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Archaeologists uncover Imperial Hittite archive

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Archaeologists from Koç University have uncovered an Imperial Hittite archive from the reign of Ḫattušili III during excavations at Kayalıpınar, located in the Yıldızeli District of Turkey’s Sivas Province.

Kayalıpınar is a multi-period site, with evidence of early occupation beginning in the 5th millennium BC. During the early kārum period, Kayalıpınar became a station (wabartum) of ancient Assyrian traders, that eventually developed into a trading colony (kārum).

In the Early Bronze Age, the Hittites redeveloped the colony into a major city called Šamuḫa, serving as a base of field operations, and a centre for the worship of the Hurrian Goddess of the Night.

Recent excavations by Koç University have uncovered clay stamped seals belonging to Ḫattušili III, a ruler of the Hittite Empire during the 13th century BC.

Ḫattušili III is most known for his treaty known as the Eternal Treaty or the Silver Treaty with the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II. The treaty was signed to end a long war between the Hittite Empire and the Egyptians, who had fought for over two centuries to gain dominance over the lands of the eastern Mediterranean.

Excavations have also found seals belonging to Puduhepa (wife of Ḫattušili III), as well as seals for his children and other members of the Royal family. Also uncovered are fragments of tablets with cuneiform inscriptions of festival and fortune-telling texts, in addition to numerous religious texts. According to the researchers, the seals were found in a building that can only be described as an Imperial archive of the Hittites.

During this seasons study, the researchers also excavated two new Hittite structures. Speaking to AA, Dr Maner said: “We think they could be temples based on the plan and the finds. We even found the name of Ḫattušili III engraved on a ceramic vessel in one building.”

Header Image Credit : Ingeborg Simon – CC BY-SA 3.0

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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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