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Bronze Age burial found in Kazakhstan

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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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Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

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

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Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

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

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