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Roman elite burials found in ancient Tarquinia

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Archaeologists excavating a necropolis in ancient Taquinia have uncovered Roman elite burials.

Tarquinia was an Etruscan (Tarchuna) and Roman (Tarquinii) city, located in the province of Viterbo, Central Italy. During the Roman period, the municipium became an important trading centre for the export of wine and coral throughout the Roman Republic, later gaining the status of a colonia.

Recent excavations have uncovered over 67 skeletons that date from the 2nd to 4th centuries AD within a Roman necropolis.

According to the archaeologists, the necropolis was designated for the interment of Roman elite, evidenced by the discovery of numerous high status funerary goods. Most of the graves appear to be for shared burials, likely intended for multiple family members, with several skeletons found interred together.

Many of the skeletal remains are adorned with gold jewellery and sophisticated leather footwear, while their tombs are decorated to emulate the architectural styles of residential dwellings.

Archaeologists speculate that the tomb occupants intended to replicate their homes in their final resting places. This is indicated by the luxurious adornments and interior linings within the tombs, some of which featured intricate fabric coverings.

Excavations also uncovered silver rings decorated with amber and engraved initials, amulets encrusted with precious stones, an array of terracotta pottery, various Roman coins, polished glass objects, and even preserved textiles.

According to Emanuele Giannini, an archaeologist from Eos Arc, the skeletal remains show no indications of physical labour or stress, further suggesting that they were prosperous Roman families from affluent urban areas.

The excellent preservation of these archaeological discoveries is attributed to the presence of substantial limestone rocks protruding from the ground, rendering the area unsuitable for agricultural purposes. “It remained undisturbed for centuries,” remarked Emanuele Giannini.

Header Image Credit : Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti Paesaggio Etruria Meridionale

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

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Archaeology

Giant catapult shots discovered from siege of Kenilworth Castle

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Archaeologists have uncovered eight 13th century catapult shots from the 1266 siege of Kenilworth Castle.

Kenilworth Castle, located in the town of Kenilworth in Warwickshire, England, is both a semi-royal palace and historic fortress.

Founded in the 1120s, the castle was the scene of the removal of Edward II from the English throne and the Earl of Leicester’s reception of Elizabeth I in 1575.

During the First Civil War (1642 to 1646), Kenilworth formed a useful counterbalance to the Parliamentary stronghold of Warwick. Following the defeat of royalist forces, Parliament ordered the slighting of Kenilworth 1649, leaving the castle a romantic ruin and popular tourist attraction over the centuries.

Recent works to improve a pathway on castle grounds has led to the discovery of eight giant catapult shots. According to the archaeologists, the shots date from the Siege of Kenilworth (1266), a six-month siege of the castle during the Second Barons’ War.

The conflict was between a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort (who had custody of Kenilworth Castle) against the royalist forces of King Henry III, and later his son, the future King Edward I.

Image Credit : English Heritage

According to historical accounts, the siege was the largest to occur in Medieval England and involved numerous “turres ligneas” (wooden towers), trebuchets, and catapults which fired the giant shots.

The shots are of varying sizes, with the largest weighing 105 kg and the smallest just 1 kg. “’These would have caused some serious damage when fired from war machines. Records show that one of Henry III’s wooden siege towers, containing around 200 crossbowmen, was destroyed by just one well-aimed missile,” said Will Wyeth, English Heritage’s Properties Historian.

Header Image Credit : English Heritage

Sources : English Heritage

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

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Archaeology

Sappers clear over 4,700 dangerous objects from WWII

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A team of sappers under archaeological supervision have cleared over 4,700 dangerous objects from WWII on the Westerplatte Peninsula in Gdańsk, Poland.

Situated at the mouth of the Dead Vistula on the Baltic Sea coast, the peninsula was the site of the Battle of Westerplatte, one of the initial clashes between Polish and German forces during the invasion of Poland in WWII.

The Polish garrison held out for seven days, repelling thirteen German assaults. The battle became a symbol of Polish resistance, tying up substantial German forces at Westerplatte and preventing over 3,000 German soldiers from providing fire support in the nearby battles of Hel and Gdynia.

Image Credit : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk led the clearing of the Westerplatte area, working in conjunction with soldiers from the 43rd Naval Sapper Battalion, the Engineer Battalion Sapper Company from the 2nd Sapper Regiment from Kazuń Nowy, and a team of archaeologists to supervise and document any archaeological material.

The clearance works have uncovered over 4,700 dangerous objects in the duration of the project along with 180 historical artefacts.

“To date, specialists have penetrated an area of ​​over 13.5 hectares, resulting in the discovery of over 4,700 dangerous objects, including 3 air bombs, one of which weighing 500 kg was located only 30 cm below the ground surface ” – said the head of the Archaeological Department of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, Filip Kuczma.

Some of these objects include almost 200 artillery shells, mortar and hand grenades, and small arms ammunition. Other WWII objects include elements from the soldier’s uniforms, lead seals, and parts of the railway infrastructure in Westerplatte.

The team also uncovered cannonballs, musket shells, coins, decorative stove tiles, and ceramics from the time of the War of the Polish succession (1733 to 1738) and the Napoleonic period (1799 to 1815).

Header Image Credit : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

Sources : The Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk

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

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