16 AOUT 2018: Crimée - Jaffa - Jersey - Sheffield - Louxor -Evia - Ani -
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RUSSIE – Crimée - A wooden ship found in the depths of the Black Sea, is more than 2,000 years old, according to experts. The Roman vessel, dates back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries and could have been used as a merchant ship, senior researcher Viktor Lebedinsky told Russian news agency TASS . He said: "The discovered vessel, presumably dating back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries, rests at the depth of 85 meters and this is a wooden carcass." The discovery was made by the Neptune expedition, sponsored by the fund of Russian presidential grants on the project "Crimea, the Crossroads of Civilizations". The expedition aims to examine various objects already spotted by archaeologists at the Black Sea and search for new artefacts.The scientists found an iron anchor which allowed them to make conclusions about the historic period. Mr Lebedinsky added that at the scene of the shipwreck, there is a big mast with the diameter of more than half a meter. "The size of the discovered object is 22 meters long and 6 meters wide, what conforms to the size and proportions of the so-called "round ships" used during the Roman era as merchant vessels," he said. The archaeologists are surveying the site to find out when the ship sank.
ISRAEL – Jaffa - Archaeologists have unearthed an Ottoman-era soap factory and a number of large underground vaults in the ancient port city of Jaffa, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday. The underground chambers and soap factory, or masbena, were discovered during work on a new museum. An expert on Jaffa archaeology at the IAA said the soap factory was the second of its kind to be found in the port city, which is now a part of Tel Aviv. “The site was well-preserved and included troughs for mixing raw materials for the soap, a large cauldron, a hearth, water cisterns and underground vaults that were used for storage,” said Dr. Yoav Arbel. “This find allows us to reconstruct the manufacturing process, and to draw comparisons with similar factories where the traditional manufacturing process has been perpetuated to this very day.” Arbel said it was unclear who the factory’s original owner was. Soap production has a long history in what is now Israel and the West Bank, dating back to the 10th century, the IAA noted, with soap becoming an important export during the Ottoman period to elsewhere in the empire. While Nablus was long the center of local soap manufacturing, other cities such as Jerusalem, Gaza, Lod, and Jaffa also had major soap production facilities. Unlike in Europe, where soap was made in part from pig fat, soap produced in the area has an olive oil base, allowing its use by Muslims and Jews. Also found at the factory were tools used for soap making.
ROYAUME UNI – Jersey - A well-preserved prehistoric hearth has been discovered 5ft below the surface during a commercial watching brief on a pipe trench in St Clement, southeast Jersey. Possible post holes were seen nearby in the bottom of the trench, but the excavation’s narrow width made these difficult to interpret, and it is not even certain that they were associated with the other feature. The rubble hearth material, overlying a large shallow pit and filled with charcoal-rich ash as well as occasional flint chips, was slightly disturbed by later prehistoric ard marks, or plough scars. These made archaeologists on site think that it might have been of earlier Bronze Age or even Neolithic date. Hearths of similar design have been found on a site in northwest Normandy which date to the early Neolithic, c.4400-3900 BC. The hearth was identified in 2016, and to confirm suspicions about its date some of its charcoal was sent out for radiocarbon dating. Results are now in, and they came as a complete surprise, suggesting a likely date range – at 95.4% probability – of 4946-4787 BC. This could place the hearth within the late Mesolithic, about 500 years before it is generally considered that Neolithic culture arrived in this part of Europe. However, recent research by British and French academics is starting to suggest that the Neolithic cultural package arrived in the Channel Islands at the start of the 5th millennium BC. Intriguingly, this means that the hearth could date to this transitional period in prehistory.
ROYAUME UNI – Sheffield - A team of archaeologists is set to reveal the lost remains of Sheffield Castle as part of a project that could be used to help regenerate part of the city. Research on the origins of the castle together with findings from earlier excavations are also being used to create a virtual reality experience, which will give people the opportunity to ‘see’ how the castle looked for the first time in almost 400 years. Sheffield Castle was once one of the grandest and most powerful in the north of medieval England. It was home to some of the great families at the time – including the de Furnivals, Nevils, Shrewsburys and Howards. Mary Queen of Scots was held prisoner there for 14 years between 1570 and 1584, before she was executed in 1587. The castle was then destroyed by Parliament following the Civil War in 1646.
EGYPTE – Louxor - While working on al-Kabbash road in Luxor, construction workers have discovered a mysterious statue with a lion’s body and a human’s head – believed to be a second sphinx. The new finding corresponds to a theory among some historians that two sphinxes are complementary in ancient Egypian art: one male, and one female.
GRECE – Evia - Archaeologists have discovered new findings in the sanctuary of Artemis, east of Amarynthos in Evia, central Greece. The Artemis sanctuary was discovered in 2017 in an excavation carried out by the Swiss Archaeological School in Greece in cooperation with the Evia Ephorate of Antiquities and started 10 years ago. The new findings include embossed tiles with the inscription “Artemis” and three statue bases dating from the Hellenistic era with inscriptions dedicated to the goddess, her brother Apollo and their mother Leto. The findings helped identify the buildings that were excavated over the last 10 years at the sacred site. According to ancient writings it was one of the most important sanctuaries in Evia.The previously excavated buildings are two galleries that define the temple from the east and north, as well as a sacred fountain. The 2018 excavations started at the end of June and lasted through early August. The research was focused on the central site of the sanctuary to reveal the ancient temple and the altar. Significant finds in 2018, such as a copper quartz figurine, part of a statue of Artemis and a new sculpture base bearing the names of Artemis, Apollo and Leto, as well as another base, strengthen the view that the temple is in this area and is expected to be identified in the coming years. The Swiss and Greek archaeologists also investigated the remains of earlier building phases dating from the 10th to the 7th century BC, such as an elongated building over 20 meters in length, dating back to the Early Archaic period, and resting on an arched building. The excavations indicate that the foundation of the sanctuary of goddess Artemis at the edge of the fertile plain east of Eretria is connected with the strengthening of the border of the city – Eretria. According to a statement by the Ministry of Culture, the religious character of the site, following a disaster in the 1st century BC, was probably renewed in the 2nd century AD and continued until about the 3rd century AD, as Professor Denis Knoepfler, historian and archaeologist at the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.
TURQUIE – Ani - A large section of a wall has been excavated at the archaeological site Ani also known "world city" and "cradle of civilization" in northeast Turkey. According to the UNESCO website, Ani, which is next to the closed border with Armenia, was the capital of medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides in the 10th century.Pamukkale University Archaeological Department Professor Fahriye Bayram said: "We have been doing excavation work since 2012 in Ani. A large part of the walls were unearthed recently. "The mound of dirt usually goes down to 5-6 meters. Therefore, the excavation work is going a little slow. We clean both the bastions and the walls," Bayram added.