Connect with us

Archaeology

Maya mortuary deposits found in cave at Tulum

Published

on

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered a mortuary deposit in a cave at the Maya city of Tulum.

Tulum is a Maya walled city which served as a major port for Coba, in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The city was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya before the Spanish conquest, which continued to be occupied until the 16th century.

Tulum was first mentioned by Juan Díaz, a member of Juan de Grijalva’s Spanish expedition of 1518. The first detailed description of the ruins was published by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in the book “Incidents of Travel in Yucatan”, written in 1843.

A recent study within the walled area between buildings 21 (Temple of the Columns) and 25 (Temple of Halach Uinic) has revealed a cave which was sealed off with a large boulder.

Image Credit : Jerónimo Aviles Olguin

Upon removing the boulder, the researchers found human remains which were split in two by the boulder, leaving the lower part of the body on the outside and the upper part inside the cave.

As the exploration of the cave continued, it was identified that the interior contains two small chambers—one situated in the southern section and another in the northern section—each measuring no more than 3 metres in length by 2 metres in width, with an average height of 50 centimetres.

A total of eight burials, primarily adults, have been documented within these chambers, which have been found in a high state of preservation owing to the favourable environmental conditions within the space.

Likewise, a large number of skeletal remains of animals associated with the burials were recorded, including: various mammals (domestic dog, mouse, opossum, blood-sucking bat, white-tailed deer, tepezcuintle, armadillo nine banded, tapir, peccary); birds of the order Galliforme, Passeriforme, Pelecaniforme, Piciforme and Charadriiforme; reptiles (loggerhead sea turtle, land turtle and iguana); fish (tiger shark, barracuda, grouper, drum fish, puffer fish, eagle ray); crustaceans (crab and cirripedians), mollusks (snail) and amphibians (frog).

While numerous ceramic fragments typical of the Late Postclassic period (AD 1200-1550) have been discovered alongside these burials, only three individuals can be specifically connected to a small Papacal Inciso type molcajete, featuring hollow semiglobular supports.

The restoration of this ceramic piece has been conducted by Carolina Segura Carrillo, a restoration specialist affiliated with the conservation team at Promeza in Tulum, overseen by restorer Patricia Meehan Hermanson.

Header Image Credit : Jerónimo Aviles Olguin

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

Published

on

By

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

A crannog is a partially or entirely artificial island, typically built in lakes and estuarine waters of Scotland from the prehistoric period onward.

Crannogs were used as dwellings, taking advantage of the natural surroundings that may have served to provide a defensive purpose.

Despite significant variations in methodology, most crannogs on mainland Scotland were built by driving timber piles into the loch bed and filling the interior with peat, brush, stones, or timber to create a solid foundation.

In largely treeless regions like the Western Isles, these island dwellings utilised a diverse mix of natural, artificially enlarged, or entirely artificial islets.

The discovery was made by students from the UHI Archaeology Institute, who were conducting test-pitting on a promontory at the northern end of the Loch of Wasdale.

According to a press statement by UHI: “It appears as an islet on the 1882 Ordnance Survey map. Little is known about the site, but the fact the shoreside edges appear to show the remains of walling led to the suggestion it may be a crannog.”

In his Reminiscences of an Orkney Parish, John Firth (1838-1922) wrote that this islet was once home to a kirk: “During the Middle Ages several chapels existed in the district now known as the parish of Firth – one on the island in the Loch of Wasdale.”

The test-pitting revealed large quantities of cairn-like rubble, in addition to more structural remains or a stone surface, indicating that the entire promontory/islet is artificial.

Martin Carruthers, a lecturer at UHI, said: “A structure made up of some very large masonry seems to lurk at the heart of the cairn makeup. Constructing this ‘monument’ must have been a very substantial undertaking.”

“In terms of artefacts, apart from some later post-medieval glazed pottery, we recovered a single worked flint, probably a ‘thumbnail’ scraper, which is most likely later Neolithic in date,” added Carruthers.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : UHI

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Published

on

By

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Ramesses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty during the New Kingdom period.
His reign is often regarded as the most celebrated in Egypt’s history, marked by several major military campaigns and numerous monument construction projects.

Based on supporting historical accounts, most Egyptologists suggest that Ramesses II assumed the throne in 1279 BC and reigned until his death at the age of around 90 in 1212 or 1213 BC.

His remains were interred in a tomb complex (designated KV7) in the Valley of the Kings, located opposite the tomb of his sons (KV5), and near the tomb (KV8) of his son and successor, Merenptah.

During the reign of Ramesses III during the 20th Dynasty, the tomb of Ramesses II was looted by grave robbers. Ancient texts record that priests moved his remains to the tomb of Queen Ahmose Inhapy, and then to the tomb of the high priest Pinedjem II.

His final resting place was a tomb (designated TT320), located next to Deir el-Bahari, in the Theban Necropolis opposite Luxor. The tomb is a Royal Cache containing the mummified remains of more than 50 kings, queens, and other royal family members of the New Kingdom period.

The mummy of Ramesses II was discovered in TT320 during excavations in 1881. He was found placed in a simple wooden coffin, suggesting that this was meant as a temporary measure until a more permanent resting place could be determined.

A new study, published in the Revue d’Égyptologie, suggests that a fragment of a sarcophagus discovered in 2009 at Abydos was part of the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II.

The sarcophagus fragment was found in a Coptic monastery and has recently been re-examined by Egyptologist Frédéric Payraudeau from Sorbonne University.

According to the study author, the decoration and texts on the sarcophagus fragment indicate that it was first used by Ramesses II (evidenced by the cartouche of Ramesses II), and later reused by a high priest of the 21st Dynasty, Menkheperre (around 1000 BC) who likely had the sarcophagus transported to Abydos after KV7 was looted.

Header Image Credit : Sarcophagus fragment – Kevin Cahail

Sources : cnrs | Le sarcophage de Ramsès II remployé à Abydos – Published in the Revue d’Égyptologie.

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy