04 NOVEMBRE 2021 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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EGYPTE – Saqqara - An archaeological mission from Cairo University uncovered the tomb of Ptah-M-Wia, head of the treasury during the reign of King Ramses II, during excavation work at the Saqqara necropolis. The discovery is important because of the several titles the tomb owner possessed in life. He was the royal scribe, the head of the treasury, the supervisors of cattle and was responsible for sacrifices to the deities at Ramses II temple in Thebes. Other important discoveries made by the mission include the tomb of the mayor of Memphis, Ptah-Mas; the royal ambassador to foreign countries, Basir; and the supreme commander of the army, Eurkhi. The tomb architecture is similar to its neighbours. This style is known as a tomb-temple because it consists of an entrance in the form of an edifice, followed by one or more courtyards. The tomb ends at the western side with a shrine for deities headed by a pyramidion. The entrance of the tomb is the only uncovered part and it is carved in stone engraved with scenes depicting the tomb’s owner. The entrance leads to a first hall with painted walls showing scenes depicting the offerings processions. Many stone blocks were found under the sand, as well as several Osirian columns, some of which are still lying in sand while others are standing in their original place.
EGYPTE – Louxor - An Egyptian archaeological mission working at the site of the Tawfiq Pasha Andraos Palace — which was recently torn down — has unveiled a number of amphorae and lamps dating from the Byzantine era. Other recent discoveries under the Tawfik Pasha Andraos Palace include a set of Roman bronze coins, a part of a wall from the Roman era, and an old storehouse. The lamps are made of different materials, and pottery is probably the most common. Lamps are dishes filled with oil and salt, on which a wick floats. Such lamps often depicted various scenes of daily life, animal images, and altered plant motifs. Oil is placed in the middle hole of the dish for lighting, with the wick sticking out from a front hole.
GRECE – Korinos Pieria - If a Greek archaeologist is correct, the tomb belonging to Olympias, Alexander the Great’s mother, may have been found in Korinos Pieria, in central Macedonia. According to Bidas, he has uncovered the largest Macedonian tomb that has been discovered to date. It is 22 meters (72 feet) long, which undoubtedly denotes that an extremely important person was buried within it — either a king (or queen) or war hero. Bidas told interviewers that he believes that the tomb belongs to a woman — and an extraordinary one at that. “Opposite is the tomb of General Neoptolemus, who was a relative of Olympias. Also, three tomb inscriptions were found which refer to Aiakides, the family that lived here. One inscription mentions the tomb of Olympiada,” the professor states. According to the 1st century AD biographer, Plutarch, she had been a devout member of the orgiastic snake-worshiping cult of Dionysus, and he suggests that she had slept with snakes in her bed. Intriguingly, Bidas discovered a relief sculpture of a snake inside the tomb. Ancient sources state that the god Ammon Zeus, transformed into a serpent, was known to visit the bedroom of Olympias, who often proclaimed that Alexander the Great was the son of Ammon Zeus — and not the mortal Philip. According to a report from ethnos.gr, the archaeologist states, however, that further studies on the part of the scientific community will have to take place before the tomb is officially designated as be that of Olympias. Ancient sources state that the god Ammon Zeus, transformed into a serpent, was known to visit the bedroom of Olympias, who often proclaimed that Alexander the Great was the son of Ammon Zeus — and not the mortal Philip. According to a report from ethnos.gr, the archaeologist states, however, that further studies on the part of the scientific community will have to take place before the tomb is officially designated as be that of Olympias.
SUISSE – Crap-Ses - Hundreds of artifacts littering a Roman battle site in Switzerland have been uncovered thanks to the persistence of an amateur archaeologist. The finds – including a dagger, well-preserved slingshot stones, coins, nails and part of a shield – are assumed to have been left on the battlefield after a clash between Romans and a local tribe at around 15BC. Lucas Schmidt, who volunteers for the local archaeological association, uncovered the remains using a metal detector at a remote southeast corner of Switzerland, near the Crap-Ses gorge between the towns of Tiefencastel and Cunter. An archaeology team from the University of Basel who have found several hundred other objects during an ongoing search of the 35,000 square metre site. It is assumed that a battle took place between Roman forces and a local Rhaetian tribe in what is now canton Graubünden. It looks like the locals have holed up and were shot at by the Romans with slingshot and catapults.
CROATIE – Rab - The researchers were studying a rural villa complex that dates from the 1st – 3rd century AD on the island of Rab in Croatia, when they uncovered traces of buildings erected by migrant settlers from the former Roman province of Dalmatia.During the Roman period, the island was a major port that sat on a strategic trading route for the transportation of goods such as fine glassware, high-quality terra sigillata vessels, wine, olive oil, and fish. Prof. Fabian Welc said: “It turned out that the area of the settlement we studied was also inhabited later after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In the remains of the already ruined villa, makeshift wooden architecture was erected.” Welc believes that the structures were built by Roman migrants seeking sanctuary when the Dalmatia province was under threat from Ostrogoth invasion, who adapted the ruins of the villa by erecting wooden walls and roofs supported on wooden poles. “Despite rather primitive conditions, they maintained a relatively high standard of living. Among the remains of makeshift rooms, we found imported African vessels for oil and wine, and numerous bronze items, including various coins.” added Welc. There is evidence that during the 7th century AD, further repairs to the villa complex were undertaken by another wave of settlers – this time migrants possibly looking for shelter on the island from the Slavs or Avars breaking into the Balkans.
FRANCE – Talmont-Saint-Hilaire - C'est une découverte hors norme qui a été faite sur un chantier au pied du château de Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, en Vendée. Un port médiéval, extrêmement bien conservé grâce à l'humidité constante du sous-sol marécageux, a été découvert par des archéologues. "On peut donner à la fois une date très précise et en plus restituer tout le paysage forestier", s'enthousiasme Pierre Péfou, un xylologue.. La mer n'étant qu'à quelques kilomètres, une hypothèse fait état que des barques et des bateaux auraient transporté des marchandises, et même des hommes au pied du château depuis l'Angleterre ou encore depuis l'Espagne entre les Xe et XVIe siècles. Un autre trésor a été découvert, une médaille de pèlerin en métal, trace de l'activité de pêche et des échanges économiques dans le secteur.
USA – Lake Mendota - An ancient canoe was pulled from Lake Mendota on Tuesday, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. Officials said carbon dating indicates the vessel is about 1,200 years old and was in use around A.D. 800, centuries before European arrival. The dugout canoe found in Lake Mendota is a significant artifact of the continuum of canoe culture in the Western Great Lakes region. The canoe is a remarkable artifact, made from a single tree.
TURQUIE – Metropolis - An ancient Greek and Roman city called Metropolis within the borders of Turkey’s Izmir province has yielded many precious gifts over three decades, the latest being the statue of a noblewoman. The statue was discovered in the city centre, which was expanded during the Roman Empire, at a newly-unearthed public building. The marble statue is believed to be modelled after a significant statue created at the height of antique sculpture, and was created around first and second century CE in honour of a noblewoman from Metropolis. In the same area discoveries were made of pieces of other sculptures and pedestals, suggesting that the public arena was home to sculptures honouring philanthropic Metropolis residents. The excavation team believes that continuing their work will result in the discovery of similar finds. In 2021, the excavation team is beginning work on unearthing a Late Roman Period church complex that is believed to prove that Metropolis was a significant religious centre in its final years. Likewise, the excavation team will focus on cleaning up mosaics that have been quite well-preserved and spread out over a large area. Cleaning up the lime deposits that have accumulated over time is expected to bring out the rich colour and patterns of the tiles. In the excavations carried out over decades, discoveries were made of buildings and locations that make up the ancient city texture, such as a theatre belonging to the Hellenistic Period, as well as two Roman bathhouses, bathhouse and Palaestra (sports arena) complexes, a room paved with mosaics, a peristyle house (with a continuous porch and a row of columns), shops, public bathrooms, avenues and streets.
GRECE – Trapeza - According to a statement released by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, archaeologists uncovered several chambered burials in a Mycenaean necropolis dating back to the fourteenth century B.C. The graves, set along the path of an ancient road in northern Achaea, were reused repeatedly into the eleventh century B.C. Grave goods in the necropolis include three well-preserved bronze swords; a clay horse figurine; vases; seal stones; and beads made of glass, faience, gold, and crystal thought to have been obtained through trade with people from the eastern Aegean and Cyprus. The researchers suggest that the swords were made in a palace workshop, perhaps at Mycenae.