, which drove the Royalist cavalry off the battlefield. The enabled them to join forces with Leven’s infantry to completely destroy the Royalist infantry, resulting in the death of 4,000 Royalist soldiers and 1,500 captured.

Tony Hunt from the Yorkshire Archaeological Aerial Mapping project used thermal cameras attached to drones to survey the battlefield. This revealed long grubbed out boundaries and three large features that appear man-made, suggesting that they could be burial pits containing the remains of those that died in the conflict.

Tony Hunt told Telegraph and Argus: “We have these shapes showing up on the thermal imagery and the infra-red. There have been changes in the chemistry of the ground. That changes the growth patterns of plans showing human intervention.”

According to Hunt, some of the wealthy families retrieved the bodies of family members who were brought to York Minster, Bilton-in-Ainsty church, or their own family graveyards for burial, however, thousands of fallen soldiers were buried at the battlefield which should now be preserved following an “appropriate and respectful” investigation to confirm the findings.

Hunt is also currently in talks with Leeds East Airport at Church Fenton to apply the same survey method to investigate the site of the 1461 Battle of Towton, near Tadcaster, one of the bloodiest battles fought during the War of the Roses.

Header Image – The Battle of Marston Moor – John Barker (1811-1886) – Public Domain

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am




Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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New findings in North America’s first city




Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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