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Archbishop’s seal found during excavations at St. George’s (Yuriev) Monastery

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Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences have uncovered a seal of the Archbishop of Novgorod Spiridon during excavations at St. George’s (Yuriev) Monastery.

St. George’s (Yuriev) Monastery was an important religious centre of the Novgorod Republic, a medieval state that existed from the 12th to 15th century AD and stretched from the Gulf of Finland in the west to the northern Ural Mountains in the east.

The monastery is situated on the banks of the Volkhov River in Russia’s Novgorodskaya oblast, where today it is recognised as a world heritage site for Orthodox spirituality and Russian architecture. The site is also an important source for historical information on medieval Novgorod, as part of the Novgorod First Chronicle (the Synodal text) was compiled in the monastery.

Recent excavations in the monastic layers have led to the discovery of a residential building that dates from the 13th to 15th century AD. The structure appears to have been burnt during several phases of destruction, but in the upper layers, a lead hanging seal used to fasten important documents was uncovered, the fifth example of a seal discovered during ten years of archaeological research of the site.

Image Credit : Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Upon closer inspection, it was revealed that the seal bears the name of the Archbishop of Novgorod Spiridon (1229-1249), who ruled the Novgorod diocese during the Tatar-Mongol invasion of Rus’ in the mid-13th century AD. Most Rus’ principalities were forced to submit to Mongol rule and became vassals of the Golden Horde, however, the Novgorod Republic resisted and maintained their independence.

On one side of the seal there is an inscription in five lines with the name of Spiridon, Archbishop of Novgorod, and on the other side is a depiction of Mary, which in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, describe her as the Mother of God.

Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Header Image Credit : Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

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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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