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Burial containing decorated longsword found in Halmstad

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Archaeologists have uncovered a medieval longsword during excavations in the Lilla Torg centre of Halmstad, Sweden.

The longsword was discovered in a burial containing the skeletal remains of a man at the former site of a medieval convent known as the Church of Sankta Anna.

The church and monastery was built between 1494 and 1503 with the support of Christina of Saxony, then Queen of Denmark.

Following its closure by the city magistrate in 1531, it was repurposed to be used as a hospital and then an armoury. The surviving buildings were destroyed in 1619 when a fire destroyed much of the city.

The burial would have been located at the south nave when the church was operated by the Franciscan order, a Mendicant Order of Pontifical Right for men.

Previous excavations have identified 49 graves associated with the church, but the longsword is the first example found within the Lilla Torg centre and suggests that the individual was a person of noble birth.

Image Credit : Halland’s cultural History Museum

The longword, which measures 1.3 metres, was found on the individuals left side and is decorated with two inlaid crosses. Using X-ray imaging, the researchers have been able to visualise the decorations and determine that they were made using precious metals.

“It is an unusual find, and graves containing swords of this type have belonged to high-ranking persons of noble birth. A few similar swords have been found in medieval graves in Sweden before, including in the medieval Franciscan convent in Lund,” said Kulturmiljö Halland.

The sword has been removed for further examination and will be sent to Studio Västsvensk Konservering in Gothenburg for conservation.

Header Image Credit : Halland’s cultural History Museum

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

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

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

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

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

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