Rare Pre-Hispanic Chimú Burial Discovered In Peru

Rare Pre-Hispanic Chimú Burial Discovered In Peru

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Archaeologists in northern Peru have unearthed a rare Chimú culture body with three sacred vessels.

The Chimú culture existed from approximately 900 AD until 1470 AD and inhabited the northern coast of modern-day Peru, centered around their main settlement of Chan Chan . Last week, gas workers in the shanty town of Bolivar, in the city of Chimbote, in the Ancash region of northern Peru, unearthed a pre-Hispanic Chimú burial with three decorated vessels.

Assessing Differences Among The Chimú

The recent announcement of the discovery of a Chimú body comes in the same light as the spectacular 2006 discovery of the Moche culture Lady of Cao ': an ancient priestess or powerful ruler unearthed in the shanty town of San Pedro by archaeologist Regulo Franco Jordan of the El Brujo Archaeological Complex . Now, Juan Lopez Marchena, the head of the Decentralized Culture Directorate (DDC) of Chimbote , explained to the Andina news agency that the latest skeletal remains were found in a “flexed ventral ulna position.” (bent at the elbow and wrist).

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Dr Lopez says that these new pre-Hispanic remains will be excavated and transported to the Max Uhle Museum in the city of Casma. By carefully studying the newly discovered body parts the researchers hope to calculate the person’s gender, what their diet consisted of and what their occupation was. And the archaeologist says this is a particularly important finding because each new Chimú grave illustrates “how rich and millenary different peoples in Chimbote were.”

The Chimú skeleton was found kneeling and bent over position. ( Andina)

The Ancient Chimú Trade Of Animal Based Artefacts

According to J. R. Topic’s 2003 paper published in the journal Latin American Antiquity, From stewards to bureaucrats: architecture and information flow at Chan Chan, Peru, ” Chan Chan developed a bureaucracy “due to the elite's controlled access to information.” The city’s socio-economic system operated through the importation of raw wool from the guanaco, llama, alpaca, and vicuna, which the Chimú people spun into fabrics and garments. Embellishing their products with plant dyes and paints, feathers, brocades, embroidery and sometimes gold or silver plates, Chimú culture fabrics were highly-valued trade commodities in the ancient trading network of what is today Peru.

Chimú Tapestry Shirt, 1400–1540, Camelid fiber and cotton, Dumbarton Oaks Museum.

Three sacred clay burial vessels were discovered with the body which feature “circular designs,” which were very popular stylistic features on Chimú culture products. According to Lopez, inside the vessels archaeologists discovered evidence of the presence of “piruros,” which Chimu women used to spin wool-yarns. While in many ancient cultures circular designs represented the Sun, it is more probable these circles represented the moon, or lunar cycles, for similarly to the contemporary Muisca culture, of modern-day Colombia, for the Chimú the Moon was considered more powerful than the Sun.

Mass-Murder Under The Silvery Light Of The Moon

One aspect of the Chimú culture, which the Spanish conquistadors couldn’t forgive, was the mass-sacrifice of captive adult warriors at the Temple of the Moon , just a few miles from Chan Chan. However, this was way less horrific than the Chimú elite’s institutionalized killing of babies and children.

In a 2019 National Geographic article Dr Gabriel Prieto, a professor of archaeology from the National University of Trujillo , discussed a shocking discovery in Huanchaquito, a hamlet on the north coast of Peru. In 2011 he discovered the broken bodies of “269 children between the ages of five and 14.” More than 500 years ago these children were systematically murdered in “carefully orchestrated acts of ritual sacrifice that may be unprecedented in world history,” said Dr Preito.

A shocking number of children’s bodies have been found at Huanchaquito (© 2019 Gabriel Prieto et al / PLoS ONE )

Chan Chan’s sustained success depended on carefully managed irrigation systems and coastal fisheries. This means a severe El Niño weather event might have shaken the political and economic stability of the Chimú kingdom. It is thought that the priests and leaders may have ordered the mass sacrifice of these children in a desperate attempt to persuade the gods to stop the rains and flooding caused by an El Niño. Jane Eva Baxter, an anthropology professor at DePaul University , said the Chimú people probably considered their children as the most valuable offerings they could present to the gods and Dr Prieto said this number of children (269) would have been “a massive investment on behalf of the state”.

What this all means is that the Chimú people had played the ultimate “double-down.” As their culture was being torn apart and washed away in flood-waters, they sacrificed their children, which represented all hope of a future, to win favor in the spirit world. Child sacrifices, according to Dr Jane Eva Baxter, are “very carefully constructed negotiations and forms of communication with the supernatural.”

This newly discovered body will further illustrate the habits, diets and traditions of the Chimú people, in both life and death.

Fifteen Pre Hispanic Burials Discovered

The prehistoric mammoth hunting site discovered in the Mexican municipality of Tultepec in November 2019 does. These alien-like skulls were discovered when residents of a small Mexican village called Onavas found a cemetery in 1999 while they were building an irrigation canal.

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The team also found 15 pre-Hispanic human burials in the region and according to experts the bodies probably belonged to farmers who lived in the area.

Fifteen pre hispanic burials discovered. Around the sepulcher we also discovered the burial of 22 more individuals among which a female character stood out. Researchers found the burial about five meters 15 feet. Artefacts lying with the bodies are from a pre-Hispanic era Mr Guilliem said indicating that the burials discovered in late 2008 were ordered by Spanish overlords but carried out by Aztecs.

The discovery and restoration of skeletons of approximately 60 mammoths as. Pre-Hispanic burial found near urban area in Chimbote 0902 Chimbote Ancash region Feb. An unusual pre-Hispanic chimú burial was discovered in Peru In an archaeological discovery in Peru a pre-Hispanic burial belonging to the Chimu Culture was discovered on Wednesday by government workers who carried out domestic gas connection works very close to an urban area in the city of Chimbote in the Ancash district.

The Chimú culture existed from approximately 900 AD until 14. About 15 human burials of the pre-Hispanic period were also discovered and the archaeologists believe they were of farmers. In 2011 he discovered the broken bodies of 269 children between the ages of five and 14.

A pre-Hispanic burial belonging to the Chimu Culture was discovered on Wednesday by workers who carried out domestic gas connection works very close to an urban area in the city of Chimbote in Ancash region. The researchers intend to continue analyzing the remains. Little is known however about these corpses.

In an archaeological discovery in Peru a pre-Hispanic burial belonging to the Chimu Culture was discovered on Wednesday by government workers who carried out domestic gas connection works very close to an urban area in the city of Chimbote in the Ancash district. The dead almost exclusively adults also had many characteristics of warriors. In a 2019 National Geographic article Dr Gabriel Prieto a professor of archaeology from the National University of Trujillo discussed a shocking discovery in Huanchaquito a hamlet on the north coast of Peru.

She was the first skeleton in this pre Hispanic site that was facing the floor which might indicate a sign of submission to the principal character in the tomb. Four Pre-Inca Burials Discovered at 1500-year-old Site in Peru. Pre-Hispanic ruins discovered in the south of Mexico City English Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History found pre-Hispanic structures in the Álvaro Obregón.

Four burial sites have been unearthed in a cemetery recently discovered at the Huaca Pucllana archaeological site located in the residential neighborhood of Miraflores in Lima Peru. Zultepec was an Aztec-allied town that in 1520 captured a convoy of about 15 male Spaniards 50 women and 10 children 45 foot soldiers who included Cubans of African and indigenous descent and. TUESDAY JANUARY 12TH 2021- In a statement INAH indicated that the study is carried out in the halls and spaces of the former Hospital de San Juan de Dios one of the longest-running sanatoriums in this country which was in office from the eighteenth century to 2015 EFE The osseous remains of 80 individuals wh.

Since it was the first pre-Hispanic cemetery found in the northern Mexican state of Sonora it created lot of interest and thoughts that the skulls could belong to Aliens. ORDO NEWS Scientists at the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History reported the discovery at the construction site of the new Felipe Angeles International Airport in Mexico the remains of 60 mammoths as well as 15 human graves of the pre-Hispanic period. Archaeologists in northern Peru have unearthed a rare Chimú culture body with three sacred vessels.

Unlike other pre-Hispanic cultures usually cremated members of the elite during their rule from 1325 to the Spanish conquest in 1521. An unusual pre-Hispanic chimú burial was discovered in Peru In an archaeological discovery in Peru a pre-Hispanic burial belonging to the Chimu Culture was discovered on Wednesday by government workers who carried out domestic gas connection works very close to an urban area in the city of Chimbote in the Ancash district. Archaeologists have uncovered 15 burials with the remains of a pre-Hispanic indigenous community on the grounds of the Pedagogical and Technological University of Colombia UPTC located in the city of Tunja in Northern Colombia.

Theyve also unearthed 15 pre-Hispanic human burial sites. Some were buried with pots bowls and clay figurines like that of a dog the institute said.

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Researchers Analyze Paleo Indian Artifacts To Better Understand Ancient Dietary Practices Indian Artifacts Paleo Indians Archaeology


Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period mainly interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries. It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of people such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P. Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the early European sources. Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies. [2]

The haplogroup most commonly associated with Indigenous Amerindian genetics is Haplogroup Q1a3a (Y-DNA). [3] Y-DNA, like mtDNA, differs from other nuclear chromosomes in that the majority of the Y chromosome is unique and does not recombine during meiosis. This has the effect that the historical pattern of mutations can easily be studied. [4] The pattern indicates Indigenous Amerindians experienced two very distinctive genetic episodes first with the initial-peopling of the Americas, and secondly with European colonization of the Americas. [5] [6] The former is the determinant factor for the number of gene lineages and founding haplotypes present in today's Indigenous Amerindian populations. [6]

Human settlement of the Americas occurred in stages from the Bering sea coast line, with an initial 20,000-year layover on Beringia for the founding population. [7] [8] The micro-satellite diversity and distributions of the Y lineage specific to South America indicates that certain Amerindian populations have been isolated since the initial colonization of the region. [9] The Na-Dené, Inuit and Indigenous Alaskan populations exhibit haplogroup Q-M242 (Y-DNA) mutations, however are distinct from other indigenous Amerindians with various mtDNA mutations. [10] [11] [12] This suggests that the earliest migrants into the northern extremes of North America and Greenland derived from later populations. [13]

Asian nomadic Paleo-Indians are thought to have entered the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), now the Bering Strait, and possibly along the coast. Genetic evidence found in Amerindians' maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia. [14] [15] After crossing the land bridge, they moved southward along the Pacific coast [16] and through an interior ice-free corridor. [17] Over the course of millennia, Paleo-Indians spread throughout the rest of North and South America.

Exactly when the first people migrated into the Americas is the subject of much debate. One of the earliest identifiable cultures was the Clovis culture, with sites dating from some 13,000 years ago. However, older sites dating back to 20,000 years ago have been claimed. Some genetic studies estimate the colonization of the Americas dates from between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago. [18] The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches. The first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the Americas occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants. [19] [20] [21] [22] The second belief is the long chronology theory, which proposes that the first group of people entered the hemisphere at a much earlier date, possibly 50,000–40,000 years ago or earlier. [23] [24] [25] [26]

Artifacts have been found in both North and South America which have been dated to 14,000 years ago, [27] and accordingly humans have been proposed to have reached Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America by this time. In that case, the Inuit would have arrived separately and at a much later date, probably no more than 2,000 years ago, moving across the ice from Siberia into Alaska.

Archaic period Edit

The North American climate was unstable as the ice age receded. It finally stabilized by about 10,000 years ago climatic conditions were then very similar to today's. [28] Within this time frame, roughly pertaining to the Archaic Period, numerous archaeological cultures have been identified.

The unstable climate led to widespread migration, with early Paleo-Indians soon spreading throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct tribes. [29] The Paleo-Indians were hunter-gatherers, likely characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of approximately 20 to 50 members of an extended family. These groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. [30] During much of the Paleo-Indian period, bands are thought to have subsisted primarily through hunting now-extinct giant land animals such as mastodon and ancient bison. [31] Paleo-Indian groups carried a variety of tools, including distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive butchering and hide-scraping implements.

The vastness of the North American continent, and the variety of its climates, ecology, vegetation, fauna, and landforms, led ancient peoples to coalesce into many distinct linguistic and cultural groups. [32] This is reflected in the oral histories of the indigenous peoples, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories which often say that a given people have been living in a certain territory since the creation of the world.

Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian people domesticated, bred and cultivated a number of plant species, including crops which now constitute 50–60% of worldwide agriculture. [33] In general, Arctic, Subarctic, and coastal peoples continued to live as hunters and gatherers, while agriculture was adopted in more temperate and sheltered regions, permitting a dramatic rise in population. [28]

Middle Archaic period Edit

After the migration or migrations, it was several thousand years before the first complex societies arose, the earliest emerging about seven to eight thousand years ago. [ citation needed ] As early as 6500 BCE, people in the Lower Mississippi Valley at the Monte Sano site were building complex earthwork mounds, probably for religious purposes. This is the earliest dated of numerous mound complexes found in present-day Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Since the late twentieth century, archeologists have explored and dated these sites. They have found that they were built by hunter-gatherer societies, whose people occupied the sites on a seasonal basis, and who had not yet developed ceramics. Watson Brake, a large complex of eleven platform mounds, was constructed beginning 3400 BCE and added to over 500 years. This has changed earlier assumptions that complex construction arose only after societies had adopted agriculture, become sedentary, with stratified hierarchy and usually ceramics. These ancient people had organized to build complex mound projects under a different social structure.

Late Archaic period Edit

Until the accurate dating of Watson Brake and similar sites, the oldest mound complex was thought to be Poverty Point, also located in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Built about 1500 BCE, it is the centerpiece of a culture extending over 100 sites on both sides of the Mississippi. The Poverty Point site has earthworks in the form of six concentric half-circles, divided by radial aisles, together with some mounds. The entire complex is nearly a mile across.

Mound building was continued by succeeding cultures, who built numerous sites in the middle Mississippi and Ohio River valleys as well, adding effigy mounds, conical and ridge mounds and other shapes.

Woodland period Edit

The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures lasted from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. The term was coined in the 1930s and refers to prehistoric sites between the Archaic period and the Mississippian cultures. The Adena culture and the ensuing Hopewell tradition during this period built monumental earthwork architecture and established continent-spanning trade and exchange networks.

In the Great Plains, this period is called the Woodland period.

This period is considered a developmental stage without any massive changes in a short period, but instead having a continuous development in stone and bone tools, leatherworking, textile manufacture, tool production, cultivation, and shelter construction. Some Woodland peoples continued to use spears and atlatls until the end of the period, when they were replaced by bows and arrows.

Mississippian culture Edit

The Mississippian culture was spread across the Southeast and Midwest from the Atlantic coast to the edge of the plains, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Upper Midwest, although most intensively in the area along the Mississippi River and Ohio River. One of the distinguishing features of this culture was the construction of complexes of large earthen mounds and grand plazas, continuing the moundbuilding traditions of earlier cultures. They grew maize and other crops intensively, participated in an extensive trade network and had a complex stratified society. The Mississippians first appeared around 1000 CE, following and developing out of the less agriculturally intensive and less centralized Woodland period. The largest urban site of these people, Cahokia—located near modern East St. Louis, Illinois—may have reached a population of over 20,000. Other chiefdoms were constructed throughout the Southeast, and its trade networks reached to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. At its peak, between the 12th and 13th centuries, Cahokia was the most populous city in North America. (Larger cities did exist in Mesoamerica and South America.) Monk's Mound, the major ceremonial center of Cahokia, remains the largest earthen construction of the prehistoric Americas. The culture reached its peak in about 1200–1400 CE, and in most places, it seems to have been in decline before the arrival of Europeans.

Many Mississippian peoples were encountered by the expedition of Hernando de Soto in the 1540s, mostly with disastrous results for both sides. Unlike the Spanish expeditions in Mesoamerica, who conquered vast empires with relatively few men, the de Soto expedition wandered the American Southeast for four years, becoming more bedraggled, losing more men and equipment, and eventually arriving in Mexico as a fraction of its original size. The local people fared much worse though, as the fatalities of diseases introduced by the expedition devastated the populations and produced much social disruption. By the time Europeans returned a hundred years later, nearly all of the Mississippian groups had vanished, and vast swaths of their territory were virtually uninhabited. [34]

Monks Mound of Cahokia (UNESCO World Heritage Site) in summer. The concrete staircase follows the approximate course of the ancient wooden stairs.

A children’s cemetery

This extraordinary funerary site was discovered in the barren land lining the far northern coast of Peru. Enduring the unpredictable climate of the Sechura Desert, Nicolas Goepfert, a researcher at the ArchAm laboratory,1 and his colleagues Belkys Gutiérrez and Segundo Vásquez have been supervising excavations in the region since 2012.2 “Our original goal was to gather data to study how humans and animals adapted to the northern coast of Peru,” Goepfert explains. “An arid desert region, the El Niño phenomenon… In this inhospitable land, how can natural resources be used? How, over the centuries, did people cope with this intense environmental stress?”

Sipán Archaeological Complex

The unearthing of the Sipán Archaeological complex, containing the tombs of 14 Moche rulers, was one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the late 20th century. The key archaeological find was that of the tomb of the famous Lord of Sipán, whose elaborate burial vault drew comparisons to that of the world-famous Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun. Inside the Sipán tomb were mummified remains, as well as pieces of jewelry, masks, textiles and various other offerings, presumably there to make the Lord of Sipán’s transition to the afterlife as smooth as possible. The Lord of Sipán is, for understandable reasons, no longer held in the tomb. If you want to see him, we can arrange for you to visit the Sipán Museum in Lambayeque, north of Chiclayo, during your personalized trip of Peru.

Ancient Peru

Sechín Bajo 3500 BC

Begin your exploration of Peruvian archaeology at the beginning. In 2008, archaeologists uncovered this 5,500-year-old city, near a complex of ruins called Cerro Sechín. This site is one of the world’s first known cities, marking an important milestone in human civilization.

Sechín Bajo is located in the Casma Valley, where other ancient developments, like Las Haldas, have given researchers insight into the type of landscape that allowed early Peruvians to flourish. Not much is known about the inhabitants of these cities, as the rubble of Sechín Bajo is all that remains of their civilization.

Visitor’s tip: Sechín Bajo may still be under heavy excavation when you arrive. If so, it’s only about a 5 minute drive to Sechín Alto, a u-shaped complex built around 1800 B.C. Nearby you’ll also find the Museo Max Uhle, a site devoted to the reconstructions of the gory murals found at Cerro Sechín.

Caral 3000 B.C. – 1800 B.C.

Located two hours north of Lima, Caral first came to the attention of archaeologists in 1996. Using carbon dating, scientists have estimated this site’s age at nearly 5,000 years old. Before the discovery of Sechín Bajo, Caral was thought to be the oldest city in South America.

Aside from its sheer age, visit Caral to see the crumbling pyramids and circular courtyards. These are architectural styles that were passed down and replicated over many generations of Peruvian history.

Visitor tip: You will need a guide to see the ruins, available for hire at the entrance to the site. These guides are often students, and typically inexpensive.

Chavín 1500 B.C. – 300 B.C.

Archaeologists believe the temple of Chavín de Huántar served as a pilgrimage site. It is best known for its many carved reliefs of feline deities. There are a wide variety of strange creatures depicted on the walls of the temple here, including animals with human faces.

One of the best-known artifacts from this site, the Tello Obelisk, is on display at the National Museum of Archaeology and History in Lima. It is named for Julio C. Tello, the Peruvian archaeologist who brought attention to this site in 1919, and went on to earn a reputation as the father of Peruvian archaeology.

Visitor tip: Check out the series of chambers under the ruin. Keep in mind that these can get crowded toward the afternoon.

Nasca 200 B.C. – 600 A.D.

You will often hear the Nasca (also spelled 'Nazca') people described as “mysterious” – a mysterious people who left behind the mysterious Nasca Lines, and went on to disappear, mysteriously.

Aliens from outer space are usually suspects in the Nasca’s disappearance. But a recent study of the Nasca Desert offers a more straightforward explanation. The Nasca people harvested the haurango tree, a tree with deep roots that help keep moisture in the soil. 1,500 years ago, when the Nasca population started to decline, the number of huarango trees in the area had been drastically reduced. Without these trees, the environment became too dry to support its human population. This archaeological discovery has been cited in recent discussions about modern environmental preservation.

Visitor’s tip: It is difficult to fully appreciate the Nasca Lines from the ground, and many tourists opt to see them on an airplane tour.

You can see the textiles and ceramics that the Nasca left behind in the nearby town of Nasca, at the Museo Antonini.

The chimú state

The Chimú state flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries AD, dominating a broad expanse of the Peruvian coast.

At its peak, the Chimú Empire controlled a 600-mile-long territory along the Pacific coast and interior valleys from the modern Peru-Ecuador border to Lima. Only the Inca commanded a larger empire than the Chimú in pre-Columbian South America, and superior Inca forces put an end to the Chimú Empire around A.D. 1475.

Chan Chan is the name given today to the ancient capital of the Chimú state. It was one of the largest urban settlements of the Americas, and includes large palaces built by the successive kings, as well as administrative compounds, plazas, cemeteries, gardens, and temples linked by a network of internal roads. Although today the surviving ruins of Chan Chan cover approximately 14 square kilometers, the city was once substantially larger approximately six square kilometers of the site has been destroyed by modern agricultural and urban expansion.

The Chimú left no written records, so other than archaeological findings, what little is known of them comes from Spanish chronicles.

The History Blog

A marble statue of a togate man that was stolen a decade ago has been returned to Italy after it was discovered in a Brussels antique store by off-duty officers from Italy’s Carabinieri Art Squad. They were in Brussels on a business trip and after work one day they went for a stroll through the Sablon neighborhood of the historic upper city which is known for its many antique shops. The headless Togatus statue in one of the stores caught their eyes. It bore the telltale damage of excavation tools, the kind of sloppy work done by looters eager to get their payday out of the ground quickly.

The officers didn’t enter the store, but did take a photograph from the street. When they got home, they looked up the statue in Leonardo, the Carabinieri’s database of stolen antiquities, their suspicions were confirmed. A statue matching their picture was on the list as having been stolen in November 2011 from the Villa Marini Dettina, an archaeological park outside of Rome.

The statue dates to the 1st century B.C. The toga has stylistic features typical of late Republican figures: it is ankle-length instead of floor-length, draped comparatively narrowly around the legs and has a short arm sling that positions the right hand at the chest. The right arm, bent at the elbow and confined in the draped sling with only the hand emerging is the uniform pose of Republican togate statues.

Togate statues and reliefs were widespread in the Imperial Rome, especially in funerary monuments. Only Roman citizens were allowed to wear the toga, and a boy’s first toga marked his entry into manhood, so they were a powerful iconographic representation of Roman identity, freedman status and manhood. Statues from the Republican era, togate or otherwise, are much more rare. This one, headless, significantly worn and with simple draping, is worth an estimated $120,000.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Rome alerted Belgian authorities, and the statue was seized as stolen property. The investigation has revealed what looks to be an antiquities trafficking operation, not just a single dirty deal made without asking any questions. An Italian businessman operating under a Spanish alias is alleged to have received the statue in Italy and arranged for its smuggling to Brussels. He has been referred for prosecution, charged with receiving stolen goods and illegal export.

The Togatus was repatriated to Italy in February and is back at the Villa Marini Dettina.

Roman gallery found under Topkapı courtyard

Archaeologists have discovered a Roman-era gallery under the First Courtyard of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul. The gallery was discovered in the course of landscaping works in the lower gardens of the palace. These areas have long been closed to visitors and the Roman gallery was found during underground research as part of the landscape study.

The gallery, of which three sections are extant, begins under the Imperial Gate to the right. A Byzantine-era cistern was previously discovered right above the gallery, and it’s possible the Roman gallery was dedicated to the same purpose or was part of a network of subterranean passageways connected to a cistern that has yet to be found. Constantinople was absolutely bristling with underground cisterns. There were literally hundreds of them, so this could be another one of them, or it could have had another use entirely when first built only to be repurposed as part of a cistern network in the Byzantine era. It is a five-minute walk from the dramatically gorgeous century Basilica Cistern built by Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century.

Construction on Topkapı Palace began in 1459, only six years after the fall of the decrepit Eastern Roman Empire and the conquest of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmed II. Located on a promontory overlooking the Bosporus, it is one of the highest points on the Sea of Marmara and was the site of the ancient Greek city’s acropolis.

Research is ongoing as the landscaping project continues. While there are no immediate plans for an archaeological excavation of the gallery site, that is possible depending on what the current survey reveals. Ideally, the gallery would be open to the public when the landscaping is complete and the courtyards open, but it will have to be assessed for structural safety before becoming available for tours.

Roman safe found in villa in Spain

A rare strongbox from the 4th century A.D. has been discovered in the Casa del Mitreo, a Roman villa in west central Spain. The arca ferrata, a wooden chest armed with bronze cladding and iron spikes, was used as a safe for valuables — coin, jewelry, textiles, important documents — in Roman homes and businesses. Because they are mostly made of wood, only four others are known to survive. Three of the extant examples were preserved under the extraordinary conditions of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The only other arca ferrata found in Spain was discovered in Tarazona, Aragon, northeastern Spain.

The domus was dubbed Casa del Mitreo because of a sanctuary believed to be Mithreum was discovered nearby. The villa was built in the late 1st, early 2nd century and was remodeled and expanded several times over the next centuries. It was located outside the ancient Roman city Emerita Augusta (modern-day Mérida).

“It is unclear what the owner did for a living. But it is clear that it was probably a wealthy family because the surface of the house is around 3,386 square meters (36,447 square feet), with 15 rooms, including the bathrooms and the kitchen, as well as four other rooms,” said [Archaeologist Ana Maria Bejarano] Osario.

Osario said: “It is unclear what they did for a living, but it might be something related to commerce or business, and they could even have been using the four extra rooms themselves to sell their wares.”

The house also had two more rooms on the second floor, including the one that collapsed during the fire, the causes of which are unknown.

The remains of the arca ferrata were first discovered in 1994 during excavations in a room of a building that had suffered a fire in the 4th century. At the time, the condition of the exposed organic remains was precarious, so the team decided to leave it in situ and prevent further deterioration as much as possible.

It wasn’t until 2017 that a comprehensive conservation and consolidation project at the Casa del Mitreo tackled the burned room once more. It was fully excavated and documented, as were the paintings and artifacts inside the room. It is misshapen from the effects of the fire which collapsed the roof onto the coffer and drove it into the ground. Today it measures 9.8 by 4.9 feet, but its original measurements are unknown.

Archaeologists consolidated the remains to keep the metal parts from oxidizing and the wood from decay. It was removed intact and transferred to the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain (IPCE) of the Ministry of Culture and Sports where it will be studied, stabilized and restored for future display.

Late Imperial necropolis found in Corsica

A late Imperial necropolis has been discovered in the center of the two of l’Île-Rousse on the western coast of northern Corsica. The burial pits were dug out of the rock and filled with different styles of grave. About 40 graves have been found, the majority of them amphora burials in which large storage amphorae were used as coffins. There are also some tile burials, where recycled edged roof tiles (tegulae) and joint covers (imbrices) were perched over the deceased.

/>There is evidence of human settlement at the site going back to the Neolithic and the Phoenician colony of Agilla was established was at the site by 1000 B.C. After the fall of Tyre to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in the 6th century B.C., Carthage stepped into the power vacuum and took over support of its former dependencies, including the ones in Corsica. That ended with the Roman conquest of Corsica in the First Punic War in 238 B.C. Agilla became the Roman town of Rubico Rocega for the next 600 years.

/>After the fall of the Western Empire, Rubico Rocega was largely abandoned, used by smugglers and fishermen, until the founding of l’Île-Rousse in the mid-18th century. Very few remains from the Phoenician and Roman towns have been found, and this is the first archaeological excavation of the center of the modern city and the first precise confirmation that the Roman city was located at the site of modern-day of l’Île-Rousse.

The evidence from the necropolis demonstrates that the Roman city still had strong trade links to North Africa. The amphorae from the burials were mostly manufactured in Carthage, now a Roman province and the primary source of wine and olive oil imports to Corsica in the 4th century A.D.

No grave goods or funerary offerings have been found. The burials are oriented west-east, with the heads on the west side and feet to the east. The skeletal remains are not in great condition and there has been significant deterioration of the surfaces of the burial pits caused by the development of the town in the 19th century. The Church of the Immaculate Conception, completed in 1893, was built right next to the necropolis, and there was copious infilling done at the time to level out the slope of the hill.

3,000-year-old duck vessel found in Bulgaria

A pottery vessel shaped like a duck or another water bird has been discovered in a Bronze Age grave near the town of Baley, northwestern Bulgaria. The vessel is an exceptional example of the highly decorated ceramics produced by the Encrusted Pottery culture, a Bronze Age people that settled the Lower Danube. Their graves are replete with the highly decorated and varied pottery after which the culture is named.

The Baley settlement was inhabited for about 400 years in the 2nd millennium B.C. Its necropolis was discovered by accident 40 years ago and archaeologists have been excavating it ever since. Baley is the only Bronze Age site in Bulgaria where the necropolis can be conclusively linked to a nearby settlement.

The 2020 dig unearthed 15 new graves richly furnished with the characteristic ceramics of the Encrusted Pottery culture, bringing the number of graves discovered at the necropolis up to 132 and making it the largest known Bronze Age necropolis in the Lower Danube region. Of the 15 newly-excavated graves, two date to the first half of the 2nd millennium B.C., 13 to the second half. Eight of them were intact with grave goods and cinerary remains.

“The Baley Bronze Age necropolis is offering [us new] information about the burials rites of the [earliest Ancient] Thracians and their beliefs and aesthetic sense. [The archaeological team] has found very richly decorated vessels. They were used simultaneously as burial gifts and urns in family tombs. The remains of adults and children were placed next to one another,” says [archaeologist Kamen] Boyadzhiev who was not part of the 2020 Baley field research team.

“A finely crafted vessel in the shape of a bird with rich encrusted decoration has made a very strong impression [from among the newest Baley necropolis finds],” he emphasizes. […]

The archaeological team explains that the remarkable bird-shaped encrusted ceramic vessel, which seems like a duck, has been found inside an urn.

“The other [impressive burial] structure consists of three urn vessel preserving the remains of the dead [which were] covered with lid bowls. Among the urns the ancient people had placed three vessels with tall handles and another bowl. In one of the urns, [we] discovered a vessel in the shape of a bird and a bone needle, and in another one – two bronze hair pendants,” the researchers elaborate.

Drone flight over the Mausoleum of Augustus

After so many centuries of hardship and an arduous restoration, the Mausoleum of Augustus finally reopened in March. The response was huge. Tickets, which were limited by pandemic measures, sold out immediately. Things were looking up for the largest circular tomb in the world, and then it hit the wall of the latest lockdown.

Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi commemorated the one-month anniversary of the all-too-brief reopening by posting a cool new drone video of the mausoleum on her Facebook page. It starts as an overhead of the exterior, then flies into the tomb itself. The footage conveys the scale and dimension of the site far more effectively than still photographs. As usual, I just wish it were longer.

2,300-year-old conical tomb found in Mexico

A conical tomb from around 300 B.C. has been discovered in the town of Tepeyahualco, Puebla, southeastern Mexico. Tepeyahualco is four miles south of the archaeological site of Cantona, a pre-Hispanic settlement that was first populated as early as 1000 B.C. and grew into a fortified urban center of regional importance before it was abandoned for unknown reasons around 1050 A.D. This is the first tomb of this type to be discovered outside the five square miles of the Cantona archaeological zone.

The tomb was discovered accidentally by residents of Tepeyahualco harvesting volcanic tezontle and basalt rocks for construction. They thought the deceased might be crime victims and called the authorities. An excavation of the site ensued and archaeologists confirmed it was an ancient burial, not a crime scene.

The tomb is 5𔃼″ high and shaped like truncated cone that narrows to a bottleneck. It is 3𔃼″ in diameter at the base, widens to 3𔄁″ in the middle and narrows at the top to 1𔄀″. The walls are made of local stone that was shaped and polished on the side facing into the tomb while the outside was left in the basalt’s natural form. Fragments of pottery recovered from the tomb are of the Tezontepec Rojo and Payuca Rojo types, which date the burials to the Late Cantona I phase (300 B.C. – 50 A.D.) The shape and materials of the tomb narrow the date town to the Formative period, the earliest part of the Late Cantona I range.

Unfortunately, because the area has been foraged for building materials for decades, the tomb was damaged and the vault had collapsed. The remains of a second truncated cone tomb were found a few feet away, but it had been completely destroyed by stone harvesting and no skeletal remains were found.

The skeletal remains of four young men were found in the first tomb, disarticulated and no longer in their original positions due to the damage. The skull of one the young men had been reshaped in the tabular erect deformation: flattened in the back of the cranium and flattened on the forehead creating a high, bread head shape.

At its peak of expansion (600-900 A.D.), Cantona is estimated to have had a population of around 100,000, but very little is known about the people who lived there during its 2,000 years of occupation because only a tiny fraction of the settlement has been excavated. We know they traded obsidian over a vast network and that it was a ceremonial center for the region, as evinced by the 27 ball game courts found there. Unique among Mexico’s Mesoamerican sites, Cantona is completely asymmetrical in its design. From street grid to squares to pyramids to ball game courts, nothing is repeated, measured or evenly arranged.

The discovery of this system of truncated-conical burials to the south of Cantona, allows us to infer that, from the first phases of occupation of the pre-Hispanic city, its size covered a large area and that its settlers settled in the periphery carried out complex funerary practices, thus as recurrent customs in the American continent since ancient times, such as cranial deformation, the researchers indicated.

The analysis of the surface and the geographical characteristics of the Tepeyahualco region show the abundance of rocky landscape that can host this type of pre-Hispanic burial system, for which its current inhabitants have been participative and concerned about the care of the tomb. and its archaeological heritage, maintaining constant communication with the INAH Puebla Center and organizing itself into brigades, which aim to safeguard its cultural heritage.

Fragment of Greek warrior relief found in Bulgaria

A piece of a terracotta relief depicting ancient Greek warriors has been discovered at Sozopol on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. The fragment dates to around 500 B.C. and features two hoplites at march. They both wear Corinthian style helmets and armored breastplates. The one of the left (the more intact figure of the two) carries a spear in his right hand and has a shield strapped to his back. He holds a horn to his mouth with his left hand. It is a section of a larger frieze that once adorned a temple to Apollo.

Sozopol was founded by colonists from the Greek city of Miletus in the 7th century B.C., making it one of the oldest cities of the western coast of the Black Sea. Dubbed Apollonia Pontica, it was dedicated to Miletus’ patron deity, Apollo, and was famous in antiquity for the 45 foot-high bronze colossus of Apollo sculpted by the 5th century B.C. Greek sculpture Calamis. It stood outside the Early Classical temple of Apollo Iatros (the healer) for 400 years until the Romans looted it in 72 B.C. and installed it on the Capitoline Hill. It was lost in the 4th century, likely melted down along with so many other pagan bronzes.

The temple of Apollo was located on what is now St. Cyricus Island. The first archaeological excavation of the site was done by French diplomat L. Degrand in 1904. Further investigation was interrupted by wars, and the island was a restricted military zone until 2005. Excavations began again in 2009 and have since unearthed materials from a Late Archaic temple as well as from the famous Early Classical temple complex.

Other fragments of the terracotta frieze were discovered in 2018 and 2019. A total of 20 fragments have been unearthed in the recent digs, all of them from the same scene. Degrand’s excavation also recovered a section of the frieze which is now in the collection of the Louvre along with the rest of the artifacts Degrand unearthed. The Louvre’s section is appears to be an exact match of the newly-unearthed one, albeit much less worn.

Huge pottery production complex found in Poland

Archaeologists have found the remains of a massive Roman-era pottery production facility in Wrzępia, southern Poland. A geophysical survey of the five-hectare site found approximately 130 furnaces, which makes it by far the largest pottery production site of its type in Poland and one of the largest in Eastern Europe. The pottery was in operation from the late 2nd/early 3rd century to the 5th.

Two of the kilns have now been excavated, and the fragments found indicate the facility specialized in one type of pottery.

“Our research shows that only storage vessels with characteristic thickened spouts were produced there. These were large vessels up to 50 cm in diameter and about 70 cm high. The vessels were most likely used for storage – e.g. food. type of vessels where they probably played the role of peculiar pantries “- explains archaeologist Jan Bulas. […]

Dishes fired in open furnaces were made with the use of a potter’s wheel, which became popular in this area at that time.

Veterans of the legions who settled beyond the Roman limes brought Roman technology (like the pottery wheel), craftsmanship and consumer goods which were adopted by the Germanic peoples, particularly by the elite who increasingly lived a Romanized lifestyle. We know from coin finds that there was a significant flow of Roman money to what is now Lesser Poland in the late 2nd, early 3rd century A.D. After a dip in the late 3rd century, transfers of Roman coinage picked back up in the 4th before coming to a halt in the middle of the 5th century.

This coincides roughly with the dates of the Wrzępia facility. Large-scale production facilities like the pottery attest to how Roman technology and mass-production of consumer goods spread outside the boundary of the Empire. The kilns were a local operation run by the Vandals who inhabited the area. Its large size and specialized production shows there was a thriving, active, complex economy in the area.

Excavation of the site has ended for now. Researchers will focus on cleaning, conserving and studying the artifacts they’ve recovered so far and hope to return next year to excavate as many of the 130 kilns as possible.

Curule chair found in Roman funeral pyre

/>The charred remains of a curule chair have been recovered from a 1st century A.D. funeral pyre in the town of Épagny-Metz-Tessy in southeastern France. Archaeologists discovered the remains of two Roman funeral pyres in a salvage excavation before construction of new residential buildings.

The first pyre is the oldest of the two. It contains the remains of a young child between five and eight years old at time of death. The pyre was furnished with a great abundance of goods, including 17 ceramic vessels, 10 bronze vases and four glass vessels containing the remains of food offerings (lentils, beans, pork, rooster, wine). It was the child’s final banquet, and it was a grand one. Other goods were use items — three copper alloy strigils, bone game tokens — and furnishings (the funeral bed, boxes).

The second pyre was far more elaborate. The deceased was an adult of relatively advanced age, and clearly someone of immense wealth and rank. His grave contained 20 ceramic vases, at least 20 glass containers, 46 bronze utensils and kitchenware containing the remains of wine, lentils, beans, beef, pork, hare, rooster, partridge, duck and fish. There were strigils in this grave too, silver ones, plus a pair of gold earrings and a fragment of a textile embroidered with gold thread.

Amidst all these fine treasures, one object stands out for its symbolism and rarity: an iron curule chair with bronze decorations.

The X-shaped seat is composed of two iron frames with “S” uprights, articulated and intended to work with a set of leather or fabric straps stretched to allow seating. The feet are flat circular shapes and arranged perpendicular to the uprights which themselves have a rectangular section. The two sets of crossbars have round sections. The heads of the uprights are divided into two lateral tabs forming a semicircle framing a rod of round section a washer is affixed halfway up the rod. The end of the latter is put down to fix everything.

The curule chair is one of the major symbols of power in Rome. Of Etruscan tradition, its use is reserved in Rome, initially, to the high magistrates (consuls, praetors) holders of the imperium, that is to say the power to order and to punish. Under Augustus, it is one of the attributes of the emperor. Two types of seat are referenced. On the one hand, the sella curulis strictly speaking, recognizable by its “S” shaped legs: initially reserved for the civil magistracy, it became a luxury household item reserved for an elite from the 1st century AD. On the other hand, the sella castrensis with its “X” profile which is the prerogative of military officers.

Curule chairs are found carved on funerary stele where they symbolize the deceased’s important civic role, but the chairs themselves are vanishingly rare finds in funerary contexts or any other, for that matter. A grand total of eight folding x-shaped chairs have been found in Roman burials France, and this latest discovery is only the fourth full-featured sella curulis.

Of the eight examples listed in France, seven are cremations. This practice makes it almost impossible to determine the sex of the deceased. As for the only burial, it is attributed to a woman.

Thus, if the presence of the seat would be statistically more in favor of a male subject, the hypothesis of a deceased cannot be ruled out and the presence of the earrings would moreover plead more in favor of this possibility.

Remains of 140 Children Who Had Their Hearts Ripped Out Suggests Largest Child Sacrifice Event in History

Over the course of three years, archaeologists in Peru uncovered the graves of 140 children, all killed by a swift cut to their chest, presumably to rip out their hearts. The massive gravesite is shedding light on the mysterious ancient Chimú Empire, and raises question on what could have driven these people to do such a heinous act.

The accidental discovery of child skeletons on a site formerly known as Huanchaquito-Las Llamas was first made in 2011, but it wasn't until 2014 that archaeologists were able to gain sufficient funding in order to conduct a proper excavation. Now, several years and many hours of manual digging later, the excavation team uncovered the remains of 140 children and 200 young llamas. Although the study on the findings has not yet been published, the researchers involved explained their work in a National Geographic exclusive published on Thursday.

Related: Ancient Peru: Dozens Of Tombs Reveal Child Sacrifices And Hoards Of Archaeological Treasures

The children are reported to have all been between five and 14 at the time of death, although the majority of the children were between eight and 12 at the time of their alleged sacrifice. The llamas were all less than 18 months old at their time of death.

According to National Geographic, the site is evidence of the single largest child sacrifice event in the Americas, and could possibly be the largest event of this kind in world history.

Carbon-dating of nearby items put the time of death between 1400 and 1450, which would make this a rare glimpse into the customs of pre-Columbian cultures in South America. In addition, both the human and llama remains had evidence of cut marks on their sternum, as well as dislocated ribs. This suggests that the cause of death may have been a swift cut to the chest followed by removal of the heart.

Related: Ancient Greece: "Shocking" Dismembered Human Skull Reveals Long-Debated Ritual Sacrifice Of Virgins

Further analysis revealed the sacrificed children may not have originated from the site of their sacrifice, but were likely brought from the outer regions of the Chimu Empire. Study co-author John Verano, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University told Newsweek that evidence of skull deformation was a major indication of where some of these children may have been born.

"Their heads were shaped in infancy as cultural identity markers. Also their diet looks quite variable, as determined by stable isotopes of Carbon and Nitrogen," said Verano, explaining how they determined where there children may have been born.

As for why the sacrifice took place, that still remains unclear. Evidence in the mud from the site suggest the sacrifices may have occurred during a period of serious flooding. The flooding could have disrupted fishing in the area and brought extreme hardship to the people.

Haagen Klaus, a professor of anthropology at George Mason University, who was not associated with the research, told National Geographic that the point of sacrifices is to give up something that is of the utmost importance. When adult sacrifices failed to bring a desired outcome, out of desperation the people may have turned to their most precious belongings their children. As for the llama sacrifices, Verano explained that these are an extremely important animal in both ancient and present cultures in Peru and Bolivia.

"After humans, llamas were considered to be the most valuable offerings to the gods," said Verano.

We may never know for sure what drove these people to brutally kill so many children, but ongoing research such as this helps reveal the culture of the ancient world.

Tomb of a pre-Hispanic governor in Copalita

The sepulcher of an individual that (possibly) governed a place known today as Bocana del Río Copalita in Huatulco, Oaxaca, 1300 years ago, was discovered by investigators of the ceremonial area of this archaeological site. Here another 38 burials were found, some of which were individuals whom they believe part of the elite. The pre Hispanic burials were registered by specialists of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH-Conaculta) during the sixth season of the investigation.
This investigation takes place in the superior façade of the site’s Mayan Temple, where the elite resided there, archaeologists found a sepulcher made with masonry’s stone blocks of about 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) high and 1 meter (3.28 feet) wide. The sepulcher contained the skeleton of an individual, presumably of the male sex who was between 20 and 23 years old at death. Archaeologist Raul Matadamas Diaz, director of the Bocana del Rio Copalita investigation project, informed that the sepulcher –the first one that has been discovered in this site– is estimated to date back to 700 AD and although cultural affiliation has not been yet determined, it could be associated to ancient groups that were in contact with Zapotecs of the Valles Centrales in Oaxaca.
INAH’s archaeologist elaborated about the offerings found which were accompanying the skeleton, among which a severed femur believed to have been used as a baton. “This finding –he emphasized– will help understand the funerary practices of the civilizations that occupied Copalita, especially its elite from which we have no information until now”. “Around the sepulcher, we also discovered the burial of 22 more individuals, among which a female character stood out. She was the first skeleton in this pre Hispanic site that was facing the floor, which might indicate a sign of submission to the principal character in the tomb. Her skeleton had two jade earflaps and beads located in her lumbar vertebras”, Matadamas said.
The specialist at INAH-Oaxaca Center explained that over the female skeleton were four pots, one of which is a bowl decorated with a glyph in a relief that has the representation of an owl between two snakes, an image that is repeated in the contour of the piece and which is associated to ancient Zapotecs from the Valles Centrales in Oaxaca. Matadamas Diaz added that in the base of the same piece they found symmetrical figures of an alligator opening its jaws within the jaws is the face of a man who has a scroll with a word in front of him, possibly related to cultures from the coast of Huatulco. “Said symbols will be studied in detail to see if it’s possible to elucidate through them the world view that was developed between 700 and 800 AD by groups that settled in the metropolis of Copalita, and to identify the character that is contained in the tomb” the archaeologist stated. All the material that was recovered in the archaeological zone is being transferred to the INAH Center in Oaxaca to be registered and analyzed.

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