13 FEVRIER 2017 NEWS: Sutton - Barvas - Dogi Gel - Liège -
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ROYAUME UNI – Sutton - Archaeologists have discovered what they think are the remains of an Anglo-Saxon church and ancient pagan animal burials in an archaeological dig around a late 12th/early 13th century church in Shropshire.The discoveries are not only significant for the history of the site at Sutton, Shrewsbury, but they could potentially rewrite the ecclesiastical history of Shropshire. The team of archaeologists faced a race against to find the remains of a wooden beam, post or other object that could be used to accurately date the site, before it was due to be sealed to make way for a road and car park. On the final day of part of the dig, to the west of the existing Medieval church, they discovered the crucial piece of evidence that they needed – a 15-inch section of an upright wooden post, believed to be a door post. A rusty metal hinge was also found in the same spot. The post will now be sent away for dating and further analysis along with other finds. Among these are some mysterious animal burials on the site of the Medieval graveyard, to the south of the church, which Ms Green believes may be evidence of an ancient pagan site. Among the excavated burials are the skeletons of a calf and a pig that appear to have been carefully laid beside each other in a symmetrical shape. A Stone Age flint was recovered from between the ribs of the calf. The dig has also found the skeleton of a pig that appears to have been laid in a leather covered wooden coffin, a large dog that died while giving birth and which lies next to the bones of six chickens, a pregnant goat and the so far unexcavated bones of another dog and a large bird, possibly a goose. Ms Green believes the animal burials pre-date the Christian period. The bones don’t show any signs of butchery and the animals appear to have been deliberately and carefully laid in the ground. The site is a few hundred metres from known prehistoric human burial mounds so they may be connected.
ROYAUME UNI – Barvas - An Iron Age woman's unusual burial is helping an archaeologist to describe the "deep bond" between ancient islanders and the land they lived on. Dr Mary Macleod Rivett was closely involved in the excavation of the grave at Barvas on Lewis in 2001.The woman was buried facing downwards, described as highly unusual in any era, along with a worked iron bracelet. In a new paper, Dr Macleod Rivett said the burial was used to make references to the past and the landscape. Called Barabhas Machair: Surveys of an Eroding Sandscape and co-written with Trevor Cowie, the late Mark Elliott and Torben Ballin, the research examines the Barvas machair and its archaeology. Machair is shell-rich dune grasslands found on the Hebrides and parts of Orkney, Shetland and the north west Highland coast. Dr Macleod Rivett, an archaeologist at the Stornoway Campus of the University of the Highlands and Islands, said there were many interesting aspects to the burial of the woman at least 1,600 years ago. As well as being laid face down in the stone-lined grave, the bracelet placed next to her head was made of iron with bronze embellishments, the only such find in Scotland. The archaeologist said: "She was a big strong woman, tall for her time at 5ft 6ins, well-muscled and quite young. "Her burial has been carefully made.
SOUDAN - Dogi Gel - The round and oval shaped structures dating from 1,500 to 2,000 BC were found late last year not far from the famed archaeological site of Kerma in northern Sudan. Charles Bonnet, 83, considered a master student of Sudan's rich archaeological heritage, told AFP that the sites unearthed during recent digs were unlike anything so far discovered. "This architecture is unknown ... there is no example in central Africa or in the Nile Valley of this architecture," Bonnet said as he wrapped up his months-long excavation. The temples were found at Dogi Gel -- "Red Hill" -- located just several hundred metres from Kerma, where Bonnet and his team have been digging for decades. "At Kerma the architecture is square or rectangular shaped... and here just a kilometre away we have round structures," he said. "We don't know of many round temples in the world... we don't have examples to compare." Bonnet, a wine grower in his youth, believes the treasure trove of three temples offer a never-before-seen insight into African ancient history, a subject that has always challenged researchers. "Nobody knows this architecture... It's completely new," Bonnet said, adding that the new structures did not resemble Egyptian or Nubian architecture -- two ancient archaeological influences in the region. "There are no roots today in Africa and we have to find these roots... this is the secret of Africa." Bonnet, who has been peeling back layers from the ancient kingdom of Kerma (2,500 to 1,500 BC) for decades, is credited with showing that Sudan was not merely a satellite of neighbouring Egypt and its wealth of ancient relics. Years ago he unearthed the seven "black pharaohs" granite statues of Sudan's Nubian rulers near the banks of the Nile. Nubia was home to some of Africa's earliest kingdoms and was known for its rich deposits of gold, ivory and ebony. During this latest dig, Bonnet said, he also discovered "enormous fortifications" at Dogi Gel, an indication that much more awaits to be discovered at the site. "That means this part of the world was defended by a coalition, probably of the king of Kerma with people coming from Darfur and from central Sudan" against ancient Egyptians, who were interested in controlling trade and commerce in central Africa.
BELGIQUE – Liège - C'est une découverte rare des archéologues du bâti à Liège. Dans le bâtiment dit "le fiacre" entre les places Saint-Denis et Saint-Etienne, ils ont dégagé des peintures vieilles de plus de quatre cents ans. L'hôtel Baar-Lecharlier, autrement dit "le fiacre", c'est l'imposante maison entre les places Saint-Denis et Saint-Etienne. Elle a été construite en 1564-1565. Lors de leur dernière campagne de fouilles, les archéologues y ont mis les murs à nu. Et à deux endroits, au premier et au deuxième étage, ils ont retrouvé les mêmes motifs peints. "Ca, c'est particulièrement intéressant" explique l'architecte Caroline Bolle "Parce qu'on sait qu'au début du dix-septième le bâtiment a été scindé en deux habitations distinctes. On a encore l'acte notarié de 1611. Ca veut dire qu'on a une date-terminus. On sait que ce décor a été réalisé avant la séparation de la propriété." "Si vous vous approchez, vous allez pouvoir observer des arabesques, assez sombres, jusqu'à deux mètres vingt de hauteur. Ensuite, une corniche en trompe-l'oeil, et un troisième registre, très clair, qui représente peut-être du marbre de Carrare. Donc, ce qu'on a dégagé, c'est toute la partie inférieure, où on voit ce décor particulièrement intéressant, conservé sur plus de cinq mètres de longueur. C'est assez exceptionnel de retrouver des décors du seizième sur des surfaces aussi importantes."