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Bronze Age burial found in Kazakhstan



Archaeologists excavating at the Ainabulak-Temirsu necropolis have uncovered the burial of a Bronze Age woman.

The necropolis is located at Ainabulak, a village in the eastern region of Kazakhstan. Since 2017, archaeologists have discovered over 100 burial, with recent excavations conducted by the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (KazNU), working in collaboration with specialists from the University of Cambridge.

According to The Astana Times, a news outlet in Kazakhstan, the woman was found during a study of one of the burial mounds, with excavations adjacent to the mound revealing a bronze tip, a bronze bowl, a bronze object depicting a frog, several metal pommels, a mirror, and 180 assyks.

Assyks are used in traditional Kazakh games and are generally made out of the talus bone from a sheep. Each player has their own set of assyk bones, which they use to knock out other Assyks from the field.

Speaking to LiveScience, Rinat Zhumatayev, an archaeologist who led the excavation and heads the Department of Archaeology, Ethnology and Museology at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Kazakhstan, said: “She was buried on her left side, bent over. There were small wire earrings in both ears and beads around her neck.”

Dating of the burial is yet to be determined, however, other mounds and artefacts at the necropolis have been placed to around 2500 BC to 1800 BC during the Bronze Age.

Of significance is the bronze object in the shape of a disc depicting a frog. According to the researchers, this is the first example discovered in Kazakhstan and may be associated with the image of a woman in labour and the cult of water.

During the fieldwork, the researchers also created a full topographical plan of the Ainabulak-Temirsu necropolis and have explored several burial mounds and three ancient settlements. Samples of metal objects, bones, and soil have been removed from the burials for a detailed interdisciplinary study at the University of Cambridge.

Header Image Credit :  Kazakh Ministry of Science and Higher Education / Facebook

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Maya tomb with funerary offerings found during hotel construction




A tomb with funerary offerings has been uncovered during the construction of the Tren Maya Hotel, in Palenque, Mexico.

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducted rescue excavations following the discovery, revealing skeletal remains associated with the Maya city of Palenque.

Palenque, also known as Lakamha in the Itza Language (meaning “Flat-Place-River”), is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The city dates from 226 BC to AD 799, with most of the major construction works representing a rebuilding effort in response to attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in AD 599 and AD 611.

The population declined during the 8th century AD, instead becoming an agricultural population that led to the abandonment of the city zone. By 1520 following the Spanish conquest, contemporary Spanish accounts record the entire region being sparsely populated.

Excavations uncovered a stone lined funerary space sealed with limestone slabs, in which the researchers found the remains of a high-status individual who likely lived in the periphery of Palenque in a small settlement.

The burial is located at a depth of four metres, and also contained ceramic vessels and beads deposited as funerary offerings.

“The individual was placed face up with his legs extended and his head facing north,” said Diego Prieto Hernández from INAH.

The discovery was announced in a press conference reporting on the progress of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza) in Palenque, Moral-Reforma and El Tigre, the three heritage sites that are served within Section 1 of the Mayan Train Project.


Header Image Credit : INAH

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Archaeologists unearth possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle




Archaeologists from the Dyfed Archaeological Trust may have discovered the possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Pembroke Castle was founded during the 11th century by Roger de Montgomerie, the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

In 1452, Jasper Tudor was presented both the castle and the earldom by his half-brother, King Henry VI. In 1457, Henry VII was born at the castle, the only child of Lady Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond.

Following Edward IV’s ascension to the throne in 1471, Henry VII endured 14 years of exile in Brittany. He eventually claimed the throne after his forces, with backing from France, Scotland, and Wales, emerged victorious over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marking the climax of the Wars of the Roses.

Henry VII’s reign is credited with many administrative, economic, and tax reforms, having ruled for nearly 24 years until his death in 1509 at the age of 52. Henry VII was succeed by his second son, Henry, Duke of York, who ascended to the crown as Henry VIII.

Historians have long assumed that a 13th century tower on the outer ward (known today as Henry VII Tower) was the birth place of Henry VII. However, a recent study by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust has uncovered evidence of a late-medieval winged hall-house, broadly dating to the 15th century.

The walls of the structure extend to around 25 metres, with comparisons being drawn to medieval buildings found in England and East Wales, such as Penallt Mansion in Kidwelly. Historically, Pembroke Castle was situated in the English-speaking portion of Pembrokeshire, often referred to as “Little England beyond Wales.”

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Neil Ludlow, a consultant to Pembroke Castle, said: “All our indications are pointing to a late-medieval building which was clearly of high status within Pembrokeshire, and it looks as if it was at least two-storeys, which possibly makes it a better candidate for the birthplace of a king rather that the tower that currently bears his name.”

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