06 MAI 2022 NEWS
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ISRAEL – Mount Gerizim - An ancient clay candle dating to the 2nd century BCE (the Hellenistic period) was unearthed during conservation work being carried out on Mount Gerizim (hard G) in Samaria. According to Nathaniel Elimelech, the director of the Mount Gerizim site of the Nature and Parks Authority and the Civil Administration in Samaria, “the ancient candle was discovered in the compound of the High Priest’s House, where we are conducting conservation work. It is estimated to date to a period when a grand Samaritan temple stood on Mount Gerizim, parallel to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem about 2,300 years ago.” According to Elimelech, “the candle is located next to a stone bath, which was used for the Samaritans’ purification processes at the site next to the temple.”
USA – Alabama - A team of researchers scanned the roof of a limestone cave in Alabama and discovered several massive Native American mud glyphs that are estimated to be about 1,500 years old. The glyphs depict anthropomorphic figures, animals, and abstract shapes, and were incised in the cave ceiling between the 2nd century and 10th century, according to the researchers’ calculations. They made a photorealistic 3D model of the cave and its artworks, and their study is published today in Antiquity. The cave is referred to as 19th Unnamed Cave, to protect its exact location in Alabama. It contains hundreds of mud glyphs that were made by Native Americans before Europeans arrived in North America. The cave’s glyph chamber is 82 feet by 66 feet, with a ceiling that’s often just 2 feet high, and the glyphs are in the cave’s dark zone, meaning they are beyond the reach of natural light. The timeframe during which the glyphs may have been made is wide. A fragment of wood charcoal in the glyph chamber was radiocarbon dated to between 660 CE and 949 CE, while the burnt remains of a cane torch stoke found beyond the glyph chamber dated to between 133 CE and 433 CE. The identity of the people who made the glyphs is unknown, but they are in all likelihood the ancestors of some living Americans. The exact characters or mythologies the glyphs may depict is also unknown, but they are thematically similar to glyphs and rock art from elsewhere in North America, according to the researchers. In the paper, the researchers described the five largest glyphs they found. Several are anthropomorphic, with humanoid bodies apparently wearing regalia. Two of the anthropomorphs were about 6 feet long, and another was 3 feet long. The largest of the glyphs is an 11-foot serpent, with a pattern the team states is similar to that of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamenteus), which is native to the area.
EGYPTE – Alexandrie - An Egyptian archaeological mission recently made several discoveries in western Alexandria, including a workshop for the manufacture of amphoras, a cemetery, several coins dating back to the Ptolemaic era and about 100 other archaeological finds. Mustafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in the ministerial statement that the recently discovered workshop consists of a group of furnaces. He noted that the archaeologists unearthed two of these furnaces. “Interestingly, they (the furnaces) were carved into the rock. One of them is in good condition.”“For the compacting process, the furnace entrance would be blocked with clay and pottery sherds. The fuel for firing went in through a ramp carved into the rock located below this entrance,” he explained. According to the statement, “Initial evidence indicates that this workshop was used in later eras, as the northern space was exploited to create a lime-making kiln that may date to the Byzantine era. Part of this furnace was destroyed at a later stage. Two burials were found at the site, believed to date back to the later Middle Ages when the site was used as a cemetery. One of those buried was a pregnant woman.” A large group of coins dating back to the Ptolemaic era was discovered. The mission restored a number of them. Some show the face of Alexander the Great. A coin features the face of the god Zeus and another the face of Queen Cleopatra. The mission found parts of terracotta statues of deities and women, an amulet attached to the god Bes, the feathered crown of the deity Bes and part of a statue associated with fertility, in addition to parts of fishing hooks used by the residents of the area and the anchor of a boat. Nearly 100 burials were also found, in addition to a cemetery with burial holes carved into the rock but which was destroyed, confirming that the site was used in an era before which the pottery workshop was built.
ITALIE – Rome - A 2nd-century funerary altar marking the remains of a 13-year-old girl was discovered in Rome on Tuesday. Archeologists found the altar approximately two meters below the current street level on Via Luigi Tosti in south-central Rome. The discovery is part of a wider excavation of the necropolis of Via Latina, a nearby street. The white marble altar is very well-preserved, and its inscription is clearly legible. It reads: Valeria Laeta, daughter of P[ublio] lived 13 years and 7 months. Some fragments of a white marble sarcophagus were also found with a bas-relief decoration depicting a lioness and a hunter on horseback.
TURQUIE – Karkamış - Situated along the Syrian border on the western coast of the Euphrates River, Karkamış is one of the most important settlements of Near East archeology, bearing the signs of Hittites and Assyrians and the remnants of the Hellenistic and Roman eras. A report prepared by the Turkish-Italian team following the completion of the 10th season of excavations in Karkamış highlights the importance of the ancient site. According to the report, the team kept finding artifacts from the Hittite Empire era, when the city was at its peak, in the eastern part of the lower palace area. Dozens of clay seals belonging to the highest officials of the Hittite administration were discovered in the administrative structure called the "House of the Seal" in this area. By determining which goods these seals were applied to, researchers are able to piece together the basic idea of how the administration ran the vassal kingdom of Karkamış. Another significant finding in the building was a bulla, a ball with seal impressions, that possibly belonged to Piradu, a prominent merchant of the Middle Assyrian Empire. It is believed that working out Piradu's identity will help contribute to the analysis of Hittite-Assyrian relations, which deteriorated towards the collapse of the Hittite state, and the chronology of certain events of the period. Another important find is an Anatolian hieroglyphic inscription painted on a piece of pottery that reads "X-patu, the Manager of the City," a discovery encountered for the first time in Anatolia.Moreover, the excavations revealed that the administrative building continued to function during the Iron Age period, which is known as the "Dark Age." Around 100 seals belonging to that period, including rare Anatolian Hieroglyphic seal impressions, were unearthed. It is also considered remarkable that about two-thirds of the seal prints belong to a woman named Matiya. It is emphasized that this may be an indication that women may have had an important economic role in the state administration at the time.
EGYPTE – Saqqara - The ancient tomb of a clerk responsible for preparing a pharaoh’s secret documents has been found by Polish archaeologists next to the world's oldest pyramid. The 4,300-year-old tomb was discovered in the Egyptian village of Saqqara where, according to hieroglyphs engraved on the tomb’s façade, Egyptologists managed to determine that it belongs to a man named Mehcheczi. An aide to one of the first pharaohs of the VI dynasty, Mehczeczi was also an inspector of the royal estate and the priest of the tomb of king Teti. This means that he most likely lived during the reign of his heir, Pharaoh Userkare, the second pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty, reigning briefly for 1 to 5 years, in the late 24th to early 23rd century BC. The tomb is located on the eastern shore of the so-called Dry Moat, a gigantic ditch made on a rectangular plan (approx. 750 by 600 m) surrounding the complex of the oldest pyramid in Egypt (the Step Pyramid), built 4,700 years ago.Today the Dry Moat is almost entirely covered with rubble and sand blown in from the desert. It is completely invisible from the earth's surface, but its outline can be seen in some aerial and satellite photographs.
GRECE – Thessaloniki - A Gothic warrior, who was buried with his weaponry, was found recently in an early Christian basilica in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia. The discovery was made by a group of archaeologists who are working on the three-aisled Christian basilica dating back to the 5th century AD near the Syntrivani station of Thessaloniki’s new metro system. What is particularly interesting about this discovery is the fact that this is the first discovery of such a burial not only in Thessaloniki but also in the wider region of Roman Macedonia. The skeleton of the male figure, dating back to the 5th century, was found in the southern part of the Christian church in downtown Thessaloniki along which remains of weaponry were also found. One of the most well-preserved of his weapons was an iron sword that was found bent, or ”folded”. The astonishing part of this discovery was the fact that despite the burial taking place in a Christian basilica, the folded sword is a sign of ancient pagan rituals. This provides evidence that this warrior, despite the fact that most probably embraced Christianity and the Roman customs of the time, did not forget his Gothic roots, as his burial included a custom embedded in pagan tradition. The three-aisled paleochristian basilica was discovered in the western part of the Sintrivani underground station of the city. It was built on the site of an older place of worship from the 4th century AD.,This building also housed a mosaic floor, part of which has been uncovered, showing a vine stalk with birds on its branches, including the mythical “Phoenix.” The mosaic was still visible during the initial phase of use of the basilica.