INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SUMMER TERM : JULY 2016
FRANCE – Martigues - La découverte était rare, elle est devenue exceptionnelle au fil des mois, puisque ce ne sont pas moins de 48 pièces d'or qui ont été mises au jour. Le tout forme ce qu'on peut appeler un trésor, même si les historiens et archéologues formulent déjà plusieurs hypothèses à son sujet, et sont aussi attirés par cette ville antique dont les contours se révèlent désormais au grand jour. Fouillé depuis bientôt deux ans, à la faveur de la rénovation du lycée Langevin, contigu, le site de Tholon, sur les rives martégales de l'étang de Berre, abrite les restes de "Maritima avaticorum", le lointain ancêtre "des Martigues", comme on disait il y a encore peu. On y distingue clairement des rues, des murs d'habitations simples à une pièce. Mais l'oeil averti des archéologues de Martigues, dont Jean Chausserie Laprée et Michel Rétif, distingue bien davantage : ici, une jarre, là, les restes d'une colonne, et autres multiples détails qui permettront de retracer l'histoire de cette ville gallo-romaine située entre Marseille et Arles, occupée du premier siècle avant Jésus-Christ à la fin du IVe siècle de notre ère. Mais ce sont bien les pièces d'or, dites auréi, qui mobilisent la communauté scientifique. "Par son importance et la qualité des pièces trouvées, il est unique en France, et même au-delà", commente Arnaud Suspène, directeur de l'Institut thématique pluridisciplinaire humanités cultures sociétés d'Orléans. Le trésor, une fois réuni, a été expertisé, à Aix puis sur ce site spécialisé, et mis en lieu sûr. Et le site, que les archéologues auraient dû quitter il y a plusieurs mois, continue de révéler tellement de vestiges et de richesses qu'il est à l'heure actuelle toujours fouillé.
TURQUIE – Silivri - A 5,000-year-old eairn-type grave, which may be that of a warrior, has been discovered in the Silivri district of the Turkish province of Istanbul. The excavation took place in the Çanta region of Silivri through the efforts of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. The report of the excavation revealed that the finding is the oldest eairn-type grave ever found in Turkey extracted completely by digging. The researchers say that a spearhead that was found near the skeletal remains show that the man was a warrior. The eairn-type grave is known to be associated with Turkish-Altay culture. The grave was found and excavated through five months of effort, after several other failed attempts to extract it. Previously in 1980, archaeologists found another eairn-type grave in Western Thrace during an excavation in Asılbeyli town of the northwestern Turkish province of Kırklareli. The grave found in 1980 was the only known eairn-type grave discovered until the Silivri excavation.
ROYAUME UNI – Bulford - Objects dating back 5,000 years have been found at a site being developed by the Army in Wiltshire. The MOD has uncovered an Anglo-Saxon cemetery of about 150 graves - as well as spears, knives and jewellery. One of the burials has been radiocarbon dated to between AD 660 and 780 which falls in the mid-Anglo-Saxon period in Britain. Si Cleggett of Wessex Archaeology said: "The size, location and date of this cemetery makes it of considerable research importance. It contained the graves of women, men and children and was clearly the burial ground for a local community, perhaps that of Bulford's earliest families." During WW1 the site was used for training and there is evidence that a field farrier may have re-shoed horses at the site before they were sent off to war. The site was also home to WW2 firing ranges where an answer to the devastating effects of German tanks was tested.
ROYAUME UNI – Salford - As part of the Charlestown Riverside redevelopment works, a community excavation is being held at the site of Pendleton Old Hall, a 16th century manor house. Throughout its history the area around Charlestown Riverside was home to a series of historic industrial buildings: Pendleton manorial corn mill (13th to 18th Century), a late 18th Century cotton mill built by William Douglas, the Irwell Bleach Works (mid-19th Century), and Pendleton Colliery (19th Century).12 evaluation trenches were dug across the site last year, revealing structures and archaeological artefacts relating to the Irwell Bleach Works, Douglas Mill, as well as Pendleton Old Hall.
ROYAUME UNI – Henley - Archaeologists are digging up what could be the remains of a Roman temple in woodland on the outskirts of Henley. They have cordoned off and cleared a 1,500 sq m patch of land andÂ dug a series of pits, unearthing the foundations of a building which is made from flint and mortar. At the moment, the experts are not sure how big the structure is, nor what it was used for. The only distinguishing feature is a flat mortar surface with traces of scorching, suggesting it might have served as a fireplace. The team have also found old roof tiles and fragments of plaster and pottery, including samian ware, a type of high-quality crockery that would have been imported from France. There was also a large number of sheep and goat bones, suggesting it may have been a religious site where the creatures were sacrificed to a God. They then carried out a geophysical survey to establish what might be buried there. This involved different procedures, including the use of a ground-penetrating radar device and another that detects magnetic fields to “see” beneath the soil without having to dig. However, thisÂ revealed very little because the ground was extremely uneven. David Nicholls, the project leader, believes the site was disturbed by treasure hunters during the Seventies and Eighties. It’s likely that a large number of coins were buried at High WoodÂ at one stage but this is no longer the case. The team swept the entire site with metal detectors and found only six. They dug several smaller test pits last year and the main dig started two months ago with the permission of the Phillimore Estate, which owns the land. Other finds have included four pieces of chain mail from between the 1st and 4th centuries and about 30 pieces of quern stone and mill stone, which were used to grind materials by hand. Mr Nicholls said: “We’re at a very early stage and don’t even know whether it’s one building or two at the moment. We think we’re only working on part of a much larger site. “At the moment our work is raising more questions than answers but hopefully we will find out more as we progress. There’s a huge amount to be done and I’ll be long gone before it’s over. “If this turns out to be a temple site, it would be quite rare as there are only six in southern England with two others that aren’t yet confirmed.