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Byzantine bucket pieces found at Sutton Hoo excavation

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Archaeologists have unearthed missing fragments of the Bromeswell bucket, a 6th-century Byzantine artefact first discovered at Sutton Hoo, England, during the 1980s.

As part of a two-year research project, excavations have centred on Garden Field, a tract of land next to the High Hall exhibition. This is the same area where the Bromeswell bucket was first discovered IN 1980, in addition to fragments in a later excavation during 2021.

Over 80 volunteers and staff have taken part in the project so far, including volunteers from the Restoration Trust, which offers culture therapy to people who live with mental health challenges.

Employing advanced survey techniques, experts from SUMO Geophysics performed a geophysical study of the field and identified several anomalies.

This was followed by a comprehensive metal detector survey, which uncovered several copper fragments adorned with the same figures found on the Bromeswell bucket. A chemical and elemental analysis using XRF – X-Ray Fluorescence have confirmed that the fragments match the chemical composition of the bucket, in addition to the fragments from 2021.

Regional Archaeologist for the National Trust, Angus Wainwright, said: “Because of its proximity to fragments discovered much earlier, we had hoped this year’s dig would yield more of the Bromeswell Bucket, which originated from the Byzantine empire in the 6th century – around a hundred years before the ship [Sutton Hoo ship burial] and its extraordinary treasure was put to rest.”

Image Credit : National Trust – East of England

“It’s hoped that this two-year research project will help us to learn more about the wider landscape at Sutton Hoo and the everyday lives of the people that lived there, perhaps even shedding some light on why the Royal Burial Ground was placed where it was. So, this find is a great step on that journey.”

According to Wainwright, a closer inspection reveals that the bucket was previously damaged and subsequently repaired, possibly by soldering it back together.

Header Image Credit : National Trust – East of England

Sources : National Trust

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Elite Petén style structures found near Kohunlich

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

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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 www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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