Connect with us

Archaeology

Medieval sword found on seabed was likely lost during naval battle

Published

on

Medieval sword found off Israel’s Hof HaCarmel coast was likely lost during a naval battle 800-years-ago during the Crusader period.

The sword was discovered in 2021 by Shlomi Katzin while conducting a study of stone and metal anchors on the seabed. The area was a natural anchorage for ships near Haifa’s ancient port city that the Crusaders captured from the Arabs during the early 12th century AD.

In a new study published by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the researchers describe how the sword was found covered in a thick marine concretion of sand and shells, making it difficult to separate the metal without causing damage. However, the concretion slowed down the oxidation process, preserving the sword which would have rusted and disintegrated in the water.

By conducting a detailed X-ray study to penetrate the layers of concretions, the team have revealed that the sword had a blade approximately 88 cm’s in length by 4.6 cm’s in width, and appears to have been bent possibly during combat.

Image Credit : IAA

“The sword was part of a knight’s or soldier’s personal equipment. It was the main weapon in face-to-face combat in those days,” says Dr. Joppe Gosker. “Swords required a lot of quality iron and were therefore expensive. In addition, sword fighting required training and practice, and therefore, only the nobility and professional soldiers fought with swords.”

According to the researchers, the sword likely fell into the sea during a naval battle along with its owner. The sword could have been on one of the ships that laid siege to the coastal cities, or perhaps it belonged to a knight who was on a ship returning home to Europe.

A survey of the area where it was found has so far resulted in no further artefacts or evidence of human remains, however, according to Gosker: “The soldier may still lie undiscovered in the depths, to be revealed one day by the shifting sands.”

Eli Escusido, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, said: All along the coast of Israel, there are many finds buried beneath the sand and in the sea, and they are often lost forever, or sometimes discovered by chance. It is important that qualified archaeologists record the finds and their contexts.”

IAA

Header Image Credit : Shlomi Katzin

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Mysterious engraving might depict an Archaic temple on the Acropolis of Athens

Published

on

By

A 2,000-year-old engraving on a marble outcrop near Vari, Attica, might point to an Archaic temple on the Acropolis of Athens.

A study, published in the American Journal of Archaeology, suggest that the engraving was carved by sheep and goat herders in the area of Barako Hill during the 6th century BC.

The engraving was carved on an exposed marble bedrock and shows an elevated view of the facade of a temple building with at least five columns.

Snaking around the building is an inscription in the Old Attic alphabet that reads: “τὸ hεκατόµπεδον [–]Ε[–] Μίκōνος ⇄”, interpreted as “the Hekatompedon” and was produced by an individual named “Mikon”.

According to the study authors: “The term Ἑκατόµπεδον by which Mikon labelled the drawn temple is a neuter noun deriving from the adjective ἑκατόµπεδος (meaning “of a hundred feet,” occasionally rendered as ἑκατόνπεδος or ἑκατόµποδος). This adjective appears numerous times in the literary record, first seen in the Iliad. It can qualify various structures and spaces.”

In religious contexts, the term can refer to sacred structures with an average length of 100 feet. Several early temples with matching lengths are known from the Ancient Greek world, which archaeologists sometimes call “hekatompedos”.

The Acropolis of Athens is the most noteworthy context of ἑκατόµπεδος, where the word has been previously found on 5th and 4th century BC inscriptions that list objects stored on the Acropolis. ἑκατόµπεδος was in use long before the construction of the Periclean buildings (including the Parthenon) during the so-called Golden Age of Athens (460–430 BC).

“The inscriptions make it clear that in this space stood Pheidias’ colossal chryselephantine statue of Athena, whose base survives in the east chamber of the great Doric temple built at the instigation of Pericles, known in later sources as the Parthenon. The east chamber is 29.87 m (101.5 Attic feet) long, and thus provides a rare case where the term ἑκατόµπε-δος certainly described the actual length of a structure,” said the study authors.

Although the engraving lacks topographical clues, the study authors argue that the Acropolis is the most probable location. This is because the term ἑκατόµπεδος is strongly associated with a specific structure on the Acropolis in both the Classical and Archaic periods. No other Archaic structure in the Ancient Greek world is known by this name.

The authors have identified two Doric temples on the Acropolis that are worthy of the name Hekatompedon: the so-called Bluebeard Temple, stylistically dated to 570–560 BC, and the Gigantomachy Temple, stylistically dated to the final quarter of the 6th century BC.

“Beyond its archaeological significance, Mikon’s engraving shows that architecture featured among the escapist dreams of the shepherds who tended their flocks on Barako Hill. The Hekatompedon, which had perhaps recently emerged from Athena’s holy rock, was a natural source of Mikon’s awe. His drawing now stands as the earliest known testimony of admiration of the architecture of the Acropolis—and as the first of many to come.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Mikon’s Hekatompedon: An Architectural Graffito from Attica. https://doi.org/10.1086/729771

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Giant catapult shots discovered from siege of Kenilworth Castle

Published

on

By

Archaeologists have uncovered eight 13th century catapult shots from the 1266 siege of Kenilworth Castle.

Kenilworth Castle, located in the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England, is both a semi-royal palace and historic fortress.

Founded in the 1120s, the castle was the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne and the Earl of Leicester’s reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.

During the First Civil War (1642 to 1646), Kenilworth formed a useful counterbalance to the Parliamentary stronghold of Warwick. Following the defeat of royalist forces, Parliament ordered the slighting of Kenilworth 1649, leaving the castle a romantic ruin and popular tourist attraction over the centuries.

Recent works to improve a pathway on castle grounds has led to the discovery of eight giant catapult shots. According to the archaeologists, the shots date from the Siege of Kenilworth (1266), a six-month siege of the castle during the Second Barons’ War.

The conflict was between a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort (who had custody of Kenilworth Castle) against the royalist forces of King Henry III, and later his son, the future King Edward I.

Image Credit : English Heritage

According to historical accounts, the siege was the largest to occur in Medieval England and involved numerous “turres ligneas” (wooden towers), trebuchets, and catapults which fired the giant shots.

The shots are of varying sizes, with the largest weighing 105 kg and the smallest just 1 kg. “’These would have caused some serious damage when fired from war machines. Records show that one of Henry III’s wooden siege towers, containing around 200 crossbowmen, was destroyed by just one well-aimed missile,” said Will Wyeth, English Heritage’s Properties Historian.

Header Image Credit : English Heritage

Sources : English Heritage

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy