Archaeologists Discovered 8th-century BC Settlement in Uzbekistan

Archaeologists Discovered 8th-century BC Settlement in Uzbekistan

Archaeologists Discovered 8th-century BC Settlement in Uzbekistan

A team of Chinese and Uzbek archaeologists discovered an ancient settlement dating back to the 8th century BC in Uzbekistan, near the country’s Surxondaryo River, also known as Surkhandarya.

A square-shaped architectural structure with several rooms, including a kiln and waste pits, is present at the recently excavated site, offering insight into the ancient civilization that once flourished there.

Numerous smaller square rooms within the ruins were discovered; based on the abundance of pottery wares discovered nearby, archaeologists believe these rooms served as living quarters or kitchens.

Utensils made of stone such as millstone, mortars, and pestles were discovered, revealing the “food processing history of ancient people in the region,” Archaeologist He Jierao told the Global Times.

“It reveals the evolution of ancient people’s community lifestyles and how they developed more civilized lifestyles,” He emphasized.

Beginning in April, the excavation project was led by Northwest University archaeologist Ma Jian and his team in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China. Three major discoveries were made in Uzbekistan between April and June by experts from China and Uzbekistan.

In addition to the 8th-century BC settlement, another major project involved the investigation of the ancient Kushan Empire.  Twenty-five old tombs and six buildings from the Kushan Empire were found as a result of the combined efforts.

The Kushan Empire was a powerful political system that ruled over what is now Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It was founded in the first century AD by the nomadic Yuezhi people.

Archaeologists uncover 8th-century BC ruins near Surkhandarya river

Archaeologist Wang Meng noted that such discoveries are crucial for establishing a chronological timeline of the Kushan culture in the region, helping to trace the development of civilization around the Surkhandarya area.

In the third project, archaeologists focused on the Fergana Valley in eastern Uzbekistan, where they explored and reviewed 84 ruins between April and May. 

A precious cliff painting was also discovered during the research, which helped paint a picture of the ancient culture of the Namangan Region of Uzbekistan.

These discoveries mark the latest milestones in a longstanding archaeological partnership between Northwest University and Uzbekistan, which began in 2009.

By 2024, more than 70 joint projects had been conducted in Central Asia, aiming to study the historical exchanges along the ancient Silk Road.

Wang Jianxin, a pioneering archaeologist who began working in Uzbekistan 15 years ago, highlighted that these collaborations have challenged Western-centric interpretations of Silk Road history and enhanced global understanding of China’s contributions to ancient Silk Road civilization.

2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal with Nails Found in Germany

2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal with Nails Found in Germany

2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal with Nails Found in Germany

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman Military Sandal near an auxiliary Roman camp in Germany.

Archaeologists from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation unearthed the military-style footwear while excavating at a civilian settlement on the outskirts of a Roman military fort near Oberstimm.

The settlement would have been occupied sometime between A.D. 60 and 130, according to a translated statement from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD).

This is how the remains of the sole of the Roman sandal were found

Surprising discoveries like the Oberstimm Sole show again and again that even after archaeological excavations are completed, valuable information is gathered.

This underscores the invaluable work of our restorers, says Mathias Pfeil, general conservator of the Bavarian State Office for the Conservation of Monuments (BLfD).

The rare find was disguised by a thick layer of corrosion, giving it the appearance of two indeterminate lumps of bent metal. Even, a curved and heavily corroded metal piece was initially suspected to be the remains of a sickle.

An X-ray at the laboratory of the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD) revealed that the corroded lumps were hobnails.

The shoe was a caliga, a heavy-duty, hobnailed sandal that was part of the uniform issued to Roman legionary soldiers and auxiliaries. The shoe would have been worn while the person was marching, with the nails providing traction.

The iron nails were used to reinforce and fix the leather sole. They provided stability and traction to the shoe when walking on difficult terrain, just like modern cleats do.

X-ray analysis confirmed that it is the sole of a Roman sandal studded with nails.

The discovery shows that the practices, lifestyles, and also the clothing that the Romans brought to Bavaria were adopted by the local people, says Amira Adaileh, a specialist at the Bavarian State Office for the Conservation of Monuments.

Individual shoe nails are frequently discovered at Roman sites, but only in certain circumstances are they preserved alongside remnants of the leather sole. 

Comparable findings in Bavaria are known so far from only a handful of sites and they offer important new perspectives on Roman daily life and craftsmanship.

The World’s Earliest Ground Stone Needles Found in Western Tibetan Plateau

The World’s Earliest Ground Stone Needles Found in Western Tibetan Plateau

The World’s Earliest Ground Stone Needles Found in Western Tibetan Plateau

In western Tibet, six peculiar stone artifacts were discovered in 2020 by archaeologists excavating close to the shore of Lake Xiada Co. Each was about half the length of a golf tee, with a pointed tip at one end and an eyelike opening at the other. They’ve now identified them as needles — and believe that they’re the oldest stone sewing needles in the world.

Now, in a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Yun Chen, a graduate student at Sichuan University, and her colleagues claim that the artifacts are indeed stone sewing needles—and, at as much as 9000 years old, the oldest on record.

If so, this discovery dramatically changes the timeline of needle history. However, not everyone agrees that the stone objects found in Tibet were used for sewing.

The stone objects are slightly longer than an inch, with an eye-like opening on one end and a pointed tip on the other. they date from 7049 to 6568 B.C.E., and they are composed of materials such as talc, actinolite, serpentine, and tremolite.

The study’s authors believe that they were once used as needles — and thus are possibly the oldest stone sewing needles ever discovered.

Grooves of Needle 6 show traces of red pigment that was later identified as ochre, suggesting this needle served a religious purpose.

The longest and thickest of the six specimens (only two of which are intact), Needle 1 was examined by the researchers to see if they could duplicate the production of the needles using antiquated techniques.

The researchers suspected that it had been ground into shape after being scraped due to the deep grooves on its sides. They took slabs of tremolite and obsidian and replicated the scraping, grinding, and drilling process that ancient people would have used.

They found that while it was possible to replicate the stone needles, including the characteristic grinding marks, the process was far more time-consuming than making softer bone needles. This implies that the needles might have been employed by the ancient Tibetans for more difficult jobs like sewing tents.

The needles may have had a religious or spiritual significance. More evidence that the needles may have had religious or spiritual significance comes from the red paint traces on them.

According to scientists who told Science, ancient Tibetans thought red could ward off evil spirits and give stone tools “life and energy.”

These bone and ivory needles discovered in China are between 23,000 and 30,000 years old.

The advent of the “eyed” needle was a milestone in human civilization. It allowed our ancestors to craft far more durable and protective clothing and shelters, helping them explore new environments and live permanently in colder regions.

The oldest needles are made of bone. Archaeologists have excavated some dating back approximately 50,000 years in Russia’s Denisova Cave. But until now the oldest stone needles were only 2700 years old, found in Henan province in China. The new find pushes the advent of stone needles back more than 6000 years.

However, not everyone is convinced that the objects found in Tibet are needles. As Science reports, researchers unaffiliated with the new study raised some doubts about them.

Some believe that the needles are “too blunt” for sewing and have suggested that they were “personal ornaments” instead. Others wonder if the needles were used to construct fishing nets, as they were found near a lake.

Detectorists unearth record-breaking haul of 69,347 Iron Age coins after a 30-year search

Detectorists unearth record-breaking haul of 69,347 Iron Age coins after a 30-year search

The discovery by Reg Mead (left) and Richard Miles could be worth £10m

The biggest coin hoards found in the British Isles are recorded by treasure hunters, after unearthing 69,347 Roman and Celtic coins that were buried three feet beneath a hedge in Jersey, Channel Isles.

Reg Mead and Richard Miles spent 30 years looking for the £ 10 million treasure in the field, after a woman described seeing what looked like silver buttons in the area.

Their find – made in 2012 – trumps the previous record-holding discovery of 54,951 Iron Age coins unearthed in Wiltshire in 1978.

Britain’s largest coin hoard of gold and silver pieces was found under a hedge on Jersey in the Channel Islands

Some of the silver and gold relics from the Guinness Record-setting discovery, dated to around 50BC, will go on display at La Hougue Bie Museum on the island.

‘We are not surprised at this achievement and are delighted that such an impressive archaeological item was discovered, examined and displayed in Jersey,’ said curator of archaeology at Jersey Heritage Olga Finch.

‘Once again, it puts our Island in the spotlight of international research of Iron Age coinage and demonstrates the world-class heritage that Jersey has to offer.’ 

Mr. Miles said he and Mr. Mead had been involved in the process the whole way through and described receiving the Guinness World Record certificates as ‘lovely’.

The coins were found to have been entombed in a mound of clay weighing three-quarters of a ton and measuring 55 x 31 x 8 inches.

Conservator for the Jersey Heritage Museum Neil Mahrer begins to carefully dig the silver and gold treasures out of the clay

They were declared a ‘treasure’ under the Treasure Act 1996, which means they officially belong to the Queen, although the finders are entitled to a reward. 

Mr. Mead has said that the least valuable coins in the hoard are likely to be worth £100 each, suggesting a valuation of several million pounds, without taking into account the precious jewellery also found in it.

However, there has been discussion over whether the price would come down because so many coins had been found, reducing their rarity.

The previous largest coin hoard from Wiltshire was discovered in 1978 at the former Roman town of Cunetio near to Mildenhall.

The largest hoard of coins ever found in the world was in Brussels in 1908 with 150,000 silver medieval pennies from the 13th Century uncovered. 

Giant Prehistoric Rock Engravings Discovered in South America May Be The World’s Largest

Giant Prehistoric Rock Engravings Discovered in South America May Be The World’s Largest

Giant Prehistoric Rock Engravings Discovered in South America May Be The World’s Largest

Researchers made a groundbreaking discovery of what is thought to be the world’s largest prehistoric rock art. Enormous engraved rock art of anacondas, rodents, giant Amazonian centipedes, and other animals along the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela may have been used to mark territory 2,000 years ago.

Rock engravings recorded by researchers from Bournemouth University (UK), University College London (UK) and Universidad de los Andes (Colombia), believe this is the largest single rock engraving recorded anywhere in the world. Some of the engravings are tens of meters long – with the largest measuring more than 40m in length.

While some of the locations were previously known, the team has used drone photography to map 14 sites of monumental rock engravings, which are defined as those that are more than four meters wide or high, and has also found several more.

While it is difficult to date rock engravings, similar motifs used on pottery found in the area indicate that they were created anywhere up to 2,000 years ago, although possibly much older.

Many of the largest engravings are of  snakes, believed to be boa constrictors or anacondas, which played an important role in the myths and beliefs of the local Indigenous population.

Their size makes them visible from a distance, suggesting they were used as ancient signposts that told travelers along the prehistoric trade route whose territory they were entering and leaving.

The new findings were published on Monday in Antiquity.

The engravings may represent mythological traditions that continue today, says archaeologist and anthropologist Carlos Castaño-Uribe,  scientific director of the Caribbean Environmental Heritage Foundation in Colombia.

Orthophoto detail of monumental rock art on Picure Island, Venezuela.

Lead author Dr Phil Riris, Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Environmental Modelling at Bournemouth University, said: “These monumental sites are truly big, impressive sites, which we believe were meant to be seen from some distance away.

“We know that anacondas and boas are associated with not just the creator deity of some of Indigenous groups in the region, but that they are also seen as lethal beings that can kill people and large animals.

“We believe the engravings could have been used by prehistoric groups as a way to mark territory, letting people know that this is where they live and that appropriate behaviour is expected.

“Snakes are generally interpreted as quite threatening, so where the rock art is located could be a signal that these are places where you need to mind your manners.”

The researchers located 157 rock art locations between the upriver Maipures Rapids and the downstream Colombian city of Puerto Carreño. Of these, more than a dozen had engravings longer than four meters (about 13 feet). The largest is the anaconda, which is over 40 meters (roughly 130 feet) in length. Riris says it is likely the largest known prehistoric rock engraving in the world.

University College London’da Latin Amerika arkeolojisi okuyan Dr. José Oliver, anıtsal kaya resimleri taşıyan granit tepelerin büyüklüğünü gösteriyor..

The images were produced by chipping away the granite surface—which in this region is stained dark by untold years of bacterial growth—to reveal the lighter rock beneath.

Some of the engravings are at usually below the waterline and only visible in seasons when the river is low, while others are located a  short distance away from the banks, on large granite outcrops that stand over the savanna landscape of the river basin. There are also engravings, and occasionally paintings, in natural rock shelters near the river.

Dr José R. Oliver, Reader in Latin American Archaeology at University College London Institute of Archaeology, added: “The engravings are mainly concentrated along a stretch of the Orinoco River called the Atures Rapids, which would have been an important prehistoric trade and travel route.

“We think that they are meant to be seen specifically from the Orinoco because most travel at the time would have been on the river. Archaeology tells us that it was it was a diverse environment and there was a lot of trade and interaction.

“This means it would have been a key point of contact, and so making your mark could have been all the more important because of that – marking out your local identity and letting visitors know that you are here.”

Monumental rock art of a snake tail in Colombia dwarfs the humans in this image.

The research team concludes that it is vital that these monumental rock art sites are protected to ensure their preservation and continued study, with the Indigenous peoples of the Orinoco region central to this process.

Dr Natalia Lozada Mendieta from Universidad de los Andes said: “We’ve registered these sites with the Colombian and Venezuelan national heritage bodies as a matter of course, but some of the communities around it feel a very strong connection to the rock art. Moving forward, we believe they are likely to be the best custodians.”

The research was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, The Society of Antiquaries of London, Universidad de los Andes, the Fundación de Investigaciones Arqueológicas Nacionales (Colombia), and the British Academy.

Archaeologists discover Europe’s longest prehistoric mound in the Czechia

Archaeologists discover Europe’s longest prehistoric mound in the Czechia

Archaeologists discover Europe’s longest prehistoric mound in the Czechia

Czech archaeologists in the Hradec Králové area in East Bohemia have discovered what is probably the longest prehistoric mound in Europe.

Archaeologists first uncovered an “elongated trapezoidal gutter” during road work between Dlouhé Dvory and Lípa, the Department of Archaeology at the University of Hradec Králové said in a June 19 Facebook post. The gutter was identified as a “typical” structure for an ancient burial mound known as a long barrow.

The mound, which was found along the route of a future motorway near the village of Dohalice, is about 190 meters in length and has a maximum width of 15 meters. 

The length of this gutter, and of the mound in general, is 190 m, making it one of the longest monuments of its kind in the whole of Central Europe.

Mound date back to the Eneolithic period, the Funnel-Beaker culture (3800-3350 BC), and it is in this period that burial complexes, of which the mounds are a part, first appear in this territory.

The massive ancient burial mound as seen from above.

The above-ground portion of the ancient mound was gone, likely destroyed by agricultural work, the department said.

The team has also managed to excavate the entrance to the barrow, which is preserved in the form of a posthole and a gutter.

Archaeologists discovered two central burials, which contained the individuals for whom the mound was most likely built, as well as 28 additional burials.

The graves, like the surrounding mound, are likely to be at least 5,300 years old.  More precise ages will be obtained from the burials through laboratory analysis.

Grave in a mound body.

In the statement, archaeologists said: “The burial mounds were built as monumental funerary objects and as such they contain graves, we call them central burials and assume that they are the burials of the individuals for whom the mound was built. In our case, two central burials were recorded.”

“The first central burial – a grave with an internal pit construction consisting of gutters on the longer sides and post holes at the corners, The grave offering was a ceramic vessel, the body lying on its left side facing north. The second central burial – the grave was without an internal structure, the body was also lying on the left side.”

Archaeologists discovered several objects deposited as offerings near the central burials. Pottery fragments were found in one grave, and four flint arrowheads and a flint blade were found in another.

The grave inventory of the central burials is consistent with analogous sites in Czechia and Poland.

The world’s oldest wine discovered in liquid form, was found in a Roman tomb in Spain

The world’s oldest wine, discovered in liquid form, was found in a Roman tomb in Spain

Archaeologists discovered an urn with a reddish liquid in a family mausoleum dating to the 1st century AD in the Carmona necropolis in Seville. An archaeochemical study identified this liquid as white wine, making it the oldest wine preserved in liquid form.

The Spanish urn was recovered in 2019 after a family having some work done on their house in Carmona stumbled across a sunken tomb on their property. This tomb, dated to the early 1st century AD, contained eight niches, six of which housed cinerary urns with cremated remains and various objects typical of Roman funeral rituals.

The tomb contained eight burial niches, six of which held urns made from limestone, sandstone, or glass and lead. Each urn contained the cremated bone remains from a single individual and two of the urns were inscribed with the names of the deceased: Hispanae and Senicio.

The urn in Niche 8 was what set this discovery apart. Inside an oval lead box with a flat-domed lid was this urn, a glass ossuary pot with M-shaped handles.  Inside it, five liters of a reddish liquid were discovered, presumed to be part of the original content along with the cremated bone remains.

Analysis by experts at the University of Córdoba has established that the ancient tawny liquid inside the urn is a local, sherry-like wine.

The world’s oldest wine, discovered in liquid form, was found in a Roman tomb in Spain
The liquid in the urn was reddish-brown because of the chemical reactions that have taken place in the 2,000 years since the white wine was poured in.

“The wine turned out to be quite similar to wines from here in Andalucía: Montilla-Moriles; sherry-type wines from Jerez, and manzanilla from Sanlúcar,” said José Rafael Ruiz Arrebola, an organic chemist at the University of Córdoba who led the analysis of the wine.

By using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), scientists were able to identify the chemical components of the wine’s mineral salts, which included common elements found in old wines like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Additionally, they identified polyphenols—compounds found in grapes and, consequently, in wine—using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry or HPLC-MS. Researchers were able to identify the liquid as white wine due to the presence of specific polyphenols and the mineral salt profile.

The remarkable longevity of the wine in its liquid state bears witness to the sophisticated Roman methods of preservation and storage, as well as the distinct climatic circumstances that permitted its preservation for nearly two millennia.

(a), (b) Funeral chamber. (c) Urn in niche 8. (d) Lead case containing the urn. (e) The reddish liquid contained in the urn.

Before the discovery, which is reported in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, the oldest wine preserved in a liquid state was the Speyer wine bottle, which was excavated from a Roman tomb near the German city of Speyer in 1867 and dated to about AD 325.

According to the researchers, the use of wine in Roman funeral rituals is well-known and documented. Therefore, once the cremated remains were deposited in it, the urn must have been filled with wine in a kind of libation ritual during the burial ceremony or as part of the funeral rite to help the deceased in their transition to a better world.

They conclude that the results obtained in this work strongly suggest that the reddish liquid in the ash urn was originally wine that decomposed over time and that it was about 2,000 years old, making it the oldest wine found to date.

One of its kind, 1,500-year-old Roman ‘Lorica Squamata’ legion armor restored

One of its kind, 1,500-year-old Roman ‘Lorica Squamata’ legion armor restored

One of its kind, 1,500-year-old Roman ‘Lorica Squamata’ legion armor restored

The 1,500-year-old Roman ‘Lorica Squamata’ legion armor, the only known example in the world, found in the ancient city of Satala in the village of Sadak in the Kelkit district of Gümüşhane in the Black Sea region of Türkiye, was restored.

Archaeological excavations continue in the ancient city of Satala, the only surviving castle on the eastern border of the Roman Empire and the only Roman Legion castle in Anatolia that can be excavated. and this unique artifact was unearthed during the 2020 excavation season.

The ancient city of Satala, where the 15th Legion of the Roman Empire, also known as the Apollinaris Legion, ruled for 600 years, is a well-known castle visited by Rome’s five emperors.

In a remarkable feat of preservation, the only known example of a “Lorica Squamata” model Roman legionary armor, dating back 1,500 years, has been successfully restored in Türkiye.

The completion of the restoration was announced by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism on its social media account.

The armor was first found and removed from the location in 2021 with assistance from the Ankara Regional Laboratory.

It was then moved to the  Erzurum Restoration and Conservation Regional Laboratory.  Erzurum Atatürk University carried out a thorough examination, which included tomography and X-rays, to record the armor in its soil-encrusted state.

X-ray results revealed that almost the entire armor was intact. Micro CT imaging of a three-plate block taken from the edges helped determine the armor’s full measurements and partial metallurgical properties.

The conservation and restoration procedures were finished after three years of painstaking labor by the Erzurum Regional Directorate of Restoration and Conservation Laboratory. The armor was then resewn, returning it to its original form.

According to the ministry’s statement, the armor dates back to the Late Roman Period. It is a significant example of the Lorica Squamata type, noted for being the first known to the world.

During the Roman era, legionary armor was not made to order; instead, it was repaired and reused as needed. Surviving examples are extremely rare these days because, once damaged beyond repair, they were melted down and used for new purposes.

During the height of the Roman Empire, the Lorica Squamata was a common type of armor worn by military officers and specialists such as musicians or standard bearers. In certain provinces, it may have also been used to outfit entire regiments of Auxilia infantry, archers, and cavalrymen. Later in the Empire’s history, troops frequently used scaled armor as a form of protection.

Scaled Armor was very difficult to cut through and offered a strong, reliable defense for the wearer. In addition, the armor’s overlapping scales provided some absorptive qualities against concussive force. Usually, the scales were between.5 and.8 mm thick to keep the armor’s total weight under control.

Highlighting the achievement, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: “The ‘Lorica Squamata’ model armor, revived by expert hands at the  Erzurum Regional Directorate of Restoration and Conservation Laboratory, has reached us almost perfectly preserved.”

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