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Excavation of Artemis temple reveals evidence of animal sacrifices

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Archaeologists excavating a temple complex at the Artemis Amarynthos sanctuary have uncovered evidence of animal sacrificial rites and new insights into the temple configuration.

The Artemis Amarynthos sanctuary is located in Amarynthos on the Greek island of Euboea.

During antiquity, the sanctuary was the centre of worship in dedication to Artemis (the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and nature) in Northern Greece, and served as the annual pilgrimage destination from Eretria during the Amarysia festival procession.

Excavations at the sanctuary have been ongoing for the past four years, with this season’s dig uncovering further remains of a temple dated to the 7th century BC during the Archaic Period.

Altar – Image Credit : ESAG

According to the researchers, the temple has an apsidal floor plan and measures 34 metres in length, which coincidentally corresponds to 100 feet in the Greek metric system. Archaeologists found hearths or altars where animals were sacrificed to honour Artemis, in addition to layers of ash and calcined animal bones.

In traditional animal sacrifices, the animal was led in procession to the altar and slaughtered. The carcass would then be butchered and the internal organs, bones and other inedible parts burnt as the deity’s portion.

Image Credit : ESAG

Excavations also found a large number of offerings consisting of vases, weapons, jewellery, and a finely chiseled ivory head with Egyptian features.

Evidence of burning indicates that the temple was partially destroyed by fire during the 6th century BC but was restored with mud-brick walls, before being entirely demolished for a new structure by the end of the century.

Deep trial trenches also uncovered a building from the 9th or 8th century BC, in addition to bronze animal figurines and a terracotta bull’s head from the late Bronze Age, suggesting that the site held ceremonial significance dating back to prehistoric times.

Header Image Credit : ESAG

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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