Category Archives: EUROPE

A stunning 14th-century medieval chapel is uncovered in County Durham, England

A stunning 14th-century medieval chapel is uncovered in County Durham, England

Archaeologists have really found considered one of medieval Britain’s most vital architectural works of arts– the long-lost church of north England’s only medieval leaders– the Prince-Bishops of Durham.

The team spent five months carefully unearthing the foundations of the chapel — including part of the floor, the buttresses along the sides of the chapel and walls that measured 4.9 feet (1.5 m) thick by 39 feet (12 m) wide and 131 feet (40 m) long

The precise space of the large 40- meter lengthy baronial church was unidentified for tons of years. Now archaeologists from Durham College in addition to a neighborhood historic activity have really found the church’s long-lost stays.

A lot, they’ve really found ultra-fine stonework from the church wall surfaces, a fragile rock rising from the ceiling, items of rock columns, beautiful discolored glass in addition to the church’s distinct black plaster flooring.

Experts believe that the grand scale and decorations of the chapel would have served as a statement to the status of the bishop-prince — who held the power to raise armies, mint coinage and even rule in place of the king, Edward I. Pictured, archaeologists John Castling (left) and Jamie Armstrong (right) with an intricately carved ceiling boss from the chapel

Pictured, researchers found the base stone for a buttress cracked in two — damage possibly caused during the demolition of the chapel Beneath the stone, what is thought to be a charge hole for gunpowder can be seen

The locates have really allowed them to recreate an image of what the fantastic church will surely have resembled within the later middle ages The archaeologists have really likewise uncovered part of the enamel in addition to copper sacred dish utilized to carry the communion bread all through options held there by the Prince-Bishops within the 14th century.

They’ve really likewise found an image of a stooping monk– regarded as north-east England’s hottest medieval non-secular chief, St Cuthbert (whose vital temple continues to be in Durham Cathedral). It is without doubt one of the extraordinarily couple of medieval photographs of him ever earlier than found.

Larger than the Royal Chapel at Westminster (St Stephen’s in parliament) in addition to virtually as massive as St George’s Chapel, Windsor, it was developed by the Bishop in addition to Earl Palatine of Durham as part of his main out-of- group baronial citadel within the late 13th century.

So efficient was its contractor, Prince-Bishop Bek, that considered one of his distinguished authorities flaunted that there have been 2 majesties in England– the King in addition to the prince-bishop.

However in the end, three in addition to a fifty % centuries in a while, the fantastic baronial church, at Auckland Fortress, County Durham, was deliberately ruined with massive quantities of gunpowder by yet another megalomaniac– a callous anti-royalist that hungered for outright energy, detested the well-known church in addition to despised all diocesans.

Part of Auckland Castle, the remains of the long lost place of worship — Bek’s Chapel — were uncovered with the help of staff and students from Durham University. Pictured, the location of the dig site at Auckland Castle, before excavations took place

The ultra-intolerant extremist was Sir Arthur Hesilrige, an aged legislator military chief that was one of many arch-republicans that, in 1649, approved King Charles I’s fatality warrant.

The church in addition to the citadel it developed part of had really remained in pro-royalist arms– in addition to had really been confiscated by parliament in addition to marketed to Hesilrige, the simplest republican politician in north-east England, known as, of a scriptural dangerous man, the “Nimrod of the North” by his challengers.

As an extreme Puritan, he despised the Church of England– in addition to maltreated its clergy, on one celebration kicking out a vicar in addition to his family from their home within the middle of the night, tossing their private belongings proper into the neighborhood graveyard.

Certainly, considered one of Civil Struggle England’s main left-wing democrats, John Lilburne, chief of the ultra-egalitarian Levellers, charged him of“traitorously subverting the elemental liberties of England and exercising an arbitrary and tyrannical authority over and above the regulation”

Hesilrige’s conduct– together with his procurement in addition to the purposeful injury of the church– is politically vital in English background since, along with comparable habits by varied different main Cromwellians, it aided fatally problem the rationale of republicanism in addition to therefore aided in its failure in addition to the restore of the monarchy.

Stained glass from the long-lost baronial church. This piece reveals a pelican pecking her very personal bust– a typical Christian signal standing for Christ’s self-sacrifice. (Durham College utilized with authorization of the Auckland Venture). The exploration of the church is of appreciable worth by way of the background of north England

“For hundreds of years it has been one of many nice misplaced buildings of medieval England,” said one of many essential archaeologists related to the excavation, John Castling, archaeology in addition to social background supervisor on the Auckland Venture, which has the citadel.

“Our excavation of this big chapel has shed extra mild on the immense energy and wealth of the Prince-Bishops of Durham – and has helped bolster Auckland Fortress’s fame as a fortress of nice significance within the historical past of England.”

A number of the brand-new explorations will definitely be positioned on present and inform at Auckland Fortress from the very early the following month.

The church was uncovered making use of superior distant noticing gadgets– consisting of ground-penetrating radar in addition to magnetometers– in addition to was moneyed by way of the custom of the late Mick Aston, the favored TELEVISION excavator in addition to the speaker of the Channel four historic assortment, TimeTeam

Referring to the excavation of the church, Durham College excavator, Chris Gerrard said: “That is archaeology at its best.”

“Professionals, volunteers, and Durham College students working collectively as a staff, to piece collectively clues from paperwork and previous illustrations, used the very newest survey methods to resolve the thriller of the whereabouts of this big misplaced construction,” he included.

Unknown ancient god with astral symbols discovered on a stele at a cult site in Turkey

Unknown ancient god with astral symbols discovered on a stele at the cult site in Turkey

In an ancient sanctuary in Turkey, Münster archeologists excavated a unique Roman relief depicting an unknown god.

According to a first assessment, the one and a half meter (five feet) high basalt stele which was used as a buttress in the wall of a monastery shows a fertility or vegetation god, as classical scholar and excavation director Prof. Dr. Engelbert Winter and archaeologist Dr. Michael Blömer of the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” said after their return from the sacred site of the god Jupiter Dolichenus close to the ancient city of Doliche in Southeast Turkey.

“The image is remarkably well preserved. It provides valuable insights into the beliefs of the Romans and into the continued existence of ancient Near Eastern traditions. However, extensive research is necessary before we will be able to accurately identify the deity.”

In the field season 2014, the 60-strong excavation team uncovered finds from all periods of the 2,000-year history of the cult site, such as the thick enclosing wall of the first Iron Age sanctuary or the foundations of the main Roman temple of the god Jupiter Dolichenus, who became one of the most important deities of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century A.D.

His sanctuary is situated close to the town of Gaziantep on the 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) high mountain of Dülük Baba Tepesi. The archaeologists found the stele in the remains of the Christian monastery, which was erected on the site of the ancient sanctuary in the Early Middle Ages.

Bearded deity with astral symbols

Archaeologist Blömer described the depiction: “The basalt stele shows a deity growing from a chalice of leaves. Its long stem rises from a cone that is ornamented with astral symbols. From the sides of the cone grow a longhorn and a tree, which the deity clasps with his right hand.

The pictorial elements suggest that a fertility god is depicted.” There are striking iconographic details such as the composition of the beard or the posture of the arms, which point to Iron Age depictions from the early 1st millennium B.C.

Stele featuring the unknown god.

The new find, thus, provides information about a key question of the Cluster of Excellence’s research project B2-20, the question of the continuity of local religious beliefs.

According to Prof. Winter, “The stele provides information on how ancient oriental traditions survived the epochs from the Iron Age to the age of the Romans.”

This year’s excavation activities concentrated on exploring the medieval monastery of Mar Solomon (St. Solomon). “The well-preserved ruins of the monastery complex permit numerous conclusions regarding life and the culture in this region between Late Antiquity and the time of the crusaders,” according to Prof. Winter.

Until 2010, when the international team discovered the remains of the monastery, experts had known of it from written sources only.

According to the archaeologist Blömer, “All finds from this year’s excavation season are important pieces of the puzzle, contributing to the knowledge concerning every phase of the long history of this holy place.”

The history stretches from the early Iron Age and the Roman sanctuary known throughout the empire to the long utilization as a Christian monastery, which still existed at the time of the crusaders.

Preparing the excavation site for tourists

Work on an archaeological park is in progress which is to make the outstanding temple complex and the monastery ruins accessible to the public at large.

The monastery ruins were preserved and encased with special fleece material. The complex protection measures were made possible by cooperation with the Turkish Zirve University in Gaziantep, which provided about 200,000 Euros for three years.

Ruins at the site of the Christian monastery of St. Solomon.

For the digital documentation of the area, the team uses a quadrocopter, a remotely piloted vehicle with a 3-D camera, developed by the Institute for Geoinformatics of the University of Münster. A visitors’ trail signposted in three languages, which was completed in 2013, leads to central areas of the excavation site. An initial large protective shelter was erected.

Supported by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft, DFG), the University of Münster’s Asia Minor Research Centre has been conducting excavation work at the main sanctuary of Jupiter Dolichenus under the direction of Prof. Winter since 2001.

So far, the international group consisting of archaeologists, historians, architects, conservators, archaeozoologists, geoinformation scientists and excavation workers uncovered foundations of the archaic and the Roman sanctuary, as well as of the medieval monastery of Mar Solomon.

The Cluster of Excellence’s project B2-20, “Media Representation and Religious ‘Market’: Syriac Cults in the Western Imperium Romanum,” is interlinked with the excavations.

Piece of a skull found in Greece ‘is the oldest human fossil outside Africa’

700,000 years old Skull discovered in Greek cave, completely shatters the Out of Africa theory

The “Petralona man”, or “Archanthropus of Petralona”, is a 700,000-year-old human skull discovered in 1959. Since then, scientists have been trying to trace this skull’s origin, a process that has caused considerable controversy.

The skull, indicating the oldest human “europeoid” (presenting European traits), was embedded in a cave’s wall in Petralona, near Chalkidiki in Northern Greece.

The cave, rich in stalactites and stalagmites, was accidentally located by a shepherd. Dr. Aris Poulianos, an expert anthropologist, member of UNESCO’s International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences and founder of the Anthropological Association of Greece, was assigned research on the cave and skull.

Before that, Dr. Poulianos was already known for his thesis on “The origin of the Greeks”. His thesis was based on craniological and anthropometrical studies of Modern Greek populations, which proved that modern Greeks are related to ancient Greeks and that they are not the descendants of Slavic nations.

After the extensive study on the 700,000-year-old skull, he concluded that the “Petralona man” was not connected to the species that came out of Africa. His arguments were mainly based on the skull’s almost perfect orthography, the shape of its dental arch, and the occipital bone construction.

According to the “Out of Africa” theory, “anatomically modern humans” known as “Homo sapiens” originated in Africa between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago before spreading to the rest of the world. This theory was related to the fact that most prehistoric fossils were found in Africa.

In 1964, two German researchers, anthropologist E. Breitinger and paleontologist O. Sickenberg, who was invited to Greece, suggested that the skull was actually 50,000 years old, thus rejecting Dr. Poulianos’ theory.

Moreover, Breitinger claimed that the skull belonged to the “first African out of Africa”. A few years later, in 1971, US Archaeology magazine confirmed Poulianos’ statement.

According to the scientific magazine, the existence of a cave dating back more than 700,000 years and human presence in almost every geological layer were ascertained.

Additionally, the magazine affirmed that human presence became evident from the discovery of Paleolithic tools of the same age and the most ancient traces of fire that was ever lit by human hand.

The research continued from 1975 to 1983, when the excavation stopped and findings remained inaccessible to study until 1997.

Today, 50 years after the discovery of the “Petralona man”, modern methods of absolute chronology confirm Dr. Poulianos’ theory.

Most academics believe that the skull belongs to an archaic hominid with strong European traits and characteristics of Homo erectus, Neanderthals and sapiens, but they distinguish it from all these species. This incredible discovery raises new questions on human evolution and certainly challenges the “Out of Africa” theory.

Silver Roman dagger is restored to its former glory

Roman dagger uncovered by the teenage archaeologist on work experience is restored to former glory

A Roman knife, 2000 years old, that a teenage boy had discovered during his work has been spectacularly restored to its former glory.

The old weapon is believed to have used in a battle against the Germanic people in the 1st century by a soldier from the Roman army.

It was found in a burial ground in Haltern am See near Munster, north-west Germany by 19 years old Nico Calman last year.

An elaborate silver Roman dagger has been painstakingly restored to its original glory after it was unearthed by a teenager on work experience in Germany.

It was believed to be the most remarkable artefact of its kind to have been discovered – at a burial ground in Haltern am See, near Münster. 

It is so well preserved that red enamel and glass, as well as silver and brass, handles decorated with ornate patterns of foliage and leaves survived for 2,000 years.

The dagger is believed to have been used by a legionary fighting a Germanic tribe in the 1st century, according to The Times. 

An elaborate silver Roman dagger has been painstakingly restored to its original glory after it was unearthed by a teenager on work experience in Germany

Unearthed along with the fascinating decorated dagger were bronze and brass plates, the remnants of a leather belt and a lime-wood sheath and flaxen twine.       

The ornate dagger is set to be displayed in Haltern’s Roman history museum in 2022.

When the weapon was dug from the ground, it was completely encased in rust before being restored over the span of nine months to reveal its previous state

Michael Rind, director of archaeology at the local Westphalia-Lippe council, told The Times: ‘This combination of a completely preserved blade, sheath, and belt, together with the important information about precisely where they were found, is without parallel.’ 

Roman soldiers are said to have carried ornate daggers as a sign of prestige – and  Haltern was a large military camp established by troops, according to local media.

Despite archaeological excavations taking place in the German district for 200 years, this discovery is bound to shed new light into Roman activities east of the Rhine. 

It was thought that the camp had been abandoned following a severe defeat as up to 20,000 men were wiped out.

In the 1990s, a new burial ground not far from the site of the battle was discovered – with several graves were discovered, including 25 skeletons in a pottery furnace.

Possible Shrine Dedicated to Romulus Found in Roman Forum

Possible Shrine Dedicated to Romulus Found in Roman Forum

The resting place of the legendary founder of the city, Romulus, could be tombs located under the Roman Forum.

On a Roman Forum, Colosseum Archeological Park Manager Alfonsina Russo said Monday, a hypogeum or underground temple and tomb structure with a tuff sarcophagi connected to what looks like an altar.

Archaeologists are believed to have uncovered an area devoted to the first King of Rome and a rock sarcophagus, measuring 4.6ft, which are believed to date back to the 6th century BC.  The Space is believed to be part of a votive area called a heroon devoted to the founder of Rome, Romulus, she said.

The sarcophagus, made out of the same tufa rock that built the Capitol, is around 1.40 meters long and is believed to date back to the sixth century BC, she said.

The find was made next to the Curia-Comitium complex, a few meters away from the famed Lapis Niger, which Romans thought had brought bad luck because it was linked to the death of Romulus, Russo said. She said she would present the discovery to the media on Friday. 

“This is an extraordinary discovery,” Russo told reporters on Monday.”The forum never ceases to yield amazing fresh treasures,” she said.

The discovery was made during a dig that “started about a year ago to celebrate and commemorate the discoveries made by famed archaeologist Giacomo Boni at the beginning of the 20th century,” Russo said.

The hypogeum is located below the entrance stairway to the Curia, where Senators met to vote. The new entrance stairs were built in the 1930s by Alfonso Vartoli.

Russo said that scholars believe the altar to have been placed on the spot where ancient Romans believed Romulus was buried.

This is according to a reading of the ancient Roman historian Varo, cited in the poet Horace’s Epodes, the Colosseum Park director told reporters. “It is not an accident,” experts cited by Russo said, “that this underground altar was placed close to the Lapis Niger”.

The excavation and valorisation of this monument to the cult of Romulus and the origins of Rome will be illustrated by Russo and the team of archaeologists and architects who have been involved in the discovery, on Friday 21 February at 11 o’clock in the morning.

A hypogeum or hypogaeum, literally meaning “underground”, from Greek hypo (under) and Gaia (mother earth or goddess of earth) is an underground temple or tomb.

Hypogea will often contain niches for cremated human remains or loculi for buried remains. Occasionally tombs of this type are referred to as built tombs.

Hypogeum can also refer to any antique building or part of building built below ground such as the series of tunnels under the Colosseum which held slaves (particularly enemy captives) and animals while keeping them ready to fight in the gladiatorial games. The animals and slaves could be let up through trapdoors under the sand-covered arena at any time during a fight.