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Toltec settlement uncovered near Tula



Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a Toltec settlement in the town of El Salitre near the Toltec regional centre of Tula.

Tula was the capital of the Toltec Empire between the fall of Teotihuacan and the rise of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The city is located in the Tula River Valley in the Mexican state of Hidalgo, 75 km’s north of Mexico City.

At its height, Tula roughly covered an area of 14 km2 with a population of about 60,000, with another 20,000 to 25,000 in the surrounding 1000 km2. Its economic base was agriculture and the mining and crafting of obsidian, which enabled the city to emerge as an important trading and ceremonial centre.

Excavations in El Salitre have been conducted by INAH on behalf of the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico. Archaeologists sunk 20 test trenches at strategic points, revealing the remains of square and rectangular rooms, floors, corridors, open areas, construction fillings and rammed floors.

Image Credit : INAH

The excavation has identified three stages of occupation, the first corresponding to the Toltec period around AD 900 to AD 1150, with the discovery of human burials, pots, tripod bowls, and fine orange-coloured vessels. Also found from this period are obsidian cores and blades, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines, and bone instruments such as needless, awls and whorls.

The second phase of occupation dates from between AD 1475 to AD 1522 during the Aztec period. The team found several architectural elements in addition to painted pottery that comes from the Acolhua region and polychrome jars from the Valley of Mexico.

“In the excavation of two rooms we also found human burials from this period with ceramic offerings, figurines and work instruments; and others inside pots, as well as canine bones whose species has yet to be identified,” said Gamboa Cabezas from the INAH Hidalgo Centre.

The final stage of occupation corresponds to the Early Colonial period around AD 1522 to AD 1540. During this period, many of the rooms were filled in with new construction works to the northwest of the site. Archaeologists found several types of ceramics, metal spoons, and animal remains, that corresponds to the first species of cattle, goats, and pigs introduced to the region by the Spanish.


Header Image Credit : INAH

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Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia




Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort




Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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