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Archaeologists search for home of infamous Tower of London prisoner

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A team of archaeologists are searching for the home of Sir Arthur Haselrig, a leader of the Parliamentary opposition to Charles I, and whose attempted arrest sparked the English Civil War.

Haselrig fought on the side of the Parliamentarian’s where he led a troop of cuirassiers known as the London lobsters. At the Battle of Cheriton, his troops successfully repelled Sir Henry Bard’s cavalry charge, significantly weakening the King’s western forces.

Following the Royalist defeat, Haselrig approved of the king’s execution, but declined to act as a judge at his trial. He was one of the leading men in the Commonwealth, but he was antagonised by Cromwell’s expulsion of the Rump Parliament, and he opposed the Protectorate refusing to pay taxes.

In 1660, the formation of a new Convention Parliament led to the proclamation of Charles II as King. The Parliament granted amnesty to most of Cromwell’s supporters through the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion; however, those who had committed regicide against Charles I were hanged, drawn, and quartered.

A total of 50 people were excluded from the amnesty, including Sir Haselrig, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Tower of London (where he died in 1661).

Excavations are currently being conducted at Auckland Castle in the town of Bishop Auckland, England.

Archaeologists from Durham University’s Department of Archaeology hope to find the former home of Sir Haselrig, who tore down the castle to build a contemporary house. Following Sir Haselrig’s arrest, the new Bishop of Durham, John Cosin, demolished the new house and rebuilt Auckland Castle as a Bishop’s Palace.

According to a press statement by Durham University: “Informed by geophysics, our archaeologists will be working to discover if the house was ever finished and lived in. They’re hoping to find household objects and identify essential parts of the building including windows and floors.”

John Castling, Archaeology Curator at The Auckland Project said: “This excavation will give us an exciting view of the 1650s – the most dramatic of decades in Auckland Castle’s history. It also promises us a glimpse at an alternative timeline for the site and for northern England, had the course of history been different. What if the monarchy hadn’t been reinstated and Sir Arthur Haselrig was able to live in the house he erected? This dig will cast a light on that point in past where history almost, but didn’t quite, change its course.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Durham University

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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