03 - 04 DECEMBRE 2011 NEWS
03 - 04 DECEMBRE
INDI-UNI : ANTHROPOLOGY - ARCHAEOLOGY
INSCRIPTION 2011 – 2012 COURS A DISTANCE
REGISTRATION 2011 – 2012 ONLINE COURSES
FRANCE - Remilly-les-Pothées - Lors de cette fouille, l'équipe de l'Inrap avait découvert cinq fours de réduction de métal datés du haut Moyen-Âge (VIIIe -Xe siècles). Des restes de métal ont été retrouvés dans ces fours. Ils devaient être utilisés pour la réduction du minerai de fer, première étape avant l'envoi de cette matière première dans une forge pour la production d'objets en fer. Sur le site de Remilly-les-Pothées, l'ambiance est plus calme. L'endroit fouillé, 1,2 hectare, n'est pas spectaculaire en soi. Pas de grands vestiges apparents mais, et c'est là toute la richesse de l'archéologie, les lieux se révèlent d'un grand intérêt historique. « Dans un contexte rural, il est assez rare de retrouver un site aussi important surtout au niveau du matériel », souligne Yoann Rabasté. Au sol, les nombreuses traces d'anciens piliers ont permis d'établir la présence de ce qui devait sans doute être une importante ferme. Trois secteurs distincts ont été fouillés avec pas moins de 17 bâtiments et greniers recensés. Dans une première zone, on trouve un ensemble de bâtiments en matériau périssable, probablement des habitats datant de la transition entre la période gauloise et la période gallo-romaine, soit milieu du Ier siècle avant notre ère. Un édifice assez remarquable a notamment été repéré. Il a été construit d'une façon particulière, peu connue dans la région, avec des parois constituées d'une succession de poteaux très rapprochés, posés à la verticale. A proximité, une seconde zone met en avant six bâtiments de la période gallo-romaine précoce installés près d'une grande mare d'environ 40 mètres de large sur plus de 100 mètres de long. C'est là, au cœur de ce qui était une petite étendue d'eau, qu'ont été retrouvés beaucoup de matériels avec notamment des fragments de céramiques en sigillée décorée typique de la période, des morceaux d'amphores (pour le stockage de liquides), de dolium (espace pour le stockage de grains), de creuset (contenants pour faire la cuisine) et de mortier (pour piler le grain). Dans une troisième zone du site enfin, les archéologues de l'Inrap ont découvert un important bâtiment du premier âge du fer (800 à 500 avant notre ère) de 13 mètres de long sur 6 de large. Une fosse dépotoir attenante au bâtiment contenait de la céramique caractéristique de cette période, avec des décors digités. Les fouilles terminées il y a quelques jours, le site de Remilly-les-Pothées va laisser la place aux engins de chantiers. Du côté de l'Inrap, le temps est maintenant à celui de l'analyse pour mieux comprendre l'organisation d'un tel habitat gallo-romain.
RUSSIE – Sibérie - Teams from the Sakha Republic's mammoth museum and Japan's Kinki University will launch fully-fledged joint research next year aiming to recreate the giant mammal. By replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth's marrow cells, embryos with mammoth DNA can be produced, Kyodo said, citing the researchers. The scientists will then plant the embryos into elephant wombs for delivery, as the two species are close relatives, the report said. Securing nuclei with an undamaged gene is essential for the nucleus transplantation technique, it said. For scientists involved in the research since the late 1990s, finding nuclei with undamaged mammoth genes has been a challenge. Mammoths became extinct about 10,000 years ago. But the discovery in August of the well-preserved thigh bone in Siberia has increased the chances of a successful cloning. Global warming has thawed ground in eastern Russia that is usually almost permanently frozen, leading to the discoveries of a number of frozen mammoths, the report said.
ROYAUME UNI – Selside - The ruins of what is thought to be an Anglo Saxon building have been revealed by amateur archaeologists in part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The stone building, near Selside, North Yorkshire, was uncovered by members of the Ingleborough Archaeology Group. Samples of charcoal found in the soil floor were carbon dated. That revealed they date from between 660 and 780 AD. This is the first building in the national park that is firmly dated to the 7th Century and is one of only a handful in the north. Dr David Johnson, who supervised the excavation, said items from an even earlier period were also found in the remains of the building. "We found small pieces of chert, a dark, rock-like flint that was knapped to make small tools," he said. "These are likely to date from the early Neolithic period, possibly 6,000 years ago and it was probably pure chance that the pieces found their way into the building," he said. "They may have been trapped in turf used for sealing the walls or roof of the building." The site where the building was found has now been backfilled and the turf re-instated to protect it.
OMAN - Dhofar Mountains - An international team of archaeologists and geologists working in the Dhofar Mountains of southern Oman, led by Dr Jeffrey Rose of the University of Birmingham, report finding over 100 new sites classified as “Nubian Middle Stone Age (MSA).” Distinctive Nubian MSA stone tools are well known throughout the Nile Valley; however, this is the first time such sites have ever been found outside of Africa. According to the authors, the evidence from Oman provides a “trail of stone breadcrumbs” left by early humans migrating across the Red Sea on their journey out of Africa. These new findings challenge long-held assumptions about the timing and route of early human expansion out of Africa. Using a technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) to date one of the sites in Oman, researchers have determined that Nubian MSA toolmakers had entered Arabia by 106,000 years ago, if not earlier. This date is considerably older than geneticists have put forth for the modern human exodus from Africa, who estimate the dispersal of our species occurred between 70,000 and 40,000 years ago. Even more surprising, all of the Nubian MSA sites were found far inland, contrary to the currently accepted theory that envisions early human groups moving along the coast of southern Arabia.
ROYAUME UNI – Rosslyn – It could have been a plot twist from The Da Vinci Code when workers unearthed a pile of bones under heavy stone slabs. No-one knew why the skeletons were there in the central aisle of the 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel, which according to legend is the last resting place of ancient knights and even older holy relics. But archaeologists now believe the skeletons were placed there when the chapel was abandoned during the Reformation, in the 17th century, by local people who wanted to bury their relatives on consecrated ground. They lay under the stone for more than three centuries until the slabs were lifted two years ago.The archaeological team has now released the first pictures of the skeletons in their resting place. Tests are still under way to accurately date the findings. Rosslyn chapel, made famous by its inclusion in Dan Brown’s best-selling The Da Vinci Code, had been in operation for only about 150 years when, in 1592, its altar was burned and its statues smashed as “a house and monument of idolatrie”. The chapel was abandoned and left to rot for almost 300 years until, in 1862, it was rededicated by the Bishop of Edinburgh. During their research into the chapel, the archaeologists uncovered anecdotal stories of locals using the chapel as an unofficial cemetery in the period when the church wasn’t in use.
INDE – Eksar - The state archaeology department’s move to shift rare 11th century AD maritime warfare relics at Eksar, Borivli, to a museum about 400km away in Ratnagiri has raised the hackles of several city historians and heritage lovers. Discovered in the last century, the six sequentially carved memorial stones have provided historians with much insight into the naval history of the region. The protestors of the move have written to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan asking for his intervention in stymieing the department’s plan.
USA – Chapel Hill - UNC archaeologists have wrapped up the excavation of the area in front of Battle, Vance and Pettigrew Halls, discovering a drainage system that predates the oldest recorded sewer system connected to the University. When renovations to the halls on McCorkle Place ended earlier this semester, workers discovered the remains of antebellum architecture beneath the foundations of the project. Excavators uncovered a cellar pit from a home that once stood on the property, as well as the remains of a 19th-century drainage system — possibly from a later hotel on the same location. At first, they believed the findings were remains of a late 18th-century well, said Steve Davis, associate director for research labs of archaeology.