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Archaeologists find 6,000-year-old mounds containing wooden grave chambers

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Archaeologists from the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt (LDA) have uncovered a burial landscape from the Neolithic period on the Eulenberg near Magdeburg, Germany.

Excavations have revealed two 6,000-year-old mounds from the Baalberge Group (4100–3600 BC), a late Neolithic culture that inhabited Central Germany and Bohemia.

According to a statement by the LDA, the mounds were constructed on top of wooden grave chambers where the archaeologists have found several burials. Both chambers are trapezoidal in shape, measuring from between 20 and 30 metres in length.

Almost a millennia later, the area in between the mounds was used as a processional route for sacrifices and burials by people from the Globular Amphora Culture (GAC).

These later people constructed a 50 cm wide palisade ditch between the mounds to demarcate the processional route which passed over several cattle burials.

The GAC had a tradition of using animal parts (such as a pig’s jaw) or even whole animals as grave offerings, with other examples of entire cattle burials found at other GAC sites across Central Europe.

Image Credit : LDA

Speaking to HeritageDaily, a representative of LDA said: “Along this path, pairs of young, 2-3 year old cattle were sacrificed and buried. In one case, the grave of a 35 to 40 year old man was dug in front the cattle burials, creating the image of a cart with a driver or a plough pulled by cattle.”

In the vicinity, archaeologists also found several Corded Ware Culture burial mounds that date from around 2800-2050 BC. The Corded Ware culture was a late Neolithic and early Copper Age people that is considered to be a likely vector for the spread of many of the Indo-European languages in Europe and Asia.

According to the researchers, the archaeological evidence indicates that the landscape remained an important ceremonial centre for prehistoric people over a long period of time.

Header Image Credit : LDA

Sources : State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt (LDA) – Archaeologists discover a Neolithic burial landscape on the Eulenberg near Magdeburg.

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

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Archaeology

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

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Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

Construction of the early Romanesque Merseburg Cathedral was begun by Bishop Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015.

It was consecrated in 1021 in the presence of Emperor Heinrich II (Henry II), however, following a series of collapses in the eastern part of the structure, the cathedral wouldn’t be formally consecrated and opened until 1042 by Bishop Hunold.

The Merseburg Cathedral of St. John and St. Lawrence is today considered one of the most important cathedral buildings in Germany.

The LDA team were excavating the basement of the so-called Martinikurie, a two-story residential building from the Baroque period. Excavations revealed the remains of the first bishop’s palace, dating from from the time of the second consecration of Merseburg Cathedral.

According to the LDA: “We found the almost completely preserved basement-like lower floor of a hall building, whose 1.75 metre thick foundation walls are still preserved up to a height of 3.40 metres. Steps in the masonry and a pillar from the time of construction inside the building prove that at least one hall-like upper floor once stood on top of this.”
The palace was constructed by Bishop Hunold, who headed the diocese of Merseburg between 1036 and 1050.

“This finding makes it possible to locate one of the most important buildings of the episcopal see in Merseburg – a building that, with its location and size, clearly expresses the self-confidence of the diocese, which was re-founded in 1004 by King Henry II of Germany” added the LDA.

Header Image Credit : LDA

Sources : State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA)

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

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Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

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Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

The papyri were discovered in Berenice Troglodytica, an ancient seaport of Egypt on the western shore of the Red Sea. The city was founded by Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–246 BC), who named it after his mother, Berenice I of Egypt.

During the Roman period, Berenice Troglodytica was one of the main waystations for the trade in war elephants and exotic goods, imported from India, Sri Lanka, Arabia, and Upper Egypt.

Excavations of an animal cemetery located on the western outskirts of the city have uncovered an accumulation of ceramics originating from the Mediterranean, Africa and India.

Image Credit : Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Among the accumulation, the team found Roman coins, a fibula, ostracons (fragments of texts on ceramics), and several papyri.

The papyri contains the correspondence of centurions, naming Haosus, Lucinius and Petronius. Centurions were soldiers who were promoted to command a centuria or “century”, a military unit consisting of between 80 to 100 men.

“In the correspondence, Petronius asks Lucinius (stationed in Berenice Troglodytica) about the prices of individual exclusive goods. There is also the statement: “I am giving you the money, I am sending it by dromedarius (a unit of legionnaires moving on dromedaries). Take care of them, provide them with veal and poles for their tents.”

Dr. Marta Osypińska from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Wrocław, said: “For Egyptologists and other scientists dealing with antiquity, this is an extremely rare and high-calibre discovery.”

“In this part of the world, there are very few sites from the Roman period. The Egyptians tend to leave little historical accounts from this time in history, because it is the moment when they were conquered.” added  Dr. Osypińska.

Header Image Credit : Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

Sources : PAP

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

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