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Ancient Greek helmet found at Elea-Velia

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Archaeologists excavating at the acropolis of Elea-Velia have uncovered a well-preserved Ancient Greek helmet.

Elea-Velia, also known as Hyele, was founded by Greeks around 538–535 BC on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the present-day province of Salerno, Italy.

The city was known as a centre of philosophy and learning, which was home to Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, both prominent figures in the Eleatic school to which they belonged.

Archaeologists have been conducting excavations at the acropolis of Elea-Velia, where in 2022 a sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Athena was uncovered. Athena was an Ancient Greek goddess associated with wisdom, warfare, and handicraft, often depicted wearing a helmet and holding a spear.

The sanctuary was built following the Battle of Alalia, a conflict between Greeks and the allied Etruscans and Carthaginians between 540 BC and 535 BC.

Excavations within the sanctuary have revealed a well-preserved Ancient Greek helmet, the third such example discovered at Elea-Velia. According to the researchers, the helmet was likely deposited as an offering to Athena following a battle or during period of conflict.

The researchers also found the remains of a painted brick wall, possibly an early form of the sanctuary, and polygonal blocks, a feature of ancient Greek architecture found at important sites such as Delphi.

According to the researchers, another notable find is the discovery of ceramics inscribed with the word “sacred”, further indicating the importance of the site.

In a press statement, the Culture Minister told the press that the discoveries Greek helmet and inscription underscored the importance of investing in archaeological research to reveal “important pieces of the history of the Mediterranean.”

Header Image Credit : Italian Ministry of Culture

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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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