A 4,000-Year-Old skeleton discovered in Northern England

A 4,000-Year-Old skeleton discovered in Northern England

Workers uncovered the remains while converting a former stable block
Workers uncovered the remains while converting a former stable block

Builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland have discovered human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old. 

The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber – or cist.

A digger driver was laying drainage pipes when he struck the stone made coffin before moving the cover slab back to see the hollow inside.

 Human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old have been discovered by builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland. The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber - or cist
Human remains thought to be about 4,000 years old have been discovered by builders working on a hotel in rural Northumberland. The Tankerville Arms in Wooler was undergoing renovation work when they unearthed a Bronze Age stone burial chamber – or cist

Inside were human remains in a crouched burial position with a small, ‘beautifully fashioned flint knife’ found by the legs of the skeleton.

Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site.

The team, from Northumberland County Council’s current estimates, suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC.   

Local archaeologist Roger Miket said the cist is formed of four upright stones with the cover slab on top.’ 

‘It may have been a woman because they were buried on their right side with their head to the west, although we can’t be certain until further analysis is done.

‘It also seems to have been charred so that is an interesting insight into the burial process, he said.

‘Of course, we have no idea of their religious beliefs but we have the symbols which give us some idea of what they thought so we know they believed in the afterlife. 

He said that the knife would have been a precious item at the time of the burial and was included in the grave for use in the afterlife.

Charlotte Lowery, the hotel manager said: ‘It’s been a very exciting few days here. It’s an amazing discovery. 

‘We’re having six self-contained holiday cottages built and the builders were just laying the last drain and came across a very flat, large stone and it became apparent it shouldn’t have been there.’ 

Northumbria has numerous archaeologically important sites from prehistoric cup and ring motifs, henges and hillforts including Ad Gedfrin, the palace of the ancient kings. 

Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site. The team, from Northumberland County Council's current estimates suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC
Archaeologists are examining it to find out the sex of the single skeleton and whether other remains lie around the site. The team, from Northumberland County Council’s current estimates suggest the cist dates from some time between 2,200BC and 1,750BC

Source: bbc

The rare 13th century King John Royal Charter found in British Ushaw College Library

The rare 13th century King John Royal Charter found in British Ushaw College Library

 Dr Benjamin Pohl said the newly discovered charter could now be compared with an existing example
Dr Benjamin Pohl said the newly discovered charter could now be compared with an existing example

A rare original royal charter from the first year of King John’s reign has been discovered in Durham.

The document carries John’s seal, who reigned from 1199 to 1216, and was issued on March 26, 1200 in York — exactly 819 years ago.

It was found in the archives of Durham University’s Ushaw College Library.

Fewer than a dozen original charters have survived from the 1st year of King John’s reign.

Dr. Benjamin Pohl, a senior lecturer in Medieval History at Bristol University, came across the charter by chance while examining medieval manuscripts at Ushaw College.

He said the document was carefully prepared and written in what was known as a “court hand”, probably by a member of the king’s government department or chancery.

The charter was found in the library of Ushaw College

Dr. Pohl said: “Discovering the original charter is extremely exciting, not least because it allows us to develop a fuller picture of the people who were present at York on 26 March 1200 and eager to do business with the new king.

“Medieval charters are important not just because of the legal acts they contain, but also for what they can tell us about the society and political culture at the time.

“Our charter might best be described, therefore, as a kind of ‘who’s who’ of Northern England at the turn of the 13th Century.

“The document confirmed the granting of possessions in County Durham, namely the two hamlets of Cornsay and Hedley Hill, to Walter of Caen and Robert FitzRoger, Lord of Warkworth and Sherriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.

Walter and Robert were nephews of Simon, a chamberlain of Durham who had originally received the grants from his bishop, Hugh de Puiset, sometime before 1183, but who later decided to part with the bequests in order to provide for his two younger relatives.

Ushaw College Library is regularly used by visiting scholars
Ushaw College Library is regularly used by visiting scholars

Prof David Cowling, pro-vice-chancellor for arts and humanities at Durham University, said: “For one of our visiting fellows to identify an item from the collection as a previously uncatalogued medieval royal charter is a wonderful example of the benefits and advances that can be made by working and exploring our archives together.

“The bishop’s charter, recording the original grants to Simon, is also held at Durham, allowing the two original documents to be compared and studied side-by-side for the first time.

Source: chroniclelive

Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions Found at Amethyst Mining Site

Ancient Egyptian Inscriptions Found at Amethyst Mining Site

Dating back around 3,900 years, this site at Wadi el-Hudi houses a settlement in a valley between two hills and an amethyst mine.
Dating back around 3,900 years, this site at Wadi el-Hudi houses a settlement in a valley between two hills and an amethyst mine.

Archaeologists have uncovered more than 100 ancient inscriptions carved into the rock at Wadi el-Hudi, where the ancient Egyptians mined amethyst.

In addition to the carved-rock inscription, the researchers also found 14 steles (inscriptions carved on a stone slab or pillar) and 45 ostraca (inscriptions written on pieces of pottery).

Analysis of the newfound inscriptions is underway. So far, archaeologists can tell that many of the inscriptions date back around 3,900 years, to a time that modern-day archaeologists call the “Middle Kingdom.”

Many of the ostraca date back around 2,000 years, to around the time that Rome took over Egypt.

Amethyst became widely popular in Egypt during the Middle Kingdom, a time when the pharaohs of Egypt learned that Wadi el-Hudi is a good source for the material.

“Once the [pharaohs] found it, they kind of went bonkers to go get it,” Kate Liszka, the director of the Wadi el-Hudi expedition, told Live Science.

During the Middle Kingdom, “they were bringing it back and making it into jewelry and doling it out to their elite and their princesses.

“Though Wadi el-Hudi was surveyed in the past by other scholars, little excavation has been done and the surveys missed many inscriptions.

“The site is just so full of inscriptions behind every boulder and around every wall that they missed a lot of them” Liszka said.

The team is using 3D modeling, reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) and photogrammetry, among other techniques, to help find new inscriptions, map archaeological remains and reanalyze inscriptions discovered by scholars who surveyed Wadi el-Hudi in the past.

This work has taken on greater urgency as modern-day gold mines have opened in the area, causing damage to archaeological remains

Many mysteries.

The team is hoping that the inscriptions, along with other discoveries made during the excavations, will shed light on the many mysteries surrounding Wadi el-Hudi.

One of more than 100 inscriptions that were recently discovered by researchers at Wadi el-Hudi.
Credit: Photo courtesy Wadi el-Hudi Expedition
One of more than 100 inscriptions that were recently discovered by researchers at Wadi el-Hudi.
Credit: Photo courtesy Wadi el-Hudi Expedition

For instance, it’s not clear if the miners were working at the site of their own free will. “I don’t know if I’m excavating a legitimate settlement where people were treated well or if I’m excavating a prison camp,” Liszka said.

Some of the inscriptions say that the miners were proud of their work, suggesting that they may have been there of their own free will. Also, so far, no bodies have been found, suggesting that anyone who died was brought back to the Nile Valley for burial rather than left out in the desert, researchers said.

The inscriptions also show that there are places where groups of soldiers were looking down at the mines, leading researchers to wonder if these soldiers were protecting the miners or making sure the miners kept working.

One inscription shows two soldiers wrestling each other while passing time. Another mystery: How did the ancient Egyptian government get water to the miners? The nearest possible well is 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) away from Wadi el-Hudi, and it’s possible that it wasn’t in use long ago.

“Best-case scenario, they were carrying water for 1,000 to 1,500 people a minimum of 3 km, but possibly in from the Nile [River],” which is about 18.6 miles (30 km) away, Liszka said.

During the excavation, the team found a mysterious, 3,400-year-old stela written in the name of a senior official named Usersatet, who was viceroy of Kush, a region to the south of Egypt.

It dates to a time when there was no mining activity at Wadi el-Hudi and the site had been abandoned. This leaves archaeologists with the question of why someone bothered to drag the stela 18. 6 miles into the eastern desert and leave it at Wadi el-Hudi.

Source: ancient-origins

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