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Buried L-shaped structure and anomalies detected near Giza Pyramids

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A geophysical study by archaeologists from the Higashi Nippon International University, Tohoku University, and the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics (NRIAG), have detected an L-shaped structure and several anomalies near the Giza Pyramids using geophysics.

Archaeologists detected the structure using a combination of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) during a survey of the Western Cemetery.

The Western Cemetery, also known as the Giza West Field, is located on the Giza Plateau to the west of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is divided into smaller cemeteries, consisting of linear alignments of mastabas and subsurface structures.

Mastabas served as a burial structure for the royal family and high-class officers, characterised by its flat roof and rectangular design constructed using limestone or mudbricks. Central to its construction is a vertical shaft that links to an underground chamber.

According to the researchers, the L-shaped structure was located at a depth of 2 metres directly south from mastaba G4000. The structure appears to have been filled with sand and may have served as an entrance tunnel to a deeper structure.

This is supported by the detection of deeper anomalies beneath the L-shaped structure, concentrated at a depth of  3.5 to 5 metres, with two features persisting down to a depth of 11 metres.

According to a paper published in the journal Archaeological Prospection: “The data show clear anomalies that could be attributed to an archaeological potentiality (high-resistivity contour spots) at the surveyed region. The features have shown a further extension, up to 3–5 m more than the depth screened by the GPR survey. We conclude from these results that the structure causing the anomalies could be vertical walls of limestone or shafts leading to a tomb structure.”

“We believe that the continuity of the shallow structure and the deep large structure is important. From the survey results, we cannot determine the material causing the anomaly, but it may be a large subsurface archaeological structure,” said the study authors.

Header Image Credit : Archaeological Prospection

Sources : GPR and ERT Exploration in the Western Cemetery in Giza, Egypt. https://doi.org/10.1002/arp.1940

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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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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