A important-gem-studded “lotus flower” pendant very similar to one particular worn by historical Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti has been unearthed in a established of tombs in Cyprus.
The pendant is a person of hundreds of opulent grave products from close to the Mediterranean area that have been uncovered at the site, which includes gemstones, ceramics and jewelry.
Archaeologists from the New Swedish Cyprus Expedition first unearthed the two Bronze Age tombs, each underground chambers, in the ancient metropolis of Hala Sultan Tekke in 2018.
1 hundred and fifty 5 human continues to be and 500 funerary items were uncovered in the tombs, placed in layers on leading of just one another, suggesting that the burial chambers have been utilized in excess of various generations.
“The finds suggest that these are family tombs for the ruling elite in the town,” excavation chief Peter Fischer, professor emeritus of historic scientific studies at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, said in a assertion.
“For illustration, we identified the skeleton of a 5-12 months-aged with a gold necklace, gold earrings and a gold tiara. This was most likely a kid of a potent and rich household.”
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The grave goods include things like jewellery and other keepsakes created of gold, silver, bronze and ivory, as perfectly as vessels from a variety of cultures.
“We also discovered a ceramic bull,” Fischer reported. “The system of this hollow bull has two openings: a single on the again to fill it with a liquid, probably wine, and a single at the nose to drink from. Evidently, they had feasts in the chamber to honor their dead.”
Meanwhile, other grave items provided a red carnelian gemstone from India, a blue lapis lazuli gemstone from Afghanistan and amber from all around the Baltic Sea – valuables indicating that Bronze Age people in Cyprus took part in a vast investing network.
Archaeologists also observed evidence of trade with historical Egypt, which include gold jewellery, scarabs (beetle-shaped amulets sporting hieroglyphs) and the continues to be of fish imported from the Nile Valley, according to the assertion.
The archaeological staff dated the gold jewellery by comparing it with identical finds from Egypt. “The comparisons show that most of the objects are from the time of Nefertiti and her husband Echnaton [also spelled Akhenaten, the father of King Tutankhamun]”, all-around 1350 BCE, Fischer explained.
“Like a gold pendant we observed: a lotus flower with inlaid gemstones. Nefertiti wore very similar jewellery.”
The excavation group also uncovered a cylinder-shaped seal crafted from hematite, a mineral with a metallic hue. The seal bears a cuneiform inscription from Mesopotamia (fashionable-working day Iraq) that archaeologists deciphered.
“The textual content is made up of a few traces and mentions three names. A single is Amurru, a god worshiped in Mesopotamia. The other two are historic kings, father and son, who we lately succeeded in tracking down in other texts on clay tablets from the exact period of time, i.e., the 18th century BCE,” Fischer mentioned.
“We are currently hoping to identify why the seal ended up in Cyprus, extra than 1,000 kilometers [620 miles] from where by it was made.”
An examination of the ceramic wares in the tombs confirmed that the styles in which they have been crafted transformed about time, which also served date the conclusions, Fischer said.
Up coming, the archaeologists system to evaluate the DNA of the skeletons interred in the tombs. “This will expose how the unique individuals are relevant with every single other and if there are immigrants from other cultures, which is just not unlikely looking at the broad trade networks,” Fischer said.
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