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Tomb of 3,000-year-old priest found at Pacopampa



Archaeologists have found a tomb containing the burial of a 3,000-year-old priest in the Pacopampa Archaeological Zone, located in the department of Cajamarca, Peru.

Excavations have been conducted as a collaboration between the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and the National Museum of Ethnology of Japan.

Pacopampa is a large ceremonial centre associated with the Chavín culture, an extinct pre-Columbian civilization that emerged in the northern Andean highlands of Peru during the Early Horizon period.

This era is distinguished by a heightened focus on religious practices, the emergence of ceramics closely tied to ceremonial sites, advancements in agricultural methods, and significant progress in metallurgy and textile production.

Image Credit : Peru Ministry of Culture

In a press announcement by the Peru Ministry of Culture, archaeologists excavating within the framework of the Pacopampa Archaeological Project have discovered the burial in a large circular pit beneath layers of ash mixed with black earth. The funerary context corresponds to the Pacopampa I phase and dates from around 1200 BC.

Within the burial is a funerary deposit of decorated spherical ceramic bowls and a collection of decorated seals, indicating that the burial belonged to an important priest of the Chavín culture.

One of the seals depicts an anthropomorphic face design, while another has a jaguar design. Chavín art is known for its complex iconography and its “mythical realism”, with the jaguar having a sacred significance which was worshiped as a deity to reflect the surrounding landscape.

Previous excavations in 2009 uncovered a tomb known as the “The Lady of Pacopampa” which dates from 900 BC. This later tomb contained a female burial with an artificially deformed skull and funerary deposits consisting of gold earrings, ceramic pots and seashell necklaces.

Peru Ministry of Culture

Header Image Credit : Peru Ministry of Culture

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Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia




Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort




Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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