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Archaeological evidence verifies long-doubted medieval accounts of First Crusade

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Republication from eurekalert.org

This earpiece, perhaps of Egyptian manufacture, is apparent loot from the First Crusade sack of Jerusalem in July, 1099 (Credit: Virginia Withers)

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University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte-led archaeological dig on Jerusalem’s Mount Zion has been going on for over a decade, looking at an area where there were no known ruins of major temples, churches or palaces, but nonetheless sacred land where three millennia of struggle and culture has long lain buried, evidence in layer upon layer of significant historical events.

Virtually every dig season, a significant discovery has been made at the site, adding real detail to the records of this globally-renowned city, giving new insights to what has often been imperfectly preserved in ancient histories. This year’s findings are no different, confirming previously unverified details from nearly thousand-year-old historical accounts of the First Crusade – history that had never been confirmed regarding the five-week siege, conquest, sack and massacre of the Fatamid (Muslim)-controlled city in July of 1099.

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Evidence of the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem found in Mount Zion excavation

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Republication from phys.org

 

One of the Scythian type arrowheads found in the destruction layer from 587/586 BCE. Credit: Mt Zion Archaeological Expedition/Virginia Withers

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Researchers digging at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s ongoing archaeological excavation on Mount Zion in Jerusalem have announced a second significant discovery from the 2019 season—clear evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city from 587/586 BCE.

The discovery is of a deposit including layers of ash, arrowheads dating from the period, as well as Iron Age potsherds, lamps and a significant piece of period jewelry—a gold and silver tassel or earring. There are also signs of a significant Iron Age structure in the associated area, but the building, beneath layers from later periods, has yet to be excavated.

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Xenophon’s Anabasis and the March of the Ten Thousand: a map

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This is an interesting map of Xenophon’s Anabasis and the March of the Ten Thousand. Actually they were originally 13,000 Greek mercenaries under the command of Clearchos and then under the famous Xenophon.

In order to understand their accomplishment – a huge task taking into account the historical period and the very hostile environment (natural and human) – all we have to do is

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Distinctive Iron Age shield gives insight into prehistoric technology

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Republication  from the University of York

Photo credit: University of York

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A unique bark shield, thought to have been constructed with wooden laths during the Iron Age, has provided new insight into the construction and design of prehistoric weaponry.

The only one of its kind ever found in Europe, the shield was found south of Leicester on the Everards Meadows site, in what is believed to have been a livestock watering hole.

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Legio VI in action

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A superb reenactment photo by D.Freschet, of the Legio VI reenactment group (Bellegarde 2011) (credit: Legio VI/ D.Freschet). Unfortunately I do not know the exact  name of the group. All I know is that they’ve made an excellent work.

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Palintonon (ballista) heavy catapult

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Detailed diagrams of a gigantic palintonon (παλίντονον), around 334 BC (siege of Halicarnassos), probably by E.W. Marsden. The palintonon was a Hellenic heavy catapult, mostly stone-throwing, which was constructed in various scales (from just heavy to enormous). It was invented and intensively used by the Greeks in the early or mid-4th century BCE but it was soon adopted by the Carthaginians, the Romans and other ancient states. It became a ‘beloved’ weapon for the Republican and Imperial Romans: they called it ‘ballista’, but the correct initial version was ‘ballistra’ (βαλλίστρα), also a Greek term from the verb ‘βάλλω’ that is “to shoot”.

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