20-22 SEPTEMBRE 2014 NEWS: Khirbat Hamra Ifdan - Vermilion - Moncreiffe - Azebaidjan -
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JORDANIE – Khirbat Hamra Ifdan - Archaeologists led by University of California, San Diego Anthropology Professor Thomas E. Levy have discovered a small Egyptian scarab bearing the name of Sheshonq I – the only historical figure mentioned in both the Hebrew Bible (as Shishak) and Egyptian monuments indirectly related to the Biblical King Solomon. A description of the discovery was published last week in the British journal Antiquity. Levy, Stefan Münger of Bern University and Jordanian archaeologist Mohammad Najjar are co-authors on the paper. The scarab was found at Khirbat Hamra Ifdan in southern Jordan at the site of an ancient copper manufactory dating to the Early Bronze Age, c. 3000-2000 BC, which also bears evidence of Iron Age (ca. 1000 – 900 BC) smelting activities. Most scholars agree that Sheshonq I, the founder of the 22nd Egyptian Dynasty, may be identified with the Pharaoh Shishaq mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament; I Kings 11:40, 14:25, and 2 Chronicles 12:2-9). Essential evidence for Sheshonq’s reign comes from a monumental carving on the Bubastite Portal of the Amun-Re temple complex at Karnak in Egypt, which lists the cities that Sheshonq I conquered. The discovery marks the second time in the archaeological history of the southern Levant (Israel/Palestine/Jordan) that an epigraphic text has been found bearing the name of Sheshonq, whose rule is traditionally dated to 945 – 924 BCE (known to archaeologists as the Iron Age IIA period). University of Chicago excavators discovered the first such artifact – a large fragment of a victory stele or monument that the Egyptians erected to celebrate Sheshonq I’s military campaign – in the 1930s at the famous site of Megiddo in Israel. “While the word ‘Pharaoh’ appears 240 times in the Bible, only in a handful of instances are a specific name given,” Levy added. “The Shishaq narrative is thus the earliest event described in the Hebrew Bible that is supported by an extra-biblical text.”
USA – Vermilion -Before crews carve a campground into the pines and aspens — creating 70 sites, many designed to catch ridgetop breezes — planners will consider what archaeologists have uncovered during three seasons of work at Lake Vermilion, Minnesota's newest state park. The most talked-about find, flakes of obsidian traced to a cliff in Yellowstone National Park, surfaced two years ago. Archaeologists spent part of this season walking north-south transects 50 feet apart, recording the locations of 400 to 500 mining test pits that date to the late 1880s. "We're not going to be able to save every one — and I'm not sure we need to, but we need to be able to tell a detailed, interpretive story of what they were used for and who dug them and when and why," state archaeologist Dave Radford said by phone this month from Lake Vermilion. "This was the earliest iron-ore prospecting effort." Sometime this winter, Radford expects test results that will reveal what was consumed around a campfire near Lake Vermilion that radiocarbon dating showed to be 600 years old. It was likely the Dakota who built that fire. Deeper under the hearth, the crew found a projectile point, possibly from a dart or spear, dating back 5,000-plus years to the Archaic Period. Of interest to both Pointer and Latady is how members of the Bois Forte were involved in mining. While Radford speculated that some could have been hired to excavate the test pits, Latady said it was more likely the Bois Forte would have provided wild game for food. The band played a similar role during the fur trade, when they not only supplied food but also canoes, wild rice and maple sugar. In addition, they knew how to get around by showshoe, toboggan and canoe. "We tend to have a limited view of the role of the native population in the fur trade," Latady said. While the 155 obsidian flakes left behind — likely during the making of one or two spear or arrow points from a cobble of obsidian from that cliff in Yellowstone — predate 1736, the earliest written record of Bois Forte in the area, it isn't clear who would have made those tools. "It reminds me that there was a lot of trade and travel that was going on that you might not think was happening 600 years ago or 2,000 years ago," Radford said. "The people were mobile and didn't always just stick to one spot." More Native American history was uncovered in food storage pits near the lake.
ROYAUME UNI – Moncreiffe- Evidence of Moredun Top’s status as the Tay Valley’s greatest seat of Iron Age power has been indisputable.Chieftains once ruled the land for miles around from behind the stone and log palisade walls of a giant hill fort on its summit. Some experts had, however, questioned claims of a second, smaller fort, overlooking what is now Bridge of Earn from a site on the lower slopes of Perth’s Moncreiffe Hill. Unlike at Moredun Top, where the layout of the fort can still be seen, its archaeology is not as plainly visible on the ground. Now a team comprising members of Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, AOC Archaeology and the University of Glasgow has silenced such voices once and for all. They carried out the first archaeological dig ever undertaken on the hill and have uncovered a series of exciting finds. Vitally, they include evidence of a mixed construction fort built from a combination of stone, timber, earth and turf at the lesser site. The discovery of the stone ramparts resting beneath the soil was a huge moment for all involved in the project. The material uncovered has now been sent to the specialist National Environment Research Council (NERC) – part of the university – to be carbon dated.
AZERBAIDJAN – - More than 30,000 Azerbaijani ancient cultural pieces have been discovered on the territory of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and South Caucasus Pipeline. The news was announced by Deputy Director of Research of the Archaeology and Ethnography Institute of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) Najaf Museibli. He added that experts conducted extensive excavations on 41 new sites in 2002-2005. The discovered ancient settlements, burial mounds, hundreds of tombstones belonging to different historical periods were studied at these sites in the Ganja-Gazakh region. The studies covered Leylatepe Eneolithic culture, monuments related to the archaeological culture of the Kura-Araz lowland, Tezekend and Khojaly-Gadabay region dating back to the Bronze Age. Museibli noted that the archaeological excavations were carried out as part of the projects for the construction of the BTC and South Caucasus gas pipeline. The excavations were implemented on the basis of the "Contract of the Century", eliminating stagnation observed in archaeological science in the 1990s. Scientific interpretation of the detected samples of material culture shed light on some little-known pages of the ancient history of Azerbaijan, due to which many theses were defended on the basis of archaeological materials, many scholarly monographs and articles were published.