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British WW2 Hurricanes found in Ukrainian forest

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The remains of 8 WW2 British Hurricane fighter planes have been found buried in a forest south of Kiev.

The Hurricane is a single-seat aircraft used by the Royal Air Force during WW2, inflicting 60% of the losses sustained by the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain campaign.

The aircraft was built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd with the first prototype, Hurricane K5083, performing its maiden flight on the 6th of November in 1935. Production of the Hurricane commenced in 1936 under the supervision of the Air Ministry, and it was officially deployed in squadron service by late 1937.

One of the primary factors contributing to the aircraft’s popularity was its comparatively straightforward design and manufacturing process. The Hurricane proved to be more affordable than the Supermarine Spitfire, requiring 10,300 man hours for each unit produced, whereas the Spitfire demanded 15,200 hours.

Overall, some 14,487 Hurricanes and Sea Hurricanes were produced in England and Canada during the lead up and duration or WW2.

As part of the Allied support for the USSR under the so-called Lend Lease Scheme, Hurricanes were sent to the Soviet Union following Operation Barbarossa, an invasion of Soviet territory by German and Axis forces.

Around 3,000 Hurricanes were sent to the USSR between 1941 and 1944 to support the war effort, but following the conclusion of WW2, most of the remaining aircraft were deliberately broken up and buried to avoid paying back the allies under the terms of the Lend Lease Scheme.

The 8 Hurricanes were discovered by metal detectorists while searching for an unexploded bomb from the current war between Ukraine and Russia. This led to the National Aviation Museum of Ukraine to conduct an ongoing excavation to recover the aircraft, which appear to have been stripped of their instruments, radios, machine guns and any useful scrap metal during the 1940’s.

Valerii Romanenko, from the National Aviation Museum of Ukraine told the BBC:
“The Hurricane is a symbol of British assistance during the years of WW2, just as we are very appreciative of British assistance nowadays.”

“In 1941 Britain was the first who supplied fighter aircraft to the Soviet Union in mass scale. Now the UK is the first country which gives Storm Shadow cruise missiles to our armed forces,” added Romanenko.

Header Image – Hurricane Mk.IIB of No. 81 Squadron RAF in Russia during WW2 – Public Domain

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Archaeology

Elite Petén style structures found near Kohunlich

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Construction works for a road in Section 7 of the Mayan Train have uncovered elite Petén style structures near Kohunlich in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Kohunlich is a large Maya polity that served as a regional centre along the trade routes through the southern Yucatán.

The site was first settled around 200 BC, with the majority of its monuments being built between AD 250 to AD 600 during the Early Classic Period.

The city features elevated platforms, plazas, pyramids, and citadels, all enclosed by palace platforms. The layout of Kohunlich was carefully arranged to direct drainage into a network of cisterns and a massive reservoir for rainwater collection.

Construction works for a road on the periphery of Kohunlich have resulted in the discovery of elite structures in the Petén style, a distinct type of Maya architecture and inscription style.

Archaeologists have identified seven structures in total, interpreted to be elite homesteads of a domestic nature that were used for agricultural activities.

Most of the structures have a rectangular plan and vaulted rooms adorned with decorative Petén style elements.

Given their archaeological importance, experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have registered the monuments for protection.

Consequently, the planned route of the road has been redirected to preserve the structures in situ, where they will be preserved and open to the public in the near future.

Excavations also unearthed various archaeological materials, including ceramics, shells, fragments of human bone, and objects intentionally buried as offerings likely during the construction of the homesteads for protection.

Header Image Credit : Maya Train

Sources : National Institute of Anthropology and History

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

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Archaeology

Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

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Archaeologists from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have discovered rare gold foils during excavations at Tel El-Dir.

Tel El-Dir is a burial complex in the area of Egypt’s Damietta Governorate. The site contains various burials and tombs from the 26th Dynasty (664 BC to 525 BC), the last native dynasty of ancient Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.

Excavations of 63 mud brick tombs and pit burials have revealed a large collection of funerary offerings, including rare gold foils depicting Ancient Egyptian deities, and foils shaped like symbols associated with good fortune and protection.

The team also found foils in the shape of tongues, a tradition that enabled the deceased to speak before the court of Osiris in the afterlife.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The discovery follows on from a previous haul in 2022, where archaeologists excavating at Tel El-Dir found gold foils depicting Isis, Bastet and Horus (in the form of a winged falcon), as well as foils in various shapes.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, many of the tombs contained funeral pyres, imported and local ceramics, and Ushabti statues (figurines placed with the deceased to serve them in the afterlife).

The excavation has also yielded a large number of funerary offerings, such as protective amulets, figurines, coins, and a mirror.

Speaking on the finds, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the objects confirm that Damietta was a centre of trade during ancient times, and provides new insights into the burial practices during the 26th Dynasty.

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Sources : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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

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