16 - 17 OCTOBRE NEWS
16 - 17 OCTOBRE
INDI-UNI : ANTHROPOLOGY - ARCHAEOLOGY
INSCRIPTION 2011 – 2012 COURS A DISTANCE
REGISTRATION 2011 – 2012 ONLINE COURSES
CANADA – – Québec - Des fouilles archéologiques réalisées dans le parc des Braves ont permis de repérer des vestiges d’un site non perturbé datant du 17e siècle. Les découvertes de décombres provenant de cette époque sont déjà plutôt inhabituelles à Québec. Le fait que l’emplacement n’ait pas été bouleversé surprend d’autant plus les archéologues, qui sont surtout parvenus à mettre la main sur de rares objets domestiques qui permettront d’étoffer la documentation sur la vie quotidienne de cette période. Parmi les trouvailles, on retrouve des perles de verre, des pièces de monnaie, un fourneau de pipe à fumer, des hameçons, une serrure de porte et des pois à soupe. Deux sites ont été creusés : le moulin Dumont, bâti vers 1750, et la maison de Henri Pinguet, construite en 1647. Ce site a servi d’emplacement pour l’affrontement entre les Français et les Britanniques, en avril 1760, une sanglante bataille à la baïonnette et au couteau soldé par une victoire française. Près de 10 000 soldats s’étaient alors livrés un combat, et près de 400 ont perdu la vie.
FRANCE – Havrincourt - Nous sommes à quatre cents mètres du site néandertalien, à un endroit ou sera bientôt creusée une écluse. Le campement de Sapiens Sapiens a été retrouvé à six mètres de profondeur, sur un champ de fouilles de 4 000 m² sur six mètres de profondeur. Ce second site a livré un grand nombre d’ossements d’animaux (mammouth, bison, renne, rhinocéros laineux, cheval, marmotte...), des lames de silex typiquement Sapiens et accompagnées, cette fois, des éclats montrant qu’elles étaient taillées sur place. L’étude scientifique des trouvailles réalisées sur les deux sites, si elle a déjà livré quelques informations, n’en est qu’à son tout début. « Sans doute nous apportera-t-elle des données essentielles sur le peuplement de l’Europe du Nord par l’homo Sapiens Sapiens », a espéré Émilie Goval, de l’INRAP.
INDE – Porunthal - New results from the analysis of paddy grains found in the Porunthal graveyard archaeological site prove that writing systems in India were in existence in the 5th Century BC, predating the arrival of Asoka, according to director of the excavation project at Porunthal K. Rajan. Rice paddy samples that were contained in an engraved pot found inside one of the graves were found to be from 450 BC when analysed using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) by the Beta Analytic Lab, USA, he said, addressing a private gathering organised by the Manarkeni journal. Earlier, paddy sample from another grave was dated at 490 BC, but many scholars were unwilling to accept evidence obtained from only one sample. The analysis of the second sample proved that Tamil-Brahmi writing existed in the 5th century BC and was not invented in the 3rd century BC as was previously believed by scholars, he said. This was also the first time anyone had discovered Tamil-Brahmi script along with rice in any archaeological site. Scholars were still debating on the exact letters that were written and its meaning, he said. Another significant discovery from the gravesite is that the paddy samples obtained in the graves in Porunthal were cultivated paddy of the Orissa Satvaika variety, he said. The Porunthal site is located 12 km South West of Palani and was discovered to have archaeological value in 2006. In 2009-2010, Mr. Rajan and his team of 80 students started excavation at the site, which was divided into two sections – one area for habitation and one area with a graveyard. There were over 100 graves in the region, but with modernisation of the area, several graves have been destroyed and now only 30 graves are still intact, he said. In the graves that were studied, it was found that while most of the containers found in the graves were made after the person’s death, there was one container that showed signs of use. The team also found a pot with around 2 kilos of rice paddy, which had been sealed in airtight containers. These graves also contained a large number of beads, which were predominantly glass. The pottery in the grave was also engraved with Tamil-Brahmi script, he said. In two of the graves, the team found over 11,000 beads, which were made from glass or paste. The beads were originally made in the Vidarbha region, indicating a trade relationship between the two regions, he said. The team had also unearthed a skeleton adorned with a necklace of beads in one of the graves, but they had not yet analysed the bones, he said. The excavation team also found pottery with a peacock design on it.
ROYAUME UNI – Stanton Drew - New evidence of archaeological features in and around the three prehistoric stone circles at Stanton Drew has been revealed. The 2010 survey was led by John Oswin and John Richards of BACAS and shows evidence of below-ground archaeological features, including a second entrance into the henge monument first identified by English Heritage in 1997. The second entrance is south-west facing and forms a narrow causeway, defined by two large terminal ends of the circular ditch. Further work at the South-West Circle suggests that it sits on a deliberately levelled platform. Stone circles like Stanton Drew’s are known to date broadly to the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age (about 3000-2000 BC). In 2009 the BACAS team produced computer plots showing what appears to be the outline of an earlier Neolithic burial mound or ’long barrow’ immediately to the north of the Cove – a group of three large stones in the beer garden of the Druid’s Arms. The completion of a resistance survey at the Cove has now reinforced its interpretation as a long barrow, which would date to nearly 1000 years before the stone circles. The length, width and orientation are consistent with this type of monument, including indications of flanking ditches. "The geophysical survey work at Stanton Drew continues to throw new light on these nationally important monuments" said Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Archaeological Officer, Richard Sermon. "It tells us that what we see above ground today is only part of a complex that would have rivalled those at Avebury and Stonehenge." You can find the survey results at: www.bathnes.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/Archaeology/Pages/default.aspx , www.bacas.org.uk/geophysics/StantonDrewLowResandCover.pdf
CHINE – Cishan - Chickens began being domesticated in China about 8,000 years ago, far earlier than in the rest of the world,according to a recent study on fossils uncovered in north China’s Hebei Province. Archaeologists said they had unearthed 116 fossil specimens from 23 types of animals, including pig, dog, chicken, tortoise, fish, and clam, at the Cishan Site, a Neolithic village relic in the city of Wu’an. Several bone fragments were identified to be from domesticated chickens, said Qiao Dengyun, head of the Handan Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. "The chicken bones found at Cishan are slightly larger than wild jungle fowls, but smaller than that of a modern domesticated chicken," said Qiao. Qiao said the bone fossils date back to 6,000 BC, earlier than the oldest domesticated chicken previously discovered in India that dated back 4,000 years. "Most of the bones were from cocks, indicating that ancient residents used the practice of killing cocks for their meat and raising hens for their eggs," said Qiao. The Cishan Site, which dates back 10,000 years, was first discovered in the 1970s. At the site, experts have found remnants of China’s oldest cultivated millet as well as walnut shells, a discovery that challenged the popular belief that walnuts had been brought to China from what is now Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Central Asia.
USA – – San Antonio - For Texas Archaeology Month, observed every October, the association spotlighted the discovery of thousands of clues to the past, including hundreds of historic and prehistoric relics that were uncovered in recent months along the northern edge of Brackenridge Golf Course.Kristi Ulrich, research scientist associate at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Center for Archaeological Research, said the high concentration of stone tools, projectile points and other items suggest the area is rich with prehistoric data. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal that tested at 8,180-8,390 years old and a burned animal bone estimated at 10,230-10,490 years old support the significance of the relics, found in excavations for three light poles on a hike-and-bike trail, UTSA officials said. Steve Tomka, director of the archaeological center, said one of the artifacts may be a Dalton spear point, similar to others found in the Midwest. It would be a rare find for Texas, Tomka said. The points, dating to more than 1,800 years ago, before indigenous Texans hunted with a bow and arrow, were used on spears hurled at mastodons, bison and other large animals with a throwing stick, or atlatl, he said. Tomka said he believes hunters replaced the spear with the lighter arrow, especially outside of North and Central Texas, where bison were common, as deer and other smaller animals became their primary target.