17 AVRIL 2019: Stonehenge- Rome - Denizli - Moyen Orient - Alonissos-
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SPRING TERM : APRIL 2019
ROYAUME UNI – Stonehenge - The people who built Stonehenge and brought farming to Britain came from the Mediterranean. According to a new survey of DNA extracted from ancient human remains, Neolithic farmers began migrating out of Anatolia, modern Turkey, several thousand years ago. Some went north, following the Danube. Another group traveled west across the Mediterranean, arriving in Britain around 6,000 years ago. When scientists analyzed DNA from the remains of early British farmers, they found they were most closely related to early farmers in Iberia, modern day Spain and Portugal. The genetic data showed the Iberian farmers hailed from the Mediterranean. Dozens of archaeological studies have detailed the spread of farming and new cultural practices, including new more sophisticated pottery traditions, across Europe. But scientists weren't sure whether new traditions arrived with new people, or reflected the spread of ideas. The latest genetic study suggests migrating farmers brought their traditions with them. "As soon as these Neolithic cultures start to arrive, we see a big change in the ancestry of the British population," Tom Booth, a postdoctoral researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, said in a news release. "It looks like the development of farming and these Neolithic cultures was mainly driven by the migration of people from mainland Europe." In Britain, as well as the rest of Europe, Neolithic farmers encountered groups of hunter-gatherers. But the newcomers didn't wipe out the locals.Still, around 6,000 years ago, Britain's genome became dominated by the genetic signatures of Mediterranean farmers. Scientists estimate Britain's hunter-gatherer population was too small to maintain a significant influence on the population's genome. In addition to bringing new ways of subsisting and new types of pottery, the Neolithic farmers also brought the tradition of building stone monuments. Their arrival preceded the construction of Stonehenge.
ITALIE – Rome - Over the past week, several news outlets have reported that the "Holy Stairs" — said to have been climbed by Jesus on his way to face trial — have been restored and reopened in Rome. The Holy Stairs (also known as the Scala Sancta or Scala Santa) consist of 28 marble steps that, according to legend, are from the praetorium in Jerusalem. That was a palace used by Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea who presided over the trial of Jesus that ended in Jesus being crucified. Legend has it that Jesus walked up the steps on his way to trial and that Helena, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine (who reigned from the year 306 to 337), brought the stairs to Rome after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Archaeologists and historians contacted by Live Science said that the stairs are probably not from the palace used by Pontius Pilate. "Pilate's palace was destroyed with the rest of Jerusalem by the Romans in [the year] 70 and razed to the ground," long before Helena visited the Holy Land.Magness said. Also Pilate's palace would have originally been built by King Herod and neither Herod, nor anyone else in his kingdom, used marble for construction."Marble is not found anywhere in Palestine and was almost never used in construction, certainly not in Herod's time — or before 70 for that matter," Magness added.
TURQUIE – Denizli - Police seized two 1,500-year-old Egyptian-origin books from smugglers in southwestern Turkey's Denizli province. The books, which contain colorful papyrus leaves and gold gilding, were found to be 1,500 years old after examination by faculty at Pamukkale University's Department of Archaeology. The Egyptian-origin books contain prayers to Jesus for protection and were believed to protect against various diseases as an amulet, or good luck charm.
MOYEN ORIENT– Emily Hammer and Jason Ur from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, respectively, have scoured through extensive archives of high- and low-resolution images taken by U2 spy planes from across Europe, the Middle East and central eastern Asia, uncovering a “gold mine” of archaeological evidence. According to a press release from the University of Pennsylvania, the experts have uncovered stone wall structures that date back 5,000 to 8,000 years. They were used to trap gazelles and other animals. In the declassified images, the pair spotted many historical and archeological features, including prehistoric hunting traps, 3,000-year-old irrigation canals and 60-year-old marsh villages no longer visible today. The process of examining and categorizing all the images was time-consuming and at times tedious, but the U.S.-led team was nevertheless excited by the prospect of new discoveries. One canal system shown by the images in northern Iraq has provided clues regarding the methods of governance used by the region’s early rulers. “The Assyrians built the first large, long-lasting, multicultural empire of the ancient world, so many people are interested in how they organized territory, controlled people, built their huge cities and managed the land,” Hammer says. “The irrigation system fed the royal capitals, made agricultural surplus production possible and provided water to villages,” she added.
GRECE - Alonissos - Greece's culture ministry has announced plans to open to visitors some of the country's vast heritage of ancient shipwrecks, aiming to boost the economies of nearby islands. Alonissos is where the first such shipwreck site will be developed -- a 5th-century BC merchant ship named the Peristera, after the uninhabited islet where it was first spotted by a fisherman some 40 years ago. "The Peristera shipwreck, which contains 3,000 (wine) amphorae, is perhaps the most important of the Classical Era," Stratis said. According to Greek archaeologists, the discovery demonstrates a knowledge of shipbuilding previously thought non-existant before the Roman era some four centuries later. Greek waters hold scores of ancient shipwrecks -- around 60 alone are known to be found near the Aegean islet of Fourni according to the culture ministry.