14 MARS 2022 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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ISRAEL – Revadim - Half a million to 300,000 years ago, Israel was thronged by early humans. There are whispers of pre-sapiens occupation in the Revadim area: not bones, but stone tools. And almost a fifth of these tools were the result of recycling. It has already been demonstrated that hominins in the future Holy Land, and in Spain and Italy, were recycling – picking up tools manufactured and discarded eons before them, modifying them, and using them again. Happenstance? No. “Their selection, collection and recycling were intentional, conscious, and carried out regularly by early humans during Lower Paleolithic times,” Bar Efrati, Prof. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University and colleagues contend in a new paper published in Scientific Reports. The paper relates specifically to artifacts found at the open-air site of Revadim, though similar evidence has been found elsewhere in Israel and in Europe too. Recycling began hundreds of thousands of years ago and continued as long as stone tools remained in use – which means into the Iron Age. In fact, Barkai believes that recycling was a common practice throughout the Homo line.
CHINE – Tianluoshan - A team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions in Japan and China has found evidence of goose domestication in China approximately 7,000 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of goose bones found at Tianluoshan—a dig site in east China. The team found goose bones at the Tianluoshan site and used radiocarbon dating to find out how old they are. They have also studied the bones in other ways to learn more about their characteristics, such as the age of the birds at death. The bones were found at what had once been a settlement of stone age people who were both hunter/gatherers and farmers—they grew rice to supplement their foraging efforts. The researchers found 232 goose bones at the site, four of which were from goslings ranging from 8 to 16 weeks old. They suggest this shows the birds were hatched near the site because it is believed that wild geese did not live in that area at the time the birds were alive. They also found evidence suggesting that the birds had been locally bred based on chemicals in their bones that likely came from a local water source. And all of the adults were approximately the same size, which indicates captive breeding. A finding that could mean that geese were the first birds to be domesticated.
ECOSSE – Dundee - Researchers have discovered a rare stone with Pictish symbols in a farmer’s field about 20 miles north of Dundee. The team first started surveying the area with imaging equipment in early 2020. After finding some inconsistencies possibly indicative of a buried settlement, the archaeologists began a small test dig to see if they could find any remains. Unexpectedly, they immediately uncovered the symbol stone carved by the Picts, who lived in northern and eastern Scotland from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages. The stone, dated to the fifth or sixth century C.E., is an extremely unusual find and is one of only 200 such stones known to exist in the world. Aberlemno is famous for its standing stones with Pictish symbols, the most celebrated of which is believed to depict scenes from the seventh-century Battle of Nechtansmere fought near there. The battle was key to the formation of Scotland, with Anglo-Saxon King Ecgfrith’s attempted expansion in the north choked by his defeat at the hands of Pictish ruler King Bridei Mac Bili, per the Scotsman. Pictish symbols, including triple ovals, a comb and mirror, a crescent and V rod, and double discs, are intricately carved across the stone, which appeared to have been built into the paving of a building dating to the 11th or 12th century C.E., per the statement. That structure was built directly on top of settlement layers dating to the Pictish period.
GRECE – Grevena - The remnants of an ancient Greek town, including public buildings and grave sites, have been located at a site near the town of Grevena in northern Greece.Artifacts from the site date all the way from the sixth century BC to the seventh century AD. In the area surrounding the site, and within the site itself, archaeologists uncovered artifacts from the “Ottoman, Roman, post Roman, Classical, and Hellenistic periods”. Perhaps the most intriguing find from the ancient Greek town was a pair of Hellenistic stone tombs, each with a number of funerary objects located nearby, including amphorae, wine jugs, or oinochoes, bronze plates, and wine bowls called skyphoi, as well as small gold and silver relics. Archaeologists found a bronze coin from the post Hellenistic period as well as large jugs used for storage called pithoi. In the other tomb, experts located a number of bronze bracelets and rings.
EGYPTE – Tel el-Kidwa - The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced Feb. 28 the discovery of five ancient water wells, a workshop for smelting copper and a storage center, all of which date back to the Pharaonic era. The discoveries were made on the ancient Horus Military Road in the Tel el-Kidwa area in the north of the Sinai Peninsula. The inscriptions of King Seti I at the Karnak Temple are the main sources that indicate the presence of a series of military fortresses and water wells along the road (the ancient Horus Military Road). One of the inscriptions depicted a water well in front of each fortress of the Horus Road. During the era of the New Kingdom, the ancient Egyptians gave specific names to each of these fortresses and water wells of the ancient Horus Road Four out of the five wells discovered were destroyed and filled with sand so that invaders would not use them during the Persian conquest of ancient Egypt.
OMAN – Al Fulaij - A fort dating back to the 5th century has been discovered at Oman’s Al Fulaij archaeological site in North Al Batinah Governorate. The site includes furnaces dating back to the fifth century AD, and burials from the third and first millennium BC. The facilities of the fort were surrounded by circular towers.
ISRAEL – Khirbet el Rai - Inked 3,100 years ago during the era of the biblical judges, an extremely rare five-letter inscription discovered in the lush Judean foothills could be a missing link in the development of Early Alphabetic (also known as Canaanite) writing used during the 12th-10th centuries BCE. If correct, this would be the first hard evidence of a name from the biblical stories of the judges that is on an artifact contemporary to the period. The inscription was published Monday as part of the second issue of the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology (JJAR) — The painted pottery is dated by the archaeologists to 1,100 BCE, which would make it prior to the formation of the biblical monarchy. The inscription was written in Early Alphabetic/Canaanite script, evidence of which has been found throughout Egypt and the Levant. According to a cross-institutional team of archaeologists and epigraphers, the partial inscription, painted on three pottery sherds from an incomplete small vessel, is most logically read as “Jerubbaal” or “Yeruba’al,” which was the nickname of the biblical judge Gideon, son of Joash, who was active in the northern parts of the Land of Israel during this era. The inscription was discovered at the Khirbet el Rai site, located between Kiryat Gat and Lachish, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Jerusalem; the site includes impressively large structures from the 12th, 11th and 10th centuries BCE. Excavating among the area’s vineyards, the team has found evidence of a Philistine-era settlement from the 12-11th centuries BCE under layers of a rural settlement dating to the early 10th century BCE, largely considered the Davidic era. Among the findings were massive stone structures and typical Philistine cultural artifacts, including pottery in foundation deposits — good luck offerings laid beneath a building’s flooring.
INDE – Ellarigudem - A huge stone from the Iron Age, known as menhir, was spotted on the roadside at Ellarigudem, a hamlet of Beechrajupalli village in Maripeda mandal of Mahaboobabad district. The menhir, according to him, belongs to the Iron Age (3,500 years old) erected in memory of a dead person, measuring six feet in height and three feet in diameter. It was buried under three feet during the road formation.