Connect with us

Archaeology

Royal tombs found in Cyprus full of precious artefacts

Published

on

Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg have uncovered royal tombs near the Bronze Age city of Dromolaxia Vizatzia, located at Hala Sultan Tekke on the south eastern coast of Cyprus.

The tombs date from the around 1500 to 1300 BC during a period when the city was a centre for the copper trade, which according to the researchers are among the “richest” tombs ever discovered in the Mediterranean region.

Professor Peter Fishcher from the University of Gothenburg said: “It is a reasonable assumption that these were royal tombs, even though we do not know much about the form of government practiced in the city at the time.”

The site was discovered using magnetometers, a device used for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field in geophysical surveys to detect magnetic anomalies of various types, and to determine the dipole moment of magnetic materials.

Image Credit : Professor Peter Fishcher

“We compared the site where broken pottery had been ploughed during farming with the magnetometer map, which showed large cavities one to two metres below the surface. This led us to continue investigating the area and to discover the tombs,” said Professor Fischer.

The tombs consist of underground chambers each measuring up to 4 x 5 metres, which are accessed via a narrow passageway from the surface. Inside two of the chambers the team found over 500 complete artefacts, consisting of precious metals, gems, bronze weapons, ivory, high-status ceramics, and a gold-framed seal made of haematite.

Around half of the tomb contents were imported from neighbouring cultures and civilisations. Gold and ivory came from Egypt, precious stones were imported from Afghanistan, India and Sinai, while  amber objects came from the Baltic region.

Excavations also revealed several well-preserved skeletons, including a burial containing a woman who was found surrounded by dozens of ceramic vessels, jewellery and a round bronze mirror.

Professor Fishcher, said: “Several individuals, both men and women, wore diadems, and some had necklaces with pendants of the highest quality, probably made in Egypt during the 18th dynasty at the time of such pharaohs as Thutmos III, and Amenophis IV (Akhenaten) and his wife Nefertiti.”

University of Gothenburg

Header Image Credit : Professor Peter Fishcher

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Excavation of medieval shipbuilders reveals a Roman head of Mercury

Published

on

By

Excavations of a medieval shipbuilders has led to the discovery of a Roman settlement and a Roman head of Mercury.

The discovery was made at Smallhythe Place, a late 15th or early 16th century property managed by the National Trust near Tenterden in Kent, England.

Prior to the decline of the port and shipyard at Smallhythe during the 16th century, the local community played a crucial role in the shipbuilding industry, crafting vessels for notable figures, including members of royalty.

As part of a project funded by several UK institutions, over 60 volunteers from the National Trust participated in the excavation, along with professional archaeologists, students, and members of the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group.

The excavation has revealed traces of a Roman settlement that was occupied between the 1st and 3rd centuries, including an incredibly rare figurine made of pipeclay that depicts the god, Mercury.

Mercury was a major god in the Roman pantheon and was associated with financial gain, commerce, eloquence, messages, communication (including divination), travellers, boundaries, luck, trickery, and thieves. He also served as the guide of souls to the underworld and was the messenger of the gods.

According to a press announcement by the National Trust: “This complete figurine probably would have depicted Mercury standing, either draped with a chlamys (a short cloak), or naked, holding a caduceus (a staff with two intertwined snakes).”

The team also unearthed thousands of artefacts, providing evidence of the evolution of Smallhythe Place from a Georgian farm to a midden dump, a shipbuilding site, and a brickworks.

The National Trust said: “To support our investigations, we received grants from the National Trust’s Inclusive Archaeology, Robert Kiln and the Roman Research Funds and from the Royal Archaeological Institute. During 2023, our project has received funding from the Society of Antiquaries and the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust.”

Header Image Credit : James Dobson

Sources : National Trust – Exploring Smallhythe Place: Archaeological Investigations by the River Rother

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Published

on

By

Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy