12 FEVRIER 2023 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
DEBUT COURS : AVRIL 2023
USA – Gettysburg - An unexploded 3-inch shell casing from the Civil War stopped traffic this week in Gettysburg while U.S. military technicians investigated the Pennsylvania battlefield finding. “This type of munition was historically used during the Civil War and most likely came from the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863,” Capt. Matthew Booker, the commander of the 55th Ordnance Company, said in a statement. The Battle of Gettysburg was the bloodiest of the Civil War, with more than 51,000 estimated dead and wounded over its three-day span.
ANGLETERRE – Brownes' Hole - Prehistoric remains found near Shepton Mallet could be the first evidence of neanderthals in Somerset. Bones found in Brownes' Hole at Stoke St Michael may be from 40,000 BC when hyaenas and cave bears also prowled Britain. We know modern humans were definitely living here two millennia later, as a homo sapien jaw bone was found in Kent's Cavern, Devon. However, they co-existed with the neanderthals for a time before the latter died out, and it is not yet known to which species of hominid the Brownes' Hole bones belong. There is a jaw bone, two bits of tibia and part of what might be a rib, amongst other things. Brownes’ Hole was excavated between 1947 and 1951 and the finds were offered to Wells Museum. It was a hyena den, and so also found in the cave were the bones of many mammals, like reindeer, rhinoceros, cave bears, hyenas, prehistoric horses and pine martens. "We know they date from 40,000 BC. But it wasn't until we were looking at the human bones that we realised we might be onto something really quite exciting. This is the first time a hyena den has produced human remains and if they date back to 40,000 BC like the other mammals, then they could be neanderthal bones. "That would be of national importance because of how few neanderthal bones have been found in the UK until now and none have been found in Mendip before. Humans have migrated to Britain so many times and then disappeared so many times that we don’t know which species we’re looking at. Human remains found in Brownes' Hole, near Shepton Mallet, have been sent for radiocarbon dating.
FRANCE – Mauves-sur-Loire - Le diagnostic a mis en évidence que des sépultures datant du VIIIe au XIXe siècle se cachaient sous le goudron. La direction régionale des affaires culturelles (Drac) a ensuite prescrit la poursuite de fouilles sur un périmètre d'environ 1400 m2. Les tombes sont donc en train d'être dévoilées. Depuis le 30 janvier, une vingtaine d'entre elles ont déjà été mises à jour. In fine, quelques centaines devraient être découvertes. Les personnes enterrées ici étaient des chrétiens», explique Camille Bouffiès, parée de bottes et d'un pantalon de chantier. Doté d'un plan cadastral remontant à l'époque napoléonienne, Nicolas Lacoste, responsable des opérations au service archéologie de Nantes métropole, explique qu'à l'endroit où il marche, se trouvait jadis un cimetière. Celui-ci était accolé à une église médiévale, rasée au XIXe siècle avant qu'une nouvelle ne soit reconstruite dans la foulée, quelques mètres plus loin. Les premiers corps sortis de terre correspondent surtout aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles : «les inhumations se sont succédé pendant dix siècles. Au fur et à mesure, on détruisait les sépultures pour réinhumer». «1200 ans d'histoire sont concentrés sur un mètre d'épaisseur», résume Nicolas Lacoste, passionné par sa mission. Les fouilles se déroulent entre 80 cm et un mètre sous le sol. L'intérêt est de découvrir les rites funéraires qui étaient en vigueur entre le VIIIe et le XIXe siècle. Les corps pouvaient être enveloppés d'un linceul, être disposés dans des fosses, des coffrages de petits blocs ou de cercueils en bois. Parfois, les défunts étaient habillés. Connaître ces éléments permet d'en savoir plus sur les rituels des vivants. En outre, l'étude des ossements indique le sexe, l'âge de décès, le régime alimentaire ou encore la cause de la mort : cela renseigne sur l'évolution des populations. Plus largement, ces découvertes vont être précieuses pour préciser la date de fondation du bourg de Mauves. Jusqu'à maintenant, les plus vieilles traces remontaient à l'installation d'un prieuré du XIe siècle.
USA - Manasota Key - Though divers have not visited the Manasota Key Offshore archaeological site, state scientists believe the 7,000-plus-year-old burial ground in 21 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico was not adversely impacted by Hurricane Ian. Scientists had conducted a low-tide survey along the shore by the site and found no material had washed up on the beach. Found in 2016 by amateur diver Joshua Frank, Manasota Offshore is an organic peat bed that turned out to be a burial site that was once a shallow pond. During the Archaic Period, more than 7,000 years ago, indigenous people used it as a mortuary pond. “This site would have been a freshwater pond when it was being used,” Kangas said. “It would have been on dry land and it is now in the ocean.” Sea level then was about 30 feet lower than today. It is the first example in North or South America of human remains being identified offshore. The peat helped preserve artifacts, including wooden stakes used to secure the human remains. The Archaic Period – which is when the Manasota Offshore site was active – started roughly 9.000 years ago. Kangas explained that during the Paleoindian period, the earth was cooler with lower sea levels – with Florida cooler and drier.
INDE - Pyararam - Archaeology enthusiasts made a groundbreaking discovery on Saturday when they stumbled upon prehistoric rock paintings depicting animals and humans from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods at Pyararam village in the Bommalaramaram mandal of Yadadri-Bhuvanagiri district. The team documented six humped bulls, a porcupine, two antelopes, and two human figures depicted in red ochre on the wall and ceiling of a serpent-hood-shaped rock-shelter located 50 feet above the ground level and 2 km north of Pyararam village.The paintings were discovered on the interior of the shelter.
INDE – Murli Pahar - The site is at the foothills of Murli Pahar, a hillock on the banks of river Ganga in Sultanganj block of the district.Mishra, in a letter to the state archaeology directorate, has said that the Archaeological survey of India (ASI) or Intach (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) be roped in for conservation and restoration of around 50-60 stone carvings of Hindu deities and other religious symbols, which could date back to Gupta period (6th century) but have suffered damages due to recurring floods and exposure of extreme weather conditions over the years. “The stone carvings might have been under the streams of Ganga, which used to flow between Bhagalpur town and Ajgaibinath temple about 20 years ago. The carvings surfaced after Ganga changed its course slightly and moved away from Murli Pahar. Carvings of Lord Vishnu, Surya, Shiva, Ardhanarishwar, Ganesh, Durga, besides Lord Buddha, Navagrah, Rudra Pad and other spiritual symbols have come out in the open on stones at the foothills. There are some scripts written in Brahmi, which suggest the age of the carvings,” say the report prepared by the researchers.
PEROU – Macaton - Researchers made an important archaeological discovery by finding human remains from more than 800 years ago at the Macaton Funerary Archaeological Site in Huaral province, Lima region. After stating that the archaeological finding was in charge of a team of specialists led by archaeologist Pieter van Dalen, the UNMSM specified that these are the remains of two adult individuals and one neonate, who belonged to the Chancay Culture, from the late intermediate period (1000 -1550 AD). It affirmed that the child and one of the adults are inside funeral bundles or textile wrappings —still unopened. According to the researchers, they would be a mother and her son. The other adult individual was found in a skeletal state with their bundles torn by huaqueros (tomb looters). Pieter van Dalen revealed that it would be a multiple burial, which occurred during 1200 AD or later, and the deceased would have belonged to a low social stratum of the Chancay Culture. Death was a very important process for Chancay society. Funeral rituals were performed that lasted several days. Among funeral songs and dances, the deceased was placed inside textile wrappings or bundles, and around them funeral offerings inside vessel —also sacrificed llamas or guinea pigs, labor instruments of the deceased, among other personal and family belongings. The Chancay Culture developed in the north-central Peruvian coast (between Ancon to the south and the Supe valley to the north) in the late pre-Hispanic periods (1000-1550 AD). It consisted of a first period of independent life (1000-1470 AD), then another of Inca domination (1470-1533 AD), followed finally by the stage under Spanish domination (1533-1551 AD).
ROUMANIE – Drăguşen - A 3,000-year-old skeleton has been found in eastern Romania in what was once a burial mound attributed to the Yamnaya culture. Adela Kovacs of the Botoşani County Museum said that she and her colleagues from the Archaeological Institute of Iaşi, the Silesian University in Opava, and the Silesian Museum in the Czech Republic have been investigating the area and the two large tumuli at the site, which had been damaged by farming. Traces of red ocher have been found on the skeleton’s head and legs. It is thought to be related to a ritual related to rebirth, blood, and the afterlife, Kovacs explained. “The body’s position is curled,” she added. “Initially, it was placed on its back, with the knees brought to the chest, suggesting a fetal position. This baby position [also] represents the return to earth through a future birth.” Further study of the bones will attempt to determine the age, sex, and diet of the deceased.
PAYS-BAS – Veluwe / Utrechtse Heuvelrug - Scientists in the Netherlands have located a trove of archaeological remains across the Veluwe and Utrechtse Heuvelrug regions while working with researchers at Leiden University. Their findings included more than 1,000 burial mounds dating to 2,800–500 B.C.E., in addition to prehistoric field complexes known as Celtic fields, charcoal kilns, cart tracks, and other archaeological objects. Taking soil samples from more than 300 burial mounds, the team found that 80 of these were previously undiscovered structures—effectively doubling the number of known mounds in the area. Further studies have led them to believe that more than 1,250 of the sites pinpointed by citizen scientists could be prehistoric. At least 3,000 burial mounds have been discovered in the Netherlands, with most located in the Veluwe, a densely forested area in Gelderland. These mounds date to as early as the Stone Age up until the end of the Iron Age, created by piling dirt atop the burial chambers of one or more people. Rather than being randomly built, these structures—notably the ones that run in a straight four-mile line across the municipality of Epe near Veluwe—bear out evidence of ritualized burials, with posts and stone circles found alongside the sites.