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Archaeologist suggests location of legendary Viking settlement of Jomsborg

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Dr Wojciech Filipowiak, a Polish archaeologist with the archaeology and ethnology section of Poland’s Academy of Sciences, working with the support of the city of Wolin and the Wolin Archaeology Museum, suggests that he may have found the lost Viking settlement of Jomsborg near the island of Wolin in the Baltic Sea.

Jomsborg was a semi-legendary Viking stronghold whose inhabitants were known as Jomsvikings, purportedly an order of Viking mercenaries that appears in some of the Icelandic sagas from the 12th and 13th centuries.

According to the Knytlingasaga and Fagrskinna sagas, Jomsborg was built by the Danish king, Harold Bluetooth during the 960s, while the Heimskringla saga, describes how Jomsborg was destroyed in 1043 by Dano-Norwegian king Magnus the Good.

Jomsborg’s exact location, or its existence, has long been the subject of debate, though it is often maintained that Jomsborg was located on the eastern outlet of the Oder River.

Nazi archaeologists searched for evidence of Viking remains until the outbreak of WW2, hoping to find proof of what they believed would support their fantasy of the superiority of the Nordic race and its dominance over local Slavic peoples.

Recent excavations in an area known as Hangmen’s Hill (where public executions were carried out between the 8th and 17th centuries), have led to the discovery of various burials and the charred traces of wooden structures, which the researcher states are the traces of a burnt rampart from the 10th century.

According to Dr Filipowiak, the ramparts indicate the location of the Jomsborg stronghold, which is supported with the discovery of a wooden pier that would have served a trading post during the Viking era.

The findings are yet inconclusive, but the locality to Wolin and the supporting evidence does suggest a possible fortified settlement. Whether this is Jomsborg is yet to be determined, however, Dr Filipowiak told the New York Times: “The debate over Jomsborg’s location — or if it really existed — has been a very long discussion. Hopefully, I can help end it.””

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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New findings in North America’s first city

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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