Cursed Tablet of The Island of Jersey

According to the Jersey Evening Post, on mid July 2017, Ken Rive, a metal detectorist found a mysterious tiny tablet in a field in the Saint Brélade parish of Jersey. Robert Waterhouse, field archaeologist for the Société Jersiaise, which is now in possession of the tablet, said it is believed to date back to between the 1st and 3rd Century AD. The faded brown parcel, which is folded at both ends, is believed to be a curse tablet – a means favoured by the Romans for either encouraging good fortune or heaping misery on an enemy. But the curse – and the identity of the intended target – could remain a mystery.

The process was simple – inscribe the name of the recipient on the lead, along with a description of the required action, fold over the edges and bury it underground or toss it into a well. Often, the tablets would ask the gods or spirits to intervene to bring about happier times. But they were also used to try to bring misfortune a foe.

A number of curse tablets previously found in Greece centred on court cases, often wishing that the opposing party fluffed their performance in court or collapsed.


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Ancient SIberian Mummy Covered in Copper

Two mummies were discovered near Salekhard in Russia’s far north at the Zeleniy Yar burial site, a medieval archaeological site containing dozens of graves. So far, two of the these strange new mummies have been discovered: an adult of unusually tall stature, and a child estimated to be no older than six months old.  They were covered in copper, the adult having been plated from head to toe, while the baby’s was covered in fragments of a copper kettle. Preliminary dating suggests the individuals were buried around 1,300 years ago. Alexander Gusev, a senior researcher from Russia's Centre for the Arctic Studies, said: "The mummified remains were found lying next to each other, buried strictly along a north to south line."

Archeologists say the adult's cocoon is some 5ft 7 inches in length, suggesting the male or female inside was unusually tall for the period.

Experts from Russia and South Korea will now carefully open the burial cocoon at a laboratory in Tyumen to determine the age and sex of the copper clad medieval polar region dweller, as well as the type of fur used to warm the dead on the way to their next life.

The team will use computer tomography to look at the remains within their burial cocoons, including any artifacts within them. They will also study the DNA of the mummies and carry out histological (microscopic anatomy) and parasitological analysis.

Results from the latest field studies will be presented in November at a conference in Salekhard covering archaeology in the Arctic. 


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Aztec Tower of Human Skulls

On early July 2017, a tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure. Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.

Tales of the tower of skulls which struck fear into the hearts of Spanish conquistadors have been passed down through the generations in Mexico.

The structure is believed to be part of the Huey Tzompantli, a rack of bones which became the stuff of legend among Spanish conquistadores as they colonised Mexico. Their writings mentioned a tower of skulls.

For the next 500 years, the skulls lay undisturbed underneath what was once the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, but is now Mexico City. Until, a group of archaeologists began the painstaking work of uncovering their secrets two years ago.

What they found has shocked them, because in among the skulls of the young men are those of women and children - bringing into question everything historians thought they knew.

Andres de Tapia, a Spanish soldier who fought with Cortes in the 1521 conquest of Mexico, almost certainly recorded the structure, archaeologist Raul Barrera told Reuters. De Tapia wrote that there were thousands of skulls, and researchers believe they will find more as the excavation continues.

Its base has yet to be uncovered, and it is thought many more skulls will be found.


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