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Devil curse found on medieval tablet in Rostock

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According to an announcement by the Rostock City Hall, archaeologists have uncovered a devil curse written on a 15th century tablet in Rostock, Germany.

The discovery was made during construction works for the Rostock town hall extension, where excavations of a medieval latrine revealed an inconspicuous piece of rolled up lead.

Historical records indicate that a 14th-century double-gabled house once occupied the site, described as “one of the most beautiful of its kind in all of Northern Germany.”

Upon unrolling the lead piece, the words “sathanas taleke belzebuk hinrik berith” became legible, directing a devil curse against a woman named Taleke and a man called Hinrik (Heinrich).

The text is written in Blackletter, also known as Gothic minuscule, or Textura, which was used throughout Western Europe from the 12th century until the 17th century.

Curse tablets were common in antiquity during the Greco-Roman periods, where curses written on thin sheets of lead (rolled up) were used to ask the gods, spirits, or the deceased to perform an action on a person or object, or to exert influence over the target of the curse.

According to the researchers, the discovery in Rostock is incredibly rare, especially with an incantation towards belzebuk (Beelzebub), another name for the Devil (Satan). The mention of Berith in the curse refers to Baʿal Berith, which the Rabbinic tradition also equates with Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies.

Speculation surrounds the motive for the curse, suggesting intentions such as severing a relationship, feelings of unrequited love, jealousy, or aiming to bring misfortune upon both the named individuals.

Excavations also revealed the remains of cellars and foundations dated to the 16th and 17th century, traces of a former waterway, and a 15th century lusterware blue bowl that originates from Valencia in Spain.

Header Image Credit : Archeology in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (AIM-V)

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

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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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