Connect with us

Archaeology

Wolf skull deposited in grave to protect against deceased’s spirit

Published

on

Archaeologists excavating a burial mound in Romania’s Dobruja region have suggested that a wolf skull was deposited by grave robbers to protect them against the deceased’s spirit.

The mound dates from around 2,000-years-ago and has been mostly ploughed out, however, a geophysical study indicates that it originally had a diameter of up to 75 metres.

A burial at the centre of the grave had a pit covered with wooden boards where the deceased was cremated inside a wooden structure. This is evidenced by small amounts of bone, a fragment of a clay lamp, and partially burnt wooden remains from the structure which was joined with nails and decorated with bronze fittings.

Excavations also revealed a large number of burnt walnut seeds, pine cones and other plant remains, which is common in cremation burials from the early Roman period. Barrows with similar cremation burials were discovered in the town of Hârșova, known in the Roman period as Carsium on the lower Danube.

The grave was robbed during antiquity, with the grave robbers depositing a wolf’s skull on a pile of stones which closed their robbery ditch. Dr. Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, said: “It was probably a ritual aimed at closing the looted space in order to prevent exit and the revenge of the plundered spirit.”

According to Dr Szmoniewski, the burial was likely robbed by the Getae, a Thracian-related tribe that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube.

A second burial was also discovered in the barrow, where the researchers found a skeleton inside a wooden structure. Placed upon the skeleton is a glass unguentarium, a container for holding fragrances and perfumes, and a bronze coin from the reign of Hadrian (issued in AD 125-127) that was placed in the deceased’s mouth.

“Placing a coin in the mouth refers to the ancient custom of Charon’s obol, when a coin was used as payment to Charon for transporting the deceased’s soul across the River Styx in Hades,” said Dr Szmoniewski.

PAP

Header Image Credit : BSSzmoniewski & Șt. Georgescu

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

Published

on

By

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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

Published

on

By

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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy