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17th century coin hoard discovered at Wettin farmstead

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Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt (LDA) have discovered a large 17th century coin hoard during construction works at a farmstead in the town of Wettin, Germany.

Situated in the heart of Wettin, the farmstead has been maintained by the Altstadt Wettin e. V. since 2018. The organisation is dedicated to preserving the town’s cultural heritage, which is at risk of being demolished due to modern development.

The bourgeois farmstead dates from the 16th to 17th century and can be traced to the time of the end of the Thirty Years’ War via written sources. From 1681, the building served as the town’s pharmacy, as indicated by remnants of an 18th-century baroque stucco ceiling and an Apotheke vault.

Construction work at the farmstead has uncovered a hoard of 17th-century coins in the gate area leading to the central courtyard. Archaeologists found 285 silver coins in layers of compacted soil, which were sent to the restoration workshop of the LDA Saxony-Anhalt.

Image Credit : Juraj Liptak

The hoard was likely deposited in the late 1650’s, with more than half of the coins being silver thalers, a currency used by several states of Northern Germany, first under the Holy Roman Empire, then by the German Confederation. The rest of the hoard consists of thaler fragments and various groschen coins.

Among the hoard are the so-called Schreckenberg grochen coins and Albertus thalers minted in the Spanish Netherlands. There are also coins minted by the German emperors, the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Archduke Albert VII of Austria, and King Philip IV of Spain.

According to the LDA: “In addition to its scientific significance, the Wettin coin find is also an excellent example of the important contributions that voluntary work in close cooperation with the responsible authorities for the preservation of buildings and archaeological monuments can make to our knowledge of the history of Saxony-Anhalt.”

Header Image Credit : Juraj Liptak

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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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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Archaeology

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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