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Rare discoveries from Nottingham’s historic caves

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Objects excavated in Nottingham’s historic caves will be unveiled to the public for the first time as part of a new exhibition at the University of Nottingham Museum.

Over the centuries, more than 800 man-made caves were dug in the soft sandstone beneath the streets of Nottingham, England.

The caves served a diverse range of purposes, from storage areas and cellars, to workshops for leather tanning and grain malting for brewing beer. Additionally, some were dug to be used as garden follies or exclusive drinking dens for the Nottingham elite.

The earliest caves date from the medieval period, described as Tigguo Cobauc (meaning “House of Caves”) in the Life of King Alfred, a biography written by Asher, a Welsh monk from St David’s who visited the area around AD 900.

Objects excavated by the Nottingham Historical and Archaeological Society, and from the collections of the University Museum, Nottingham City Museums and Galleries, and the National Justice Museum, will be presented as part of the new exhibition called “Fascinating Finds from Nottingham’s Caves”.

According to a press announcement by the University of Nottingham: “The objects on display include evidence for tanning leather and manufacturing objects from bone, as well as brewing beer, and a rare survival of a medieval ceramic ‘alembic’ or distilling apparatus.”

A notable highlight of the exhibition is a collection of decorative Venetian drinking glasses from the 17th century, which were discovered in a rock-cut well on the former site of the Castle Inn, now the location of Shire Hall.

Dr Chris King, Associate Professor in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham’s Department of Classics and Archaeology, said: “There is a long history of people excavating inside Nottingham’s caves, including both professional archaeologists and voluntary community groups – so it is wonderful to see this variety of fascinating objects brought together for the first time.”

“They range from humble clay pipes and storage jars to exotic imports like the Venetian goblets. Together these objects tell the story of the city and connect us to the multitude of people who once lived and laboured in and around the city’s underground spaces,” added Dr King.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

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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