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New monumental statues discovered at Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe

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According to a press announcement by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, archaeologists excavating at Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe have uncovered several new monumental statues and architectural elements.

Göbekli Tepe is an ancient ritual complex in the Anatolia Region of Turkey, believed to be the oldest known Mesolithic temple.

The main structures identified have been dated to the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) from around the 10th millennium BC, with further remains of smaller buildings from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB), dated to the 9th millennium BC.

Around 40 km’s away is the site of Karahan Tepe, another ritualistic complex corresponding with the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Karahan Tepe has similar architectural elements to the Göbekli Tepe II layer, such as 266 pillars with matching T-shaped features.

Recent excavations, which are part of the “Stone Hills Project” (“Taş Tepeler Projesi”), have uncovered new architectural elements and monumental statues, with the most notable being a painted boar statue at Göbeklitepe decorated with red, white, and black pigment.

According to the researchers, the boar statue is one of the oldest known painted statues from the Mesolithic period, which was located on a stone bench decorated with a “H shaped symbol, a crescent, two snakes, and depictions of human faces.

At Karahan Tepe, the team found a 2.3 metre tall statue, described as “one of the most impressive exampls of prehistoric art”. The statue was found fixed in a seated position on a stone bench and is shown holding a phallus in both hands.

Excavations in the vicinity also uncovered a bird statue clearly showing the beak, eyes, and wings, which the team suggest depicts a vulture. Previous excavations have found other animal reliefs depicting: snakes, insects, birds, the head and forelegs of a rabbit, the hind legs and tail of a gazelle, and the hind legs of an unidentified animal.

Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Header Image Credit : Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism

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Archaeology

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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Archaeology

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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