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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

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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