Connect with us

Archaeology

Analysis reveals rituals of mass sacrifice of horses and other animals

Published

on

A study published in the journal PLOS ONE reveals that the Iron Age site of Casas del Turuñuelo was used for large scale animal sacrifices and banquets.

Casas del Turuñuelo is an archaeological site associated with the Tartessos culture, a people that emerged from the evolution of local populations inherited from the Bronze Age in the southwest Iberian Peninsula.

The study examined and dated 6770 bones from 52 sacrificed animals, including a large proportion of adult horses – alongside cattle, pigs, and a lone dog.

All the sacrifices were done in three successive phases, with the early phases featuring mostly intact, unaltered skeletons, while the third phase exhibited processed skeletons (excluding equids), suggesting a potential meal accompanying the ritual.

The sacrifices were found in a building dated to the end of the 5th century BC, when both the building (intentionally destroyed) and the sacrificed animals were buried under a 6 metre tall tumulus.

The study sheds light on the sequence of animal sacrifices and the protocols associated with rituals accompanied by celebratory banquets. Specific characteristics linked to the closure of this structure beneath a burial mound provide indications of the decline of the Tartessian Culture.

According to the researchers, these findings imply repeated usage of this space over several years for diverse sacrificial practices, and deliberate selection of adult animals. Casas del Turuñuelo distinguishes itself from other sites due to its notably high number of sacrificed horses, contributing to a better understanding of ritual animal sacrifices in Europe during the Iron Age.

The authors underscored the significance of their study, stating, “This investigation emphasises the role of mass animal sacrifices within Iron Age European societies. Through zooarchaeological, taphonomic, and microstratigraphic analyses, it illuminates the practices of animal sacrifice and Tartessian ritual behaviour at Casas del Turuñuelo (Badajoz, Spain).”

Header Image Credit : Construyendo Tarteso, CC-BY 4.0

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy