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Ancient Egyptian figurines depicting Osiris found in Poland

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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.

PAP

Header Image Credit : Dr. Łukasz Miechowicz

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

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

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

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

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