13 MARS 2023 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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TURQUIE – Arslantepe - The 5,000-year-old swords found 43 years ago during the excavations in the old mud-brick palace structure in Malatya Arslantepe Mound are the oldest swords in the world. Many archaeologists believed that the earliest swords only dated to around 1600 or 1500 BCE before the discovery of a cache of swords at the archaeological site of Arslantepe in Turkey. The nine swords from the archaeological site of Arslantepe (Melid) attest to the use of this weapon for the first time in the world – at least a millennium before the already-known examples. They date back to the Early Bronze Age (c. 33rd to 31st centuries). In the 1980s, Marcella Frangipane’s team at Rome University discovered a cache of nine swords and daggers dating all the way back to 3300 BCE. Frangipane declared the swords of Arslantepe the world’s oldest and first swords ever discovered. They are made of an alloy of arsenic and copper. Three of the swords were exquisitely inlaid with silver. These weapons have a total length of 45 to 60 cm, which points to either a short sword or a long dagger classification. This region is thought to be the birthplace of the sword as we see these blades begin to appear, made from this new technology and having the elements we think of as identifying a sword. They have a blade, guard, grip, and pommel like shape. Size wise they would be shorter than we think of today for most swords but in their time, they may well be the length that was achievable with the best technology of the day. This advancement in metallurgy can be seen in many valuable objects found in high-status graves of the time, and these swords are among them.
ITALIE – - Pesaro Urbino - The so-called “Vitruvian Basilica”named after the architect who built it, in the mid-1st century BC, it may have finally been found, according to the Italian archaeological authorities. The remains of an ancient public building, belonging to that Roman period, were identified during a construction in fancoastal city located in the province of Pesaro and Urbino(Marche region, in central Italy), coincidentally in the same area where once stood the famous basilica mentioned by Vitruvius in his Treatise “D’Architecture”. Officials of the Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Ancona-Pesaro Urbino and Carabinieri of the Heritage Protection Unit carried out “drone flights over the site which is rich in marbles‘, the ANSA news agency reported on Saturday. The unmistakable marble coverings are what makes archaeologists believe they are in the presence of the Vitruvian Basilica. “Due to the particular location, the type of structurethe richness of the flooring and the unmistakable marble coverings, we believe that it was indeed an important Roman building, from the time of the emperor Augustus, who reigned from 27 BC to 14 AD,” he told ANSA. Ilaria Venanzinione of the official archaeologists of the investigation, of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. “it cannot be excluded which could just be the “Basilica of Vitruvius”. We just have to wait for the results of the more in-depth excavations and the analysis of the complex”, added the Italian official Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman architect, writer, engineer and treatise writer of the 1st century BC C. author of famous treatise “De Architectura” (On Architecture), a specific handbook for Roman architects. The “Vitruvian Man”, the famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci, was based on the proportions of the male body described by the ancient Roman architect in his treatise. In “De Architectura”, Vitruvius also tells of having built “a basilica in Fano”, a city bordering the Adriatic Sea, but the work was never found, despite countless attempts to find proof of it.
INDE – Sondra - Ancient idol of Lord Buddha from the 'Panduvanshi' period and other statues of archaeological significane were recovered on Friday, March 10 from village Sondra on Raipur-Bilaspur road during construction of a house. A stone statue of Buddha that was found to have a "tilak" mark on its forehead makes it more distinctive and suggests that it is more likely to be the meditating Buddha, according to officials. The officer stated that the recovered Buddha idol is incomplete and that the three-tier technique was used to create the upper portion of the idol. He said, "The idols of Lord Buddha created with this technology are available in Bodhgaya of Bihar as well as Sirpur and Rajim of Chhattisgarh. The officer further added that the antiquities collected from the site appear to be from the Panduvanshi period and that information on the presence of other idols in various shapes was gathered while conducting inspection at the site (6th to 9th century AD).
ITALIE – Pompéi - The stone skeleton of this ancient city has emerged through centuries of excavations – an intriguing glimpse of another time. Yet, at least one-third of the Roman city remains buried, and that means the tantalizing discoveries continue. Raffaele Martinelli, part of the team at the archaeological site, took "Sunday Morning" to one of the most recently uncovered sections, the House of the Lararium, not yet open to the public. When excavating, they often have no idea what they're discovering. "In the earth we find a little hole," Martinelli explained. "Usually I say, 'Please, Roberta, run in here!'" Conservator Roberta Prisco carefully pipes in plaster, filling the void left by whatever organic material disintegrated, be it one of the many victims of the disaster frozen in time, or an everyday item. The plaster hardens in the form of the object, creating a cast – in this case, of a two-thousand-year-old basket. Martinelli said, "Pompeii was destroyed with a little dust, but hyper-dense, so that the shape of these little objects remains in the dust." Raffaele Martinelli took us to one of Pompeii's newest discoveries: a Roman bedroom. He said they've never found a Roman bed anywhere so well-preserved. "You can see on this site that we still have the foot of the bed. And under the foot of the bed there is a piece of wood, probably to make more stable the bed." Sometimes these excavations begin for less virtuous reasons. One tunnel into the site was initially dug by tomb raiders, who would dig along the walls in search of frescoes or anything valuable that they could then sell on the antiquities market. Once professionals took over, they found bodies, believed to be a master and his slave fleeing the eruption. Gabriel Zuchtriegel says these casts of the two figures capture history: "They help seeing it in an almost scary way," he said. "If you look into the face of someone who died during the eruption, I think, what am I looking at? It's life. And it's a very intimate moment – the moment of death and agony."
MEXIQUE – San Diego - Casas Grandes is attributed to the Mogollon culture, one of the major prehistoric Southwestern cultural divisions of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. The culture emerged during the archaic period around AD 200, with construction at Casa Grandes occurring between AD 1130 and AD 1300. The initial settlement started as a group of 20 or more single storey house clusters, each with a plaza and enclosing wall. For the past 10 years, BYU researchers have studied a lesser-known time, the Viejo period, which predates the main era of Casas Grandes at the site of San Diego. In 2019, they uncovered the floor of the largest known communal structure from the Viejo period, a 9-metre-diameter building large enough to house 30 to 40 people. Recent excavations at San Diego have found 1,000-year-old artefacts, consisting of ceramics, hammer stones, maize kernels, and a shell bead transported 250 miles from the Pacific Ocean, suggesting long distance interactions between the people of Casas Grandes and faraway cultures. The team has employed some advanced technology to document their discoveries, including robotic surveying instruments that map artefacts with millimetre-level precision, survey-grade GPS, and unmanned aerial systems that take images of the site from the sky. Professor Mike Searcy from BYU said: “Every shovel full of dirt that we pull out is providing new data on the ancient people who thrived in the desert. The new excavations have enabled the researchers to learn about the resilience and ingenuity of the people living at the San Diego site, including the settlement’s organised building efforts to construct the communal structure.
ESPAGNE - Ategua - Early occupation of Ategua dates from the Chalcolithic period, with the emergence of a major settlement around the 8th and 7th centuries BC, consisting of orthogonal-plan dwellings defended by an outer wall. According to the De Bello Hispaniensi, a Latin work continuing Julius Caesar’s commentaries, the city inhabitants sided with Pompey during Caesar’s civil war in the late Republic Era, resulting in the city being besieged by the Caesarian army in 45 BC. Most of the current morphology of Ategua is from the Roman period, including several domus abandoned during the 2nd century AD, a civil building, bathhouses, and burials on the hillside. In an announcement by Arturo Bernal, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, recent excavations at Ategua have uncovered the remains of a Roman amphitheatre, the second amphitheatre to be discovered within the city precinct. The amphitheatre measures only 44 metres in diameter, with a central arena of around 27 metres, making it one of the smallest amphitheatres ever found from the Roman world. Preliminary dating suggests that the amphitheatre was constructed during the 1st century AD, but only remained in use for around two centuries until it was abandoned.
MAROC – Tagadirt - Dans le cadre d’un programme de recherche archéologique et anthropologique sur le patrimoine juif marocain, une équipe de chercheurs marocains et étrangers vient de réaliser des fouilles archéologiques dans la synagogue de Tagadirt dans la province de Tata du 27 février au 7 mars. Dans le cadre de ces fouilles, des documents et textes en hébreu ont été retrouvés – une découverte majeure. Ces éléments viennent ainsi fournir davantage d’informations sur l’histoire du judaïsme dans la région du sud et dans tout le Maroc. Selon les chercheurs, ils donnent un « aperçu chronologique » détaillé, avec des éléments sur lesquels archéologues et historiens devront se pencher pour enrichir leurs analyses sur les périodes anciennes du royaume, a rapporté le média Yabiladi. En janvier, de premières fouilles archéologiques maroco-israéliennes avaient été menées dans les synagogues oasiennes d’Aguerd et de Tagadirt. Les équipes avaient alors découvert des traces d’une présence ancienne de communautés juives dans les montagnes du Maroc.
INDE – Purushottampur Sasana - Base of an ancient temple and other archaeological remains have reportedly been found at Purushottampur Sasana village in the Badachana block of Odisha’s Jajpur district. The temple ruins lay scattered in an area of four acres at the base of a small hillock. The ruins are suggestive of a large temple complex that had crumbled down due to unknown reasons. However, the base of the temple is still clearly visible. A large number of huge stone blocks, intricately carved stone panels, and few religious sculptures are found scattered all around the site. The most notable stone panels are the depictions of war processions, musical bands, royal processions, palanquins and elephants. A Kalasa of a temple was also found at the dug-up site of the railway station. Considering this iconography, he said that the construction period could be around the 13th/14th Century C.E, the period when the Eastern Ganga Dynasty held sway over the region. Many artefacts were also found in the excavated area of the ongoing railway work near the station. While most of the square blocks have been removed by the villagers for construction, there are nearly a thousand odd pieces scattered all over the complex. The team a saw many that have been overrun by the dense undergrowth bushes and vegetation. The temple base, till the Pista level, is practically intact, with very large stone blocks.
CHINE - Zibo - A prehistoric site dating back more than 4,000 years was recently discovered in Zibo City, east China's Shandong Province. The "Gaonan Site" was found at a construction site in Fangzhen Township, Zhangdian District, covering an area of approximately 20,000 square meters. A local archaeological team began excavating the site on Feb. 20. Pottery artifacts have already been unearthed. Fang Shuyu, an employee of the provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology, said that an unearthed pottery cooking utensil had been identified as a typical tool of the Longshan Culture, a late Neolithic civilization that could be found along the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. "Based on the current excavation work, we can tell that the site is a relatively small primary-level settlement from the Longshan Period.