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Archaeologists unearth 4,000-year-old temple complex

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Archaeologists from the University of Siena have unearthed a 4,000-year-old temple complex on Cyprus.

The site is part of an ongoing study by the Erimi Archaeological Project, who are conducting excavations near the village of Erimi in Limassol District.

According to Professor Luca Bombardieri, Director of the Italian Erimi Archaeological Project/Archaeological Mission to Erimi, the site is located inland on a high limestone terrace that overlooks the Kouris River.

Excavations have revealed a large temple complex with a central monolith decorated with a circular motif, and a series of residential units associated with a settlement, dyeing vats, warehouse, and workshops used by Bronze Age artisans.

Image Credit : University of Siena

According to the researchers, the site covers an area of more than 1000 square metres and is the oldest ceremonial structure discovered on the island, which has been dated to around 2,000 – 1600 BC during the Middle Bronze Age.

The monolith, originally standing at 2.3 meters tall, has collapsed onto the floor in the “sacred space”, destroying a large amphora that was likely placed as a ritual offering in a small circular hearth.

Archaeologists also found the skeletal remains of a woman who appears walled up in an ancient dwelling, for which an osteoarchaeological analysis suggests that she died from a spear or sharp object that impacted her skull.

According to the researchers, the temple discovery provides a unique insight into the ritual activities of Bronze Age communities and the historical narrative of the island’s early inhabitants.

Header Image Credit : University of Siena

Sources : University of Siena

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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