Connect with us

Archaeology

Dune restoration project uncovers intact WWII bunkers

Published

on

A restoration project to remove invasive plants from dunes in the Heist Willemspark, Belgium, has led to the discovery of three intact WWII bunkers.

Heist Willemspark is located in the Knokke-Heist municipality, situated on the coastline of Belgium near the border with the Netherlands.

During WWI, the area of the park was used as a German position for heavy artillery batteries known as “Freya” and “Augusta”, and a series of forward observation bunkers for ranging shipping in the English Channel.

A number of these structures were repurposed by the German army in WWII, and further fortified as part of the Atlantic Wall, a system of coastal defences built between 1942 and 1944 along the coast of continental Europe. The area of the Atlantic Wall at Heist Willemspark was designated by the German army as Stützpunkt Heyst.

Image Credit : Municipality of Knokke-Heist

According to a press statement by the Municipality of Knokke-Heist, the bunkers were discovered by the Agency for Nature and Forests during a restoration project called LIFE DUNIAS.

Excavations at a depth of only a few feet revealed three Gruppenunterstand Type VF2a bunkers. The VF2a is intended for housing a Gruppe (the smallest German unit consisting of 10 soldiers) who operated forward radar positions. The bunkers at Heist Willemspark measure 6 by 7 metres externally, and are capped by a concrete reinforced roof measuring 1 metre thick.

The project also found traces of brick trenches, a fragment of a concrete track, and large amounts of rubble containing objects such as utensils, ammunition, cabling, and water pipes.

A representative of LIFE DUNIAS said: “These ruins illustrate the previous attempts to completely erase the park’s war history. The lighter structures were demolished and reduced to rubble, while heavier bunkers were covered with a layer of soil and hidden, as if they had never existed.”

Header Image Credit : Municipality of Knokke-Heist

Sources : Municipality of Knokke-Heist

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

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

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy