INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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FALL TERM : OCTOBER 2013
TURQUIE – Bodrum - Ancient tombs thought to belong to the Mycenaean era of 3,500 years ago have been unearthed during an excavation being carried out by the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology in the Ortakent district of Bodrum, Turkish media reported on Friday. Speaking to the press, Professor Yusuf Boysal, the supervisor of the excavations, said his team so far has found the remains of several tombs, a canteen, a three-handled cup, a jug, a bronze razor, animals' bones, many pieces of glass and beads with different shapes. Boysal added: “Along with these new discoveries, now we will have more information regarding this ancient era. These tombs and other historical ruins are very important and they will give us information about the culture of the people who lived in that era.” In another set of recent discoveries, archeologists working at the ancient city of Komana in the northern province of Tokat discovered tombs dating back to the 11th century earlier this week. The three tombs found are thought to belong to a family -- a man, woman and child -- according to Emine Sökmen of Hitit University's archaeology department. “We found earrings and accessories, so that's why we think this is a woman's body,” she sad, speaking about one of the tombs in the group. “We knew that there was a plot of tombs from the Byzantine era,” she said, adding that the city was once known as a temple city. She indicated that they had acquired information from the site that dates back to the 11th and 12th century.
ROUMANIE – Sarmizegetusa - Gold coins as well as silver jewels belonging to the ancient culture of the Dacians have been recovered by Romanian authorities after a two-year hunt. The precious artefacts had been stolen from the site of ancient Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa Regia, in present-day Huendoara County, Romania.The Dacians, an Indo-European people conquered by the Romans in the first century BC, found Sarmizegetusa presumably during the first century BC, well before the area’s Roman conquest by Trajan during the beginning of the 2nd century AD. The coins, from the era of king Koson (1st century BC), were stolen from Sarmizegetusa between 2004 and 2007, according to museum director Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu. He added that both the coins and the jewels were recovered from a German auction house. A man charged with “complicity to the theft of cultural goods” was arrested Monday, prosecutors said. The suspect, Horia-Camil Radu, had been indicted in 2008 but fled Romania before the trial began. In 2010 he was arrested by British authorities while he was heading to Germany where he planned to sell 160 Dacian, Byzantine and Roman gold coins.Tests conducted by British Museum experts showed that 145 of the coins were part of a Dacian treasure stolen from Sarmizsegetusa.
TURQUIE – Balatlar - Archaeologists digging at an old church site in Turkey say they found a stone chest containing a relic that may be a part of the wood cross on which Jesus died. The items were discovered during excavations at the Balatlar Church in the northern province of Sinop near the Black Sea, built in A.D. 660, Today's Zaman reported Wednesday. The researchers also found a stone with crosses carved in it, the newspaper said. "We have found a holy thing in a chest. It is a piece of a cross, and we think it was" part of the cross on which Jesus was crucified, the Anadolu Agency quoted Professor Gulgun Koroglu as saying. "This stone chest is very important to us. It has a history and is the most important artifact we have unearthed so far." Koroglu said the archaeology team has found "many things that we didn't know about before" during four years of digging, including the skeletons of more than 1,000 people, the Turkish news service said. A Roman bath also was found at the site, NBC News reported. Koroglu, an art historian and archaeologist at Turkey's Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts, said the team suspects the chest served as a symbolic coffin for the relics of a holy person and that the fragments it contained were associated with Jesus' crucifixion, NBC said. NBC said the chest had been taken to a laboratory for further examination.
MEXIQUE – Ojo de Liebre - In the southern limits of the state of Baja California, in the dunes of one of the coasts of the lagoon complex of Ojo de Liebre and Guerrero Negro, archaeologists rescued the bow of a 210-year-old canoe. It is speculated that either this canoe was fabricated by Bajacalifornian Indians or it was dragged by north currents and reused by the groups that inhabited the peninsula. This vestige, found in the Manuela Lagoon, is part of a series of canoe discoveries registered by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), throughout the Bajacalifornian coast of the Pacific ocean, all along the Rosarito Beach all the way towards El Vizcaino; here they have also found wood trunks that derive of great and now extinct trees in the peninsula. “There are early evidences that suggest that plank canoes of the Chumash natives –American Indians south of California–, which date back to 950 and 1150 after Christ. Also, the ethnographic work between the Tolowa natives (tribe in the north of California) narrate their voyages as they would advance deep into the sea to make ritualistic activities, such as the annual hunt of the sea lion. Another example that should be highlighted is the case of the Tule rafts and the canoes of the coast of California as well as the Seri vessels”. “We don’t know if the canoe was made by Bajacalifornian natives or if it arrived north by the currents, because the coast where we discovered the canoe is prone to the arrival of many different objects. Also, in the islands we have also found very big trunks of different kinds of wood which originate from the north of the continent, they are not native to Mexico”. Judging by the characteristics of the canoe, the specialist thinks that it wasn’t used to navigate the sea, “it’s pretty small and light; the canoes meant for deep sea regularly had a higher bow that would help them break waves and were much heavier in order to resist the strength of the currents”. Some investigators have proposed that the first canoes for the sea were the Tomol, however it’s also argued that they were not the only ones capable to make sea voyages, since there are also Tule rafts and canoes in the coast of California, whose capacity was demonstrated by the Seri of Sonora, when they made deep sea voyages transporting people and merchandise through rough waters.
GRECE – Korakou - Thanks to a grant from INSTAP, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens has been able to purchase the area of the prehistoric site of Korakou, at the southwest of the city of Corinth. The site was excavated between 1915-1916 by Carl Blegen and was his doctoral thesis, published in 1921. The stratigraphy and careful recording of the remains by Blegen established the sequence for the prehistory of mainland Greece, dividing it into clearly recognizable successive phases of Early, Middle and Late Bronze, accompanied by classifications of the pottery sequences which, with adjustments, remain in effect today. For many years the status of the land was unclear and recently contact was made with the owners. Discussions led to a mutually acceptable agreement for sale, thus fulfilling an old responsibility of the ASCSA to protect the site for the foreseeable future. The parcel is 5,820 square meters (1.44 acres) and is being fenced off to protect it. Renewed work on the site was initiated by Corinth Excavation Director Guy Sanders. A resistivity survey by Michael Boyd and examination of the notebooks by Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst revealed evidence for a substantial wall around the eastern, southern and western slopes. The western and southern slopes remain outside the purchased plot.
CROATIE – Split - Conservators in Croatia have completed a ten-year project to remove more than 1,700 years of grime from the courtyard of the palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian (AD244-311), in the coastal city of Split. Lasers were used as the primary method to clean the peristyle of the 4th century imperial residenceâan innovative technique that is normally reserved for cleaning individual sculptures or details of larger architectural elements, as opposed to whole structures. According to the architect Goran Niksic, who works for the city, this is the first time lasers have been used on this scale in Croatia to clean stone. The peristyle of the Late Antique palace, which boasts a mix of Western and Oriental architectural styles, was covered in soot, but also in cement dust from a nearby plant that was active in the late 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. In some parts, the build-up of grime was up to a centimetre thick. “You couldn’t read the architecture or the decoration because of the large patches of soot,” Niksic says. “It was thick and very difficult to remove, so we opted to use lasers to clean the stone. Normally, lasers are just used for small details; I don’t know anywhere else in Europe where this has been done,” he added, stressing that “the enemy was the dirt deposit”. Laser treatment was “is the only technique that will not touch the (stones’) original patina”. The full extent of the damage to the stone was only revealed after the layer of black crust was removed; salt crystallisation meant that the stone had begun to decay. A team of chemists, restorers, engineers, architects and archaeologists was brought in to come up with the best method to stabilise the stone.
FRANCE – Toulouse - Les archéologues connaissaient l’existence de l’aqueduc gallo-romain de Toulouse depuis le début des années soixante grâce à des sondages de terrain réalisés à l’époque. Mais ce n’est que récemment que ce monument de la ville a été exhumé par les archéologues de la communauté urbaine: 200 mètres en juin à Bellefontaine et 650 mètres en juillet dans le parc de l’université du Mirail. L’aqueduc servait à capter les sources qui se trouvaient dans le secteur de Lardenne pour acheminer l’eau dans le centre-ville.