INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SUMMER TERM : JULY 2016
MONGOLIE – Gobi - Research carried out in the southern reaches of the desert has revealed that the human settlements were located on the banks of long since dried-up lakes. The world’s second-largest desert region, now inhabited by nomad families, once offered abundant wildlife and more favourable conditions for living, the experts say. "The highly diversified forms of objects found and the varied techniques of working stone prove that certain locations were repeatedly colonized across history," said Professor Józef Szykulski, from the Institute of Archeology at Wrocław University, south-west Poland, who jointly oversaw the digs. The oldest findings unearthed are massive stone tools manufactured in the Middle Paleolithic era, spanning from 200,000 to 40,000 years ago. The archeologists also discovered eleven jasper artifacts, dating back 40,000 years. The international expedition sought to trace the history of human settlement in the Pleistocene and early Holocene periods in an area between the Altai mountain range and the Gobi desert. This vast area, measuring some 50,000 square kilometres, "is yet to be explored, as only one expedition has so far operated in these parts," Professor Szykulski told Polish news agency PAP.
ROYAUME UNI – St Athan - A prehistoric landscape has been discovered by archaeologists as they continue their excavations on a site earmarked for housing. Experts say the discovery provides important new evidence relating to the lives and deaths of people belonging to the early farming communities of the area. Specialist archaeology consultants, APAC Ltd, made the discovery at the site of the new Tathana’s Court housing development in St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan .One of the first areas to be fully excavated revealed the plan of a prehistoric monument. Circular in form and around 7m in diameter, the feature is defined by a shallow, flat bottomed ditch, dug into the underlying limestone rock. Experts say the circular ditch is not continuous, but has a single gap, and is possibly an entrance. Inside the enclosure a number of small pits were discovered and these contained pottery and flint finds. Initial identifications suggest these finds are typical of the Neolithic period, suggesting that the monument was in use around 5,400-4,400 years ago (3,400-2,400 BC).
CHINE – Beijing - Chinese archaeologists believe they have stumbled upon remains of the imperial palace of Kublai Khan’s Yuan dynasty, a part of Chinese history missing since the 14th century, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Thursday. Researchers at the Institute of Archaeology at the Palace Museum in Beijing said evidence of Khan’s palace was uncovered from beneath the Forbidden City during recent maintenance work at the heritage site.The proof was contained in a three-metre-thick layer of earth and rubble buried beneath layers of Ming and Qing dynasty construction. The uncovered foundations, rare in Yuan dynasty buildings, are large enough to have supported a palatial hall. The Yuan dynasty reigned from 1279 to 1368, when Beijing, rather than Nanjing, is widely believed to have been the capital of imperial China. Historical record say the Yuan palace in Beijing was abandoned by its last emperor, Toghon Temur, who was overthrown by rebel soldiers who established the Ming dynasty in the late 14th century. They raised the palace to its foundations and built a new one on top, making it impossible to detect. Hitherto, the only clues as to the location of Khan’s palace were published in the memoirs of 13th-century Venetian merchant Marco Polo, who described “the greatest palace that ever was” as being covered with gold and silver, with a main hall large enough to host a banquet for 6,000 people.
USA – Sanilac - There are other sacred shapes and symbols, surrounded by a clutter of carvings that likely came much later: initials scratched by 19th century loggers, other graffiti, bowl-like indentations where someone, somewhere in history, chipped out an entire symbol and the rock around it so they could take it home. Tchorzynski laid the tiny bundle down next to a pile of others, which will be saved for ceremonial burning. In time, new offerings will be tied onto the new cedar railings going in around the rock at Sanilac Petroglyphs State Park. The offering of tobacco, or asemma, is an acknowledgment of the carvings and of all that people take from the earth