19 JUIN 2022 NEWS







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ANGLETERRE – Dkpksj5uwuua3lnftewnjk 970 80 Bar Hill - A death pit of 8,000 frog and toad bones dating back at least 2,000 years has archaeologists in England stumped as to how the shattered amphibian corpses got there, with ideas ranging from death by cold to a nasty nosedive to a disease killer. This is a puzzling and unexpected find, which we are still trying to fully understand," Vicki Ewens, senior archaeozoologist at the Museum of London Archaeology, said in a statement. "This accumulation of frog remains may have been caused by a number of different factors, possibly interacting over a long period of time."  The team found the bones at an ancient settlement in Bar Hill, in Cambridgeshire, England, that was in use between roughly 400 B.C. and A.D. 70. The bones are from at least 350 individual frogs and toads, and the ditch where they were found is located next to a roundhouse— a home with a circular layout, archaeologists said in the statement. There is no evidence that the frogs and toads were eaten by humans or other animals. The researchers have several ideas to explain how the skeletal remains got into the ditch. One possibility is that during their breeding season in the springtime, a large number of frogs and toads were moving en masse in search of waters to mate in, only to fall into a ditch that they couldn't escape, the archaeologists said in the statement. Another possibility is that an infectious virus infected and killed these amphibians  around the same time. A similar scenario played out in the 1980s when many frogs in the U.K. became infected with a Ranavirus, archaeologists noted in the statement. The amphibians could have also died during a particularly cold winter. Yet another possibility is that beetles and aphids (group of sap-sucking insects) swarmed to grain from the roundhouse and their presence attracted frogs and toads that ate them; over a period of time and the frogs could have died in the ditch because they couldn't climb out.


ISRAEL – Tel Zaf - Researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University found the earliest evidence for domestication of a fruit tree, proving the olive was planted intentionally about 7,000 ago. Analyzed remnants of charcoal from the Charcolithic site of Tel Zaf in the Jordan Valley proving they came from olive trees, which did not grow there naturally. The scientist added that many remnants of young fig branches were also identified that resulted from pruning, a method still used today to increase the yield of fruit trees.  Tel Zaf was a large prehistoric village in the middle Jordan Valley south of Beit She'an, inhabited between 7,200 and 6,700 years ago. Large houses with courtyards were discovered at the site, each with several granaries for storing crops.


ISRAEL – 444 Evron Quarry - Researching at the Evron Quarry, located in the Western Galilee, is an open-air archaeological site that was first discovered in the mid-1970s; archaeologists dug down 14 meters and uncovered an extensive array of animal fossils and Paleolithic tools dating back to between 800,000 and 1 million years ago, making it one of the oldest sites in Israel. None of the finds from the site or the soil in which they were found had any visual evidence of heat, as ash and charcoal degrade over time, eliminating the chances of finding visual evidence of burning. Thus, if the Weizmann scientists wanted to find evidence of fire, they had to search farther afield.


SYRIE – 507578 Tell Qarassa - Two young people buried in an Umayyad Dynasty Era grave site in Syria share some DNA with a subgroup of modern-day Bedouin from the Negev Desert in Israel and to a lesser degree with Yemenite Jews, according to a recently published study. The results of their research were recently published in the peer reviewed Communications Biology journal section of Nature.  They found that the Umayyad Era DNA sequencing did not cluster around that of any published ancient Levantine individuals, and the ancient groups they were closest to were Bronze Age Canaanites and groups from Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Levant, according to the report. The two Umayyad Era individuals fell between the modern genetic variations in the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula, leaning more toward that of the Arabian Peninsula, said the researchers.  To better pinpoint the genetics, the researchers conducted further analysis comparing their DNA sequences to that of 37 modern groups from the Middle East, Arabian Peninsula and Caucasus. The results positioned the Umayyad DNA remains between groups known to originate from or inhabiting the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi, Yemenite Jews and two Bedouin groups, including a group in today’s Israeli Negev Desert, noted the report.  The two individuals in the study had been excavated in 2009 and 2010 before the on-going Syrian Civil War broke out. They had been buried on top of a prehistoric site and analysis of their DNA revealed that one was a 14 to 15-year-old male and the other was a 15 to 21-year-old female. The remains were radiocarbon-dated to the second caliphate of the Umayyad Dynasty in the seventh to eighth centuries, which was centered in Syria. Analysis also showed a “clear genetic differentiation from other modern-day Levantines,” said the researchers.


USA – Unf2 scaled Sarabay - Archaeologists from the University of North Florida Archaeology Lab have revealed new evidence to support the location of the lost Indigenous settlement of Sarabay. Sarabay was a village of the Mocama-speaking Timucua Indians, believed to be the first indigenous populations of Florida encountered by European explorers in the 1560s. Contemporary accounts by the French and Spanish mention the settlement of Sarabay on an island north of the St. Johns River, with wooden palisade walls, houses, public buildings and granaries. An account by Fray Francisco Pareja also mentions that Sarabay was one of the nearby Mocama communities he served as friar whilst living at the mission of San Juan del Puerto on Fort George Island. Previous excavations on the island discovered artefacts and seven building posts from the 16th century. In the latest season of excavations, the researchers have discovered four more building posts, indicating a large Indigenous structure approximately 50-60 feet in diametre that may have been a community council house. The team also uncovered large amounts of Indigenous pottery that a radiocarbon study dates from between 1580-1620, in addition to Spanish storage vessels used for holding olive oil, painted Spanish majolica, and Colonoware pottery made by Indigenous women that appear to have a European influence. Other finds include bone and shell tools, with the most interesting being a shell artefact with Catholic imagery.


CHINE - Luoyang - Archaeologists have found three large watercourses dating back to the Wei and Jin dynasties (220-420) in central China's Henan Province. The ancient water conservancy facilities in the city of Luoyang are three stone culverts running side by side from southwest to northeast. "Although the bottom elevation, scale, and masonry form of the three waterways are slightly different, they are obviously unified in planning and construction," said Guo Xiaotao, deputy head of the team. Guo noted that historical documents indicate that these waterways were used as channels of water diversion from outside the old palace in Luoyang to the north of the palace. "These facilities reflect the mature skills of water conservancy projects in the Wei and Jin dynasties, as well as the old city's cognition of the planning, transformation, and utilization of water resources," said Liu Tao, head of the team. 


MEXIQUE – Temple1 741x486 Tenochtitlan - Archaeologists have recovered thousands of wooden objects from the Templo Mayor in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City. The Templo Mayor was the heart of a complex consisting of two temples, five platforms and subsidiary buildings from the capital of the pre-Hispanic Aztec Empire. The temple was called the huey teocalli in the Nahuatl language and was dedicated simultaneously to two gods: Huitzilopochtli, god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture. Construction of the temple began sometime after 1325 but was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. Archaeologists have conducted excavations at the foot of the temple where they discovered ritual deposits containing over 2,500 wooden objects. The finds consist of masks, headdresses, sceptres, pectorals, darts, figurines, dart launchers, earrings, jars, and numerous wooden offerings that the priests deposited to consecrate the site to the Aztec gods.Most of the wooden objects come from different species of pine, whilst white cedar, cypress, tepozán and ahuehuete has also been identified, many of which still have traces of polychromy colours such as blue, red, black, and white pigment on the surface. Excavations of the ritual deposits have also uncovered botanical remains such as flowers, birds, mammals and marine animals, sea cucumbers, copper and gold objects, and flint and ceramic pieces.


ROUMANIE – Silver coins photo 75320752 c ruslanchik dreamstime com  Sângeru de Pădure - A treasure hunter from Mureș County has discovered a hoard of silver coins dating back to the time of the Romans. The more than 300 coins were found in a clay pot, buried in the earth of the forest of Sângeru de Pădure, which the man had been scanning with a metal detector. The Archaeology Department head told the press that multiple discoveries have been made in the past two years, with hoards consisting of coins and jewelry having been found in Dâmbău, Sighișoara, Dumbrăvioara, Cristești, and a huge one in Sălașuri. She also stated that this area is presumed to have contained a Dacian Fortress and a Roman settlement, which would explain the high concentration of treasure left behind.