09 AVRIL 2021






AUSTRALIE – Capture 1 Arnhem Land - What can machine learning tell us about the rock art in Arnhem Land? South Australian researchers, led by Daryl Wesley of Flinders University, working with the Mimal and Marrku Traditional Owners of the Wilton River area in the Northern Territory, took a close look at the rock art in Arnhem Land to examine how the art transformed stylistically over time. The team used machine learning to analyse images of different styles and subjects, to see how similar they were at a minute level, and what the chronology of art evolution was. “One amazing outcome is that the machine learning approach ordered the styles in the same chronology that archaeologists have ordered them in by inspecting which appear on top of which,” says Jarrad Kowlesser, a researcher at Flinders University. “This shows that similarity and time are closely linked in the Arnhem Land rock art and that human figures drawn closer in time were more similar to one another than those drawn a long time apart. “For example, the machine learning algorithm has plotted Northern Running figures and Dynamic figures very close to one another on the graph it produces. “This shows that these styles which we know are closer to each other in age are also closer to each other in appearance, which might be a very hard thing to notice without an approach like this.” The team first taught the computer how to recognise different images by using an existing dataset of 14 million photos of animals and objects. This model was then applied to the rock art images. The results are published in Australian Archaeology. “In total the computer saw more than 1000 different types of objects and learned to tell the difference between them just by looking at photos of them,” Dr Wesley explains. “The important skill this computer developed was a mathematical model that has the ability to tell how similar two different images are to one another.” This approach, called ‘transfer learning’, could remove possible bias in human evaluation, especially when tiny details are easily missed. It might also be a useful tool for future archaeological studies.


INDE – Buddhist Vaikuntapuram - Buddhist relics said to be 2,100-year-old were found at Vaikuntapuram in Thullur mandal of Guntur district. They surfaced during diggings at Bhavaghni Ashram in the village. An archeologist, who examined the findings, said the locals found a conical polished cup, terracotta tiles once used in the roofs of ‘Buddhist viharas’, a piece of well-polished muller granite and a broken parasol that enshrined a stupa of the Satavahana period.  He said he was surprised to find a Brahmi inscription that read “pusana” (daanam). The parasol could be a gift donated by a household named Pusana. The archeologist added Dr K Muniratnam Reddy, Director of Epigraphy, Archaeological Survey of India, had confirmed that the script belongs to 1st century BC.


ITALIE – 41280944 9431585 image a 49 1617403892121 Rome - It is said to be the earliest and only known image of the Crucifixion – a depiction of human-like figure with the head of a donkey nailed to a cross. The anti-Christian 'graffito' was etched into a plaster wall of an imperial training school for ancient Roman slaves between 50AD and 250AD. Beneath the cross is ancient Greek text that reads, 'Alexamenos worships God,' as a way to mock an individual in the drawing who appears to be dressed like a slave. Another room in the excavated building was found with the inscription 'Alexamenos is faithful,' which could either be another dig at the individual or someone coming to his aid. The ancient graffiti was done during a time that Christianity was frowned upon by Romans who practiced paganism, which believed is what led them to power, but it is not confirmed that the image is of Jesus Christ. Archaeologists discovered the image in 1857 on the wall of a building located on Rome's Palatine Hill, but the anti-Christian graffiti was brought to light by archeologist Ticia Verveer. At the time, it was said Romans depicted Jesus as a donkey as a way of insulting the faith.


INDE – Ex mz2w8aqcv261 969800 1617430323 Raigad Fort - A gold bangle possibly belonging to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj era — the legendary Maratha warrior — has been excavated at the Raigad Fort. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Raigad Development Authority (RDA) are coordinating the excavation in the hill-top fort complex located at Mahad, nearly 160 km from Mumbai. Till date many ornaments, vessels, contemporary things used in construction, coins etc has been discovered through excavation. In 1674, Shivaji Maharaj made Raigad Fort his capital. Earlier known as Rairi, Shivaji Maharaj seized the fort from Chandraraoji More, the king of Jawli and a descendant of Chandragupta Maurya, in 1656. For over a decade, it was renovated and strengthened. Located 820 meters (2,700 feet) above sea level in the Sahyadri mountain ranges, the fort can be accessed by a single pathway comprising 1737 steps.


FRANCE – 860 1 Clermont-Ferrand - Une nouvelle page de l'histoire de la capitale auvergnate est entrain de s'écrire. Le chantier archéologique de l'Hôtel-Dieu à Clermont-Ferrand a débuté en novembre dernier. Sur le terrain, les archéologues ont déjà fait la découverte de vestiges gréco-romains datant du IIème siècle après J.-C. Chaussée, artère piétonne, portiques, installations hydrauliques et objets divers... Les éléments identifiés lors des premières fouilles permettent de dessiner les contours d'un quartier artisanal et commerçant de la ville antique d'Augustonemetum. Conformément à la tradition gréco-romaine, le quartier artisanal et commerçant antique est construit sous forme de rectangle allongé. La superficie totale de la zone de fouille s'étend sur 5.000 m².  Outre les vestiges du quartier antique, quelques objets ont été trouvés. Parmi eux, des clous, un manche de pilon à mortier en terre cuite et ce "Petit barbu", une décoration de vase en tête de Zeus. 


BULGARIE -  Bacho Kiro - Le séquençage génétique de restes humains vieux de 45.000 ans a révélé une migration inconnue vers l'Europe, et montré que les mélanges avec des populations de Néandertal étaient plus courants qu'on ne l'imaginait.  Le séquençage génétique a conclu que ces individus étaient plus proches des populations actuelles d'Asie de l'Est et des Amériques que des Européens. Cette découverte suggère "qu'ils appartenaient à une migration humaine moderne en Europe qui n'était pas encore connue" dans l'histoire génétique des migrations, selon l'étude publiée mercredi dans Nature. C'est aussi une "preuve qu'il y a eu une certaine continuité entre les premiers humains modernes en Europe et les hommes qui ont vécu plus tard en Eurasie", poursuit l'étude. Les restes, trouvés dans la grotte Bacho Kiro en Bulgarie, ont montré dans un premier temps que les humains vivaient aux côtés des Néandertaliens en Europe plus tôt qu'on ne le pensait. Mais l'analyse génétique des restes a aussi révélé que ces premiers humains et les Néandertaliens se reproduisaient entre eux plus qu'on ne l'imaginait. Tous les "individus de la grotte Bacho Kiro ont des ancêtres néandertaliens à cinq ou sept générations avant leur existence, suggérant que les mélanges entre ces premiers humains en Europe et les Néandertaliens étaient courants", selon M. Hajdinjak. La première preuve d'un tel mélange reposait sur la découverte en Roumanie d'un seul individu, baptisé Oase 1, vieux de 40.000 ans.