Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Winter solstice: Explore these new 3D scans of passage tomb megalithic art


A TREASURE TROVE of megalithic art imagery from a recently uncovered passage tomb is being released to mark the winter solstice.

The Dowth Hall tomb is part of the Brú na Boinne complex, and is located a stone’s throw away from the more famous Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth tombs.

It was hidden underground until an excavation in 2017. What remains was damaged by the construction of a building above it in the 18th century.

The find was described as ‘the most significant’ of the past 50 years in Ireland.

An estimated one-third of the kerbstones – which would have surrounded the tomb – and orthostats – upright stones – found at Dowth Hall are decorated in Neolithic art.

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Video: Marking the winter solstice at Maeshowe chambered cairn

With its south-westerly facing entrance,perhaps Maeshowe’s best known attribute is its orientation towards the setting sun around midwinter.

Five thousand years ago, as now, it may be that the solstice marked the passing of time – the death of the old year and the birth of the new one. In the dark depths of an Orkney winter today, the solstice remains a welcome indicator that the sun is returning.

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Bog Body Discovered in Denmark

STENLØSE, DENMARK—Live Science reports that human and animal bones, as well as an unpolished flint ax head, were recovered from what was once a bog on Denmark’s island of Zealand during an investigation conducted before a construction project. The style of the ax suggests that the bones date to the early Neolithic period, more than 5,000 years ago, according to Emil Struve of the ROMU museums. “We know that traditions of human sacrifices date back that far—we have other examples of it,” he said. The human remains include leg bones, a pelvis, and part of a lower jaw with some teeth still attached. The rest of the body probably lay outside the protective layer of peat and was not preserved.

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U.K. Archaeologists Say That Ancient Tools Discovered Around Stonehenge Point to a More Advanced Society Than Previously Known

Archaeologists at the University of Leicester have just re-examined five 4,000-year-old tools like flint cups and Neolithic axes that have puzzled experts since their discovery 220 years ago in a Bronze-Age burial near Stonehenge. Four were examined for the first time.

Based on the bones, cups, and cobbles surrounding two bodies at the grave—most recently dated 1850–1700 B.C.E.—researchers have hypothesized over the past century that these grave goods belonged to a costumed shaman, or a goldsmith of status.

Applying contemporary technologies including microwear analysis and scanning electron microscopy to the tools’ surfaces, researchers have revealed their owner was more likely a gold worker who coaxed the precious metal into sheets to gild other items.

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