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Metal detectorist discovers gold treasure hoard

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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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Archaeology

Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am

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Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

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

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Archaeology

New findings in North America’s first city

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Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

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

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