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Longswords and Ancient Dog Print Discovered in Sardis

Thursday, February 4, 2021

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—Live Science reports that five Roman-style longswords were discovered in a 1,500-year-old house located in central Sardis, western Turkey’s ancient capital of the kingdom of Lydia, by Harvard University's Archaeological Expedition of Sardis under the direction of Nicholas Cahill of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Only three swords had previously been found in the city. Buckles and a lead seal also recovered from the house suggest the residents may have been connected to the military or the city’s civil authorities, according to Vanessa Rousseau of the University of St. Thomas. She noted that the house had been furnished with wall paintings that mimic draped curtains and polychrome marble, and terracotta floor tiles that were imprinted before firing with a dog’s paw prints and finger-drawn outlines of birds resembling chickens or ducks. The house had been occupied for approximately 200 years before it was destroyed by an earthquake in the early seventh century, she concluded. To read about a Roman ritual deposit unearthed at Sardis, go to "Artifact."

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