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Maya mortuary deposits found in cave at Tulum

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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

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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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