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Archaeology

Remains of 400-year-old wooden ship found in Mexico

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered the remains of a 400-year-old wooden ship during a rescue excavation in the city of Chalco de Díaz Covarrubias, Mexico.

Excavations have located seven pieces of timber that measure 1 metre in length by 25 cm’s in width. The timbers date from the early period of the Viceroyalty of New Spain after the fall of Tenochtitlan (1521).

At the time, the location of the excavation site would have been in the region of Lake Chalco, one of the Great Lakes named after the ancient city of Chalco. Lake Chalco, along with Texcoco, Zumpango and Xaltocan, and the freshwater Xochimilco, were home to many Mesoamerican cultures such as the Toltecs and the Aztecs.

Based on the curvature on the outside of the timbers, the researchers suggest that they may be from a Brigantine type vessel (two-masted sailing vessel with a fully square-rigged foremast and at least two sails on the main mast) used by the conquering Spanish, or possibly to hold acalco canoes of the indigenous people on the lake shore.

Historical accounts record how the Spanish constructed a navy consisting of shallow-hulled Brigantine type vessels to seize the Great Lakes in 1521. The ships were built from salvaged wood and other hardware from the ships that Cortés had ordered to be destroyed when he landed at Vera Cruz in April 1519.

Excavations by INAH also uncovered the remains of a settlement at a depth of 2.5 metres. The settlement would have been located on the northeastern shore of Lake Chalco near the ruins of the ancient Tlatilco city of Tlapacoya.

INAH

Header Image Credit : Guillermo Hernandez Garcia

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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