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Maya sacrificial victim uncovered wearing jade ring

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a Maya burial containing the remains of a human sacrifice still wearing a jade ring.

The discovery was made during excavations in the Maya city of El Tigre, also known as Itzamkanac (meaning “the place of the lizard serpent”), which is located in the Mexican state of Cameche near the Rio Candelaria.

El Tigre was first inhabited during the Middle Preclassic (600 – 300 BC) until around AD 1557 following the Spanish conquest. The city served as the polity of the Acalán Maya, a subgroup of the Chontal Maya or the Putún Maya.

According to some historians, El Tigre was the location where Cuauhtémoc, the last free ruler of the Aztec Empire, was executed on the orders of Hernán Cortés.

Image Credit : INAH Campeche

Recent excavations at platform 1E, located to the west of the main pyramid temple, have revealed the remains of a human funerary offering placed in a ceramic vessel as part of a ritual deposit alongside other large vessels and ceramic bowls.

An examination of the skeleton indicates that it was a young adolescent placed in a flexed position, who was sacrificed and buried sometime during the Late Classic Period (AD 600 – 800) while still wearing a jade ring.

Jade was a rare and valued material in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. This meant that Jade was largely an elite good and highly symbolic beyond its material worth. Jade was associated with the sun and the wind, but it was also symbolically associated with life and death, and therefore possessed high religious and spiritual importance during ceremonies.

Excavations at El Tigre were conducted as part of the Mayan Train Project for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico.

INAH

Header Image Credit : INAH Campeche

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Study reveals new insights into life at “German Stonehenge”

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Excavations of the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, nicknamed the “German Stonehenge”, has revealed new insights into domestic life from prehistory.

Ringheiligtum Pömmelte is a late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age henge from the late third millennium BC. The monument features seven concentric rings made of palisades, ditches, and raised banks, each containing a series of wooden posts.

The site was discovered in 1991 through aerial photography near the present-day village of Pömmelte in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

From 2018 to 2022, archaeologists have excavated nearly 140 ancient dwellings dating from 2,800 BC to 2,200 BC. The older dwellings are linked to the Corded Ware and the Bell Beaker culture, while the more recent ones are associated with the Únětice Culture.

In a recent study conducted by the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) of Saxony-Anhalt, archaeologists are employing various scientific methods to offer new insights into the site’s ritual and settlement landscape.

The study has identified house locations of the Corded Ware culture (26th to 23rd century BC), and an associated settlement pit containing ceramic sherds, an axe head and flint blades. Until now, Corded Ware settlement could only be attributed to individual finds that had been relocated, and not to actual structures on the site.

Also associated with the Corded Ware culture is a storage area with 78 grain silo pits that held various types of gain, including wheat, barley, and spelt. Archaeologists already know that Corded Ware people lived on a balanced diet with animal products, further indicated by drinking vessels from burials at Ringheiligtum Pömmelte that contained traces of dairy products.

While the scientific analyses and the interpretation of the results with various specialists continue, excavations at Pömmelte will last until mid-July 2024.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt

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

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3,400-year-old shipwreck found with cargo mostly intact

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Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit have discovered a 3,400-year-old shipwreck with the cargo mostly intact.

The site was first identified during an underwater survey by Energean, an energy company searching for natural gas deposits beneath the Mediterranean Sea Floor.

This led to the discovery of the shipwreck and its cargo at a depth of 1.8 kilometers, along with its cargo that consists of Late Bronze Age Canaanite storage vessels.

IAA archaeologists, in collaboration with Energean, have used the deep sea exploratory vessel, “Energean Star” to conduct a visual inspection of the wreck site. This has revealed hundreds of ceramic vessels on the seabed, and a muddy layer which likely conceals a second layer and the wooden beams of the ship.

Jacob Sharvit, Head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit, explains, “The ship seems to have sunk in crisis, either due to a storm or to an attempted piracy attack – a well-known occurrence in the Late Bronze Age. This is both the first and the oldest ship found in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, ninety kilometres from the nearest shore.”

Image Credit : IAA

Only two other ships from this period have been found – the boat from Cape Gelidonya and the Uluburun boat; both found off the Turkish coast. Both ships were found near the shore, suggesting that shipping routes followed the coastline between ports. However, this new discovery changes the understanding of ancient marine trade, demonstrating that ancient shipping also extended into deep waters.

“The ship is preserved at such a great depth that time has frozen since the moment of disaster – its body and contexts have not been disturbed by human hand (divers, fishermen, etc.); nor affected by waves and currents which do impact shipwrecks in shallower waters,” added Sharvit.

Header Image Credit : IAA

Sources : Israel Antiquities Authority

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

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