08 FEVRIER 2019: Nani Khatia - Ghar Dalam - Caucase - Surrey - Karnak -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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SPRING TERM : APRIL 2019
INDE – Nani Khatia - After two weeks of excavation, archaeologists have found remains of another pre-Harappan site that strongly indicates a thriving human settlement in Kutch. A team of archaeologists from Kutch University and Kerala University unearthed the site near Nani Khatia village in Lakhpat taluka, around 102 km from Bhuj. The area of excavation spans around five square km. Archaeologists say the structure found suggests a cemetery and the stones strongly indicate the presence of over 100 burial sites in the area. “This settlement existed at the same time when Dholavira, the most prominent Indus Valley Civilization site . “We have found pottery shards, beads and broken bangles also at this site. In Dholavira, these items were placed beside the dead bodies before burial.
MALTE – Ghar Dalam - Excavation works right outside Ghar Dalam have revealed animal bones and other archaeological artefacts, which could potentially have come from inside the cave when earth was removed many years ago.
CAUCASE – A study of the genomes of 45 people who lived between 6,500 and 3,500 years ago throughout the Caucasus region indicates that they were genetically similar to each other, even though the artifacts they left behind suggest they lived in distinct cultural groups. The Caucasus region stretches from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and includes part or all of what is now Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, and Turkey. Wolfgang Haak of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History suggested that Bronze Age farmers living in the southern Caucasus likely spread north over the mountains, where they met nomads from the Eurasian steppe, some of whom were related to Yamnaya groups to the northwest. Other steppe-dwellers, such as the Steppe Maykop, had genes resembling those found in Paleolithic Siberians, ancient Native Americans, and modern North Asians, he said. Some of these groups met in an interaction zone, where they were likely to have exchanged genes along with cultural, technological, and social innovations such as effective metal weapons, the wheel, and the wagon.
ROYAUME UNI – Surrey - Two decorated Roman lead coffins have been uncovered during recent work at a quarry in Surrey. The coffins formed part of a group of burials that lay within a small L-shaped cemetery enclosure. Aligned east to west, the caskets were each of similar size, measuring 1.9m long by 0.45m wide and 0.36m high. Staining of the soil within the grave fill suggests that they may have originally been encased in larger wooden coffins – something that ongoing scientific analysis is hoped to confirm. Both coffins were made from soldered sheets of cast lead, and their lids were decorated with images of scallop shells set within triangles and rectangles formed from beaded straps. Scallop motifs are common decorations on the lids of Roman lead coffins, particularly on those found in the Thames Valley area. It is believed that they were associated with the Roman idea of the journey to the underworld, but in the Romano-Celtic culture, it may also refer to fertility and rebirth. Unfortunately the caskets had been distorted over time, causing their lids to collapse inwards and sand to accumulate inside. This meant that the human remains that they contained were in rather poor condition and a full osteological assessment could not be carried out successfully. Nevertheless, Wessex Archaeology was able to identify the partial skeletons of an adult and an infant (most likely younger than 6 months old at the time of death) in one, and the partial remains of another adult in the other. The cemetery contained another four interments, which seem to have included wooden coffins. Three of the graves held fragments of badly degraded wood, but in the fourth only a few iron nails survived to hint at the presence of a casket.
EGYPTE – Karnak - The first Egyptian-Chinese archaeological expedition began its work at the Monto Temple in the Karnak archaeological area of Luxor in order to renovate, develop and document the temple, said Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziry. During his tour at the temple, Waziry said the expedition first began its work in November 2018 by clearing the weeds and debris. According to Waziry, a French expedition carried out archaeological excavations at the temple area in 1940 in an attempt to discover the rest of the temple. The mission carried out a survey of the temple area, as well as a photoscan and photogramatic of its blocks, which are scattered on the land of the temple since its discovery, in preparation for recording and documenting these blocks, said Mostafa al-Sagheer, director general of Karnak Antiquities and deputy head of Egyptian-Chinese archaeological mission. The Monto Temple is located north of the Karnak Temple and is dedicated to the worship of the god of war Monto. It was discovered during the excavations of French archaeologist Fernand Besson in 1925. Several rulers and Pharaohs over the ages, including the Ptolemaic and Roman era rulers, contributed to the building of the temple, which consists of a tower, a large courtyard, and compartments dating back to the 25th and 26th dynasties of Egypt. It also has a gate dating to the period of Ptolemy III and IV.