Archaeologists have uncovered the exceptionally well-preserved remains of an Iron Age village that grew into a bustling ancient Roman trading town — an archaeological gem with more than 300 Roman coins, glass vessels and water wells — in what is now the district of South Northamptonshire, England in the United Kingdom.
The ancient hotspot — known as Blackgrounds for its black soil — has an abundance of ancient artifacts and structures spanning different time periods, including depictions of deities and Roman game pieces, according to about 80 archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) Headland Infrastructure, who spent the past year excavating the site ahead of the construction of HS2, a new high speed railway. Read more.
The walls were built to protect the city in the 10th century, in the last times of the Andalusine occupation of this area. As the city grew with time, in the 13th and 14th centuries (already after the Christian conquest) the walls were expanded to surround all of Balaguer.
Video by medievalismes on Instagram. The song is La dama de Beirut by Roger Mas.
Archeologists Discover Two Huge Sphinxes in Egyptian Ruins
The sphinxes measure 26 feet in length and represent King Amenhotep III, who reigned about 3,300 years ago.
Archeologists have discovered the remains of two huge sphinx statues, each measuring 26 feet in length, at the funerary temple of King Amenhotep III, a pharaoh who reigned about 3,300 years ago, according to a recent statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
A team led by Horig Sorosian found the sphinxes partially submerged in water at the funerary building, known as the “Temple of Millions of Years,” located within the vast ruins of Luxor, Egypt, which includes the ancient city of Thebes.
Amenhotep III’s temple is packed with artifacts and was once a resplendent feature of Luxor. However, it has been eroded by thousands of years of floods and at least one ancient earthquake. The discovery of the sphinxes is part of a decades-long effort to restore the temple and the Colossi of Memnon, which are two gigantic stone statues of Amenhotep III that mark the entrance to the funerary complex.
The sphinxes are also representations of Amenhotep III, who is shown adorned with a mongoose headdress, a royal beard, and a broad necklace, according to Mustafa Waziri, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. During the cleaning and restoration process of the statues, Sorosian and her colleagues came across an inscription that reads “the beloved of the god Amun-Ra,” which is the royal name of Amenhotep III.
In addition to their striking scale, the sphinxes mark the location of a processional road used for festivals. The pharaoh’s long reign, which ran for over 30 years, is referenced in inscriptions on the wall of a hall within the complex that acknowledge Amenhotep III’s right to the throne and depicts celebrations, according to ARTNews.
Sorosian’s team also discovered three black granite busts of Sekhmet, a goddess of war who took the form of a lioness, which will be moved to their original place within the temple.
The sphinxes are just the latest of many discoveries from ongoing excavation and restoration efforts at Luxor, which have included a never-before-seen mud-caked mummy and the “lost golden city” of Aten.
Reconstructions made from the ancient skeletons found at archeological sites:
The Whitehawk Woman. She lived in England around 5,000 years ago and was buried with great care. She was also buried with a newborn infant, and died aged between 19 and 25 years old. Researchers believe she died during or very soon after childbirth. Her bones indicate she was otherwise in good health.
Adelasius Ebalchus. He lived in Switzerland 1,300 years ago, and was in his late teens/early twenties at the time of his death. His gravesite indicated he came from wealth, and his bones showed he was well-nourished. His bones also showed that Adelasius suffered a lingering infection; archeologists believe he most likely died from lung inflammation.
The Slonk Hill Man was found semi-crouched in a grave near the seaside town of Brighton, England — in the same area as the Whitehawk Woman. Their lives, however, were separated by nearly 3,000 years. The Slonk Hill Man lived during Britain’s Iron Age. The reconstruction artist (an archeologist and sculptor) described him as being “very good looking”, tall, muscular, and in robust health at the time of his death. There were no obvious signs of what caused his death.
The Wari Queen. She was found in 2012 by a Polish-Peruvian archeology team, entombed in an underground mausoleum in El Castillo de Huarmey, Peru. She lived approximately 1200 years ago and died in her sixties. Her bones indicate she led a leisurely life, and her decayed teeth indicate a diet high in sugar (most likely she regularly drank the sugary corn-based beer, chicha). Other artefacts in her chamber suggest she was an expert weaver — a very highly-valued craft.
1000 year old grave of a nonbinary intersex person found in Finland
A Medieval grave in Finland contained the remains of what seems to be a nonbinary person.
Researchers Ulla Moilanen, Tuija Kirkinen, Nelli-Johanna Saari, Adam B. Rohrlach and Johannes Krause writes in the paper “A Woman with a Sword? – Weapon Grave at Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, Finland”:
In 1968, a weapon grave with brooches was found at Suontaka Vesitorninmäki, Hattula, Finland.
Since then, the grave has been interpreted as evidence of powerful women, even female warriors and leaders in early medieval Finland. Others have denied the possibility of a woman buried with a sword and tried to explain it as a double burial.
We present the first modern analysis of the grave, including an examination of its context, a soil sample analysis for microremains, and an aDNA analysis.
Based on these analyses, we suggest a new interpretation: the Suontaka grave possibly belonged to an individual with sex-chromosomal aneuploidy XXY. The overall context of the grave indicates that it was a respected person whose gender identity may well have been non-binary.
Caroline Anders writes in the Washington Post:
The collection of items lying with the bones seemed to evade traditional Western notions of gender. The swords suggested that the person they were buried alongside might be a man, but the jewelry indicated that the body belonged to a woman...
...according to a recent study from Finnish and German researchers, they were a male-bodied person of some wealth or importance buried in traditionally feminine dress. And that raises questions about the fluidity of gender in early medieval Finland. Researchers say it’s possible that this person was nonbinary — not strictly male or female.
Although much of archaeology and much of the world are still bound by binary ideas of gender, research has repeatedly shown that not everyone identifies with a rigid male-female classification.
“We’ve always been here,” author Dianna E. Anderson said. “Being nonbinary isn’t an invention of the 21st century. We may have only started using those words, but that’s just putting language to an existing gender that’s always been around.”
See also: 1,000-year-old grave may belong to nonbinary leader, challenging centuries-old gender roles
Top illustration from the Washington Post: A reconstruction drawing of the grave at Suontaka Vesitorninmaki, Hattula, Finland. (Veronika Paschenko)
Talking about how humans have always been humans, here is one of the archeological finds that makes me cry. Like, tears rolling down the face as I’m typing this.
They posed the little boy like he was sleeping. They covered him in a shroud and placed a pillow under his head before they buried him. 78000 years ago they put time and effort and love into tucking their baby in for the last time. We still bury our loved ones like they are sleeping. We place pillows under their heads.
"What did people wear in pre-historic times? Brown, jute-like clothing might be what you’re thinking of, but even 3000 years ago we wore bright colours, Dutch scientists discovered.
Based on original textile remains which date around 800 BC, they have reconstructed a dress which must have been worn in the early Iron Age. The garment was bright red and blue, reseach shows. An important discovery.
The textileremains were found in 2011 in a grave in a pre-historic gravesite near Uden. “It was a pretty normal excavation, until we suddenly found a rechtangular ditch”, says archeologist Richard Jansen, who was involved in the discovery.
“After much discussion we chose to work downwards layer by layer. When we came to the lowest level, the silhouette of a body became visible. Extraordinary, because people in those days were almost all cremated, and not buried.”
Next to textileremains they also found some jewellery in the grave with which the person, probably a woman, was buried. Amongst which are three bronze bracelets, two bronze anklets, a set of toiletries with a nailfile and a pair of tweezers.
“It was a lady of high status,” says archeologist Sasja van der Vaart-Verschoof, associated with the Leyden Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). “Absolutely no one, as far as we know, had this combination of remarkable objects.”
De textileremains make the grave of international significane, according to van der Vaart-Verschoof. “Textile normally never survives in the ground. That we still have it, after 3000 years, is because the textile was wrapped around the bracelets and anklets. The bronze rusted, which works its way into the fabric. That is how it was preserved.”
“What makes it even more extraordinary, is that we can see in which pattern the dress was woven, so which threads were red and which were blue. We can see that they were woven into a very familiar block pattern.”
Yvonne Lammers, archeologist and head of the pre-historic village in Eindhoven, reconstructed the dress with the help of volunteers. “We know quite a lot about the Iron Age, actually: that they were farmers with cropland and animals, that they were selfsufficient in everything. That they wool and linen, that they could spin yarn, which techniques they used for weaving. But this is not a regular, every-day dress, you have to compare it to a Chanel-suit, that’s how much work went into this.”
[In the video embedded in the website you see how van der Vaart-Verschoof and her colleagues discovered that the brown textile remains were actually red-blue blocked and you can see how the researchers reconstructed the dress, by among other things spinning ten kilometers (10km or 6,2 miles) of thread. Video is in Dutch, but worth a watch!]
As far as Lammers is concerned the find is going to have consequences for the way the volunteers in the museum are dressed. “A lot of visitors in our museum have the idea that it was stirring into the brown slush: brown dresses, brown houses, brown pots. If you can show that they absolutely were a very developed people who valued what they looked like, that makes them a very different kind of people.”
De reconstructed dress, the original textileremains, the jewellery and the toiletry set are exhibited until the 16th of January in museum Jan Cunen in Oss."
Source (in Dutch), with a few more pictures and a video where you can see the dress being worn!! Translation by me, sorry for any weird sentences. Tagging @systlin because it seems right up your alley!