10 JUIN 2023 NEWS






ITALIE – Neolithic settlement of la marmotta min 1 e1686080297810 1024x763 La Marmotta  - Underwater archaeologists have discovered rare, well-preserved textiles, basketry, and cordage from the early Neolithic period in an area near Rome, Italy. The  submerged settlement of La Marmotta in the comune of Anguillara Sabazia, about 30 kilometers northwest of Rome, was discovered in 1989. A lakeshore settlement was established during the Early Neolithic Period, and it now lies approximately 300 meters from the modern shoreline, submerged at a depth of 11 meters. More than a dozen dwellings and a massive assemblage of organic remains have been discovered at La Marmotta after two decades of excavation. The authors present an overview of the recovered textiles, basketry, and cordage, as well as the tools used to make them.  “The assemblage paints a more complete picture of Neolithic societies’ technological expertise and ability to exploit and process plant materials to produce a diverse range of crafts,” the research team writes in the journal Antiquity. A team from the University of Copenhagen is currently analyzing textile fragments that are thought to have been made from plant fibers. A closer examination using a binocular microscope indicates flax fibers, a common material used by ancient cultures for making textiles until the 19th century AD. In addition to 43 fragments of basketry, 28 fragments of cord and two lengths of thread have been identified. The discovery of 78 loom weights, three spindle whorls, and 34 complete or fragmented wooden tools that were likely used during weaving to ensure that each new weft thread was tightly packed down provides additional evidence of textile production. It is unknown why the La Marmotta settlement was abandoned, but it is possible that a sudden rise in the lake’s water level forced people to leave their homes. “Whatever the reason, the inhabitants left behind all their possessions, including tools, food-preparation vessels, and canoes. Numerous building elements and wooden objects were also found to have been burnt, similar to what has been observed in other submerged villages, such as in some Alpine lake sites (Neolithic, Switzerland) and Must Farm (Bronze Age, UK). Future geomorphological studies may help to determine precisely what happened at the end of the site’s occupation,” In their study, the researchers write. A minimum of 13 house structures were identified on the Neolithic shore thanks to the spatial distribution of the thousands of wooden piles or support posts that have been discovered during underwater  surveys of the settlement. These rectangular homes had an internal partition wall, and a central hearth, and were 8 to 10 meters long and roughly 6 meters wide. Five wooden canoes, some found next to the houses, are currently the only known examples from the Neolithic Mediterranean. Examining the raw materials recovered from the site reveals that the La Marmotta community was part of extensive and complex exchange networks with populations hundreds of kilometers away.


USA - Fieldschool1 - Ancient Tribal earth ovens built long before the Egyptian pyramids are being excavated as part of the first archeological project made public by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians.  Conducted in collaboration with Washington State University archeologists, the excavation is revealing new insights into the foods the Kalispel people have been preparing and eating in the Inland Northwest for the last 5,000 years. The earth ovens were discovered after the Kalispel Tribe purchased land near Newport to accommodate the need for additional Tribal housing near the Reservation. Now in its third week, the excavation has uncovered the remnants of several of the ovens, one of which radiocarbon dating suggests is 5,000 years old. A team of professional archeologists and fourth-year students participating in a WSU archeological field school is currently working to delineate the features and investigate any potential changes in their size and shape over time. Soil samples are also being collected and analyzed in the lab in the hopes of identifying charred seeds, nuts and even bits of protein that could paint a clearer picture of the diet and food processing techniques used by ancient Tribal people living on the banks of the Pend Oreille River. The oven remains and other discovered artifacts will ultimately be carefully removed from the ground to make way for essential Tribal housing.  One of the main foods the archeologists hope to learn more about is camas, a small flowering plant with roots that can be cooked fresh or ground into flour for baking over several days. While the Tribe has preserved the tradition of baking camas bread by passing it down from generation to generation, not much is known about the oven technology they used before 3,000 years ago. Another hope of the archeological team is to identify protein residues from animals such as bighorn sheep, which currently aren’t found in the region, but previous research suggests may have been present or traded for. 


EGYPTE – Post 1 image1 Qbydos  Abydos - M ore than 2,000 mummified rams’ heads have been discovered by an American Mission excavating near to the Ramesses II temple at Abydos, inside a newly discovered storage room in the northern area of the temple. Alongside the rams’ heads, the team found the mummified remains of other animals, including sheep, dogs, wild goats, cows, deer, and mongoose. The animals may have been votive offerings made during the worship of rams at the site, or in honour of Ramesses II, who was revered during the Ptolemaic Period. The team also discovered a large Sixth Dynasty building of unique architectural design, with 5-metre-thick walls, and uncovered parts of the northern wall of the Ramesside temple which indicate the shape of the temple differs from what was previously thought. Various finds at the site included pieces of papyri, remains of ancient trees, and fragments of clothing and leather shoes.


USA - Kisatchie - It’s been hundreds or even thousands of years since humans last touched some of these artifacts excavated from this archaeological site in Kisatchie National Forest.  Dating back to the end of the last Ice Age around 10-12,000 years ago, archaeologists with the Kisatchie National Forest and the Public Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette have determined that this is one of the oldest and largest prehistoric archaeological sites in Western Louisiana. One of the core research questions was to find out if the site was used as a short term hunting camp or if it was a permanent settlement, said Helmer. They still have to go through all the material collected and date it but there is evidence that many different groups of people came through this place over time, he said. It may have been used as a hunting camp but towards the later years of occupation or it could have been a permanent hamlet or village site which is pretty significant. 

VIDEO = https://eu.thetowntalk.com/story/news/local/2023/06/08/ani-archaeological-site-in-kisatchie-forest-in-vernon-parish/70278982007/

MEDITERRANEAN SEA –  The Mediterranean Sea beckons tourists with calm waters and gentle breezes, but ancient mariners knew that violent storms could arise in minutes—and archaeologists once assumed that was one of the reasons their ships would stick to coastlines. Sailors would navigate by sight from terrestrial landmarks, they proposed, rather than trying to cross the often-dangerous open seas between Europe, North Africa, and the Near East. But discoveries from a multi-year mission by the United Nations cultural agency UNESCO have thrown new doubt on the idea that ancient sailors solely relied on coastal navigation, with an analysis that suggests sailing beyond sight of land was routine in ancient times.   The locations of a newly found ancient wreck and several others now confirm that early merchants often dared the open seas to make a profit from their cargoes of wine and olive oil. And the mission shows the value of bringing modern underwater archaeologists from different countries to work together, says UNESCO underwater archaeologist Alison Faynot, who helped coordinate the mission.Among the new discoveries are three shipwrecks near the Skerki Banks, including a Roman merchant ship that sank more than 2,000 years ago. Underwater archaeologist Franca Cibecchini of DRASSM says the 60-foot-long ship, partially intact in 180 feet of water, was carrying amphoras when it sank. The design of the clay jars suggests they once held wine from Italy; archaeologists will now recover some of the amphoras to test that hypothesis.  The researchers also used one of Alfred Merlin’s two underwater robots, or ROVs—remotely-operated vehicles—to explore and verify the locations of three other Roman-era shipwrecks on the eastern side of the Sicilian Channel. These ships also carried cargoes of amphoras, which now lie scattered on the seafloor. Cibecchini says the wreck locations show clearly that merchants by this time were willing to sail straight between Italy and North Africa, rather than taking a safer route that hugged the coastline.


EGYPTE – Bes head vase 1 Researchers have identified some of the components of found in an ancient Bes vase dating back to Ptolemaic era Egypt. The potent mind-altering concoction that was once housed in the second-century BC vase was revealed after a thorough chemical analysis by researchers, who would have consumed it to induce an altered state of consciousness.According to a paper posted to the pre-print server Research Square, the roughly 2,200-year-old vessel — which is in the shape of the head of the god Bes — contained a number of psychoactive compounds, including fermented fruit, the plant Peganum harmala (also known as Syrian rue), and Nymphaea caerulea (commonly called blue water lilly). Syrian rue, in particular, is known to be hallucinogenic in nature.“The seeds of [Syrian rue] produce high quantities of the alkaloids harmine and harmaline, which induce dream-like visions,” the researchers wrote. The ancient cocktail also contained traces of a fermented alcoholic beverage made from fruit, honey, and bodily fluids in addition to these psychotropic or hallucinogenic substances. While the addition of human fluids suggests a magical or ritual purpose, the first two of these ingredients may have been added to make the mixture more palatable or digestible. The authors of the study believe that the magic potion contained in the ancient Bes vase was consumed by members of an ancient cult active in Ptolemaic Egypt that worshiped a part-feline/part-human deity known as Bes. “As the Bes figure was revered as a protective genius, it might be assumed that the liquid drunk from these mugs was considered beneficent,” they said. Members of the Bes cult appeared to frequently consume magical potions. The researchers involved in this specific study knew where the vase they studied had come from because the ceramic drinking mugs used in the cult were consistently adorned with the head of Bes.


ANGLETERRE - For some time, the plague was thought to not have reached Britain until after about 2,500 years ago, even though it was present throughout Europe long before then. But according to new research, the plague was around in Great Britain a lot sooner than we thought—thousands of years sooner. Two previously undiscovered mass graves have been unearthed—one in Somerset, England and one in Cumbria, England—and both were found to contain individuals infected with a strain of the plague from 4,000 years ago, marking the earliest evidence of the disease’s presence in Britain. In total, the team found evidence of the plague in three individuals. These finding come as the result of a detailed genetic analysis project screening the unearthed bodies for Yersinia pestis—the bacteria that causes the plague. While the bacteria would not be detectable in many parts of the body, researchers were able to find residual evidence of its presence by looking in the teeth of 34 individuals uncovered in these mass graves. The core of a tooth, which is made of a substance called dental pulp, can hold onto remnants of the DNA of diseases.


INDE – Jhcydkolqwp37kgm27zccb 970 80 jpg Odisha - An elephant statue thought to date to the third century B.C. has been unearthed on the banks of the Daya River in eastern India by researchers from the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). Team member Anil Dhir explained that the floodplain of the Daya River is rich in artifacts related to Buddhism, which flourished in the area from the third century B.C. into the second century A.D. This elephant sculpture was found near a pillar of a reddish clay material called laterite and other stone blocks. Architectural fragments of a Buddhist temple have also been uncovered in the area, he added. Dhir also said that a similar elephant statue dated to between 272 and 231 B.C. was found at Dhauli, an ancient center of Buddhism, which is located about 12 miles upstream.


INDE – 100796927 Vembakottai  - The state archeology department that is carrying out the second phase of excavation in Virudhunagar’s Vembakottai archeological site has unearthed two pieces of gold. In the first phase, one piece of gold ornament was found. These gold pieces unearthed in the second phase were found at a depth of 1.15 metre and 1.59 metre in two different trenches at the site, according to official sources. Vembakottai site director Pon Baskar said one gold piece was a conical-shaped shaped ornament while the other was a gold plate-like piece. The ornament weighed 2.2 gram with 4.3 mm length and 6.2 mm diameter and the gold plate weighed 2 gram with 8.8 mm length and 7.2 mm breadth. The antiquities could be estimated to 2,000 years old.


CHINE – 6483ebeba31033ad342ac829 6483ebeba31033ad342ac82c Shangchaoyanggou - A large Hongshan settlement site has been discovered in Shangchaoyanggou village, just 6.5 kilometers from the Niuheliang archaeological site in Chaoyang city, Northeast China's Liaoning province, according to the latest research by the Liaoning Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. It marks the first time a large residential site of Hongshan Culture has been found near the Niuheliang sacred burial site. After archaeological excavation of an area of 120,000 square meters, 27 dwelling sites have been discovered.


IRAQ – Mesopotamie Maysan - Deep learning has found multiple uses in every field of application. In the context of archaeology, it can help in classifying objects and text, finding similarities, building 3D models, and the detection of sites. The team from the university of Bologna conducted a test in the Maysan Province of Iraq, where the AI algorithm correctly identified sites of interest with an accuracy of 80%.The results of the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, emphasises the issue of thousands of satellite photos in archives that would require a large amount of resources to analyse, however, using an automatic AI system, this would massively reduce the time and resources needed. The researchers utilised a dataset consisting of vector shapes representing the archaeologically recorded sites within the southern Mesopotamian floodplain. Through training, they developed a system capable of identifying and delineating sites using pretrained models for semantic segmentation, fine-tuned on satellite imagery, and masks of the site shapes. The study authors said: “The potential applications of this method are far reaching and do not only concern its speed: it should rather be seen as a necessary complement to traditional expert-based photointerpretation, adding to the latter in many cases site features which may go overlooked but are likely to be significant.”