08 AVRIL 2022 NEWS






TURQUIE – 196110 Knidos - Four epigraphs made of marble and limestone belonging to the Umayyad period were unearthed in the ongoing archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Knidos, a site that harbors around 3,000 years of history. Archaeologists date the city back to the first half of 2000 B.C. The city was home to a medical school and physicians famous in the ancient world. The Umayyads ruled the city between A.D. 685 and 711. The four epigraphs of marble and limestone revealed the names of the tribes, commanders and administrators participating in the Umayyad expedition to Istanbul.The inscriptions range in size from 15 centimeters (6 inches) to around 1 meter (3.2 feet).


USA – 20220331 on jamestown newscomvoaphotos004455 Jamestown  -  Ariane Thomas of the University of Iowa and her colleagues have extracted mitochondrial DNA from dog jawbones unearthed at Jamestown between 2007 and 2010. The jawbones, which bear possible butchering marks and were found among fish bones and mussel shells, have been dated to the early seventeenth century. The dogs may have been eaten during the winter of 1609 to 1610, a period in the Jamestown colony known as the Starving Time, Thomas explained. Thomas compared the mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, with that of modern and ancient dogs, and found that the Jamestown dogs’ maternal line was unrelated to that of European dogs, which were first brought to the Americas by the Spaniards in the late fifteenth century. Instead, the Jamestown dogs were most closely related to ancient dogs in Illinois and Ohio, and distantly related to ancient Arctic dogs, including a 10,000-year-old dog discovered in Alaska. The Jamestown dogs were not, however, related to dogs whose remains were discovered just 30 miles from Jamestown and dated from about 1000 to 1400 A.D. “There’s a lot more diversity than maybe we initially thought,” Thomas said. A study of the dogs’ nuclear DNA could reveal if the dogs were hybrids resulting from crosses with European dogs, she added. 

AUSTRALIE – Katjarra fieldwork mcdonald min Katjarra / Karnatukul - Working with representatives from the Martu people, an Australian Indigenous group and the traditional owners of the land, UWA archaeologist Chae Byrne led researchers in excavating small parts of the ancient rock desert shelters of Katjarra (the Carnarvon mountain range) and Karnatukul (also known as the Serpent’s Glen). The team used archaeobotany—a combination of techniques from archaeology and botany used in the study of ancient plant remains—to analyze the clues left behind by ancient Indigenous wanderers who once camped here and took shelter from the harsh weather of the Western Desert. Researchers first discovered evidence for the earliest-recorded human activity in this region: the remains of ancient campfires, which scientists estimate to be nearly 50,000 years old, according to Samantha Goerling of ABC News, the Australian broadcasting service. The team then turned to examining the bits of ancient charcoal from the site, where they discovered what looked like the telltale traces of wood and seeds from wattle plants. Scientists confirmed their findings by comparing charcoal fragments with tree samples from the surrounding region, the latter of which still preserves key anatomical traits from its plant of origin after thousands of years, per the Guardian. Byrne used this information to conclude that wattle was being used as firewood even 50,000 years ago. “Looking at plant remains is particularly useful in studying Australian Indigenous heritage, given the persistent importance of natural resources like trees and the rarity of other cultural remains in the deep time record,” Byrne says in a UWA press release.


CHILI – Sei 97418265 Atacama - An earthquake as large as any in recorded history struck the coast of Chile about 3800 years ago, triggering a tsunami that caused devastation along 1000 kilometres of coastline. In the wake of the tsunami, local hunter-gatherers began spending less time near the coast and moved cemeteries further inland, staying there for 1000 years or more, despite not having a system of writing to convey information about the disaster.  The team, led by Gabriel Easton at the University of Chile in Santiago, spent years in the Atacama desert on the west coast of South America, gathering evidence of an ancient tsunami. At multiple sites, they found a layer of distinctive sediment dumped by a tsunami. Radiocarbon dates from charcoal and shells in archaeological deposits directly overlying the tsunami sediment suggest it happened about 3800 years ago. People have lived in the Atacama for more than 12,000 years. Although the desert gets little rainfall, the marine ecosystems along the coast are rich so hunter-gatherer societies have thrived. However, Easton and his team documented major shifts that occurred around 3800 years ago. Archaeological sites near the coast show less evidence of habitation, suggesting people stopped going there or at least spent less time there. Furthermore, cemeteries were moved inland and uphill. The local people mummified their relatives’ bodies and placed great value on having their dead ancestors nearby.


INDE – 1285619 statu Konathuru - After a 14-feet Gautama Buddha statue of 11-12 centuries has been excavated some time ago, now the Archeology department focused on an in-depth study on the monuments available at Konathuru in Koridi panchayat of Sullurpet mandal. Earlier, the Archaeology department found these bricks made during 800 A.D and the statue was said to have been carved around 11-12 centuries. HCU Prof KV Rao said the model was of a celestial Amitabha Buddha category, a part of Mahayana. Archeologists say the head of a makara appears on the handle of ritual implements such as the dorje and the tigu, although it is often explained in other ways in the practice of yogic or tantric Buddhism.


TANZANIE – Tanzania olduvai lithics Olduvai Gorge  - According to a statement released by Spain’s National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), a new dating technology, known as the cosmogenic nuclide isochron method, has been used for the first time on stone tools uncovered at a site in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge by a team of researchers led by Toshi Fujioka and Alfonso Benito-Calvo. The technique can be used to date the tools themselves, rather than the sediments surrounding them. Fujioka explained that this has been an important strategy at this site, called Complex T69, because it has few of the volcanic ash layers that have been employed to date other sites in Olduvai Gorge. The technique, he added, could help researchers establish a chronology for the disappearance of Oldowan tools, which are usually associated with Homo habilis, and the emergence of Acheulean tools, which are typically associated with Homo erectus. Read the original scholarly article about this research in the Journal of Human Evolution

FRANCE – 09 c inrap uzes 2021 Uzes - Les recherches se sont déroulées entre les mois de septembre 2021 et février 2022. L’agglomération antique d'Ucetia: Plusieurs bâtiments, partiellement creusés dans la roche, peuvent être attribués à la période Républicaine (fin IIe siècle av. J.-C. – 27 ap. J.-C.). Cette installation précoce, située extra-muros de l’agglomération uzétienne, dominait la rive droite de l’Eure. Une voie, bordée de murs et aménagée sur le rocher, permettait de circuler le long de la falaise. La fonction de ce quartier est encore à définir. S’agit-il d’une occupation résidentielle ? Celle-ci décline aux cours des siècles au profit d’activités agricoles, dont témoigne la plantation de vignes.Jusqu’à présent, de tels vestiges ont été très rarement observés hors de l’enceinte d’Uzès, ce secteur sud de la ville n’ayant pas fait l’objet de travaux archéologiques récents.Par la suite, le quartier de Saint-Ferréol a abrité un vaste cimetière rupestre qui s’est progressivement développé entre les VIIe-XIIe siècles. L’emprise du site de fouille a permis l’étude de près de 200 sépultures, orientées ouest/est, implantées en rangées et quasi systématiquement installées dans le rocher. La mise en œuvre du cimetière résulte de pratiques religieuses dictées par les législateurs ecclésiastiques. Femmes, hommes et enfants ont reçu le même soin : un creusement dans la roche à la forme du corps avec souvent un coussin rupestre pour la tête et des dalles de couverture protégeant le défunt de tout contact avec la terre. L’absence de recoupement apparent entre les tombes témoigne de la présence de dispositifs de signalisation. Les arguments archéologiques font défaut mais des petits tertres ou des croix en bois par exemple devaient faire partie du paysage du cimetière de Saint-Ferréol. Peut-être ce respect pour le corps du défunt est-il à mettre en parallèle avec une croyance en la résurrection des chairs. Une trentaine de pots globulaires, à usage domestique et à fabrication locale, a été exhumée des tombes. Ces dépôts, régulièrement attestés pour la période carolingienne, sont liés au déroulement des funérailles. Les vases étaient déposés soit au contact du défunt, soit sur la couverture, soit encore au-dessus, dans la fosse comblée de terre. Contenant des cendres, de l’encens ou de l’eau bénite, ils recevaient une pierre en guise de bouchon afin de protéger le contenu au moment du rebouchage de la tombe. Ces dépôts, qu’il s’agisse d’un rituel chrétien ou d’une manifestation laïque du deuil, sont riches d’enseignement quant au déroulement des funérailles, même si l’archéologie ne permet pas d’appréhender, derrière le geste, la nature du symbole.