07 FEVRIER 2018: Khermen Tal - Varna - Hadrianapolis - Uttarakahnd - Relizane - Louxor -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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SPRING TERM : APRIL 2018
MONGOLIE – Khermen Tal - Three lost adjoining ancient cities are helping to clear up mysteries surrounding the Xiongnu, the bellicose Mongolian nomads of 2,000 years ago who disappeared from history about 453 AD. Not much is known about the Xiongnu except they shook world history and then rather promptly disappeared. Xiongnu invasion was the prime reason Emperor Qin Shihuang built the Great Wall in 231 BC and it has been theorized that at about 350 AD a Xiongnu sect, known to the West as the Huns, migrated westward and contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. "As the largest Xiongnu city remains ever found in the area, the site is of huge archeological significance as according to some historians, the Orkhon River area is the place where the empire's imperial court once stood," Song Guodong, the project's Chinese executive leader. Since 2014, Song's institute, the National Museum of Mongolia and the International College of Nomadic Culture of Mongolia have been excavating the Khermen Tal City site at the junction of the Orkhon River and one of its major tributaries - the Tamir River, also named Hudgiyn Denj, literally Three Interconnected Cities. This is not the first Xiongnu city site excavated in Mongolia, but "it is the first time a major Xiongnu structure was so thoroughly excavated and studied," Cao Jian'en, the project's Chinese leader. After four years' digging the west and center of the ancient city, the Sino-Mongolia archeological team has more or less mapped out the site and are carefully constructing theories about what they may, or may not, have unearthed. Studying the rammed earth and wooden architectural remains of a large building at the center of the lost city, the team can trace the outlines of symmetrical staircases and platforms that radiate outward toward smaller ceremonial buildings, typical of the layout in other Xiongnu city sites. "We believe the building might have once been used as a location for Xiongnu tribal meetings and sacrificial rituals," Song said. "Due to the fact that few artifacts were unearthed at the site and we found no remains of daily belongings, a heating system or burnt ashes, we ruled out the possibility this site is a residence for human beings." Carbon-14 and stratigraphic studies date the building to between 3rd Century BC and 1st Century AD. From the design and structure, the building appears to be a shrine similar to the "temple of dragon," a kind of site dedicated to worship gods that was recorded in Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) documents. These Chinese historical records about the Xiongnu - one of the world's earliest records of the nomads - have provided clues for the joint excavation. A 2014 discovery at Khermen Tal City of a tomb belonging to Rouran, a Shaman-worshipping nomad active in today's Mongolia during the 4th-6th century, provided precious new information on the complex histories of the country's nomadic minorities.
BULGARIE – Varna - A Late Antiquity fortress wall tower from the Ancient Thracian, Greek, and Roman city of Odessos (Odessus) has been discovered by accident in the Black Sea city of Varna, with rescue archaeological excavations affirming data about the existence of Quaestura Exercitus, a peculiar administrative district in 6th century AD Byzantium (i.e. the Eastern Roman Empire), under Emperor Justinian I the Great, uniting much of today’s Northern Bulgaria with Cyprus, parts of Anatolia, and the Cyclades. Parts of a U-shaped fortress tower have been discovered by accident in the cellar of a house at 13 Voden Street in Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Varna, within the Odessos Archaeological Preserve. Ensuing rescue excavations have explored the ruins of the tower, which has been found to be part of one of the known fortress walls of ancient Odessos, the Varna Museum of Archaeology has announced, as cited by local news site Varna24. The Museum has emphasized that the discovery of numerous Byzantine amphorae from the Eastern Mediterranean at the site of the tower but the lack of amphorae from North Africa seems to be line with the known data about the existence of Quaestura Exercitus in the 6th century AD. The façade of the fortress tower was built of large quadrae (stone blocks), with a smooth frontal surface, the inside tower wall was made of smaller and cruder stones, while the space inbetween was filled with emplecton. The archaeological layer around and over the ruins of the Odessos fortress tower accrued in the 6th century AD, the Varna Museum of Archaeology says.
TURQUIE – Hadrianapolis - The excavation at the ancient city of Hadrianapolis, which now lies buried beneath Eskipazar, 160km north of Ankara, has uncovered a 1,500-year-old structure which could unlock secrets to monasteries thought to have existed in the town. Ersin Çelikbaş, a member of Karabük University's archaeology department, said the structure is believed to be one of the oldest churches in Anatolia, modern-day Turkey, and is decorated with images of the rivers of Geon, Phison, Tigris and Euphrates, which are mentioned in the Bible. 'The find dates back to the mid 5th century.'ncient resources on Saint Stylos Alpius mention the existence of a men's monastery and women's monastery belonging to him in Eskipazar. In our works, we have a big opportunity to detect the existence of these monasteries or churches. The church is in a very important location. It is nearly 20 metres in length and has significant floor coverings.' The city was very important for the Christian world, he said. 'We know very well that the Christians arrived in the Amasra harbor during this era and visited Hadrianapolis. Later, they went to Istanbul for commercial purposes.' Hadrianapolis is the most important archaeological city in the western Black Sea region, Çelikbaş added and digs there first began in 2003.So far archaeological surface surveys have uncovered 14 public buildings including two baths, two churches, a defence structure, rock tombs, a theatre, a villa and other monumental buildings and some religious buildings.
INDE - Uttarakahnd - Archaeologists in Uttarakahnd have unearthed cave burials in Malari near Chamoli’s Joshimath that date back to 500 years Before the Common Era (BCE) and are unique to the Himalayan region, said an archaeologist connected with the findings. The findings have offered glimpses into existence of the trans-Himalayan archaeological sites for the first time, Vinod Nautiyal--an archaeologist at the Garhwal University in Uttrakhand’s Srinagar--who was part of the team carried out the excavations, said. Similar excavations at Lipa village in Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur district have also revealed materials and tools dating to the same period, he says. The burial sites found at Lipa and Kaanam villages are cyst--stone-built coffin like box-- burial sites, he says and adds that one of the skeletons found inside the grave had copper bangles on both wrists. “The Malari burial site in the Garhwal Himalayas is significant as it dates to back to 500 years BCE and offer glimpses into cave burials. “The caves and the graves unearthed are still well preserved and there is need to conserve them as they are of archaeological importance,” says Nautiyal.
ALGERIE – Relizane - Des débris de jarres et autres ustensiles, ainsi que les restes d’un mur datant de l’ère romaine, ont été mis à nu lors d’un chantier de travaux d’assainissement, non loin de la nouvelle ville Bormadia, à quelques bornes de Relizane. Cette découverte, qui vient après d’autres faites lors de la pose de pipelines à la périphérique sud de Relizane, démontre encore une fois l’importance historique de cette région.La découverte de ces pièces ne peut qu’encourager les spécialistes du domaine archéologique pour d’éventuelles autres fouilles. A vrai dire, Relizane recèle d’importants vestiges remontant à plusieurs époques, mais l’indifférence des uns et la négligence des autres ont contribué à leur disparition. L’histoire de la région remonte à l’époque des Numides (amazighs), qui se situe entre 213 et 203 av. J.-C. La région tire son nom d’un cours d’eau appelé Mina.
EGYPTE – Louxor - L’histoire d’une traitrise et d’un coup d’État manqué vieux de 3.000 ans se reflète aujourd'hui dans l’exposition permanente du Musée égyptien du Caire. On y voit désormais une momie effrayante d’un prince s’étant suicidé. La momie «hurlante», un objet mystérieux qui n'avait jamais encore été exposé en public, a été installée au Musée égyptien du Caire. Il s'agit de la momie d'un fils de Ramsès III, pharaon de la XIXe dynastie égyptienne datant de plus de 3.000 ans. Elle a été découverte en 1886 à Louxor, dans un sarcophage de cèdre, enroulée dans une peau de mouton. La bouche de la momie est entrouverte, donnant l'impression qu'elle crie. Des chercheurs ont établi que la momie appartient sans doute à Pentaour, un fils de Ramsès III (env. 1186-1069 av. n.è.). Son nom est lié à une tentative échouée de coup d'État visant à remplacer l'héritier légitime du trône, le prince Ramsès, par l'un de ses demi-frères, Pentaour, soutenu par sa mère, la reine Tiyi. Pentaour, alors âgé d'à peine 20 ans, a été condamné à mort et privé de son nom. Le fils du pharaon se serait suicidé. Comme il était un traître, son corps a été enveloppé dans une peau de mouton et placé dans un sarcophage simple, supposent les chercheurs.