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Archaeologists find earliest evidence of mass weapon production in Southern Levant

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Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered the earliest evidence of mass weapon production in the Southern Levant.

In a study published in the journal Atiqot 111, the researchers have found hundreds of identical slingstones from ‘En Esur in the northern Sharon plain and ‘En Zippori in the Lower Galilee.

Dr. Gil Haklay, Enno Bron, Dr. Dina Shalem, Dr. Ianir Milevski, and Nimrod Getzov from the Israel Antiquities Authority examined 424 slingstones dating back to the Early Chalcolithic period (circa 5800–4500 BC).

The study revealed that almost all the slingstones were identical in size, with an average length of 52 mm, a width of about 321 mm, and an average weight of 60g. According to the researchers, this indicates that there was mass production of weapons as far back as 7,200 years ago.

Image Credit : Israel Antiquities Authority

“The stones, that were intended to be projected from a sling, are smoothed with a specific biconical aerodynamic form, enabling exact and effective projection,” say the archaeologists. “Similar slingstones have been found at other sites in the country, mainly from the Hula Valley and the Galilee in the north to the northern Sharon, but this is the first time that they have been found in excavations in such large concentrations.”

“These stones are in fact, the earliest evidence of warfare in the Southern Levant. The similarity of the slingstones points to large-scale industrial production. The effort put into the aerodynamic form and the smoothing of the stones’ surfaces indicate that they were intended to be exact and deadly weapons,” said the researchers.

The abundance of slingstones and the considerable effort invested in their production suggest a deliberate readiness for conflict, potentially indicating a communal endeavour to create munitions. If so, it seems that in the Early Chalcolithic period, there was an escalation in preparations for warfare, involving a change from individual to large-scale production.

Header Image Credit : Israel Antiquities Authority

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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