12 NOVEMBRE 2021 NEWS
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ESPAGNE – Erro - Il avait autour de vingt ans, mesurait 1,60 m et pesait entre 50 et 55 kilos. Le corps d'un individu de sexe masculin, baptisé « l'homme de Loizu » (en référence au village tout proche d'Aintzioa-Loizu), a été retrouvé par des spéléologues en novembre 2017 dans une grotte présente sur la commune d'Erro, en Navarre, dans le nord de l'Espagne. Exhumée au printemps dernier par une équipe d'archéologues dirigée par Pablo Arias, responsable de l'Institut d'études préhistoriques de l'université de Cantabrie, la dépouille de cet homo sapiens décédé il y a 11 700 ans commence à livrer ses secrets. En attendant que la paléogénétique permette de déterminer la couleur de ses cheveux et de ses yeux, les analyses conduites sur ses ossements, admirablement préservés, ont dévoilé que ce garçon, dont le régime alimentaire incluait la consommation de viande, était décédé de mort violente. Une première présentation des résultats obtenus par 26 chercheurs, incluant de nombreux anthropologues, a été faite à Pampelune, le 6 novembre dernier. Les scientifiques se sont longuement attardés sur la description de l'impact relevé sur son crâne. Outre le fait que cette blessure aurait causé sa mort, les archéologues ont conclu que le trou situé à l'arrière de la tête de ce jeune homme avait été provoqué par un projectile. Pour Maitane Tirapu et Antonio Higuera, c'est une flèche qui aurait tué « l'homme de Loizu ». Cette flèche, dotée non pas d'une tête de pierre mais de dents de silex, incrustées au bout de sa hampe, n'a pas été retrouvée. La particularité du décès de « l'homme de Loizu » résulterait du fait qu'il ne s'agirait pas tant d'un banal accident de chasse que d'un tir volontaire le visant alors qu'il s'enfuyait. La cause violente de ce décès explique-t-elle pourquoi le corps a été enterré si profondément : dans un boyau situé à 200 mètres de l'ouverture d'une cavité rocheuse difficile d'accès ? Les investigations des archéologues vont se poursuivre pour le dire. Ces nouvelles recherches permettront, en tout cas, de mieux connaître les rituels funéraires en vogue à cette époque lointaine. Comme l'indique Jesús García Gazólaz, le corps de ce jeune homme a été inhumé les bras croisés, enveloppé dans une forme de « paquet » et couvert de pigments ocre et noirs mêlant argile, poudre d'hématite et matières organiques. Lesquelles doivent encore être analysées. L'enquête n'en est encore qu'à ses débuts...
ANGLETERRE – Lindisfarne - Among coins uncovered by the excavation at a cemetery site near the ruins of Lindisfarne medieval priory is an example of one issued during the rule of King Eadberht, who became king in AD 737, after his cousin Ceolwulf abdicated from the Northumbrian throne and took sanctuary at the monastery at Lindisfarne. On one side, the coin features a fantastical, four-legged beast. On the other, the name Eadbertus circles a small central cross. The dig is the sixth annual excavation to be conducted on the cemetery. Most of the burials have been similar, simple affairs but the latest dig has revealed two which are different. One is a possible shrine burial, in which an altar is placed over a high status grave, which is raised above ground level. A possible marble-like altar fragment was found nearby. What is thought to be a chest burial has also been revealed. This is where an individual has been buried in a chest rather than a coffin. The chest plate or lock was found for what is a type of burial found in places associated with the Northumbrian church. This is the first to be uncovered on Lindisfarne. Another intriguing find has been part of a bone comb – with runes carved into it. The runic writing is now being studied to see if it is a case of an individual carving their name into a comb which was valuable to them. Part of a free-standing medieval cross, thought to date from the 8th or 9th centuries, has also been discovered. These stone crosses stood between 1.5m-3m tall and were among the first monumental public sculptures to be built in Britain since the Roman period, with shafts often decorated with panels whose borders enclosed scenes and stories.
TURQUIE – Perre - In the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Perre in southeastern Adıyaman province, one of the five largest cities of the Commagene Kingdom, a structure destroyed in an earthquake was unearthed. The damaged structure was found in an area of 270 square meters (2,900 square feet) on the ancient city’s necropolis side in Adiyaman province, and the earthquake is estimated to have occurred in the sixth or seventh century A.D. Adıyaman Museum Director Mehmet Alkan told reporters on Tuesday that new findings dating back to the sixth and seventh century A.D. were discovered in the ancient city, adding, "Wall structures built using irregular stones and mud mortar were found in an area of nearly 270 square meters that we opened in the western part of the rocky area." Alkan informed: “We saw that the upper part of the structure was covered with a dense amount of roof cover. What is interesting is that the earthquakes in Northern Mesopotamia are thought to have affected the ancient city of Perre.” Perre is one of the five big cities of the ancient Greco-Iranian kingdom of Commagene. During the excavations, which began in 2001 and continued at intervals, a historical Roman fountain, large blocky stones, water channels and various architectural structures were discovered in 2021. Roof tiles were discovered during the excavations, according to archaeologist Yıldız Ersönmez. Noting that the recently found structure was destroyed in a possible earthquake, Ersönmez said: "There is a collapse here, which shows us the possibility of an earthquake. We think that this structure was a living space.”
JAPON – Kyoto - Postholes and other archaeological remains that are believed to be from a dwelling for the empress at the Japanese imperial family's official residence have been found in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The remains appear to have been from the Tokaden pavilion, which served as a dwelling for the empress and female palace attendants, and is also mentioned in Heian literature, including "The Tale of Genji" and "The Pillow Book." It was part of the emperor's official residence located in the ancient Japanese capital and administrative center of Heian-kyo, as Kyoto was known during the Heian period (794-1185). The postholes and other remains are thought to be from the time that the capital was moved to Heian-kyo toward the end of the 8th century. It is the first time that remains from a building that was evidently part of the Heian-kyo imperial residence have been discovered. he research institute consulted a document from the Edo period (1603-1867), which detailed the positioning of the palace buildings, and determined that the holes had been located at the southwest section of the Tokaden pavilion, which extended about 12 meters from west to east, and about 27 meters from north to south. Furthermore, an arrangement of stones forming an L-shaped ditch, which was used to carry off rainwater from the roof, was discovered in the southwest corner of the Tokaden, and a similar ditch was also found in the northern part of the Kokiden pavilion. A foundation stone was placed between the stone ditches, which may be traces of a corridor that connected the two buildings. The ditches are thought to be remains from the 10th century or later, after the original building was rebuilt using the method of placing pillars on foundation stones. The investigation at the site indicates that the Japanese traditional method of not using foundation stones was also adopted for Heian-kyo.
ECOSSE – Milton of Crathes - More than 1,200 Mesolithic tools have been unearthed from along an Aberdeenshire river. The flints, collected by archaeologists and volunteers in just three days earlier this year, were used by people who had lived along the Dee 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Finds include a broken piece of a hammer-shaped object called a mace head. Archaeology group Mesolithic Deeside now hopes to uncover more clues to prehistoric life at the site at Milton of Crathes. It has organised a week-long excavation from 11-14 November. Flints, pieces of worked stone, have been found at Milton of Crathes in the past. The tools are thought to have been used as scrapers for turning raw animal hide into clothing, and as blades for cutting.
EGYPTE – Heliopolis - The Egyptian-German mission has uncovered a collection of decorated blocks and fragments from the King Nactanebo I temple at the Matariya archaeological site in Heliopolis. The discovery was made several weeks ago during excavation work at the central area of the temple. The blocks and fragments are made of basalt and belong to the western and northern façade. A northern extension probably connected the sanctuary with the main axis of the precinct of the sun god. Several blocks of the Lower Egyptian geographical procession were found, among them the scene with the Heliopolis Nome while others display the representation of the additional nomes of Lower Egypt. ymen Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector and head of the mission from the Egyptian side, explains that the inscriptions mention the regnal years 13 and 14 (366/365 BCE) as well as the dimensions and the materials used in this sanctuary.“Several blocks were unfinished too and no further decoration work seems to have been commissioned after the death of Nectanebo I in 363 BCE,” he said, adding that other architectural elements attest to the building projects of Ramesses II (1279-1213), Merenptah (1213-1201 BC) and Apries (589-570 BCE). The activity of the Ramesside Period is also represented by an inlay for a relief of the early 19th dynasty (c. 1300 BCE). A statue fragment of Seti II (1204-1198) adds to the evidence for this king of the late 19th Dynasty at Heliopolis. Dietrich Raue, head of the German mission, pointed out that the main processional axis was investigated further west. Scattered fragments point to separate building units of the Middle Kingdom, the 22nd Dynasty (King Osorkon I, 925-890 BCE) and a sanctuary for Shu and Tefnut of King Psametik II (595-589 BCE). Raue said that some fragments of the statuary of King Ramesses II, a part of a baboon statue, a statue base and fragments of a quartzite obelisk of King Osorkon I and parts of cult installations such as an offering table of Thutmose III, 1479-1425 BCE were found. These finds point to the continuous royal support and investment in the temple of the sun and creator god at Heliopolis and the excavation work provided additional evidence for the 30th Dynasty and the Ptolemaic Period in the precinct. Dietrich Raue pointed out that sculptures and limestone casts for reliefs and moulds used in the production of faience ushebti (a type of funerary figurine) testify to the activity of workshops, before all evidence of the temple functioning ceases during the Roman Era.