14 AVRIL 2017 NEWS: Luxembourg - Schöningen - Poligny - Alexandrie - Chisenbury Midden - Fredericton -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SPRING TERM : APRIL 2017
LUXEMBOURG – Luxembourg - The human bones found at a construction site at Place Guillaume II in Luxembourg city on Tuesday have been there for a longer period of time, representing an archaeological discovery. The discovery came as little surprise to authorities, as human remains from medieval times are often found in this area. In the mid-13th century, a Franciscan monastery and a church were located there. When they were destroyed by a fire, a new monastery and a new church were built in the 17th century. Graveyards were surrounding the church and monastery, explaining why human remains can be found there regularly.
ALLEMAGNE – Schöningen - The 11 bone fragments were found in May 2015 at a site in Schöningen (Germany), where archaeological excavations have been taking place for many years. Professor Thijs van Kolfschoten and his colleagues Ivo Verheijen and André Ramcharan from Leiden University compared the bone fragments with different species of felines, both extant and extinct, and discovered that the fragments are from Homoterium latidens: the sabre-toothed cat. There are several reasons why this is a special find, Van Kolfschoten explains. They are relatively ‘young’ bones: the layer of ground in which the bones were found indicates that the animal was around 300,000 years old. It was long thought that the sabre-toothed tiger became extinct in Europe around 500,000 years ago, but this find proves that the species survived for more than 200,000 years longer than was previously assumed.
FRANCE – Poligny - C’est une découverte assez exceptionnelle : dans un communiqué, les archéologues de l’Inrap annoncent avoir trouvé les vestiges d’un établissement rural gallo-romain à Poligny. Il s’agirait d’une enfilade de petites pièces qui appartiennent à un bâtiment de 40 mètres sur 20, protégé par un enclos qui délimite une vaste cour. Si cet édifice est probablement agricole, son interprétation reste actuellement énigmatique : s’agit-il d’une ferme, d’une étable ou d’une grange ? », se demandent les archéologues. « Bien que de nombreux aménagements aient été réalisés au cours de l’antiquité, modifiant ainsi la configuration des pièces, la datation précise de cet établissement n’est pas encore définie : si certaines traces d’occupation datent du IIIe siècle, la construction initiale pourrait remonter au Ier ou IIe siècle Situé dans un environnement archéologique riche, ce bâtiment agricole est implanté aux limites de la grande villa antique de Tourmont et à proximité d’une exceptionnelle nécropole antique fouillée à la fin des années quatre-vingt dix à Poligny. « La suite de la fouille ainsi que l’étude plus approfondie qui s’en suivra permettra de connaître le lien de ce bâtiment avec la villa : simple dépendance ou établissement indépendant. L’enjeu de la fouille sera également l’occasion de mieux cerner l’organisation et le fonctionnement des campagnes gallo-romaines, thème de réflexion amorcé lors des recherches archéologiques effectuées sur le tracé de la LGV Rhin-Rhône. »
EGYPTE – Alexandrie - On Thursday, Mahmoud al-Afifi, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, announced the discovery of a limestone paved floor, black granite remains, the remains of a kiln that dates back to the Roman era and a wall of limestone joined with a layer of mortar. The discovery was made at Gustav Aegeon villa, according to Afifi. Afifi said in a statement that the discovery was made during an archeological excavation at the site of the villa after a citizen requested a permit from the ministry to establish a building near the archaeological area. Mostafa Roshdy, Director General of Alexandria Antiquities, said: "a number of other archaeological pieces were also discovered including various types of pottery from the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, coins and pottery utensils used for cooking, as well as a number of bone crafts."
ROYAUME UNI – Chisenbury Midden - In 2016, following earlier English Heritage investigations, additional excavation and a geophysical survey were undertaken at this remarkable Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age midden site. A substantial ditch and bank which enclosed the midden were confirmed – a proto hillfort? – along with clear evidence for contemporary settlement represented by a complex of postholes associated with timber structures. Large numbers of finds were recovered including pottery, animal bone, some disarticulated human bone, spinning/weaving equipment and a possibly unique copper alloy ‘pendant’. The report made available here presents the results of the two-week excavation, with further investigation proposed this year, specifically to open a larger area and identify roundhouses and other structures amongst the plethora of postholes recorded in a narrow trench in 2016.
CANADA – Fredericton - Ancient tools and artifacts uncovered along Route 8 near Fredericton have turned out to be older than expected. The artifacts are now believed to be 12,700-years-old, 700 years older than previously thought, said Brent Suttie, the director of the archeological services branch in the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture. Suttie said it has also been determined the site was likely only used for a generation or two. The site was found just off the shoulder of Route 8 and would have been located on what was a shoreline at the time.