Ancient Egyptian figurines depicting Osiris found in Poland
Archaeologists have discovered two Ancient Egyptian bronze figurines depicting Osiris during excavations in the village of Kluczkowice in Opole Lubelskie County, Poland.
The finds are part of a deposit which are believed to be from a collection owned by the Kleniewski family, who lived in the Palace of Kluczkowice until the German invasion of Poland during WW2.
According to diaries written by Maria Kleniewska, she describes visiting Egypt in 1904 and spending four months in Cairo and visiting Alexandria. What happened to Maria after the war is unknown, her husband died in WW1, whilst her son who inherited the estate was killed in WW2.
The researchers suggest that the family may have hidden the artefacts to safeguard them from the German SS in 1942, or just after the war when the palace furnishings and collections were looted and scattered.
Upon discovering the figurines, the Lubelskie Voivodship Conservator of Monuments (LWKZ), said: “The find is so unusual in our area and raised doubts about the authenticity”.
The artefacts were sent to the Voivodeship Office for the Protection of Monuments in Lublin for verification, which determined that the two figurines depicted Osiris, the god of fertility, agriculture, the afterlife, the dead, resurrection, life, and vegetation in ancient Egyptian religion.
Figuring of Bacchus – Image Credit : Dr. Łukasz Miechowicz
A third figurine from the deposit was identified as depicting a bust of Bacchus, the Roman equivalent of Dionysus, associated with winemaking, orchards and fruit, vegetation, fertility, festivity, insanity, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre.
Working in cooperation with the National Museum in Lublin and the Department of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw, the Osiris figurines have been dated to the 1st millennium BC, while the bust of Bacchus has been dated to the 1st century AD and was likely part of a tripod, similar to an example found during the 18th century near Mount Vesuvius in Italy.
Image Credit : Dr. Łukasz Miechowicz
The researchers also discovered part of a richly decorated ceremonial sword from the 17th century, which may have been a colichemarde, a popular short sword that first appeared in 1680 and was popular in royal courts throughout Europe.
Speaking to Science in Poland, Dr. Łukasz Miechowicz, from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, said: “Finding part of a valuable collection that was lost many years ago is of great importance for science, cultural heritage, and the development of tourism”.
After further study, the artefacts will be transferred to be part of the collections in the National Museum in Lublin.
Header Image Credit : Dr. Łukasz Miechowicz
Nazca geoglyphs discovered used AI deep learning
Archaeologists from the Yamagata University have used AI deep learning to discover new geoglyphs in the northern part of the Nazca Pampa in the arid Peruvian coastal plain.
Geoglyphs in the Nazca Pampa were first identified during the 1920’s, with ongoing studies since the 1940’s revealing various figurative geoglyphs of zoomorphic designs, geometric shapes, and linear lines.
Geoglyphs can be categorised into three main types: figurative, geometric, and lineal. Archaeologists suggest that the lineal geoglyphs were created by the Nazca, a culture that developed during the Early Intermediate Period and is generally divided into the Proto Nazca (phase 1, 100 BC to AD 1), the Early Nazca (phases 2–4, AD 1 to 450), Middle Nazca (phase 5, AD 450 to 550) and the Late Nazca (phases 6–7, AD 550 to 750).
The relief type dates from the Late Formative period (400 to 200 BC), as the iconography of the geoglyphs are similar to that of Formative petroglyphs found on outcrops of rock. During this period, the region was inhabited by the Paracas Culture, an Andean people that emerged around 800 BC until 100 BC.
Since 2004, Yamagata University has been conducting geoglyph distribution surveys using satellite imagery, aerial photography, airborne scanning LiDAR, and drone photography to investigate the vast area of the Nazca Pampa covering more than 390 km2.
In 2016, the researchers used aerial photography with a ground resolution of 0.1 m per pixel to create a detailed survey of the region. Overtime, the team have identified various geoglyphs, however, the process is very time consuming, so they have adopted AI deep learning to analyse the photographs at a much faster rate.
The results of a study, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, has revealed the discovery of four new Nazca geoglyphs using this new method by creating an approach to labelling training data that identifies a similar partial pattern between the known and new geoglyphs.
The four new geoglyphs depict a humanoid figure, a pair-of-legs, a fish, and a bird. The humanoid geoglyph is shown holding a club in his/her right hand and measures 5 metres in length. The fish geoglyph, shown with a wide-open mouth measures 19 metres, while the bird geoglyph measures 17 metres and the pair-of-legs 78 metres.
According to the study authors: “We have developed a DL pipeline that addresses the challenges that commonly arise in the task of archaeological image object detection. Our approach allows DL to learn representations of images with better generalisation and performance, enabling the discovery of targets that have been difficult to find in the past. Moreover, by accelerating the research process, our method contributes to archaeology by establishing a new paradigm that combines field surveys and AI, leading to more efficient and effective investigations.”
Header Image Credit : Yamagata University
Archaeologists study fortress in southern Georgia to understand community resilience
A team of archaeologists led by Cranfield University is conducting a detailed study of the fortress of Dmanisis Gora in the Kvemo Kartli region of Georgia.
The study is part of a project to understand why communities in the region were more resilient than other parts of the world during the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age around 1200 BC.
Dmanisis Gora is located at the north-eastern edge of the highland zone between two such gorges. The site consists of a compact defensive core that has two defensive walls with an enclosed area of 3.7 acres.
On the plateau behind the citadel area, a third wall, extending about 1000 m from edge to edge on the plateau, encloses a much larger area of about 138.3 acres that contains numerous circular and linear stone features.
During the so-called ‘12th Century BC crisis’ and its aftermath, the majority of Middle Eastern regions underwent a period of significant turmoil characterised by the disintegration of empires, famine, crop failures, armed conflicts, and mass migration.
In contrast, the Caucasus region (consisting of present-day Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) appears to have been shielded from this tumultuous period, exhibiting only gradual transformations in material culture and patterns of settlement.
Either the region managed to entirely avoid the widespread disruption, or it did not experience the same cultural, economic, and political repercussions as other areas. This suggests that the communities in the region might have been more resilient, enabling them to withstand and adapt to the challenges in a comparatively effective manner.
Dr Erb-Satullo, from Cranfield University, said: “The key to understanding why the Bronze Age-Iron Age transition is different in the Caucasus is to study the fortress communities that dot the landscape during this period. We’re looking for clues about life in the Late Bronze Age through examining areas such as ceramics, burial rituals, farming practices, tools and social structures.”
“Given the upheaval at that time in other nearby regions, we are intrigued to find out more about one of these sites and determine what underlies their apparent resilience,” added Dr Erb-Satullo.
The project expands upon earlier pilot excavations carried out at the site prior to the pandemic, along with a thorough survey conducted in Autumn 2022 using drone-based photogrammetry. This is done by using the latest forensic technologies including isotopic analysis of animal remains, metallurgy, magnetometry and deploying drones to scan the area.
“What’s really exciting about this site is its size, preservation, and the fact that it has layers dating precisely to the years around the 12th Century BC crisis,” continued Dr Erb-Satullo. “Many fortresses are on hills which are prone to erosion. But this one has relatively flat topography, so the sediment will have built up in layers over time, helping to preserve artefacts and archaeological clues from the Late Bronze age.”
Header Image Credit : BING Maps
Ghosts10 months ago
Zozo: The Ouija Board Demon
Space8 months ago
Scientists claim to have found the answer what existed before the Universe
Ghosts10 months ago
Jumbee: Demons of the Caribbean
General10 months ago
The War for the Planet Between Humans and Neanderthals Lasted 100,000 Years
General9 months ago
Where did ships from the Middle Ages come from in the US deserts?