INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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FALL TERM : OCTOBER 2016
JORDANIE – Petra - Statues of Graeco-Roman goddess Aphrodite have been discovered at the heart of the ancient Nabatean city of Petra, in Jordan. The find was surprising considering that the archaeologists had been digging in an area inhabited by poorer communities, who usually did not have such precious artefacts in their homes.This is the third summer that excavations have been takingplace in Petra, as part of a project known as the Petra North Ridge Project. While archaeologists at this world-famous site have generally focused on the most extraordinary monuments – such as the tomb facades, the temples or the theatre – this initiative is intended to collect clues inside domestic structures about the ancient city's non-elite population. The team, which included students and academics from North Carolina State University and East Carolina University, had been digging what they thought was an ordinary home but quickly realised the house was bigger and more luxurious than what appeared at first. It seemed to be more like an urban villa, with its own bath house.The marble statues were recovered close to the home's staircase. Although they are not in one piece, they remain in very good condition. They are largely intact from pedestal to shoulders, and have been called "exquisite" by Tom Parker, the dig's co-director. The statues represent Aphrodite, the mythical goddess of love, but also feature the mythological god of love, Cupid. The statues' missing heads were later recovered at the site, meaning a process of restoration will now be able to begin. The experts estimate that the artefacts date back to around 106AD, when the Romans annexed Nabataea, the kingdom ruled by the Arab Nabataeans during antiquity. They are Roman in style, highlighting the cultural impact that Rome had on Nabataea.
SRI LANKA – Anuradhapura - The stone slab of two and half feet square was found on Saturday by the owner of the land MA Gayan Lahiru Sampath accidentally while he was attempting to remove a stone jutting out from the ground as his children got hurt by it. "I fixed a swing in front of my house for the children. As a stone was protruding from the land and it had hurt some of them I decided to remove it. When I tried to remove it with the help of a mammoty I felt that the stone was heavier and larger than I had expected. Later, I removed earth around it with the help of my uncle and found the stone slab. When we washed it the carvings of two footprints similar to those at Siripada were discernible. According to folklore and historical sources, Kudahalmillewa had monasteries sheltering arahants in the ancient times. According to legend Theri Sangamittha on her way taking the sapling of Jayasri Maha Bodhi stopped at Thantirimale and visited this village located about 27 km from Anuradhapura. It must be having many artifacts of archaeological importance buried beneath it. Therefore, we call upon the Archaeology Department to take action to provide security to the village.
TURQUIE – Aigai - Artifacts unearthed during archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Aigai in the western province of Manisa have revealed that the history of sponsorship goes back at least some 2,200 years. Excavations head Yusuf Sezgin said the ancient Ionian city of Aigai was established by the Aiols, who migrated from Greece to the northwestern Anatolian coasts in 1,200 B.C. He said that excavations since 2004 had unearthed tens of thousands of artifacts and ceramic pieces which were delivered to the Manisa Museum after their restoration in the excavation house. Sezgin said that tools used by people in daily life 2,200 years ago were removed from underground, and they had collected very important data during excavations and surface surveys at the city’s graveyard. Within the scope of the “NekroPergEol” project, Sezgin said they had collaborated with academics from universities in France, Italy and Germany, and found important tombs and other findings at the site.“Therefore, we determined that the history [of the findings] dated back to the 8th century B.C.” Sezgin said they had found a sculpture in Aiga that they believed belonged to a wealthy family of the era. “The sculpture had a six-meter base. As the excavation team, we examined this artifact in detail and made some discoveries. The base had the names of six people from a rich family from this period. There was also a phrase, saying ‘Benefactor [euregetes] Antiphanes and Diaphenes are honored by the public.’ It was not easy for people to have their sculpture done in that era. We understand from this phrase that the family contributed to the construction of an assembly building in the city and the family solved a financial problem. Such [financial] support was definitely honored in the ancient ages. We know that this family had six members; we know the names of each one. The city honored this family and the sculpture of each of the family members was erected in the assembly building. These sculptures, which we unearthed during excavations, revealed that the history of sponsorship dates back to 2,200 years ago,” Sezgin said, adding that the sculptor was from Pergamum. He also said they had found the signature “Menestratus Hippiyu Pergammenos Epeue” on the sculpture, adding, “We saw this signature on two sculptures. This shows us that an artist from Pergamum, where the best sculptors of that era lived, made the sculptures of this family’s members.”
PEROU – Huaca El Rosal - Archaeologists presented today the remains of 10 dogs, 2 guinea pigs and a human buried thousands of years ago inside the Parque de las Leyendas (City Zoo), in the district of San Miguel. The discovery was made in the Huaca El Rosal –a small area made up of two trenches, 4 by 16 meters each- located in the “international zone” of the zoo. The findings represent the largest number of pre-Hispanic dog remains found in Peru’s central coast. Lucénida Carrion, head of archaeology for the site, said the discovery belongs to the pre-Incan culture of Lima. The dogs were found individually and investigators believed they served as a guide to their owners afterlife, while the guinea pigs were buried as an offering to the gods. “The cuy (guinea pig) of the Andes was a very important food source, and these dogs were buried next to their owners to serve as guide to reach the afterlife,” explained the archaeologist. The fur of some dogs was brown, and the guinea pigs had a black color coat. The canines were both males and females, and had a leash around their neck and both of their legs tied.
TURQUIE – Hisardere - Police teams looking to find a stolen truck in Bursa's Iznik district have discovered a sarcophagus at an olive grove, belonging to the Late Antiquity period. According to reports, the incident took place when police saw an abandoned excavation at an olive grove in Hisardere district, five kilometers away from İznik town center. Archeologists from the museum arrived and carefully started digging to reveal the sarcophagus, which is reportedly from the second century AD and is made out of marble. It reportedly has two antefixes on both sides, each of which have five lion's heads and weigh six tons. Another sarcophagus belonging to a queen was found near the area 10 months ago. It was also thought to be from the Late Antiquity period and weighed seven tons. When it was discovered, officials discovered that treasure hunters had found and raided it.
FRANCE – Langrolay-sur-Rance - L’Inrap mène actuellement une fouille à Langrolay-sur-Rance en amont de l’aménagement d’un lotissement. Les archéologues ont mis au jour les vestiges d’une vaste villa gallo-romaine, ainsi qu’un établissement thermal luxueux, dans un niveau de conservation exceptionnel pour la région comprenant des éléments d’architecture (sols, murs..), tout le système de chauffage et des éléments de décoration (enduits peints…).
FRANCE – Lille - Sur le site de l’ancienne maternité de la rue Malpart, les archéologues ont ainsi mis au jour des vestiges hautement intéressants. Ils ont retrouvé la trace d’une ancienne voie médiévale, qui traversait les lieux probablement aux alentours du XIIIe siècle. Les ornières de la voie sont bien visibles. Des traces de craie ont également été identifiées. Ce qui signifie qu’il s’agit manifestement d’une rue qui avait son importance car la voirie des artères de seconde zone n’était pas aussi bien entretenue. Un pan de mur des anciennes fortifications de la ville a également été découvert. Il s’agit sans doute des remparts reconstruits après la Bataille de Bouvines, en 1214.Au lendemain du célèbre affrontement qui vit la victoire des troupes royales de Philippe Auguste sur la coalition anglo-allemande et flamande, Lille avait été mise à sac, ses fortifications démolies, mais de nouveau ré-élevées cinquante ans plus tard. Les spécialistes de l’Inrap ont aussi sorti de leurs gangues de terre des os humains. Cela démontre qu’une partie des jardins de l’Hospice Gantois, dont la fondation date de 1462, était en réalité un cimetière où étaient ensevelis les résidants décédés. Selon nos informations, de nombreux os sont courbés. Pour les historiens, cela pourrait indiquer que les pauvres ères étaient, sans doute, victimes de rachitisme. Tout cela demande analyse et confirmation.