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Archaeologists discover 7000-year-old Neolithic mega-site

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Archaeologists have discovered a 7000-year-old Neolithic mega-site near the village of Jarkovac in Serbia.

The discovery was made by a team from the Cluster of Excellence ROOTS, an initiative launched by several research institutions from across academia.

In a press statement announced by the Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel (CAU), a geophysical study has led to the discovery of a 13-hectare settlement with defensive ditches near the Tamiš River in Serbia’s Vojvodina province.

Based on the objects found in situ, the settlement is associated with the Vinča culture (also known as Turdaș culture), a Neolithic people that lived in Southeast Europe between 5400 to 4500 BC.

Named for its type site, Vinča-Belo Brdo (a large tell settlement in Belgrade), the culture is most known for constructing mega-site settlements, many of which were considerably larger than most other contemporary culture settlements in Europe.

ROOTS doctoral student and co-team leader Fynn Wilkes, said: “A settlement of this size is spectacular. The geophysical data also gives us a clear idea of the structure of the site 7000 years ago.”

Black angular anomalies apparent in the geophysics indicate a large number of burnt houses, suggesting that the settlement may have been abandoned or destroyed during conflict.

Archaeological evidence from other Vinča sites have led archaeologists to speculate that intergroup competition, conflict, and likely violence might have been a characteristic of the region during the Neolithic period.

Also uncovered are material traces of the Banat culture (5400-4400 BC), a regional people that emerged in the Banat area of the Pannonian Basin. “This is also remarkable, as only a few settlements with material from the Banat culture are known from what is now Serbia,” added Fynn Wilkes.

During the same research campaign, the team investigated several Late Neolithic circular features in Hungary together with partners from the Janus Pannonius Museum in Pécs. These so-called “rondels” are attributed to the Lengyel culture (5000/4900-4500/4400 BC).

Header Image Credit : ROOTS

Sources : CAU

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

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Archaeology

Study reveals new insights into life at “German Stonehenge”

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Excavations of the Ringheiligtum Pömmelte, nicknamed the “German Stonehenge”, has revealed new insights into domestic life from prehistory.

Ringheiligtum Pömmelte is a late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age henge from the late third millennium BC. The monument features seven concentric rings made of palisades, ditches, and raised banks, each containing a series of wooden posts.

The site was discovered in 1991 through aerial photography near the present-day village of Pömmelte in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

From 2018 to 2022, archaeologists have excavated nearly 140 ancient dwellings dating from 2,800 BC to 2,200 BC. The older dwellings are linked to the Corded Ware and the Bell Beaker culture, while the more recent ones are associated with the Únětice Culture.

In a recent study conducted by the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) of Saxony-Anhalt, archaeologists are employing various scientific methods to offer new insights into the site’s ritual and settlement landscape.

The study has identified house locations of the Corded Ware culture (26th to 23rd century BC), and an associated settlement pit containing ceramic sherds, an axe head and flint blades. Until now, Corded Ware settlement could only be attributed to individual finds that had been relocated, and not to actual structures on the site.

Also associated with the Corded Ware culture is a storage area with 78 grain silo pits that held various types of gain, including wheat, barley, and spelt. Archaeologists already know that Corded Ware people lived on a balanced diet with animal products, further indicated by drinking vessels from burials at Ringheiligtum Pömmelte that contained traces of dairy products.

While the scientific analyses and the interpretation of the results with various specialists continue, excavations at Pömmelte will last until mid-July 2024.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt

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

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3,400-year-old shipwreck found with cargo mostly intact

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Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit have discovered a 3,400-year-old shipwreck with the cargo mostly intact.

The site was first identified during an underwater survey by Energean, an energy company searching for natural gas deposits beneath the Mediterranean Sea Floor.

This led to the discovery of the shipwreck and its cargo at a depth of 1.8 kilometers, along with its cargo that consists of Late Bronze Age Canaanite storage vessels.

IAA archaeologists, in collaboration with Energean, have used the deep sea exploratory vessel, “Energean Star” to conduct a visual inspection of the wreck site. This has revealed hundreds of ceramic vessels on the seabed, and a muddy layer which likely conceals a second layer and the wooden beams of the ship.

Jacob Sharvit, Head of the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Unit, explains, “The ship seems to have sunk in crisis, either due to a storm or to an attempted piracy attack – a well-known occurrence in the Late Bronze Age. This is both the first and the oldest ship found in the Eastern Mediterranean deep sea, ninety kilometres from the nearest shore.”

Image Credit : IAA

Only two other ships from this period have been found – the boat from Cape Gelidonya and the Uluburun boat; both found off the Turkish coast. Both ships were found near the shore, suggesting that shipping routes followed the coastline between ports. However, this new discovery changes the understanding of ancient marine trade, demonstrating that ancient shipping also extended into deep waters.

“The ship is preserved at such a great depth that time has frozen since the moment of disaster – its body and contexts have not been disturbed by human hand (divers, fishermen, etc.); nor affected by waves and currents which do impact shipwrecks in shallower waters,” added Sharvit.

Header Image Credit : IAA

Sources : Israel Antiquities Authority

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

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