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Monastic site founded by St Moulag discovered on Scottish island

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Archaeologists from the Lismore Historical Society have announced the discovery of a stone built monastic site on the Hebridean Isle of Lismore.

According to the researchers, the site dates from the 7th to 10th century AD and was likely founded by St Moluag, an Irish missionary who evangelized the Picts on the western seaboard of Scotland.

Lismore had long been an important religious centre for the Gaelic kingdom of Dalriada, which likely motivated the decision to found a monastic community in AD 562. Irish missionaries had learnt to focus heavily on the similarity and continuity between early Christianity and Paganism rather than the differences between them.

However, according to tradition, the rock on which Moluag stood detached itself from the Irish coast and he drifted across to the island of the Lyn of Lorn in Argyll, now called the Isle of Lismore in Loch Linnhe.

Following a six year community led project on the island, members from the Lismore Historical Society have uncovered an oval stone building and a workshop where craft workers manufactured jewellery from precious metals.

Part of a crucible – Image Credit : Lismore Historical Society

Radiocarbon dating has placed the building to the 7th-10th century AD during the period of the early monastery.

The study has so far discovered fragments of around 120 crucibles, broken ceramic moulds for making penannular brooches, and carvings made in stone, wood, bone and antler.

According to a press statement by the Lismore Historical Society: “XRF analysis of the surfaces of these crucibles at the National Museum of Scotland has revealed that they were used for melting copper-alloys, silver and gold.

This fine craft activity is evidence of a sophisticated and influential monastic centre, the society said, with analysis and conservation of 1500 significant finds from the site ongoing.

Header Image Credit : Lismore Historical Society

Sources : Lismore Historical Society

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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