03 MAI 2022 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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EGYPTE – Tell el-Farma - Archaeologists unearthed the ruins of a temple for the ancient Greek god Zeus in the Sinai Peninsula. The temple ruins were found in the Tell el-Farma archaeological site in northwestern Sinai. Tell el-Farma, also known by its ancient name Pelusium, dates back to the late Pharaonic period and was also used during Greco-Roman and Byzantine times. There are also remains dating to the Christian and early Islamic periods. Archaeologists excavated the temple ruins through its entrance gate, where two huge fallen granite columns were visible. The gate was destroyed in a powerful earthquake in ancient times.Excavations at the area date back to early 1900 when French Egyptologist Jean Clédat found ancient Greek inscriptions that showed the existence of the Zeus-Kasios temple but he didn’t unearth it Zeus-Kasios is a conflation of Zeus, the God of the sky in ancient Greek mythology, and Mount Kasios in Syria, where Zeus once worshipped.
FRANCE – Marseille - Marseille continue de livrer ses secrets. Boulevard des Dames (2e), entre la Porte d'Aix et la Joliette, un morceau du rempart ceinturant la ville moderne au XVIIe siècle vient d'être mis au jour sur un chantier. Une belle découverte a été faite, révélant un morceau du rempart moderne datant de 1680. Depuis les Grecs fondateurs, plein de remparts se sont succédé, celui-ci est le dernier construit, dans le cadre de l'extension de la ville voulue par Louis XIV. La trouvaille de 10 m de long, 3 m de large et 1,70 m de haut a quelque peu ralenti le chantier, le temps que les archéologues fouillent, observent, déterrent, décrivent et photographient.
ISRAEL – Jerusalem- Archaeologists have found sherds from four small sphero-conical vessels in a destruction layer, dating between the 11th and 12th century CE. One of the sherds was from a stoneware sphero-conical vessel with very thick walls and no decoration; it may have held the chemical ingredients — including fatty acids and notable levels of mercury, sulfur, aluminum, potassium, magnesium, nitrates and phosphorous — of an explosive device. In the research, Dr. Matheson and co-authors examined four sherds excavated from 11-12th century Mamluk contexts in the Armenian Garden, Jerusalem. The area includes the site of the Crusader royal palace. According to the team, the vessels for each of the four sherds can be interpreted as either a multiple use vessel containing various chemicals or the residue from an explosive material; a container for medicinal or scented materials; a container for medicinal material and a container for oil. Some researchers had proposed the vessels were used as grenades and held black powder, an explosive invented in ancient China and known to have been introduced into the Middle East and Europe by the 13th century. It has been proposed that black powder may have been introduced to the Middle East earlier, as early as these vessels from the 9th-11th century. However, this research has shown that it is not black powder and likely a locally invented explosive material. The team’s results appear in the journal PLoS ONE .
MEXIQUE - Frontera Comalapa - When Mexican police found a pile of about 150 skulls in a cave near the Guatemalan border, they thought they were looking at a crime scene, and took the bones to the state capital. It took a decade of tests and analysis to determine the skulls were from sacrificial victims killed between A.D. 900 and 1200, the National Institute of Anthropology and History said Wednesday. The victims in the cave had probably been ritually decapitated and the skulls put on display on a kind of trophy rack known as a “tzompantli.” Spanish conquistadores wrote about seeing such racks in the 1520s, and some Spaniards’ heads even wound up on them. While usually strung on wooden poles using holes bashed through them — the common practice among the Aztecs and other cultures — experts say the cave skulls may have rested atop poles, rather than being strung on them. Interestingly, there were more females than males among the victims, and none of them had any teeth.
GUATEMALA – Atitlán – A lost Mayan city that collapsed inside a volcano crater has been explored by a team of archaeologists. In the Late Preclassic period—400 BC to AD 250—there was a thriving Mayan city consisting of temples, houses and squares, in the middle of the volcanic Lake Atitlán. The Atitlán, situated in the highlands of Guatemala, lies within a volcano carter more than 5,000 feet above sea level. A catastrophic event—which experts believe was caused by some sort of volcanic activity—caused the city to collapse from its bottom, forcing the Mayans to flee. The city sunk into the Atitlán's depths and now lies 39 and 65 feet below its surface, according to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology. During the dives, archeologists uncovered the remains of buildings, columns, ceremonial stones, and other structures. From these findings, they were able to generate a planimetric map of the city. It is not the only archeological site within Lake Atitlán. There are two other lost cities lying below the surface of the lake called Samabaj and Chiutinamit.
CAMBODGE – Angkor - Archaeologists have discovered pieces of the 12th century Apsara, or fairy carvings, in the Angkor Archaeological Park . The stone carvings were spotted in the northern wall of the causeway of the Angkor Thom temple's Takav Gate, where the archaeologists were clearing vegetation and removing soil from the lower structure during restoration. Archaeologist Kim Seng Pheakdey said the pieces of stones with Apsara carvings and other decorative sculptures were used as the northern wall of the causeway. Pheakdey said the Bayon-style Apsara carvings might have been built simultaneously with the Takav Gate and the Bayon Temple during the late 12th century and early 13th century. The Takav Gate is one of the five gates of the Angkor Thom, which was built in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII.
ESPAGNE – Osuna - During the repair of the water supply system in the south of Spain, in the city of Osuna, a well-preserved necropolis of the ancient Phoenicians was discovered. It is believed that the Phoenicians, who lived in the Iberian Peninsula, carried out burials there 2500 years ago. It is noted that the necropolis was discovered among the ruins of an ancient Roman settlement that was located on the site of the current city of Osuna. It is assumed that the Phoenician-Carthaginian cemetery was created in the fourth to fifth centuries BC. Archaeologists have discovered eight crypts, stairs and rooms that, probably served as atriums. It was very unexpected to find such a necropolis of the Phoenician and Carthaginian period, in which crypts, atriums and stairs were well preserved. Similar finds can be found more often on the island of Sardinia or even in Carthage itself.
TIBET - Dingqiong cave - Chinese #archaeologists discovered the country’s highest known archaeological site in July 2021, known as Dingqiong cave in #Qiongguo Township, Zhongba County, Shigatse City. The findings were recently unveiled at an Archaeological Achievements Conference in #Lhasa, which introduced 46 other archaeological finds. At Dingqiong cave, the archaelogists also found the largest number of #human and animal bones at a single prehistoric site in #Tibet Autonomous Region.
SUISSE – Bubendorf - A nine-inch-tall clay pot filled with more than 1,200 Roman coins was discovered in northern Switzerland by a metal detectorist who alerted Archaeology Baselland, the canton’s archaeological department. Reto Marti, head of the department, and his colleagues were able to remove the pot in a block of soil and send it for a CT scan, which revealed a piece of cowhide dividing the coins into two piles within the pot. All of the coins were minted during the reign of the emperor Constantine (A.D. 306–337), when the area where the coin hoard was found once bordered three Roman estates. “There are two types of coins in the pot, but the exact denomination of these late antique bronze coins is not known,” Marti said. Coins were usually buried in times of distress in order to protect them, Marti explained, but these coins, worth about two months of a soldier’s salary, appear to have been buried between A.D. 330 and 340—a time of relative peace and economic recovery. The coin cache may have been buried as an offering to the gods, or it may have had something to do with the boundary, he added. Study of the coins will help researchers understand the use of money and circulation of coins during Constantine’s rule, Marti concluded.