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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

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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