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Archaeologists uncover traces of temple near Sutton Hoo

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Archaeologists have uncovered traces of a 1,400-year-old temple at Rendlesham, near Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England.

The discovery was made by the Rendlesham Revealed community archaeology project, which is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project is an ongoing investigation of the archaeology of the Deben valley, where previous excavations have found an Anglo-Saxon settlement and a royal Hall of the first Kings of East Anglia.

According to the researchers, the structure is a pre-Christian temple or cult house from the period of the Kingdom of East Anglia, when Norfolk and Suffolk was a small independent kingdom of the Angles.

In the Venerable Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the site at Rendlesham is recognised as an East Anglian centre of royalty. Bede documents that King Redwald (believed to be buried in the Sutton Hoo ship burial around AD 625) maintained a temple in which there were altars to pre-Christian Gods alongside an altar to Christ.

Excavations also uncovered evidence of fine metalworking associated with royal occupation, including a mould used for casting decorative horse harness similar to examples from the nearby princely burial ground at Sutton Hoo.

Professor Christopher Scull, the project’s principal academic advisor, said: “The results of excavations at Rendlesham speak vividly of the power and wealth of the East Anglian kings, and the sophistication of the society they ruled. The possible temple, or cult house, provides rare and remarkable evidence for the practice at a royal site of the pre-Christian beliefs that underpinned early English society.”

“Its distinctive and substantial foundations indicate that one of the buildings, 10 metres long and 5 metres wide, was unusually high and robustly built for its size, so perhaps it was constructed for a special purpose. It is most similar to buildings elsewhere in England that are seen as temples or cult houses, therefore it may have been used for pre-Christian worship by the early Kings of the East Angles,” added Professor Scull.

Councillor Melanie Vigo di Gallidoro, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Protected Landscapes and Archaeology, said: “Everyone involved in the project can take pride that together we have achieved something remarkable. Over 200 volunteers from the local community were involved this year, bringing the total number of volunteers to over 600 for the three-year fieldwork programme, including from the Suffolk Family Carers, Suffolk Mind, and local primary school children from Rendlesham, Eyke and Wickham Market.”

Header Image Credit : Suffolk County Council

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

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

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

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Archaeology

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

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A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław made the discovery during a metal detector survey in Jarosław Forest.

Upon realising the significance of the find, Mr Gorlach contacted the Podkarpacie conservator of monuments in Przemyśl and the Orsetti House Museum.

The dagger dates from over 4,000 years ago, a period in which objects made from copper were extremely rare in the Central European Plain.

A preliminary study indicates that the dagger may originate from the Carpathian Basin or Ukrainian steppe, and predates the development of bronze metallurgy for the region.

This transition is traditionally known as the Copper Age and marked a gradual incorporation of copper while stone remained the primary resource utilised.

Dr. Elżbieta Sieradzka-Burghardt from the museum in Jarosław, said: “This is a period of enormous change in the main raw materials for the production of tools. Instead of flint tools commonly used in the Stone Age, more and more metal products appear heralding the transition to the next period – the Bronze Age.”

Daggers during this era were a universal attribute of warriors, however, being made from copper suggests that the owner held a high social status. This is further supported by its size measuring 10.5 cm in length, which for this period is actually very large when compared to other metal objects from the same era.

The dagger has already been added to the collection of the Orsetti House Museum in Jarosław.

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Śliwiński

Sources : PAP – A dagger from over 4,000 years ago found in the forest.

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

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