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Roman toilet spoon among new discoveries in South Wales

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A Roman toilet spoon is among several new discoveries recently announced by Museum Wales.

The spoon was uncovered by a metal detectorist in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, which was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme for Wales (PAS Cymru) and designated as treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.

The spoon, which is made of silver, has been identified as a Roman ligula, a multi-purpose tool normally used as a toilet and cosmetic implement. Ligulae were used for extracting cosmetics and perfumes from long-necked bottles, and the application onto the face or body.

The use of silver in crafting the object implies its probable application for medical purposes, particularly in the extraction and administration of medicines. This is attributed to silver’s well-documented antimicrobial properties, known to effectively combat bacteria, fungi, and specific viruses.

Comparable silver artefacts have been discovered in collections of ancient medical instruments across the Ancient Greek and Roman world.

Museum Wales also reports the discovery of a hoard of seven bronze artefacts in the Pendoylan of the Vale of Glamorgan. The hoard consists of fragments from a pair of bronze swords, and five bronze socketed axes that have been dated to the Late Bronze Age around 1000 to 800 BC.

Image Credit : Museum Wales

Axes of this type can be found in large numbers across south-east Wales in hoard groups and as single finds. Examples have also been found in north and west Wales, across southern England and in northern France, indicating long-distance metal exchange networks operated during the Late Bronze Age.

Chris Griffiths a PhD researcher with Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales and the University of Reading, said: “This hoard is unusual as it contains fragments from two swords, one of which is a blade tip fragment with decorative grooves which was made in north-western France. This small sword fragment therefore forms a key part of a much wider story, connecting those people who lived in Pendoylan Community with those who lived in north-western France, around 3,000 years ago.”

Header Image Credit : Museum Wales

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

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Archaeology

Elite Petén style structures found near Kohunlich

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Construction works for a road in Section 7 of the Mayan Train have uncovered elite Petén style structures near Kohunlich in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Kohunlich is a large Maya polity that served as a regional centre along the trade routes through the southern Yucatán.

The site was first settled around 200 BC, with the majority of its monuments being built between AD 250 to AD 600 during the Early Classic Period.

The city features elevated platforms, plazas, pyramids, and citadels, all enclosed by palace platforms. The layout of Kohunlich was carefully arranged to direct drainage into a network of cisterns and a massive reservoir for rainwater collection.

Construction works for a road on the periphery of Kohunlich have resulted in the discovery of elite structures in the Petén style, a distinct type of Maya architecture and inscription style.

Archaeologists have identified seven structures in total, interpreted to be elite homesteads of a domestic nature that were used for agricultural activities.

Most of the structures have a rectangular plan and vaulted rooms adorned with decorative Petén style elements.

Given their archaeological importance, experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have registered the monuments for protection.

Consequently, the planned route of the road has been redirected to preserve the structures in situ, where they will be preserved and open to the public in the near future.

Excavations also unearthed various archaeological materials, including ceramics, shells, fragments of human bone, and objects intentionally buried as offerings likely during the construction of the homesteads for protection.

Header Image Credit : Maya Train

Sources : National Institute of Anthropology and History

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

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Archaeology

Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

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Archaeologists from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have discovered rare gold foils during excavations at Tel El-Dir.

Tel El-Dir is a burial complex in the area of Egypt’s Damietta Governorate. The site contains various burials and tombs from the 26th Dynasty (664 BC to 525 BC), the last native dynasty of ancient Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.

Excavations of 63 mud brick tombs and pit burials have revealed a large collection of funerary offerings, including rare gold foils depicting Ancient Egyptian deities, and foils shaped like symbols associated with good fortune and protection.

The team also found foils in the shape of tongues, a tradition that enabled the deceased to speak before the court of Osiris in the afterlife.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The discovery follows on from a previous haul in 2022, where archaeologists excavating at Tel El-Dir found gold foils depicting Isis, Bastet and Horus (in the form of a winged falcon), as well as foils in various shapes.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, many of the tombs contained funeral pyres, imported and local ceramics, and Ushabti statues (figurines placed with the deceased to serve them in the afterlife).

The excavation has also yielded a large number of funerary offerings, such as protective amulets, figurines, coins, and a mirror.

Speaking on the finds, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the objects confirm that Damietta was a centre of trade during ancient times, and provides new insights into the burial practices during the 26th Dynasty.

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Sources : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

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

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