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Skeletal remains suggestive of human sacrifices in La Morita II cave.

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Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered skeletal remains in La Morita II cave, located in the Mexican state of Nuevo León.

An osteological study has identified that the remains correspond to that of a baby and two adolescents, which were found among fragments of basketry, textiles and fibres, that were likely part of funerary bundles.

Initial dating suggests that the remains date to between 2,500 to 3,000-years-ago and appear to have been dismembered and deposited intentionally in the south chamber of the cave.

Valadez Moreno from INAH, said: “According to the chronicles, when the mother died during childbirth or minutes later, the infant was sacrificed and accompanied the burial of the deceased; In other cases, for example, in a twin birth, the event was conceived as a bad omen, so the newborn with the best conditions was chosen and the second was separated to be buried alive.”

A similar sacrificial practice was also applied to infants who showed signs of congenital disorders or malformations that develop prenatally.

Excavations have removed approximately 50 square metres of sediment build up in the main chamber of the cave, and 24 square metres in the south chamber, in which around 1,500 artefacts for ritual and domestic use was uncovered.

These include spearheads, an atlatl (a spear-throwing lever), punches and polished edges which date from between 4,500 to 2,500-years-ago, in addition to perishable materials such as fragments of cordage and basketry from 3,000-years-ago.

The latest discoveries join the almost 30,000 cultural remains recovered in La Morita II since the “Prehistory and Historical Archaeology of Northeast Mexico” project commenced excavations at the site in 2003.

Header Image Credit : Moisés Valadez

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

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

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

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Archaeology

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

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

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