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Archaeologists uncover Doric styled temples at ancient Poseidonia



Archaeologists conducting excavations in the ancient city of Poseidonia have uncovered two temples built in the Doric style.

Poseidonia was founded as a Greek colony around 600 BC in the present-day Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy.

The city emerged as a major religious centre, as indicated by the construction of three expansive temples (dedicated to Hera and Athena) in the Archaic interpretation of the Greek Doric order, dating back to approximately 550-450 BC.

During the 3rd century BC, Poseidonia was annexed by the expanding Roman Republic following the Pyrrhic War, who renamed the city to Paestum and established a Latin colony.

In a press announcement issued by the Italian Ministry of Culture, archaeologists have uncovered two previously unknown Doric style temples during an examination of the western section of Poseidonia in close proximity to the ancient city walls.

Image Credit : Italian Ministry of Culture

Dating back to the early 5th century BC, one of the temples retains well-preserved architectural remnants of the stylobate, the stepped platform supporting the columns that held up the temple roof.

The stylobate measures 11.5 x 7.6 metres in size, with visible features such as the four-sided peristatis columns that surrounded the inner sanctuary known as the cella. Typically, the cella would house a cult image or statue representing the specific deity revered in the temple.

Excavations also found fragmentary remnants of the temple column capitals that are comparable to the Doric capitals at Poseidonia’s Temple of Hera, the oldest surviving temple in the city in dedication to the goddess Hera.

Archaeologists have also found traces of a second temple at the same location which predates the temple described above. According to the researchers, this temple likely collapsed during the 6th century BC, with architectural features and stonework being recycled into the new temple structure.

“The recent discoveries confirm that there is still a lot to do in Paestum [Poseidonia] in terms of excavations, research, and also in terms of valorisation. After decades of research, the Ministry of Culture is giving impetus to notable initiatives”, said the Minister of Culture, Gennaro Sangiuliano.

Header Image Credit : Italian Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists may have discovered the lost city of Tu’am




Excavations in the Umm Al Quwain area of the UAE have revealed 6th century ruins that could be the lost city of Tu’am.

The ruins are situated on Al Sinniyah Island, part of a collection of small islands on the western part of the Khor Al Bidiyah peninsula.

Previous studies on the island have revealed a pearling village and monastery, which has been the focus of the latest season of excavations.

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a larger settlement, with the earliest signs of occupation dating back to the 4th century AD and peaking in the 5th or 6th century.

The team uncovered traces of large semi-urbanised tenement buildings measuring 30 square metres, which are tightly packed around narrow walkways. According to the researchers, the settlement could be the lost city of Tu’am as described in Ancient Arab texts.

Tu’am was a regional capital on the Gulf coast that was famed for its pearl fishing industry and trade in precious gems.

The population went into decline following a plague and regional tensions, and subsequently was abandoned. Mass graves in the vicinity support the historical account of plague, as the skeletal remains show no evidence of trauma or a violent death.

“Our archaeological work has discovered the largest settlement by far ever found on the Gulf coast of the Emirates,” said Prof Tim Power of UAE University.

“And it’s exactly the right period for the city described in the early Islamic geographical sources. It’s clearly a really important place. No one has ever found it.”

Professor Power explained that while they have not found irrefutable evidence (such as an inscription bearing the town’s name), no other major settlements from this period have been discovered on the coast, strengthening the argument that the settlement is Tu’am. “It’s a process of elimination,” he explained.

Header Image Credit : Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology

Sources : NUAE

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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New findings in North America’s first city




Cahokia was the largest urban settlement of the Mississippian culture, a mound-building pre-Columbian civilisation that emerged in the Midwestern, Eastern, and South-eastern United States.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the city was founded around AD 1050 along the banks of the Mississippi River, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri.

The city covered an area between six to nine square miles (notably larger than many contemporary European cities such as London) and was home to up to 20,000 inhabitants at its peak.

Following the tradition of the Mississippian culture, the people of Cahokia constructed large earthen mounds – ranging from raised platforms, conical, and ridge-top designs – involving the movement of 55 million cubic feet of earth over a period that lasted several decades.

The largest mound is known as “Monks Mound,” named after a group of Trappist monks, which rises to a height of 290 metres and was once the tallest building construction in North America.

Image Credit : MattGush – iStock

Archaeologists and students from Saint Louis University (SLU) have recently conducted a series of excavations on the western periphery of the Cahokia Mounds.

The team unearthed 900-year-old ceramics, microdrills, structures, and wall trenches dating from around AD 1100 to 1200, during the Sterling Phase of the Mississippian Period. According to the archaeologists, the finds offer new insights into a crucial period in the chiefdom’s development, coinciding with Cahokia’s rapid population growth.

The excavations follow an aerial survey by SLU and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) to conduct Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) to determine whether further mounds or archaeological features lie within the acres of thick forests and swampy land near the site’s main complex.

Header Image Credit : Alamy

Sources : KSDK

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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