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WINTER TERM : APRIL 2020
ESPAGNE – Els Trocs cave - The remains of Neolithic immigrants uncovered in modern-day Spain reveal they were brutally executed in a 'xenophobic murderous frenzy' over 7,000 years ago. An international team of archaeologists excavated a cave in the modern day Spanish Pyrenees and found the mutilated remains of five adults and four children. The children were aged between three and seven and all nine of the people in the cage had not just been shot with arrows but beaten, even after they had died. Lead researcher, Kurt W Alt from the University of Basel in Switzerland says the violence was without parallel in Spain or the rest of Europe at that time. He said it was likely triggered after a series of escalating incidents such as the theft of cattle, land disputes or even the theft of women with one group being part of the first wave of immigrants from what is now the Middle East. The remains have been dated to about 5,300 BC, which is when hunter-gatherers were being replaced by farmers. Kurt Alt said the adults displayed consistent arrow-shot injuries to the skull but not to the skeleton and the children and adults showed traces of blunt violence to the skull and entire skeleton. This suggests that the bones they discovered, which were broken and shattered, were first shot then bludgeoned, sometimes after the death of the victim. The massacre could have been caused by territorial disputes, the theft of cattle or even the theft of women that escalated until they led to slaughter. Genetic data from the victims found they were in the first wave of immigrants from the Middle East, who spread throughout Europe about 10,000 years ago. The discovery in the cave documents an early escalation of violence between people of 'conceivably different origins and worldviews', according to the paper. This could have been between natives and migrants or between economic or social rivals, battling for domination, or settling differences. 'The conflict conveys the impression of a xenophobic action; the type of aggression suggests a clash between enemy groups.' The researchers studied the genome of the victims of the attack and found that two of them were father and son - a male of about 30 and a boy of about six. The other three children had different mothers and the genomes haven't been studied to the same detail. It is likely they were all part of the same cultural group though, possibility farming immigrants coming in to an area dominated by hunter gatherers. At the time the victims lived agricultural and agrarian societies were starting to develop and researchers think the victims were immigrants that started farming.The researchers suggest that the attackers could have been local hunter-gatherers or another group of migrant farmers. If they were migrants then the attack may have been sparked by a land dispute over farming space. However, if they were locals then the researchers suggest that they may have viewed the migrants as invaders in their foraging grounds.
ESPAGNE – Cova de la Font Major - Researchers have discovered a "Paleolithic sanctuary" in Spain featuring more than a hundred engravings of figurative and abstract rock art, dated to around 15,000 years ago. Archaeologists identified the engravings in a cave known as Cova de la Font Major which is located in the village of L'Espluga de Francolí. The engravings are the oldest of their kind ever discovered in Catalonia, and the team were able to date them to around 15,000 years ago based on their style—although some may be slightly older or more recent, according to the researchers. The engravings mostly consist of figurative representations of animals—such as deer, horses and oxen—although some are simply abstract symbols or shapes. The archaeologists said the number and quality of the engravings was significant. The team say the engravings were produced on a layer of soft, sandy silt. They found the artworks in a difficult-to-access part of the cave with small dimensions.
Rép. TCHEQUE – - Uhersky Brod - For two millennia, he had been resting untouched in the earth, in the hollow of what had been his tomb, untouched since his burial. It took only an earthmover and an attentive worker whose gaze was caught by the presence of a shiny object in the overturned earth to uncover the grave of a high Germanic dignitary dating back to the second half of the 1st century AD at Uhersky Brod (south-eastern Moravia), near the Slovak border. "This discovery must be placed in its historical context. Dating places it back to Roman times, but it should be remembered that at that time the Czech and Moravian territories were located in an area called the Barbaricum, i.e. beyond the Roman Empire's limes." "This is the burial place of a local lord of Germanic origin. He is not a Roman, as has been stated here and there in some articles. When we talk about Roman times, it does not automatically mean that there was a Roman presence on our territory. There were indeed units of the Roman army in our territory, but it was much later: it was at the time of the Marcomannic Wars that took place during the second half of the 2nd century. Archaeological discoveries testify to this presence. But concerning our discovery in Uhersky Brod, we are a century earlier and the situation in this part of Moravia was different then." Around the year 20 AD a kingdom was formed between the Morava River and the Vah, a tributary of the Danube, a territory straddling what is now Moravia, Slovakia and Lower Austria. Tacitus in his Annals refers to the birth of what is regarded to be the first political entity in the region. It was led until the year 50 by a certain Vannius, a chief from the Germanic Quades tribe, who was directly enthroned by Rome. "At first it was assumed that this Germanic tribal chief was buried in a wooden coffin because there were impressions of wooden beams around the burial pit. But after consultation with an anthropologist, it is rather thought that the grave contained a coffin. The deceased was buried dressed in full costume, with bronze spurs on his feet. His clothes were closed with four bronze staples. Around his waist he wore a decorated belt, with a large, rather representative bronze buckle. The same kind of objects were also found in a necropolis in Prague. A bone pin and a bronze knife were also found at his waist. The latter is particularly interesting because, of course, weapons and instruments were made of iron at that time. Bronze objects were used much earlier, in the Bronze Age. So the presence of the bronze knife here means something else, its function is rather symbolic, especially since no iron weapons were found in the grave."
IRAN – Khuzestan - 59 caves and rock shelters were found in northern and northwestern parts of the Izeh plain during the second season of an archaeological survey, which recently came to an end under supervision of the Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism,” IRNA quoted Mojgan Jayez, leader of the survey, as saying on Sunday. Sixty nine sites (caves or rocky shelters) were discovered during the first season last year (ended March 2019), she said, adding, 147 caves or rocky shelters have so far been spotted in the region if the ones founded in the 1380s (2000s) are taken into account. They have been underwent some preliminary studies including documentation and collecting samples of shards scattering nearby, the chief archaeologist noted. The excavations have also yielded stone artifacts and mineral deposits of the hunter-gatherers once lived in the region, she added.
ROYAUME UNI – Durham - Remains found during a dig in Durham have revealed what is believed to be the city's earliest known resident. Archaeologists from the university unearthed the bone fragments while excavating a city centre site where student accommodation was being built.
Radiocarbon dating has now shown they date to between 90BC and AD60. Described as "very significant", the bones add to a growing body of evidence there were settlers in the area in the Iron Age and Romano-British periods. Most of the identifiable bone, found in a site off Claypath, came from a skull, with parts of a radius and tibia also recovered. Experts were able to establish they belonged to an adult who had been cremated, but could not determine their age or sex. As well as evidence of the Iron Age cremation, archaeologists found items from medieval rubbish pits and 18th Century street-front buildings.
FRANCE – Aix-les-Bains - Rue de la Chaudanne, durant la dernière décade du mois de janvier dernier, des éléments de fortification médiévale et gallo-romains ont été mis au jour lors d’un chantier de construction de logements. Visibles sur le Theatrum Statuum Sabaudiæ (plan du 17e s.) et le plan cadastral Sarde (1728), les fondations du rempart aixois marquaient les limites de la cité thermale jadis (au niveau de la rue Daquin au nord et de la place du Revard au sud !). On a découvert des éléments scientifiques intéressants, c’est certain, qui appartiennent au rempart médiéval aixois ainsi qu’une fosse de déchets gallo-romains. Sachant que le rempart, on ne l’a qu’en fondations. C’est important car cela permet de vérifier les hypothèses sur l’emplacement exact du rempart par rapport au ruisseau de la Chaudanne », souligne Marie-Pierre Feuillet, conservatrice de l’archéologie (DRAC Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes).
PEROU – Lima - Des travailleurs qui ont creusé une rue à Lima pour installer un tuyau de gaz ont découvert un cimetière vieux de 1800 ans, ont rapporté des archéologues. “À ce jour, nous trouvons les restes de quatre individus et 15 navires entiers, tous de style ‘blanc sur r “avec une antiquité de 1 800 ans”, a expliqué à l’. l’archéologue Marilin Herrera. “Le style blanc sur rouge est situé au début du premier intermédiaire dont les cultures caractéristiques sont Lima ou Moche. Nous parlerions de ce style de 200 avant JC à 300 après JC “, a expliqué Herrera. L’archéologue a déclaré que les morts étaient enterrés face au sud et avaient plusieurs offrandes en céramique autour, telles que des pots, des assiettes, des pichets et des bouteilles à double facture. À l’époque préhispanique, cette zone était le grand curacazgo ou manoir d’Ichma (Lima), centré à Pachacámac, au sud de la ville. la rivière Rímac, qui traverse le centre de Lima, jusqu’à la vallée de la rivière Lurín, au sud de la capitale.