A limestone statue depicting an Amajac ruler has been discovered in the municipality of Hidalgo Amajac in Veracruz, Mexico.
The region was ruled by the Huastec civilisation, an indigenous people of Mexico living in the La Huasteca region that includes the states of Veracruz, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas – concentrated along the route of the Pánuco River and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Excavations of Huastec sites suggests that the culture emerged around the 10th century BC, with the most active period being during the Postclassic era between the fall of Teotihuacán and the rise of the Aztec Empire.
During the mid-15th century AD, the Huastecs were conquered by the Aztec during the reign of Moctezuma I (AD 1398–1469) but retained a large degree of local self-government by paying tribute to the Aztec Empire. The Huastec civilisation fell during the Spanish conquest between AD 1519 and the 1530s and were subsequently transported to the Caribbean to be sold as slaves.
Image Credit : INAH
The statue was discovered by workmen during road works in Hidalgo Amajac. According to archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the statue dates from the Early Postclassic period (AD 1100-1200) and was likely removed from a public space and buried for protection.
The statue measures 1.54 metres in height and weighs between 200 and 250 kilograms. It depicts a local ruler wearing a ceremonial headdress, similar to statues of rulers found in the pre-Columbian city of El Tajín.
This is not the first statue found in the Hidalgo Amajac area. In 2021, a 2-metre-tall statue called the “Young Woman of Amajac” was found in an orange grove depicting an indigenous woman wearing a headdress and an ankle-length skirt.
The mayoress of Álamo Temapache, Lilia Arrieta Pardo, announced that the cultural space currently being built in Hidalgo Amajac will be adapted to display the statue and the “Young Woman of Amajac”.
Header Image Credit : INAH
Early medieval carved stone of a warrior figure found in Glasgow
Archaeologists excavating the grounds of Govan Old Church in Glasgow, England, have discovered an early medieval carved stone figure dubbed the “Govan Warrior”.
Govan Old Church is the home of the Govan Stone Museum, a collection of early medieval and Viking-Age sculptures found in the grounds, including 30 sculptures from a lost kingdom of Old Welsh-speaking Britons known as the Ystrad Clud who dominated the Clyde valley from the 5th to 11th centuries AD.
Excavations have been conducted by the University of Glasgow and Clyde Archaeology, in which a carved stone of a warrior was uncovered during a community fun day organised as part of the Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival.
The carved stone depicts a man standing side on and carrying a round shield and a shaft. According to the researchers, the discovery dates from around 1,000-years-ago and is unlike any of the other carved stones found at Govan Old.
According to a press statement by the University of Glasgow: “The Govan Warrior is unique within the existing collection due to its stylistic characteristics, which has drawn parallels with Pictish art and carvings from the Isle of Man. Unlike the other stones in the Govan collection, whose chunky style of carving is so distinctive that it has been described as a school of carving in its own right (the ‘Govan School’), the Govan Warrior is lightly incised, which may bring parallels with famous Pictish stones like the Rhynie Man from Aberdeenshire.”
Professor Stephen Driscoll said: “It’s a style that makes us think both about the Pictish world and also about the Isle of Man and it’s interesting that we are halfway between these two places. Govan is the ideal place for these two artistic traditions or styles to come together.”
Header Image Credit : Govan Heritage Trust
Iron Age port discovered on Baltic Sea island of Gotska Sandön
An excavation project, in collaboration with archaeologists from Södertörn University, Uppsala University’s Campus Gotland, Gotland Museum, and the Swedish National Heritage Board, has led to the discovery of an Iron Age port on Gotska Sandön.
Gotska Sandön is an island and national park in Sweden’s Gotland County, situated 24 miles north of Faro in the Baltic Sea.
Earlier in 2023, archaeologists found two 2,000-year-old Roman coins on one of the island’s beaches. Both coins are made of silver, with one coin dating from AD 98-117 during the reign of Emperor Trajan, and the other coin dating from AD 138-161 during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius
In the latest excavations, archaeologists have now discovered evidence of twenty hearths on the same beach as the Roman coins discovery.
According to Johan Rönnby, a professor of marine archaeology at Södertörn University, the site is an Iron Age port, not in the sense of quays we imply in the modern era, but instead a place where Iron Age people regularly landed their boats and formed an encampment.
Although the purpose of the encampment is speculated, the researchers suggest that it may have been linked to an emerging seal hunting industry.
“Seal hunters may have come from the island of Gotland and landed on Sandön to boil seal blubber. This could have been what the hearths were used for, but we don’t yet know – there may be other reasons why the site looks like it does, such as it being a trading post,” said Rönnby.
Excavations and carbon-14 dating of one of the hearths has indicated that they also date from 2,000-years-ago, suggesting a possible link between the encampment and the Roman coins.
Header Image Credit : idw
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