Category Archives: GERMANY

Ancient Germanic lord was buried with a circle of six women

Ancient Germanic lord was buried with a circle of six women

In Saxony-Anhalt, close to Brücken-Hackpfüffel Archaeologists have discovered the complex grave of a Germanic lord or prince who lived 1,500 years ago during the Great Migration.

Experts claim that for 40 years the site has been the most valuable archaeological discovery in the world and have kept the exact location of the dig a secret to stave off thieves. Excavations got underway when builders were clearing land for a new chicken farm, and stumbled across the cemetery of a royal court.

Considering the high value of the person in the crypt, the researchers have yet to locate the remains of the prince they suspect was laid to rest there.

They speculate his ashes may be inside a bronze cauldron in the central tomb, which is around 13 feet by 13 feet in size. The cauldron, the focal point of the mounded tomb, is surrounded by six women buried in a radial alignment from the pot, like the hands of a clock, The Times reports.

Researchers say these may well have been concubines or widows belonging to the person being buried, but it remains a mystery as to whether they were slain for the burial or sacrificed themselves.  

Speculation is rife about the cause of the bizarre arrangement, but researchers say it is too soon to talk of a ritualistic cult death.  

Ancient Germanic lord was buried with a circle of six women
This aerial picture shows the central tomb of the burial. This shows the remains of 11 animals, including cattle. horses and dogs
The site (pictured) has been unearthed in Saxony-Anhalt, near Brücken-Hackpfüffel accidentally by builders hoping to create a new chicken farm. Experts have kept its exact location a secret

It also holds the remains of eleven animals, including cattle, horses and dogs.  Beyond this central tomb, believed to be of a high-ranking individual, are around 60 other graves, subsequently buried in the cemetery to honour the Lord. 

The cauldron, believed to be central to the tomb’s history, was block lifted out of the ground and will be carefully analysed in a laboratory.  

‘We haven’t found the prince himself yet. But maybe his ashes are in the bronze cauldron, ‘ archaeologist Susanne Friederich from the Landesmuseum Halle said. 

Also inside the central tomb are the remains of 11 animals, including cattle, dogs and horses. These animals were reburied at this location, further indication the site was created to honour a high-ranking person in society. 

Ms Friederich adds: ‘The unique finds suggest that high-ranking personalities were buried here.’ 

It is thought the central burial chamber would have been part of a mounded tomb, with the dozens of surrounding graves added later.

These incredibly detailed and well-preserved clasps were some of the ornate grave goods found at the royal cemetery. Archaeologist Arnold Muhl shows artistic vestment clasps in his workshop. The objects are 1,500 years old and come from 60 undamaged graves alongside the tomb of a Germanic lord who lived during the Great Migration
This gold coin features the head of the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno who lived around 480 and was found at the burial site

Initial estimates date the site as being from between AD480 and AD530, a period of time following the fall of the Roman Empire which saw many Germanic tribes, such as the Huns, invade territories which were no longer under Roman protection.   

‘The cemetery has almost 60 graves,’ said archaeologist Arnold Muhl.

‘In the graves, among other things, a glass decorated bowl, a spindle whorl made of glass, several silver-gilded robe clips, a sword and a shield boss made of iron as well as a gold coin of the Eastern Roman emperor Zeno around 480 were found. 

‘The pieces of glass come from the Gallo-Roman workshops along the Rhine, only they mastered this technique.’ 

Other finds include an immaculate pointed glass beaker adorned with curved grooves which would have housed a floating wick lamp and garment clips. 

The clips, which include pieces of snagged textile, are thought to indicate the presence of a Germanic tribe, either the Longobards, Alemanni or Thuringians. 

The site is in immaculate condition due to its unique location, which inadvertently protected it from damage. The burial ground was in a natural hollow which, over time, was covered by around four feet (1.20 meters) of sediment, which provided a protective layer. 

This protected it from any ploughing and also hid it from the view of any treasure hunters or grave robbers. By analysing the bones and artefacts, the scientists hope to gain concrete insights into people’s lives at the time of the Great Migration.

Archaeology Intern Unearths Spectacular, 2,000-Year-Old Roman Dagger

Archaeology Intern Unearths Spectacular, 2,000-Year-Old Roman Dagger

Nico Calman actually had a particularly good internship. During his time in Germany last year, with the Westphalia Department of Protection & Field Monuments, 19-year-old Calman discovered a 2,000-year-old silver dagger that may have helped the Romans battle a Germanic tribe in the 1st century A.D.

The dagger as it was originally found.

However when he found it was nothing more than a lumpy, rusty clump that was noted to look like a “chicken tender”.

It took nine months of careful restoration work for the dagger’s true beauty to be revealed.

The restored dagger and sheath is a night and day difference between how it looked when it was first unearthed.

Likely used in battles against the Germanic tribes in the first century AD,  It was an extremely rare find for the team of archaeologists, and one made even more special for the well-preserved state in which the dagger was found.

“The discovery of the dagger was emotional. We were lost for words,” Bettina Tremmel, an archaeologist working for the Westphalie Department told Live Science.

“Imagine: Though thousands of Roman soldiers were stationed in Haltern over almost 15 years or more, there are only a few finds of weapons, especially complete and intact ones.”

The dagger was corroded to the point of being unrecognizable when Nico Calman, the 19-year-old man on work-study unearthed it and the remains of a decorated leather belt from the grave of a soldier.

But after a rigorous restoration effort that lasted nine months, conservators in Germany unveiled the ornate 13-inch-long weapon and its bejeweled sheath underneath the grime this week.

The dagger inside its sheath after 9 months of restoration work.

Silver and brass adorn the dagger’s handle, while its iron scabbard features inlaid wood, glass, and red enamel.

The weapon likely belonged to a legionary or auxiliary infantryman or a centurion officer in the Roman army, Tremmel says. But why the weapon was buried with its owner remains a mystery, she says, explaining that “it was not the normal practice for Roman soldiers to be buried with their military equipment.” 

Located at the edge of the Roman empire, Haltern am See was home to a large military camp during the Augustan period (27 BC to AD 14), where three legions of soldiers, each consisting of some 5,000 men, were slain by Germanic tribes. Roman fighters killed during the battles were buried at a cemetery nearby.

Despite archaeological digs taking place at the site for nearly 200 years, a weapon as sophisticated and well-preserved as the dagger has never before been found.

The newly restored dagger will go on view in Haltern’s Roman history museum beginning in 2022.

Archaeology breakthrough: ‘Incredible’ discovery of the oldest remains of English royals

Archaeology breakthrough: ‘Incredible’ discovery of the oldest remains of English royals

The remains of the English royalty of 1,000 years ago were discovered by the archeologists-the oldest find of the kind and a new light on the royal family history.

One of the most significant archeological findings in the last few years is that the queen Eadgyth who died aged 36 in 946AD, Researchers had believed the remains belonged to Eadgyth (Edith in modern English), the great-granddaughter of Alfred the Great, but could not prove it.

However, thanks to the use of hi-tech radioactive analysis of the remains, researchers were able to confirm that the bones belonged to someone who grew up in Wessex before moving to Germany.

The statue in Magdeburg Cathedral that is often assumed to represent Queen Eadgyth

Leading the project, Professor Harald Meller said: “Medieval bones were moved frequently and often mixed up, so it required some exceptional science to prove that they are indeed those of Eadgyth.

“It is incredible that we have been able to do this using the most recent analytical techniques.”

Her remains were initially thought to have been lost when they were moved in 1510.

Many thought a monument built in Magdeburg Cathedral in eastern Germany, was a cenotaph in her honour.

The cenotaph is located at the German cathedral

And when the tomb was investigated as part of a wider research project, a lead coffin was found inside bearing her name and inside that the nearly complete skeleton of a woman aged between 30 and 40.

The University of Bristol then carried out tests on the bones in 2008 to prove beyond doubt they are those of England’s oldest regal ancestor.

The crucial scientific evidence came from the teeth preserved in the upper jaw. Eadgyth was the granddaughter of Alfred the Great and the half-sister of Athelstan, the first acknowledged King of England.

She was sent to marry Otto, the king of Saxony in AD 929, and bore him at least two children, before her death at around the age of 36. She lived most of her married life at Magdeburg, where the cenotaph is located.

Dr. Alistair Pike, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Bristol University, explained: “Strontium isotopes on tiny samples of tooth enamel have been measured.

“By microsampling, using a laser, we can reconstruct the sequence of a person’s whereabouts, month by month up to the age of 14.”

Mark Horton, Professor in Archaeology at Bristol University, added that it was “incredibly exciting” to confirm that the bones were the princess’s and to find out more about her life.

Mr. Horton continued: “This period was when England was really formed. “We don’t know much about these dark age queens and princesses.

“This has created a connection with one of them.

“Eadgyth seems to have spent the first eight years of her life in southern England, but changed her domicile frequently, matching quite variable strontium ratios in her teeth.

“Only from the age of nine, the isotope values remain constant.

“Eadgyth must have moved around the kingdom following her father, King Edward the Elder during his reign.

“When her mother was divorced in 919 – Eadgyth was between nine and ten at that point – both were banished to a monastery, maybe Winchester or Wilton in Salisbury.”

Third Neanderthal Genome Sequenced

Third Neanderthal Genome Sequenced

To date, only two Neanderthals have been sequenced to high-quality genomes: one originating from Vindjia Cave in Modern Croatia and one originating from Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains in Siberia.

The genome from a third Neanderthal whose remains were found-106 kilometers from the latter site-in Chagyrskaya Cave has now been sequenced in a research team led by Svante Pääbo from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

DNA was extracted from bone powder and sequenced to high quality by researchers. They estimate that the Neandertal woman lived about sixty to eight thousand years ago.

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a Neandertal from Chagyrskaya Cave in the Altai Mountains to high quality.

From the variation in the genome, they estimate that she and other Siberian Neandertals lived in small groups of less than 60 individuals.

The researchers also show that the Chagyrskaya Neandertal was more closely related to the Croatian than to the other Siberian Neandertal which lived some 40,000 years before the Chagyrskaya Neandertal.

This shows that Neandertal populations from the West at some point replaced other Neandertal populations in Siberia.

“We also found that genes expressed in the striatum of the brain during adolescence showed more changes that altered the resulting amino acid when compared to other areas of the brain”, says Fabrizio Mafessoni, lead author of the study.

The results suggest that the striatum – a part of the brain which coordinates various aspects of cognition, including planning, decision-making, motivation, and reward perception – may have played a unique role in Neandertals.

1,900-Year-Old Roman Village unearthed in Germany

1,900-Year-Old Roman Village unearthed in Germany

The remains of a 1,900-year-old Roman fort that once quartered 500 troops in what is today Germany were discovered by archeologists.

The public watches as students dig for artifacts within the remains of a 1,900-year-old Roman fort that once quartered 500 troops in what is today Gernsheim in Germany.

The fort was found in the town of Gernsheim, which sits along the Rhine River in the German state of Hesse.

Researchers knew the area was the site of a village during the first to third centuries, but otherwise, the region’s history during the Roman occupation is largely unknown, dig leader Thomas Maurer, an archaeologist at the University of Frankfurt said in a statement.

“It was assumed that this settlement had to have been based on a fort since it was customary for the families of the soldiers to live outside the fort in a village-like settlement,” Maurer said. Until now, however, no one had found that fort. 

Military rediscovery

During an educational dig in the area, Maurer and his colleagues uncovered postholes that once held the foundations of a wooden tower, as well as two V-shaped ditches, which were a common feature of Roman forts of the era.

A unit of 500 soldiers, known as a “cohort,” was stationed at the fort between about A.D. 70 and A.D.120.Fortunately for modern-day archaeologists, the last Romans to leave the fort destroyed the place on the way out, filling in the ditches with rubbish.

This rubbish included “box after box” of ceramic shards, which can be dated to pinpoint the time of the abandonment of the fort, said Hans-Markus von Kaenel, a professor at the Goethe University Institute of Archaeology.”We really hit the jackpot with this excavation campaign,” von Kaenel said in the statement.

Roman history

A brick fragment stamped with the sign of the 22nd Roman Legion, an elite unite from the late first century.

Researchers have been able to piece together a broad history of the Gernsheim region from a scattering of archaeological finds there.

The Romans built the newly discovered fort around A.D. 70 as a jumping-off point for control of areas east of the Rhine, according to von Kaenel and his colleagues.

The area was an important transportation hub, with roads branching off to access the borders of the Roman Empire. There may have also been a harbor on the Rhine at the time, though that has yet to be verified, Maurer said.

The modern expansion of the town paved over many suspected Roman sites, but Maurer, von Kaenel, and their colleagues managed to secure permission for a dig on a vacant double lot near where Roman-era finds were discovered in the 1970s and 1980s. This lot turned out to hold the remains of the long-lost fort.

A brick fragment found at the site identifies the troops quartered at the fort as members of the 22nd Legion, an elite unit from the late first century.

Researchers also found real treasures such as rare garment clasps, several pearls, parts of a board game (dice, playing pieces) and a hairpin made from bone and crowned with a female bust,” Maurer said in the press release

Archaeologist Professor Thomas Maurer and his team of students found some interesting artifacts, including gaming pieces.

A German Farmer Was Just Awarded Almost $1 Million for an Ancient Roman Bronze Found on His Property

A German Farmer Was Just Awarded Almost $1 Million for an Ancient Roman Bronze Found on His Property

In Lahnau, Germany, an archeologist uncovered a roman bronze sculpture. They knew that the discovery was both rare and precious.

The property owner received payments for the head of the bronze horse found at the bottom of his well and everyone seemed content with the situation. But new information emerged – information which has cost the local government almost one million dollars.

The Roman horse head, 2 000 years old, was discovered on the farm in 2009. The man, who was not identified by the media, was initially awarded € 48,000 (about $55,946) for the fragment of sculpture by Daily Sabah.

The hand of a restorer is seen cleaning a horse’s head, which is part of a statue that represents Roman Emperor Augustus on a horse, in Wiesbaden, central Germany.

He seemed content with the payment until he found out, as BBC News reports, “about the gravity and value of the discovery, which was trumpeted as one of the best-preserved Roman bronzes in the world.”

It is an important discovery. Experts believe the gold leave-adorned horse head comes from 9 AD and was once part of a large statue depicting Augustus on horseback.

Born Gaius Octavius Thurinus (23 September 63 BC – 19 August 14 AD) and known as Octavian before taking leadership of Rome, Augustus was the adopted son of famous Roman dictator, Julius Caesar.

Following the events of the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, Augustus became the first Roman emperor. Emperor Augustus ruled for 40 years before he died.

A statue of Augustus as a younger Octavian, dated ca. 30 BC.

He is remembered for his victory against his enemies Mark Antony and Cleopatra, but also for his patience and efficiency. His administrative skills helped him create durable peace and prosperity for his empire. Augustus’ rule was autocratic, but he knew how to hide that fact under well-made propaganda.

He was politically ruthless, and sometimes even cruel, but his temper apparently cooled as his time as emperor advanced. Augustus also had an interest in philosophy and poetry, leading him to write on both subjects.

Even today, Augustus is considered one of the most efficient, yet controversial, of all Roman leaders. There are many statues and busts of this Roman emperor.

Statue of the emperor Augustus (29 BC – 14 AD). Bronze. Found in the Aegean sea between the islands of Euboea and Agios Efstratios. The emperor is depicted in mature age, mounting a horse.

The Roman bronze horse head from the German farmer’s property weighs about 55 pounds (24.95 kg) and is almost 20 inches (50.8 cm) long. It was found underwater in a 36-foot (10.97 meters) well. Experts believe the artifact was probably abandoned when the town’s inhabitants had to flee a surprise attack.

Once the farmer became aware of the importance of the Roman bronze sculpture he decided to sue the government for a better payout.

The Limburg regional court decided on July 27 that the local government now owes the farmer €773,000 (about $904,000) plus interest. That’s roughly half the estimated value of the Roman bronze horse’s head.

It’s unknown if the local authorities will make an appeal against the court’s decision.

Another fascinating Roman discovery was announced in Germany. Construction workers found the walls of a Roman library built about 2,000 years ago in the heart of Cologne. It is believed to be the oldest ruins of a public library in the country.

3,500 Years old Bronze Age skull shows women always loved jewellery

3,500 Years old Bronze Age skull shows women always loved jewellery.

A female skeleton around 3,500 years old has been found wearing a “designer” headband comprising tiny bronze spirals. Another evidence showing women have always loved jewellery!

She may have walked the earth thousands of years ago, but this woman was clearly as fond of a nice piece of jewellery as the average 21st Century girl.

It is believed to date back to between 1550 and 1250 BC and discovered in eastern Germany, has shown possible evidence that women have always been fond of jewellery.

Close up of skeleton with an ornate headband.

The Middle Bronze Age woman had been buried wearing an elaborate headband made up of tiny bronze spirals. The skeleton was found from Rochlitz, south of Halle in eastern Germany, while construction was underway to build a new rail track.

The discovery has provided historians an insight into how the spirals were worn in the Middle Bronze Age, Tomoko Emmerling, the museum’s press officer, said.

Staff at the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle, where the skeleton is now on display as part of its permanent exhibition, said similar spirals uncovered in the past had been found separate and loose.

The State Museum of Prehistory in Halle is also home to the Nebra Sky Disk, which dates back to the early Bronze Age and is thought to have been an astronomical instrument.

Nebra Sky Disk, which is thought to have been an astronomical instrument in the Bronze Age.

So why do girls love jewellery? There are a couple of reasons that come to mind:

The ladies love to look pretty. For one thing, women are touted as more stylish and more conscious when it comes to looking fashionable and presentable.

Compared to the men, the ladies put so much care into their appearances, and the truth is society puts so much expectation for them to look well.

So to make themselves appear more presentable, it has always been set — perhaps since the beginning of civilization — that girls must always wear pretty things especially when it comes to clothing, shoes, accessories or jewellery. And sometimes, it is not just about wearing any type of jewellery.

Some girls even go the extra mile by wearing bright and coloured pieces that really command attention.

The more the pieces grab the interest of the people around her, the more it is appealing to wear.

Egyprian Queen Nefertiti Wearing Jewellery.

This is not to say, however, that many women are vain about looking good and getting praises for it. But then again, whether folks admit this or not, vanity while considered a vice by some, can also be a good thing, especially among the female population. Because there is nothing wrong with looking pretty and using jewellery to do just that.

A 300,000-year-old hunting stick capable of killing large animals has been uncovered in Germany. 

A 300,000-year-old hunting stick capable of killing large animals has been uncovered in Germany. 

The wooden throwing stick, used by the extinct human subspecies Homo Heidelbergensis, was capable of killing waterbirds and horses during the Ice Age.  

Experiments show the 25-inch-long throwing sticks, carved from spruce wood, could reach maximum speeds of 98 feet (30 meters) per second.  German researchers have said the weapon was thrown like a boomerang, with one sharp side and one flat side, and spun powerfully around a center of gravity. 

But when in flight, the team says the throwing stick, also referred to as ‘rabbit sticks’ or ‘killing sticks’, did not return to the thrower.

Picture of throwing stick from Schöningen, Lower Saxony, Germany, with four views and engravings.

Instead the rotation helped to maintain a straight, accurate trajectory which helped to increase the likeliness of striking prey animals.    

‘They are effective weapons over different distances, among other things when hunting water birds,’ said Dr. Jordi Serangeli, professor at the Institute for Prehistory, Early History and Medieval Archaeology at the University of Tübingen in Germany. 

‘Bones of swans and ducks are well documented from the find layer.

‘In addition, it is likely that larger mammals, such as horses that were often hunted on the shores of Lake Schöningen, were startled and driven in a certain direction with the throwing stick.’ 

Hunters on the Schöningen lakeshore likely used the throwing stick to hunt waterbirds.

Researchers uncovered the weapon during an archaeological excavation at the Schöningen mine in Lower Saxony, northern Germany. 

‘Schöningen has yielded by far the largest and most important record of wooden tools and hunting equipment from the Paleolithic,’ said Professor Nicholas Conard, founding director of the Institute of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Tübingen. 

Detailed analysis by the researchers showed how the maker of this type of throwing stick used stone tools to cut the branches flush and then to smooth the surface.

The new throwing stick in situ at the time of discovery. The maker of the throwing stick used stone tools to cut the branches flush and then to smooth the surface of the artifact

The stick, carved from spruce wood, is around 25 inches (64.5cm) long, just over 1 inch (2.9cm) in diameter, and weighs 264 grams. The sticks also had fractures and damage consistent with that found on similar experimental examples. 

For the first time researchers say the study provides clear evidence of the function of such a weapon. Late Lower Palaeolithic hominins in Northern Europe were ‘highly effective hunters’ with a wide array of wooden weapons that are rarely preserved, they say.

‘300,000 years ago, hunters had used different high-quality weapons such as throwing sticks, javelins and thrust lances in combination,’ said Professor Conard. 

Overview of the excavation at Schöningen. Researchers attribute the discovery to the ‘outstanding’ preservation of wooden artifacts in the water-saturated lakeside sediments in Schöningen

‘The chances of finding Paleolithic artifacts made of wood are normally zero.

‘Only thanks to the fabulously good conservation conditions in water-saturated lakeside sediments in Schöningen can we document the evolution of hunting and the varied use of wooden tools.’  

The discovery has been detailed further in Nature Ecology & Evolution.  

When Did Human Ancestors First Emerge? 

The timeline of human evolution can be traced back millions of years. Experts estimate that the family tree goes as such:

• 55 million years ago – First primitive primates evolve

• 15 million years ago – Hominidae (great apes) evolve from the ancestors of the gibbon.

• 7 million years ago – First gorillas evolve. Later, chimp and human lineages diverge.

• 5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, early ‘proto-human’ shares traits with chimps and gorillas.

• 4 million years ago – Ape like early humans, the Australopithecines appeared. They had brains no larger than a chimpanzee’s but other more human-like features.

• 3.9-2.9 million years ago – Australopithecus afarensis lived in Africa.  

• 2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, lived in woods and had massive jaws for chewing.

• 2.6 million years ago – Hand axes become the first major technological innovation. 

• 2.3 million years ago – Homo habilis first thought to have appeared in Africa.