Connect with us


UE archaeologists conduct study of Amazonian cave homes



Researchers from the University of Exeter have conducted a study of the shallow cave homes in the Amazon Basin.

The study focused on rock shelters in northwest Colombia, which were occupied by some of the earliest people to migrate to South America during the late Pleistocene era approx. 13,000-years-ago.

The study, part of the €2.5m European Research Council funded LASTJOURNEY project has provided new insights into the colonisation of the Amazon interior and the types domestic and ritual activity at cave shelter sites.

The cave inhabitants painted vibrant artworks on the cave galleries using ochre they prepared from a mixture of ferric oxide and varying amounts of clay and sand. They also fashioned stone tools, managed plant resources, and hunted a wide range of Amazonian animals.

“The ‘peopling’ of South America represents one of the great migrations of human history – but their arrival into the Amazon biome has been little understood,” says Mark Robinson, Associate Professor of Archaeology at the University of Exeter.

“For researchers working in the field, dense rainforest makes it challenging to identify potential fieldwork sites, and acidic, clay-based soils impair the preservation of organic remains. Our recent excavations, however, help to fill this gap, not only dating their arrival to much earlier than previously understood, but also providing novel insights into their lives and historical trajectories during the Holocene,” added Professor Robinson.

The study, published in the Quaternary Science Reviews, focused on two rock shelters in the Serranía La Lindosa region on the fringes of the Amazon and Orinoco basins.

The UE team excavated soil sediments from within the shelters and the area directly outside, which were subjected to a geochemical and stratigraphic analysis. The analysis revealed traces of stone fragments, charcoal, and organic matter, indicating food preparation, consumption and disposal, in addition to periods of abandonment over more than a millennia.

Moreover, the presence of ceramics dating back approximately 3,000 years, signs of soil cultivation from 2,500 years ago, and remnants of maize cultivation 500 years ago have all been unearthed.

“The results firmly establish that the human occupation of Serranía La Lindosa began in the late Pleistocene, about 12,600 years ago, and continued until the 17th century,” says José Iriarte, Professor of Archaeology at Exeter.

According to the researchers, the shelters offered protection and clear vantage points over the surrounding area for the early foragers. Ongoing research is also delving into various recovered artefacts such as animal bones, plant remnants, and ochre, shedding further light on the area’s ancient inhabitants.

“Activity patterns, artefact discard, and soil chemistry indicate that both rock shelters were used as domestic spaces through time, as well as sacred locations for the display of highly evocative art,” adds Dr Jo Osborn, Postdoctoral Research Associate.

“And it points to the existence of a broad-spectrum economy, with unifacial lithic tool technology. All of the rock shelters exhibit ochre paintings from the earliest occupations, indicating that those pioneers were also recording and making sense of this new world they encountered.”

Header Image Credit : University of Exeter

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading


Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold




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 – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading


Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest




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 – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

Continue Reading


Generated by Feedzy