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Archaeologists discover traces of ancient Jalula

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According to a press announcement by Mr. Ali Obaid Shalgham from the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), archaeologists have discovered traces of the ancient city of Jalula.

Historical text describes Jalula as being located on the (Great) Khurasan Road, emerging as the centre of the Šāḏ Qobāḏ Province within the Sassanid Empire (It should be noted, that ancient Jalula should not be confused with modern Jalula, which was founded in 1958 near the town of Bahiza). The city was an important trading centre and held great strategic importance as a bottle-neck to Northern Iraq.

In AD 637, the city was fought over during the Battle of Jalula, a conflict between the Sasanian Empire and the Rashidun Caliphate. The Caliph considered Jalula an obstacle in marching on Tikrit and Mosul, so appointed Hashim ibn Utba at the head of 12,000 troops to storm the city.

The Persians suffered heavy casualties and the battle ended in a complete Muslim victory. Yazdegerd III, the last reigning Sasanian king, was unwilling to send a relief force to support the city defence, which ultimately fell following a 7 month siege. After capturing Jalula, the Caliph forces pressed onto Tikrit and Mosul, and ultimately the conquest of Persia that resulted in the collapse of the Sassanid Empire.

The recent survey was conducted by Ahmed Abdul Jabbar Khamas, who was able to identify landmarks and structures of the ancient city, resulting in ground level inspections that confirmed the structures.

Mr Shalgham, said: “Archaeological survey operations are ongoing and also contributed to the discovery and recording of a number of archaeological sites and settlements from the history of the country.”

Header Image Credit : General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage

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

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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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