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Archaeologists discover chacmool statue in Pátzcuaro

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered a chacmool statue in the city of Pátzcuaro, Mexico.

A chacmool is a distinctive form of Mesoamerican sculpture representing a reclining figure that may represent slain warriors carrying offerings to the gods. Individual chacmools exhibit significant variation, with heads that can face either to the right or left, and in some cases, upwards.

The original name for these sculptures is unknown, with the name “chacmool” given by Augustus Le Plongeon in 1875 based on a sculpture he and his wife unearthed in the Temple of the Eagles and Jaguars at Chichén Itzá. Le Plongeon interpreted “Chaacmol” from Yucatecan Mayan to mean “paw swift like thunder.”

Chacmool sculptures have been discovered extensively throughout Mesoamerica, spanning from Michoacán in Mexico to El Salvador. The earliest known examples of these sculptures date back to the Terminal Classic period of Mesoamerican history, approximately between AD 800 and 900.

Image Credit : Luis Punzo – INAH Michoacán Centre

Archaeologists recovered a chacmool statue in Pátzcuaro during construction works, which according to the researchers was found out of context from its original location and placed in construction fill for the development of the city.

The statue is carved from basalt and measures 90 centimetres in length by 80 centimetres in height, with a preliminary study placing the date of the statue to the Late Post-Classic Period (AD 1350 to 1521).

According to an INAH representative: “These images that we know by the Mayan name of chacmool were ritual tables in pre-Hispanic times. It has been speculated that they were used in sacrificial and offering ceremonies.”

Because of the discovery, the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico, through the INAH Michoacán Centre, has undertaken an archaeological rescue project to expand explorations in the immediate area of the statue to identify any further archaeological remains.

INAH

Header Image Credit : Luis Punzo – INAH Michoacán Centre

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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