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Ancient celestial map found at Castelliere di Rupinpiccolo

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Castelliere di Rupinpiccolo is an ancient hillfort, located in the Province of Trieste, Italy.

The hillfort housed a fortified settlement that emerged during the Middle Bronze Age, with archaeological evidence indicating that occupation continued through the Iron Age until the site was abandoned around the 5th century AD.

In a press announcement by the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), two large circular stones measuring 50 centimetres in diameter were recently discovered at the entrance to the hillfort.

According to Paolo Molaro from INAF, and researchers from the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and ICTP, one of the stones is a representation of the sun, while the other is a carved celestial map dated to the 4th century BC.

Image Credit : INAF

A study of the stones has been published in the German astronomy magazine, Astronomische Nachrichten, in which the study authors have identified that the celestial map depicts the sky above Rupinpiccolo from around 2,500-years-ago, making the discovery one of oldest known celestial maps founds in Italy.

The team have identified 29 engravings on the stone, which correspond precisely to the constellations of Scorpius, Orion, the Pleiades and Cassiopeia. Based on the angle of the cut marks in the stone, the researchers suggest that the carvings were likely made by the same individual using a hammer and a rudimentary metal chisel with a 6-7 mm tip.

A specific star engraved on the stone, identified as Theta Scorpii, has become obscured from sight at Castelliere di Rupinpiccolo due to its low position on the horizon. However, upon using the Stellarium program to simulate the night sky, researchers discovered that this star was observable from the ancient hillfort around 400 BC.

The 29th engraving is of particular interest as it has no correlation with celestial models. Instead, the study authors propose that it could actually be a representation of a supernova, a transient phenomenon that appeared suddenly in the night sky in ancient times for days or months, and then fade away and disappear.

If this is indeed the case, the researchers suggest that tracing the focal point in the night’s sky by correlating with the 29th engraving, this could potentially reveal a black hole left behind by the supernova explosion.

Header Image Credit : INAF

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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