Connect with us

Archaeology

Prehistoric “time capsule” found on Exmoor

Published

on

A prehistoric “time capsule” containing preserved woodland and insect remains has been found in peatland on the Holnicote estate in Exmoor, England.

The discovery was made in an area known as Alderman’s Barrow Allotment, which was undergoing restoration as part of a project to improve the health of degrading peatlands across Exmoor and the South West.

The project found a “time capsule” of woodland and insect remains from the Neolithic and Bronze Age, providing a unique insight into how the peat formed and what kinds of species of plants and insects lived in the environment during ancient times.

An examination of samples taken from the peat has revealed over 100 fragments of Hydraena riparia beetles, in addition to specimens of dung beetles, rove beetles, moss mites, and water scavenger beetles.

Image Credit: National Trust, Steve Haywood

Remains from a prehistoric woodland floor were also recovered, consisting of fragments of trunks, branches, and twigs dated to around 4,500 to 3,500 years ago.

These fragments revealed the presence of multiple tree species, including: alder and willow, with evidence of birch growing nearby (indicated by seeds).

A broader investigation of the peatland location has unveiled a portion of a Neolithic willow tree, along with instances of birch and oak. Traces of various plant species in the surrounding vicinity, such as sedges and rushes, have also been identified.

Dr Ed Treasure, Senior Environmental Archaeologist at Wessex Archaeology, specialising in plant remains and wood explained; “These discoveries provide a unique and tangible way of connecting with Exmoor’s past, and they illustrate the changing nature of landscapes and reveal how this impressive landscape came to be.

“We can use this information to develop a ‘baseline’ for peatland restoration studies which can extend back centuries, if not millennia. This long-term view enables us to look beyond many of the significant changes in land-use practices in peatlands which occurred during the last few centuries,” added Dr Treasure.

Header Image Credit: National Trust, Steve Haywood

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

Published

on

By

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

A crannog is a partially or entirely artificial island, typically built in lakes and estuarine waters of Scotland from the prehistoric period onward.

Crannogs were used as dwellings, taking advantage of the natural surroundings that may have served to provide a defensive purpose.

Despite significant variations in methodology, most crannogs on mainland Scotland were built by driving timber piles into the loch bed and filling the interior with peat, brush, stones, or timber to create a solid foundation.

In largely treeless regions like the Western Isles, these island dwellings utilised a diverse mix of natural, artificially enlarged, or entirely artificial islets.

The discovery was made by students from the UHI Archaeology Institute, who were conducting test-pitting on a promontory at the northern end of the Loch of Wasdale.

According to a press statement by UHI: “It appears as an islet on the 1882 Ordnance Survey map. Little is known about the site, but the fact the shoreside edges appear to show the remains of walling led to the suggestion it may be a crannog.”

In his Reminiscences of an Orkney Parish, John Firth (1838-1922) wrote that this islet was once home to a kirk: “During the Middle Ages several chapels existed in the district now known as the parish of Firth – one on the island in the Loch of Wasdale.”

The test-pitting revealed large quantities of cairn-like rubble, in addition to more structural remains or a stone surface, indicating that the entire promontory/islet is artificial.

Martin Carruthers, a lecturer at UHI, said: “A structure made up of some very large masonry seems to lurk at the heart of the cairn makeup. Constructing this ‘monument’ must have been a very substantial undertaking.”

“In terms of artefacts, apart from some later post-medieval glazed pottery, we recovered a single worked flint, probably a ‘thumbnail’ scraper, which is most likely later Neolithic in date,” added Carruthers.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : UHI

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Published

on

By

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Ramesses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty during the New Kingdom period.
His reign is often regarded as the most celebrated in Egypt’s history, marked by several major military campaigns and numerous monument construction projects.

Based on supporting historical accounts, most Egyptologists suggest that Ramesses II assumed the throne in 1279 BC and reigned until his death at the age of around 90 in 1212 or 1213 BC.

His remains were interred in a tomb complex (designated KV7) in the Valley of the Kings, located opposite the tomb of his sons (KV5), and near the tomb (KV8) of his son and successor, Merenptah.

During the reign of Ramesses III during the 20th Dynasty, the tomb of Ramesses II was looted by grave robbers. Ancient texts record that priests moved his remains to the tomb of Queen Ahmose Inhapy, and then to the tomb of the high priest Pinedjem II.

His final resting place was a tomb (designated TT320), located next to Deir el-Bahari, in the Theban Necropolis opposite Luxor. The tomb is a Royal Cache containing the mummified remains of more than 50 kings, queens, and other royal family members of the New Kingdom period.

The mummy of Ramesses II was discovered in TT320 during excavations in 1881. He was found placed in a simple wooden coffin, suggesting that this was meant as a temporary measure until a more permanent resting place could be determined.

A new study, published in the Revue d’Égyptologie, suggests that a fragment of a sarcophagus discovered in 2009 at Abydos was part of the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II.

The sarcophagus fragment was found in a Coptic monastery and has recently been re-examined by Egyptologist Frédéric Payraudeau from Sorbonne University.

According to the study author, the decoration and texts on the sarcophagus fragment indicate that it was first used by Ramesses II (evidenced by the cartouche of Ramesses II), and later reused by a high priest of the 21st Dynasty, Menkheperre (around 1000 BC) who likely had the sarcophagus transported to Abydos after KV7 was looted.

Header Image Credit : Sarcophagus fragment – Kevin Cahail

Sources : cnrs | Le sarcophage de Ramsès II remployé à Abydos – Published in the Revue d’Égyptologie.

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy