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Offerings of anthropomorphic figurines found at Aztec Templo Mayor

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Archaeologists from the Templo Mayor project and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have found anthropomorphic figurines placed as an offering at Templo Mayor in Mexico City.

Templo Mayor was the heart of a temple complex in Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. The temple was called the huey teocalli in the Nahuatl language and was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture.

Construction of the temple began sometime after AD 1325, but was destroyed by the Spanish in AD 1521 following the conquest of Tenochtitlan. The present-day archaeological site lies to the northeast of the Zocalo, or main plaza of Mexico City, on the corner of what is now the streets of Seminario and Justo Sierra.

Archaeologist excavating at Templo Mayor have found a stone chest known as tepetlacalli in Nahuatl, containing 15 anthropomorphic figurines and numerous green stone beads, snails, shells and marine corals.

Image Credit : Antonio Marín Calvo

The figurines are in the Mezcala style, a Mesoamerican culture that emerged in the Middle and Late Preclassic within Mesoamerican chronology (700 to 200 BC). Archaeologists speculate that the Aztecs valued Mezcala objects and excavated them from Mezcala sites in the Guerrero state of southwestern Mexico to be placed as ritual offerings.

“The figurines were already true relics, some of them more than 1,000 years old, and presumably they served as cult effigies,” says archaeologist López Luján.

The stone chest was found in a context of stage IVa of the Templo Mayor, which dates from the rule of Moctezuma Ilhuicamina between AD 1440 and 1469. In addition to the figurines, the chest contains 186 objects placed as offerings, such as rattlesnake-shaped earrings, 137 beads made from various green stones, and 1,942 objects made from shells, snails, and corals.

INAH

Header Image Credit : Antonio Marín Calvo

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Archaeology

Excavations uncover traces of Kraków Fortress

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A team of archaeologists conducting archaeological works at the S52 construction site have uncovered traces of the Kraków Fortress in the Polish city of Kraków.

S52 is a Polish highway being constructed in the Silesian and Lesser Poland voivodeships, which upon completion will connect the border of the Czech Republic in Cieszyn with Kraków.

Kraków Fortress refers to a series of Austro-Hungarian fortifications constructed during the 19th century. The fortress included the 18th century Kościuszko Insurrection fortifications, the medieval Wawel Castle, and the Kraków city walls. Of the over 50 post-Austrian forts in Krakow, 44 structures have been preserved in their entirety or with minor changes.

Excavations in the area of ​​the northern bypass of Krakow have revealed the remains of earthen structures related to the network of military units being established around the city, whose task was to turn Krakow into a modern border fortress.

The team also uncovered traces of earth embankments and moats, as well as the infrastructure for draining rainwater from the infantry entrenchment area and a wooden shelter from a dugout measuring 25 by 7.5 metres.

A press statement by the Republic of Poland, said: “During the research, objects related to the everyday life of soldiers were discovered. These include a tin enameled mug with a signature on the bottom depicting a double-headed imperial eagle with the inscription Austria and the initials H&C 1/2.”

“The preserved marking allowed us to determine that the mug is a product of the Haardt & Co. factory located in Knittelfeld, Austria. Enamellierwerke und Metallwarenfabriken AG. Founded in 1873 by Friedrich Wilhelm Haardt, the factory produced embossed enamelled dishes, including orders for the then Austrian army.”

Header Image Credit : Republic of Poland

Sources : Republic of Poland

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

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Excavations at Sheffield Castle uncover city’s industrial heritage

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A team of archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have uncovered the industrial heritage of Sheffield during excavations at Sheffield Castle.

Sheffield Castle was constructed following the Norman Conquest of England (1066) at the confluence of the River Sheaf and the River Don.

Throughout April and May of 2024, Wessex Archaeology is conducting a series of excavations to uncover and preserve the foundations of the circular towers of the castle’s gatehouse, and explore the destruction deposits from the razing of the original motte and bailey castle by John D’Eyvill in the 13th century.

The team will also be investigating areas never before excavated, finally reaching the remains of the 11th to 17th-century castle where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.

Following the removal of the modern concrete foundations and backfill deposits, excavations have already uncovered traces of structures from the 19th century.

The team found remnants of a vaulted ceiling, which upon further inspection has been revealed to be a crucible furnace, a type of foundry furnace used for melting and casting metals such as steel, in addition to ‘rake out’ pits below the furnace.

A press statement by Wessex Archaeology, “This cellar would have been a hot, unpleasant place when the crucible furnaces above were working. Reaching temperatures of 1200 degrees centigrade, the firing process was hot and efficient, but it also produced lots of ash which needed to be cleared. The ash would fall into the ‘rake out’ pits below, where a worker, perhaps a young boy, had the back-breaking job of removing it.”

Throughout April and May 2024, the Sheffield community is invited to experience and discover the site’s archaeology firsthand, through open days and opportunities to participate in the excavation for a day. Attendance is FREE with booking required. For more information and to book, visit www.wessexarch.co.uk/events

Header Image Credit : Wessex Archaeology

Sources : Wessex Archaeology

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

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