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Archaeology

Treasure hoard of American and Russian gold coins found in Polish forest

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A team of metal detectorists from the Szczecin Search Group Association have uncovered a treasure hoard consisting of American dollars and Russian rubles in the forests near Szczecin, Poland.

The detectorists were conducting a survey to find relics from WW2, in particular, traces of the Battle of Szczec, fought between the Soviet Red Army and the Wehrmacht.

Prior to the outbreak of WW2, the Wehrmacht made Stettin the headquarters for Wehrkreis II, which controlled the military units in all of Mecklenburg and Pomerania. At that time, less than 1% of the city inhabitants were Polish, who became marginalised and persecuted by the rising Nazi regime.

In 1944, Allied air raids and intense battles between the Wehrmacht and Soviet forces resulted in the devastation of 65% of Stettin’s structures, including the near-total destruction of the city centre, seaport, and local industries. The city was eventually captured by Soviets forces in 1945, resulting in the majority of remaining inhabitants abandoning their homes.

Image Credit : Szczecin Search Group Association

According to a press announcement by PAP, Detectorists from the Szczecin Search Group Association have found 70 coins deposited in a heavily corroded metal can buried at a depth of approximately 15 to 20 cm’s. The total discovery has been estimated to be worth 100,000 zloty, which is over 24,000 US dollars based on current conversion rates.

A preliminary study of the coins has already identified a Liberty Head double eagle, also known as a Coronet double eagle, which is an American twenty-dollar gold piece designed by Mint of the United States Chief Engraver, James B. Longacre. The coin has the motto “In God We Trust”, which is a Type III that circulated between 1877 to 1907.

Image Credit : Szczecin Search Group Association

Also identified are ten dollar Indian Head eagle gold coins dated to 1912, which was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and circulated between 1907 to 1933.

Łukasz Istelski from the Szczecin Search Group Association, said: “This is a dream come true for every detectorist. It is not only a material treasure, but above all a great discovery.” Istelski noted that the coins could have been related to war activities and deposited for safety, but their origin is truly a mystery.

PAP

Header Image Credit : Szczecin Search Group Association

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Archaeology

Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

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Archaeologists from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have discovered rare gold foils during excavations at Tel El-Dir.

Tel El-Dir is a burial complex in the area of Egypt’s Damietta Governorate. The site contains various burials and tombs from the 26th Dynasty (664 BC to 525 BC), the last native dynasty of ancient Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.

Excavations of 63 mud brick tombs and pit burials have revealed a large collection of funerary offerings, including rare gold foils depicting Ancient Egyptian deities, and foils shaped like symbols associated with good fortune and protection.

The team also found foils in the shape of tongues, a tradition that enabled the deceased to speak before the court of Osiris in the afterlife.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The discovery follows on from a previous haul in 2022, where archaeologists excavating at Tel El-Dir found gold foils depicting Isis, Bastet and Horus (in the form of a winged falcon), as well as foils in various shapes.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, many of the tombs contained funeral pyres, imported and local ceramics, and Ushabti statues (figurines placed with the deceased to serve them in the afterlife).

The excavation has also yielded a large number of funerary offerings, such as protective amulets, figurines, coins, and a mirror.

Speaking on the finds, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the objects confirm that Damietta was a centre of trade during ancient times, and provides new insights into the burial practices during the 26th Dynasty.

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Sources : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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

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Archaeology

New findings at world-famous Mesolithic site of Star Carr

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A recent study by archaeologists from the University of York and the University of Newcastle has revealed new insights into the domestic activities of the Mesolithic inhabitants of Star Carr.

Star Carr is one of the most significant and informative Mesolithic sites in Europe, which during prehistoric times was situated near the outflow at the western end of a palaeolake known as Lake Flixton.

Today, Star Carr lies at the eastern end of the Vale of Pickering near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England.

Using microscopic evidence from the use of stone tools, the researchers found that a range of domestic activities took place in three previously excavated structures. This includes activities related to working with bone, antler, hide, meat, and fish.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used a combination of spatial and microwear data to provide different scales of interpretation: from individual tool use to patterns of activity across the three structures.

Dr Jess Bates, from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology said: “We found that there were distinct areas for different types of activity, so the messy activity involving butchery, for example, was done in what appears to be a designated space, and separate to the ‘cleaner’ tasks such as crafting bone and wooden objects, tools or jewellery.

“This was surprising as hunter-gatherers are known for being very mobile, as they would have to travel out to find food, and yet they have a very organised approach to creating not just a house but a sense of home.

“This new work, on these very early forms of houses suggests, that these dwellings didn’t just serve a practical purpose in the sense of having a shelter from the elements, but that certain social norms of a home were observed that are not massively dissimilar to how we organise our homes today.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Bates J, Milner N, Conneller C, Little A (2024) Spatial organisation within the earliest evidence of post-built structures in Britain. PLoS ONE 19(7): e0306908. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0306908

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

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