Connect with us


Complex funerary monument found at foot of La Peña de los Enamorados



A team of archaeologists have found a complex megalithic funerary monument at Piedras Blancas, located at the foot of La Peña de los Enamorados (“Lovers Rock”), a mountain near the city of Antequera in Andalusia, Spain.

The results of the excavation, published in the journal Antiquity, has revealed the monument to be part natural, part built, part hypogeum, and part megalith.

La Peña de los Enamorados is a limestone massif which towers at 880m above the Antequera plain. The area is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the influence the mountain and the peaks of El Torcal played in the development of Late Neolithic and Copper Age sites, such as Menga, Viera and El Romeral from the 3rd and 4th millennia BC.

Excavations at Piedras Blancas revealed a tomb built on a small hill of calcarenite limestone, in which the structure is embedded in the geological substrate and matches the direction of the mountain’s north-east plane.

Image Credit : M. Díaz-Guardamino

According to the researchers: “The tomb is part natural monument, part hypogeum, part megalith. It consists of a pseudo-rectangular cavity, 4.5m long and 1.45m wide, which was cut into the bedrock through the removal of the local calcarenite rock and then delimited, to the east and west, by a series of medium-sized slabs”.

The builders deliberately utilised the naturally folded geology, integrating the structure into the surrounding landscape. The naturally occurring calcarenite rocks are vertically oriented due to the anticline fold that forms the long sides of the structure towards the north and south.

Although there is no conclusive evidence indicating the existence of a roof, some significant broken slabs discovered in the upper portion of the tomb’s fill may be the remnants of capstones.

Two slabs delimiting the entrance and two at the back of the chamber are made of locally available stone and have been carefully selected and carved with decorated engraved motifs.

The builders also used slabs of marine sedimentary rocks that has natural ripples which is also found at the megalithic monument of El Romeral, suggesting that these structures were built according to a shared set of ideas.

Another remarkable architectural discovery consists of two triangular dressed stones fixed to the chamber’s floor with a mud mortar that are orientated with the summer solstice sunrise.

According to the study authors: “The fill of the tomb included a substantial assemblage of human bone, some faunal remains, knapped lithics and ceramics. A large number of stones (988kg), used to create specific features and spaces within the burial chamber, was also recorded. The stratigraphic evidence and carbon dating of the human remains suggests that the tomb was used over three major periods.”

The tomb has enabled the researchers to expand our understanding of the Antequera World Heritage site, the importance of La Peña de los Enamorados as a focus of Neolithic activity, and reveals further insights into the sophisticated arrangement through which the carving of rocks (either as stelae, as astronomical devices, or as canvasses decorated with natural motifs of marine origin) was coupled with the natural orientation of the geological substrate to ‘domesticate’ sunlight.


Header Image Credit : M. Ángel Blanco de la Rubia

Continue Reading


Archaeologists find five Bronze Age axes in the forests of Kociewie




According to an announcement by the Pomeranian Provincial Conservator of Monuments, archaeologists have discovered five Bronze Age axes in Starogard Forest District, located in Kociewie, Poland.

The initial discovery was made by history enthusiast, Denis Konkol, who notified local authorities from the Pomeranian provincial conservator of monuments. In Poland, it is forbidden to conduct an amateur search for artefacts using a metal detector, either for commercial or for personal use unless licensed by local authorities, requiring all finds to be reported which become the property of the state.

Upon inspection of the discovery site, archaeologists found five axes within a radius of several dozen metres at a depth of 20 to 30 centimetres beneath a layer of turf and humus.

Igor Strzok, Pomeranian provincial conservator of monuments, said: “The extraction of these finds took place under the archaeological supervision of our colleagues from the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments. This means that we prevented possible destruction of the site.”

The five axes date from between 1700 and 1300 BC and were likely a ritual deposit of a cult nature, however, the archaeologists haven’t ruled out that the axes could also be a deposit related to trade.

According to the announcement, the objects are tautušiai type axes associated with Baltic cultures from today’s Lithuania or north-eastern Poland. Defined by their considerable size, the axes feature a slim handle with raised edges and a wide blade.

Previous excavations of Bronze Age sites in the region generally find bracelets or breastplates, while the most recent unearthing of a weapon or Bronze Age tool dates back 20 years, highlighting the scarcity of such finds in the region.

The axes are scheduled to be transported to the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk, where experts will conduct a thorough examination.

Header Image Credit : Stargard Forest District

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading


Mosaic depicting lions found at ancient Prusias ad Hypium




Archaeologists have uncovered a mosaic depicting lions during excavations at ancient Prusias ad Hypium, located in modern-day Konuralp, Turkey.

Prusias ad Hypium was a city in ancient Bithynia which was annexed by the Roman Republic in 74 BC. The city flourished as a significant trading hub, maintaining autonomy in its local governance and even issuing its own currency.

The city was rediscovered during the 19th century, with recent excavations being conducted by the archaeology department of Düzce University under the patronage of the Konuralp Museum, and supported by the Municipality of Düzce.

Excavations indicate that the city exhibits characteristics of a Hellenistic polis. Among the surviving remains are remnants of the city walls, a gate within the fortifications, an open-air theatre, an aqueduct, and a Roman bridge.

A recent archaeological study has focused on the theatre, known locally as the “The Forty Stairs”. The theatre was built during the Hellenistic period (300–30 BC) and was expanded in the Roman period.

The study has uncovered the remains of a mosaic depicting a pair of lions, which was found in a room of the portico in the middle of the theatre axis.

The room has a rectangular shape and is adorned with a mosaic covering the entire floor with a geometric floral pattern. At the centre is a mosaic frame depicting the pair of lions either side of a pine tree. Hanging from the tree is a tympanum (a drum or tambourine), and on the left branch is a pan flute.

According to the researchers, the room was dedicated to the cult of Dionysus. During Dionysian processions, it was common to observe Silenus and maenads participating by playing musical instruments such as the tympanum and pan flute.

Header Image Credit : Konuralp Museum

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading


Generated by Feedzy