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Archaeologists find Hecate figurine at ancient Kelenderis

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A team of archaeologists from Batman University have uncovered a figurine depicting Hecate during excavations at ancient Kelenderis.

Kelenderis, also known as Celenderis, was an ancient Greek city, port and fortress, located in the present-day town of Aydıncık in Turkey’s Mersin Province.

Excavations have been ongoing for the past 36 years, in which archaeologists have found the remains of a Roman bathhouse, an odeon (a building used for musical activities such as singing, musical shows, and poetry competitions), churches with a basilica plan and mosaics.

According to legend, the city was founded by Sandocus, the son of the Oceanid Clymene and the sun-god Helios. Archaeological evidence suggests that the site was first inhabited by the Phoenicians, emerging into a major trading centre during the 4th and 5th century BC.

Archaeologists from Batman University have uncovered a figurine depicting Hecate, a three headed goddess from Greek mythology. Hecate is often shown holding a pair of torches, a key, snakes, or accompanied by dogs, and in later periods was depicted as three-formed or triple-bodied.

Hecate is associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, night, light, magic, protection from witchcraft, the Moon, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, graves, ghosts, necromancy, and sorcery. She was worshiped by the witches of Thessaly and held a crucial sanctuary among the Carian Greeks of Asia Minor in Lagina.

According to a press release by Batman University, the figurine dates from 2,300-years-ago and was found among ceramics from the Hellenistic period.

Dr Mahmut Aydın, said: ““It is a figurine that is about 20 centimetres tall and has three heads. We know that she has a temple in the Lagina Ancient City in Muğla and that Kelenderis is counted among the cities that participate in the competitions held every 5 years for Hecate in an inscription there.”

Batman University

Header Image Credit : Batman University

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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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New findings at world-famous Mesolithic site of Star Carr

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A recent study by archaeologists from the University of York and the University of Newcastle has revealed new insights into the domestic activities of the Mesolithic inhabitants of Star Carr.

Star Carr is one of the most significant and informative Mesolithic sites in Europe, which during prehistoric times was situated near the outflow at the western end of a palaeolake known as Lake Flixton.

Today, Star Carr lies at the eastern end of the Vale of Pickering near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England.

Using microscopic evidence from the use of stone tools, the researchers found that a range of domestic activities took place in three previously excavated structures. This includes activities related to working with bone, antler, hide, meat, and fish.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used a combination of spatial and microwear data to provide different scales of interpretation: from individual tool use to patterns of activity across the three structures.

Dr Jess Bates, from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology said: “We found that there were distinct areas for different types of activity, so the messy activity involving butchery, for example, was done in what appears to be a designated space, and separate to the ‘cleaner’ tasks such as crafting bone and wooden objects, tools or jewellery.

“This was surprising as hunter-gatherers are known for being very mobile, as they would have to travel out to find food, and yet they have a very organised approach to creating not just a house but a sense of home.

“This new work, on these very early forms of houses suggests, that these dwellings didn’t just serve a practical purpose in the sense of having a shelter from the elements, but that certain social norms of a home were observed that are not massively dissimilar to how we organise our homes today.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Bates J, Milner N, Conneller C, Little A (2024) Spatial organisation within the earliest evidence of post-built structures in Britain. PLoS ONE 19(7): e0306908. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0306908

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

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