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Metal detectorist discovers gold treasure hoard



A gold treasure hoard has been discovered by a metal detectorist on the island of Rennesøy in Stavanger, Norway.

The discovery was made by Erlend Bore on private land with the approval of the landowner, resulting in nine coin-like gold pendants with rare horse symbols, in addition to ten gold pearls and three gold rings being unearthed.

Mr Bore contacted the local county council, who subsequently notified archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum / Jernaldergården University of Stavanger.

Using a metal detector is legal under Norwegian law as long as the landowner has given permission and the use complies with the Norwegian Cultural Heritage Act 1978. All objects dated before the year 1537, and coins older than the year 1650, are considered state property and must be declared to the relevant authorities.

Image Credit : Erlend Bore

According to associate professor Håkon Reiersen at the Archaeological Museum, the gold pendants date from around AD 500 during the time of migration in Norway. Although the pendants look like coins, they are in fact “bracteaters”, a decorative type of jewellery worn in the 5th to 7th century AD. The gold for bracteates mainly came from coins paid as peace money by the Roman Empire to their Northern Germanic neighbours.

“The nine bracteates and gold pearls have formed a very showy necklace. The jewellery was made by skilled jewellers and was worn by society’s most powerful. It is very rare to find so many bracteaters together. In Norway, no similar discovery has been made since the 19th century, and it is also a very unusual discovery in a Scandinavian context,” says Professor Reiersen.

Professor Sigmund Oehrl at the Archaeological Museum has stated that the bracteates of this type are very rare and depict a previously unknown horse motif. Most bracteates show the image of Odin healing a horse belong to his son, which in mythology was seen as a symbol of renewal and resurrection to give the wearer protection and good health. On the Rennesøy bracteates, however, only the horse is depicted.

Archaeological Museum

Header Image Credit : Erlend Bore

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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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