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Mystery of Bronze Age shipwreck solved  

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A shipwreck is generally defined as a sunken or damaged ship, however, sometimes the term can also be applied to the sunken remains of a ship’s cargo.

This is the case of a shipwreck found off the coast of Turkey, for which underwater surveys conducted by the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń have yet to locate any structural remains, fragments of wood, or even the anchors.

All that survives are coppers bars on the seabed, that were being transported on a ship leaving the Bay of Antalya into the open sea during the Bronze Age.

According to the researchers, the vessel was likely pushed against rocks and sank quickly. Due to the heavy cargo and intake of water, the vessel slid down a submerged slope that caused the cargo of copper bars to be emptied along the slide path at different positions on the slope.

Some of the bars are found at a depth of 35 metres, while others are located at 50 metres. However, the dive team suggest that more of the ship’s cargo is likely found at far greater depths.

Image Credit : Mateusz Popek

30 bars have been discovered to date (which were being transported for the production of bronze), along with fragments of bronze vessels.

The lack of physical evidence of the actual vessel is explained in a press announcement: “In the Mediterranean, any wooden part of a ship that is not covered by bottom sediments or cargo is eaten by the ship borer (Teredo navalis). It can be compared to a large bark beetle that eats wood very quickly. It occurs in waters that are salty and warm enough for it.”

Furthermore, the vessel is likely the oldest known example found transporting copper bars, which preliminary dating suggests to around 1500 BC.

Header Image Credit : Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń – Mateusz Popek

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

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Archaeology

Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia

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Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

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

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Archaeology

Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort

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Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

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

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