Release the Hounds: Archeology Edition – August 2022


There are many articles and essays on the new archaeological finds that are of interest to modern pagans, heathens, and polytheists, more than our team can write in depth in any given week. Therefore, since they haven’t let them out for quite a while, The Wild Hunt must free the dogs in order to round them all up. Here are our favorite picks from the past few months.

IZMIR, Türkiye – The Izmir Archeology Museum in Türkiye will display artifacts of the goddess Nike in a special exhibition. The artifacts will be on display in August as part of a project called “You will see what you cannot see.“The project will showcase artifacts or rarely seen items from the museum’s storerooms each month for public viewing. Nike is often depicted as a winged man standing beside the throne of Zeus.

Three Nike artifacts are on display. The first is a 2,000-year-old 19-inch (49 cm) marble column discovered in 1925 CE in Izmir depicting Nike with laurel leaves. The second artifact is a 2,500-year-old clay votive lamp depicting Nike around the lamp flame. The final item is a Nike action figure considered a funeral gift.

In other news from Izmir, Professor Dr. Özlem Çevik from the Department of Protohistory and Pre-Asian Archeology of the Faculty of Letters of Trakya University announced the discovery of a small clay statue old of 7,800 years in the excavations of Ulucak Mound in the district of Kemalpaşa.

Little is currently known about the female figurine. They were thought to represent deities, but archaeologists have found them outside sacred places, leading many to suspect that they commemorate an important event like a birth or a harvest. They may also have been used in witchcraft rituals, for abundance or fertility.

The 7,800-year-old female figurine found at Ulucak Mound, Izmir, Türkiye on August 8, 2022. (Image credit: DHA)

The professor told Anadolu Agency that the mound has been continuously inhabited for 45 generations. “It’s one of the oldest settlements in Western Anatolia, and we unearthed finds dating back 8,850 years in the mound,” Çevik said.

MANISA, Türkiye – The only existing statue of Hestia to survive from the Hellenistic period will be on display at the Manisa Archeology Museum later this year. The 10.2ft (2.7m) bronze statue was unearthed in 2005 in the ancient city of Aigai, the royal capital of Macedonia. The city was then named Aeolus in Roman times. It was destroyed in 17 CE and helped in reconstruction by Emperor Tiberius.

Associate Professor Yusuf Sezgin, who led the excavations, said: “Currently work is being done in the Sanctuary of Athena. In ancient times, cities had certain gods or goddesses. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and intelligence. Obviously, Aigai’s most important goddess was Athena. Because a temple was built at the highest point of the city, at its most magnificent place. We started working here in 2019. The area was covered in brush and rubble. After some work, it began to surface gradually.

Statue of Hestia discovered in Turkey [Image via Reddit]

The professor noted, “It is actually a sacred area” and there are no other similar examples of Hestia yet discovered from the Hellenistic period.

“There are no statues of Hestia from the Hellenistic period in the world. Restoration of these statues, including Hestia, will begin soon and will be exhibited at the Manisa Archeology Museum,” Sezgin said.

The area has been continuously inhabited for 1,000 years and also contains a necropolis with some 3,500 graves on the surface. Continued archaeological exploration and excavation of the area will determine if any tombs are present underground.

CAIRO – Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has announced that traces of a previously unknown cult temple dedicated to the supreme Egyptian god Ra have been discovered south of Cairo by a team of Italian and Polish archaeologists.

Massimiliano Nuzzolo of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Rosanna Pirelli of the University of Naples L’Orientale were the lead archaeologists at the site of the Abu Ghurab mud-brick structure. The builder(s) of the site are still unknown, but it is thought to have been built either by Shepseskare, who ruled from around 2438 to 2431 BCE, or by Neferefre, who ruled from around 2431 to 2420 BCE Our era.

Image credit: Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

The main structure measures at least 197 feet by 66 feet and consists of a portico of limestone columns. The L-shaped entrance to the site leads to a courtyard and storage area as well as a series of rooms for as yet unknown cultic purposes. The site contains dozens of beer jars and other substances decorated with red pigment.

Dr Nuzzolo explained: “The walls of this building were all smeared in black and white and often had traces of paint in red and blue. He added that the site was ritually demolished and a new stone temple was built at the same location for Niuserre, who ruled from 2420 to 2389 BCE.

MUNICH – The Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation has announced the discovery of small 7.5-inch (19 cm) figurines that may represent a prehistoric water goddess. Archaeologists discovered the ceramic figure in a prehistoric ravine near a Hallstatt period settlement that existed in the 8th and 6th centuries BCE. The settlement lies at the edge of the Unkenbach Plain in present-day Mönchstockheim in the district of Schweinfurt.

The figurines were found during the construction of a national road, the Mönchstockheim bypass, and their discovery prompted the immediate deployment of archaeologists on a rescue and preservation mission.

Image credit: Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

The figurines, which could originally measure a few centimeters more, are made of clay. Archaeologists are unclear as to what gender the figurines represent, but they do have a headdress that was commonly worn by women of that time. The headdress also has holes around the edge whose purpose is unclear.

Researchers say the figurines could date from the 5e millennium BC and originated in the Black Sea region.

Image credit: Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

The culture of the region at the time was dominated by agriculture, but metalworking was advanced and long-distance trade with Mediterranean cultures had taken place and was economically important.

As for the purpose of the figurines and how they got there, future research will explore these questions. The General Curator, Professor Mathias Pfeil, Head of the Office, speculated: “It is possible that people at that time considered this picturesque place to be a sacred place and that the small statuette served as a ritual offering. or even had magical powers.


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