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Jade mask discovered in pyramid tomb of Maya King

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Archaeologists have discovered an intact jade mask in the tomb of a Maya King at Chochkitam, a little-known Maya polity in northeastern Peten, Guatemala.

Contemporary inscriptions indicate that Chochkitam was a royal city with a lineage traced back to Preclassic times. The site was first reported in 1909, with ongoing studies recording three main monumental groups connected by a long central causeway.

In a recent announcement on National Geographic, excavations at Chochkitam have led to the discovery of an interlocking jade mask in the burial of a Maya King. Jade masks were generally used to symbolise deities or ancestors, and were used to reflect the affluence and influence of the entombed individuals.

Following a LiDAR survey in 2021, archaeologist found that grave robbers had dug a tunnel into the central structure of a royal pyramid. Upon further inspection, the researchers noted that the intruders overlooked a specific area within the pyramid’s inner chamber.

This oversight led to the discovery of a human skull, several teeth and bone pieces, a stone box shaped like a coffin, and funerary offerings consisting of a pot, oyster shells, and numerous pieces of jade that interlock to form a jade mask when assembled.

Some of the bone pieces have carvings and hieroglyphs that spell the name, Itzam Kokaj Bahlam, which according to the researchers could be the name of the interred Maya king who ruled Chochkitam around AD 350. Most interestingly, one of the bones has a carving that depicts the ruler holding the head of a Maya deity – an exact representation of the assembled jade mask.

Estrada-Belli, a professor at Tulane University told National Geographic: “Everything suggests to me that this was a Maya king who was part of a network of Maya royalty in the sphere of influence of Tikal and Teotihuacán”

Header Image Credit : RUBÉN SALGADO ESCUDERO

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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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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