13 JANVIER 2023 NEWS
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CHINE – Henan - A massive cemetery — including an underground palace and mausoleum — discovered in China may have belonged to an ancient emperor. Archaeologists believe the 9,149,323-square-foot cemetery belonged to Emperor Huan, who ruled the Eastern Han Dynasty from 146 A.D. until his death in 168 A.D., according to a Jan. 9 news release from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of Archaeology. Within the cemetery is the emperor’s underground palace and mausoleum, as well as mausoleum buildings, including stone halls, sleeping halls and officials’ houses. Archaeologists also said a network of roads leads in and out of the cemetery. So far, archaeologists have unearthed two gates, tiles with cirrus moiré patterns, stone tools and several building units — including a ritual building containing arranged stone pillars. The cemetery is in the Henan Province, which is in the eastern region of the country.
ITALIE – Pompei - A vast, historic house adorned with erotic frescoes has reopened in the ancient city of Pompeii following a 20-year refurbishment. The House of the Vettii—which was engulfed alongside the rest of the city by volcanic ash spewing from Mount Vesuvius in 79AD—was unveiled on 10 January. The home, thought to have been constructed in the second century BC, was owned by Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva, who became rich by selling wine after being freed from slavery. A fresco at the entrance depicts Priapus, the god of fertility, with a huge penis resting on a weighing scale also loaded with money; the mural reflects the owners’ wealth while Priapus was also thought to ward off evil. In the dining room, known as the Hall of Pentheus, a fresco depicts the Greek hero Hercules as a child, crushing two snakes.
EGYPTE – Qubbet el-Hawa - A team of researchers from the University of Malaga (UMA) and the University of Jaen (UJA) has uncovered Egypt’s oldest tomb aligned with the winter solstice. The tomb, situated in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, is perfectly oriented towards the sunrise of the winter solstice, bathing the tomb with light and marking the final resting place of a governor of the city of Elephantine, who lived during the end of the XII Dynasty, around 1830 B.C. This alignment with the solstice allowed the tomb to perfectly track the solar cycle, linking it with the concept of rebirth. The winter solstice represented the start of the triumph of light over darkness, while the summer solstice coincided with the beginning of the annual flooding of the Nile, both events held great symbolic meaning in relation to the resurrection of the deceased governor. In this paper, recently published in the prestigious scientific journal Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, the researchers explain that, in order to achieve perfection in the orientation, the Egyptian architect simply used a two-cubit pole, around one meter long, a square, and some robes, with which he was able to perfectly calculate the orientation of the funerary chapel and the location of the statue of the governor.
ANGLETERRE – Overstone - Archaeologists from have discovered a Roman ritual centre during excavations near Northampton, England. According to experts, the site was in use for more than 2,000 years and both Bronze Age and Roman artifacts have been found. The oldest find is a Bronze Age barrow, a type of burial mound that was constructed between 1,500 and 2,000 BC. The team did find five Bronze Age burial urns in the barrow, but no associated grave goods or human remains were found there either. Simon Markus from MOLA told the BBC: “a highly significant place for local ancient communities. The fact no human remains were placed within the barrow suggests it may have had a more symbolic rather than functional use.” The team also found the remains of a Roman structure that stood between AD 43 and 410. There are two distinguishable rooms in the building, one of which has stairs and was embellished with elaborately painted plasterwork. According to the researchers, the structure had no functional purpose and could have been a shrine associated with a nearby spring. Throughout Britain, the Romans frequently built shrines and temples on prehistoric sacred sites. The researchers also large water tanks were also found and at the bottom of these were 2,000-year-old organic remains of willow tree blossoms, pinecones, walnut shells, and a complete leather shoe.
GRECE – Kleidi - The remains of what archaeologists believe was the temple of Poseidon have been uncovered at the Kleidi site near Samikon, Greece, according to a report by Phys. The location corresponds to the area that was mentioned in writings by the ancient Greek historian Strabo, who described the shrine more than 2,000 years ago. Located near the Peloponnesian coast, the area is known to have been hit with multiple tsunamis in prehistoric and historic times. Because Poseidon is the Greek god who presided over the ocean and storms, the seaside locale could potentially support this new theory about the temple. Though the remains were identified in 2021, it wasn’t until a few months ago that archaeologists realized that they could be a temple of Poseidon. Further analysis is planned over the next few years in order to provide a better understanding of the structure and its history.
ISRAEL – Nitzana - Ostrich eggs have been found in graves and the birds in ancient rock art, but now eggs as much as 7,000 years old were found for the first time in the context of a hearth, in the deep Negev desert . On Thursday the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the first-ever discovery suggestive of the culinary preparation of ostrich eggs in antiquity, at the site of Nitzana in the Negev Desert. Shattered shells of seven eggs were found by a prehistoric hearth dating to some time between 7,500 to 4,000 years ago, and the remains of an eighth one were found inside.The eggs were found in a campsite used by nomads since prehistoric times. But does finding eight ostrich eggshells in proximity to an ancient hearth prove they were cooked? It does not, but one was found within the hearth and the shell fragments were charred, Davis explains, which seems more than coincidence. The others had not been barbecued yet, it seems, but may have just been waiting their turn.
AZERBAIJAN – Arakul - A medieval Muslim cemetery has been discovered in the village of Arakul in Azerbaijan's Khojavend district, Azerbaijan's Institute of Archeology, Ethnography and Anthropology told Trend. During a preliminary examination, it was discovered that the person was buried according to the Islamic rite, and the burial dates back to the XIII-XV centuries.
PALESTINE – Jericho - Archaeologists have uncovered severa large mosaics near Jericho in the West Bank. The mosaics are part of a large building complex, measuring around 250 square meters (2,700 square feet), that was first built sometime in the 6th century AD during the Byzantine period. Archaeologists suggest that the structure was a likely a church or basilica, indicated by the discovery of depictions of birds, animals and vine braids in the mosaic floor, and the high-status materials of marble and bitumen stones used in the construction. The nave is mostly preserved and has an adjacent prayer area where a three-metre-long inscription was found in Greek, commemorating “Georgios” and “Nonus” who donated to the church.
CHINE – Ordos - Archaeologists have unearthed nearly 10,000 stoneware items, dating back 45,000 years to 70,000 years, in the city of Ordos, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The findings resulted from a three-month archaeological project at the east Ulan Murin River basin in 2022. The unearthed stoneware items, including cores, flakes, scrapers and sharp tools, were found at a total of 99 Paleolithic sites. Liu Yang, head of the archaeological project, said that the stone artifacts were well preserved, which made it possible to identify the age of these materials. Among them, two types of stone tools were exquisitely processed – bifacial tools and scrapers – which are rare to see in China. Archaeologists believe that the new discoveries are significant for the study of the development of the Paleolithic culture and ancient human activities in this region. Archaeologists first found 77 Paleolithic sites in the Ulan Murin River basin in 2011, collecting nearly 2,000 stoneware items and a small number of animal fossils in the process.