Connect with us

Archaeology

Archaeologists discover ornately decorated Tang Dynasty tomb

Published

on

Archaeologists have discovered an ornately decorated tomb from the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) during excavations in China’s Shanxi Province.

The tomb was initially uncovered during construction works in Taiyuan, and has been under excavation by archaeologists from the Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology since 2018.

Archaeologists have determined that the tomb dates back to the 8th century AD. The ceiling and walls are decorated with murals painted in vibrant colours of white, red, yellow, black, green, and orange.

The tomb is accessed via a portal decorated with swirling botanical designs, and a pair of robed figures who likely served as guardians of the tomb site.

A passageway leads onto the main burial chamber that has a conical ceiling with four fantastical beasts from Chinese mythology, including a dragon and possibly a phoenix.

The walls of the chamber feature a series of panels adorned with thick red ribbons, illustrating various aspects of daily life and people strolling through backdrops of the countryside and foliage. According to the archaeologists, this type of artistic impression is typical of the Tang-era, known as the “figure under the tree” style.

Image Credit : Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology

One of the panels has various smaller scenes showing the rolling of a stone grinder, working a stone mill, making dough balls, using a pestle (a rice pounding tool), drawing water from a well, and doing the washing in a basin.

Another panel has a scene showing a woman dressed in a gown, followed by a man leading four horses and a camel. Despite Camels not being native to China, portrayals of the two-humped camel are commonly found in Chinese tomb scenes and sculpture.

According to Long Zhen, the director of the Jinyang Ancient City Archaeological Institute, the artistic style is similar to the paintings in the tomb of Wang Shenzi, who founded the dynastic state of Min (909-945). Long suggests that the same artist may have painted both Wang’s tomb and the newly discovered murals in the Taiyuan tomb.

Header Image Credit : Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology

Sources : Shanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

Gold foils discovered in Ancient Egyptian tombs

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading

Archaeology

New findings at world-famous Mesolithic site of Star Carr

Published

on

By

A recent study by archaeologists from the University of York and the University of Newcastle has revealed new insights into the domestic activities of the Mesolithic inhabitants of Star Carr.

Star Carr is one of the most significant and informative Mesolithic sites in Europe, which during prehistoric times was situated near the outflow at the western end of a palaeolake known as Lake Flixton.

Today, Star Carr lies at the eastern end of the Vale of Pickering near Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England.

Using microscopic evidence from the use of stone tools, the researchers found that a range of domestic activities took place in three previously excavated structures. This includes activities related to working with bone, antler, hide, meat, and fish.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, used a combination of spatial and microwear data to provide different scales of interpretation: from individual tool use to patterns of activity across the three structures.

Dr Jess Bates, from the University of York’s Department of Archaeology said: “We found that there were distinct areas for different types of activity, so the messy activity involving butchery, for example, was done in what appears to be a designated space, and separate to the ‘cleaner’ tasks such as crafting bone and wooden objects, tools or jewellery.

“This was surprising as hunter-gatherers are known for being very mobile, as they would have to travel out to find food, and yet they have a very organised approach to creating not just a house but a sense of home.

“This new work, on these very early forms of houses suggests, that these dwellings didn’t just serve a practical purpose in the sense of having a shelter from the elements, but that certain social norms of a home were observed that are not massively dissimilar to how we organise our homes today.”

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Bates J, Milner N, Conneller C, Little A (2024) Spatial organisation within the earliest evidence of post-built structures in Britain. PLoS ONE 19(7): e0306908. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0306908

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

Continue Reading

Trending

Generated by Feedzy