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Viking ship discovered at Jarlsberg Hovedgård



Archaeologists have discovered a Viking ship burial northwest of Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway.

In 2018, a metal detector survey conducted in a field at Jarlsberg Hovedgård uncovered scattered traces of iron rivets. This discovery prompted a study using ground-penetrating radar, suggesting the potential presence of a burial mound.

Jarlsberg Hovedgård is the family seat of the Wedel-Jarlsberg family and the Count and Countess of Jarlsberg, who historically led the County of Jarlsberg.

Agricultural activity has obliterated all traces of the mound, scattering the rivets across the surface or embedding them in the shallow soil down to plough depth.

Recent excavations by archaeologists from the University of Oslo have now confirmed that the mound once contained a Viking ship burial. Christian Løchsen Rødsrud, said: “We can now say for certain that yes, here lie the remains of a Viking ship. This discovery adds a new landmark to the map, once a significant site during the Viking Age,” he says.

Two weeks of archaeological investigations have uncovered rivets suggesting the presence of a large ship, comparable to those found at Gokstad and Oseberg. Approximately 70 rivets have been unearthed, with dimensions indicating they held together wooden planks up to 2.5 centimetres thick.

Excavations also found horse crampons, suggesting that they were deposited as grave goods, a common theme in Viking Age burial customs. “Finding horse crampons in the material suggests that the rest of the grave goods are also in the field,” says Rødsrud.

Who was buried in the ship is open to speculation.

One theory suggests that the site could be the grave of the Viking king Bjørn Farmann – son of Harald Fairhair. According to the sagas by Snorri, Bjørn was killed at the Sæheimr estate by his brother, Eric Bloodaxe.

Header Image Credit : Museum of Cultural History / University of Oslo

Sources :

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Elite Petén style structures found near Kohunlich




Construction works for a road in Section 7 of the Mayan Train have uncovered elite Petén style structures near Kohunlich in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Kohunlich is a large Maya polity that served as a regional centre along the trade routes through the southern Yucatán.

The site was first settled around 200 BC, with the majority of its monuments being built between AD 250 to AD 600 during the Early Classic Period.

The city features elevated platforms, plazas, pyramids, and citadels, all enclosed by palace platforms. The layout of Kohunlich was carefully arranged to direct drainage into a network of cisterns and a massive reservoir for rainwater collection.

Construction works for a road on the periphery of Kohunlich have resulted in the discovery of elite structures in the Petén style, a distinct type of Maya architecture and inscription style.

Archaeologists have identified seven structures in total, interpreted to be elite homesteads of a domestic nature that were used for agricultural activities.

Most of the structures have a rectangular plan and vaulted rooms adorned with decorative Petén style elements.

Given their archaeological importance, experts from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have registered the monuments for protection.

Consequently, the planned route of the road has been redirected to preserve the structures in situ, where they will be preserved and open to the public in the near future.

Excavations also unearthed various archaeological materials, including ceramics, shells, fragments of human bone, and objects intentionally buried as offerings likely during the construction of the homesteads for protection.

Header Image Credit : Maya Train

Sources : National Institute of Anthropology and History

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs




Archaeologists from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities have discovered rare gold foils during excavations at Tel El-Dir.

Tel El-Dir is a burial complex in the area of Egypt’s Damietta Governorate. The site contains various burials and tombs from the 26th Dynasty (664 BC to 525 BC), the last native dynasty of ancient Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC.

Excavations of 63 mud brick tombs and pit burials have revealed a large collection of funerary offerings, including rare gold foils depicting Ancient Egyptian deities, and foils shaped like symbols associated with good fortune and protection.

The team also found foils in the shape of tongues, a tradition that enabled the deceased to speak before the court of Osiris in the afterlife.

Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The discovery follows on from a previous haul in 2022, where archaeologists excavating at Tel El-Dir found gold foils depicting Isis, Bastet and Horus (in the form of a winged falcon), as well as foils in various shapes.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, many of the tombs contained funeral pyres, imported and local ceramics, and Ushabti statues (figurines placed with the deceased to serve them in the afterlife).

The excavation has also yielded a large number of funerary offerings, such as protective amulets, figurines, coins, and a mirror.

Speaking on the finds, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities explained that the objects confirm that Damietta was a centre of trade during ancient times, and provides new insights into the burial practices during the 26th Dynasty.

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Sources : Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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