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Study finds that inhabitants of Old Dongola recycled clothes

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A study by archaeologists from the University of Warsaw has found that the inhabitants of Old Dongola recycled clothes due to the high expense and time-consuming nature of fabric production.

Old Dongola was the capital of the Nubian kingdom of Makuria, located in the Northern State of Sudan on the eastern banks of the River Nile.

The kingdom emerged in the 5th century AD following the collapse of the Nubian Kingdom of Kush. Makuria reached its zenith between the 9th and 11th centuries AD, encompassing a territory that stretched from the Third Cataract along the Nile River to below Abu Hamad, as well as certain regions of northern Kordofan.

Old Dongola was founded in the walls of a 5th century fortress after the early rulers of Makuria moved the capital from Napata. A major urbanised town developed around the fortress walls, along with palaces, public buildings, churches, and a royal residence, serving as an important departure point for caravans west to Darfur and Kordofan.

A recent study by the University of Warsaw examined fabrics dated from between the 17th and 18th centuries when the city was in decline. The study, published in the journal Archaeometry, conducted a chemical analysis of 17 fabric samples that revealed evidence of textile recycling, providing new insights into the inhabitants’ lifestyles, material production, and clothing customs.

According to Dr. Wożniak from the University of Warsaw: “It must be made clear that the people of Old Dongola loved recycling. They were aware of the value of the material and tried to use it as much as possible.”

“Before industrialisation, fabric production was a very time-consuming activity. Once people had gone through this whole process: growing the cotton, harvesting it, spinning it, putting it on a loom, weaving it – they used the fabric for the last possible use. So first it was used as clothing, then it was used for patches or rags, sometimes it served as a blanket, and sometimes as a plug in the wall to protect against the wind. So we find these fabrics in a very worn form,” added Dr. Wożniak.

The majority of garments were made from wool, albeit of a slightly lower grade compared to the modern standards used in clothing. In Sudan, sheep were primarily raised for milk and meat, with wool production serving as a secondary product which accounts for the inferior quality.

Header Image Credit : Mateusz Rekłajtis PCMA UW

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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