16 FEVRIER 2018: Achill Island - Garibpet - Montpelier - Moiramora - Kom Al-Rasras - Nova Zagora -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SPRING TERM : APRIL 2018
IRLANDE – Achill Island - Fulacht Fia (Burnt mounds) represent an archaeological site whose defining characteristic is large quantities of heat shattered stone. The term fulacht fia is found in the early Irish literature from at least the 9th century AD (Waddell 1998, 174) and refers to open-air cooking places that consist of a water filled pit in which to cook meat. They generally consist of three elements, a mound of stones, a hearth used to heat the stones, and a trough, often lined with wood or stone, which was filled with water and into which the heated stones were placed to warm the water. Extant burnt mound sites are recognised as low grassy mounds which can be circular or crescent shape. They commonly date to the Bronze Age, although examples from the Neolithic period are known.The Achill fulacht fia was found at an elevation 110 m asl, abutting a Middle Bronze Age Round House and enclosure in Keel East townland on Achill Island, Co, Mayo. It comprised a stonelined trough orientated north-west/south-east and measured 1.80m long by 1.01m wide and 0.50m deep. The southwest side of the trough was built from two vertically placed slabs. It also had upright slabs defining its short southeast and northwest ends. The northeast side of the trough was formed a slightly curving wall of four large orthostats measuring 2.90m long and with a maximum height of 1.25m. A deposit of packing material was found around the base of the orthostats. The stone-lined trough was flanked on its southwest and southeast sides by an Lshaped narrow stone ledge/platform. The platform was between 0.37m and 0.57m wide and was composed of four large flat slabs and seems to have served to give access to the trough. The fulacht fia trough and platform were surrounded by a sub-rectangular enclosure of variable height. The northwest part of the enclosure was formed by a stretch of drystone wall built between two orthostats. These two distinctive stones seem to form a pair, and while it is difficult to be sure, they may have originally been part of the roundhouse entrance. Fulacht fia sites are usually found in lowland locations, close to water. Finding a fulacht fia at such a high elevation is unusual and may indicate a usage other than cooking!
INDE – Garibpet - Researchers have now identified Garibpet in Kothegudem as a source of garnets that were crafted into jewellery for export to Rome and other places about 2000 years back. A recent paper published in The Journal of Gemmology by a group of geologists and gemmologists reached the conclusion that garnets sourced from Garibpet were processed at Arikamedu in Tamil Nadu for export. According to historians and archaeologists, the port city on the banks of the Ariyankuppam river functioned as a trade hub from the 1st Century to 7th Century AD. “All properties of materials from Arikamedu and Garibpet are consistent,” said Peterhausen (Germany)-based lead researcher Karl Schmetzer. Garnets have been used as gemstones for ages and the name references their similarity to pomegranate seeds. A large number of garnets have been discovered during excavations in and around Arikamedu over the years, with the Pondicherry Museum having about 50,000 such garnets in its collection. Earlier, the garnets were speculated to be sourced from Odisha and Rajasthan in India, Bohemia in Czechoslovakia, and even Sri Lanka. But the recent paper has the heft to change this view. Using trace elements data from composition analysis, inclusion studies, electron microprobe analysis and wavelength dispersion spectrometry carried out on samples from Garibpet as well as historic finds in Arikamedu, the researchers correlated their origin and the processing site. The scientific correlation study also opens up avenues for archaeologists and historians. It will change the perception of the 6th Century travelogue left behind by the Greek merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes. The authors sought to establishing whether the text by Cosmas Indicopleustes, written in the mid-6th Century AD, refers to the shipment of Garibpet garnets from harbours located on the Coromandel coast at or close to Arikamedu. “Bead production at Arikamedu stopped in the 17th Century. So, we can assume that the samples examined were manufactured before this period. “A Byzantine garnet, engraved with a Christian motif and dated to the end of the 6th Century or beginning of the 7th century AD, has shown consistency with the Garibpet material in average chemical composition, chemical zoning, inclusion assemblage and inclusion zoning”
USA – Montpelier - A team armed with metal detectors is unearthing history that’s been buried for two centuries beneath the plantation of President James Madison.Montpelier's metal-detecting surveyors are sweeping through a wooded area just down the hill from Madison's former mansion in Orange County, hoping that they'll unearth artifacts that will help flesh out the full story that unfolded at the estate.So far, the surveyors have dug up objects like coins, buckles, spoons, and nails. Those discoveries led them to believe they've found the site of slave quarters from the 1810s to 1820s.
INDE – Moiramora - Chabina Hassan, exploration officer, Directorate of Archaeology, Guwahati, said, "On January 1, we started excavation at Moiramora archaeological site after getting the nod from the government and discovered ruins of an ancient temple. We have found pottery, British coins and silver flowers which were offered to the goddess. We cannot confirm the exact year when the temple was built. But we believe it must have been built in the eighth or ninth century. We found bricks at Hojai Na Nath temple during excavation, which are similar to the temple here. We will send the brick samples for optically stimulated luminescence test in Dehradun." Earlier, the team recovered three stone sculptures and other like clay plates, pottery items and silvery jewellery. The team believes that the temple could have been built during the reign of the Salastambha dynasty, which ruled Assam from 675AD to 725AD.
EGYPTE – Kom Al-Rasras - The Egyptian Excavation Field School at the Kom Al-Rasras archaeological site in Aswan has uncovered the remains of a sandstone temple dating back to the 2nd century CE, during Egypt's Roman period. The temple bears the cartouches of a number of Roman emperors such as Domitian (81-96 CE), Hadrian (117-138 CE) and Antonius Pius (138-161 CE).Ayman Ashmawy, head of ancient Egyptian antiquities at the Ministry of Antiquities, explains that excavators also discovered the temple's sanctuary, which consists of three chambers. The sanctuary leads to a cross-sectional hall connected to another hall, which is accessed by a sandstone ramp. Found inside the temple were remains of stone engraving with stars representing the sky, possibly a part of the temple's ceiling. “The discovered site might be connected to Gebel Al-Silsila area and the temple was most probably a part of the residential area of the quarry workers,” Ashmawy told Ahram Online. He explained that the hieroglyphic name of the site is “Khenu." The name is engraved on one of the discovered blocks which connects the site to the residential city. Further excavations may lead to the discovery of the residential area of Al-Silsila quarries.
BULGARIE – Nova Zagora - A valuable well-preserved ceramic tile dating back to the sixth millennium before the New Age was discovered by Sliven archaeologists near Nova Zagora. The find is the oldest in Europe and one of the oldest in the world samples of script was discovered by Sliven archaeologists near Nova Zagora, said archeologist Dr. Tanja Kaneva.The signs are laid on both sides of a well-preserved ceramic tile. "This plate is a high form of information transmission and is very complex," said Dr. Kaneva. They differ from pictograms and carry non-verbal information accessible to people living at that time. They carry information about calendar and ritual events. They are hand-made on wet clay, with the marks being painted with a sharp object. The discovery was made near the town of Nova Zagora by the river, where probably during the New Stone Age existed an ancient settlement. "A total of 36 cultural monuments were found there, among which jewelery, looms for weaving looms, fishing net, cult sculpture, ceramic figures and others," the archaeologist said. "The record plate will enrich the collection of the Sliven Historical Museum and attract more visitors," said Nikolai Sirakov, the museum's director. The find was presented on the day of the archaeologist on February 14, and was discovered during an archaeological expedition of the National Museum of History and RIM-Sliven in October 2017.