20 JANVIER 2017 NEWS: Canaries - Rome - Yangguanzhai - Cherry Hinton - Dumfries and Galloway - Çatalhöyük -







ESPAGNE14847599791961 700 Canaries - Archaeologists researching slavery in the Americas have unearthed what may be the graves of the first slaves imported from Africa.  Excavating a site in the Canary Islands, the archaeologists discovered some of the graves contained the DNA of Africans. Specifically, they found four African men in the graves.  Following the Spanish conquest of the Canaries, the local population was exterminated though warfare, disease and enslavement. As the local population disappeared, the Spanish began importing Africans to the islands to work plantations there. This importation launched the transatlantic slave trade that would continue until the early 19th century.  African slaves proved resistant to disease, which made them hardier than Native slaves who often died from the cocktail of European diseases.  Still, African slaves died in large numbers primarily because of their harsh working conditions and the poor diet afforded them. 


ITALIE 5260d1c688c09e47e265dbd7addcec483520d252a527e765c391df3b2a126680 Rome - A horse's head isn't generally a good omen in Italy - or at least, not in Italy-based movie franchise The Godfather. But archaeologists at Rome's Colosseum were delighted to stumble across a medieval equine skull on Tuesday. The find was made while cleaning the area around the steps to the monument's basement, Rome's Superintendent for Archaeology Francesco Prosperetti said. The horse's skull dates back to between the 12th and 13th centuries, according to an initial analysis by an archaeozoologist. However, further tests will have to be carried out to reveal crucial information about the horse's age, state of health, and to give clues as to what it was doing at the amphitheatre. The skull and bones are shown towards the end of the video below.

VIDEO - http://www.thelocal.it/20170119/archaeologists-just-found-a-medieval-horses-head-at-the-colossseum

CHINE - Yangguanzhai  - A 6,000-year-old cemetery where an estimated 2,000-plus people were interred has been excavated in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, archaeologists said. The cemetery, covering about 90,000 square meters, is located near the Yangguanzhai ruins, which belonged to a late Neolithic culture called the Yangshao that originated on the middle reaches of the Yellow River and is considered a main precursor of Chinese civilization. It is the largest cemetery from the Yangshao Culture period, researcher Wang Weilin, who headed the excavation, said at an ongoing seminar on new archaeological findings in 2016. The site has been excavated by archaeologists with the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology since 2015. By the end of 2016, 182 tombs had been found in an area of more than 1,900 square meters. "Such a big 6,000-year-old public cemetery is quite rare," said Yang Lihua, an associate researcher with the institute.


ROYAUME UNIHippogriff Cherry Hinton - A decorative item depicting a mythical creature that is half horse, horse eagle has been unearthed in England ahead of a major housing development in the Cambridge region. The legendary creature, known as a hippogriff, which features the front of an eagle and the rear of a horse, had probably been recycled, having originally been decoration on a shield, according to heritage experts Oxford Archaeology East. It was probably repurposed as a piece of jewellery, or perhaps as a protective symbol or talisman. It has been assessed as being more than 1400 years old. The hippogriff is among a haul of rare Anglo-Saxon finds at Cherry Hinton, in Cambridge. Anglo-Saxon jewellery, such as fine brooches, multi-coloured glass and amber beads, rings and hairpins, were recovered alongside more workaday tools including small knives and iron shield bosses and spear heads. Oxford Archaeology East say these items date to around the 6th century AD and are linked to several burials and a nearby pre-Christian building. In addition to the metalwork, several complete early Anglo-Saxon vessels were found, including a stunning glass claw beaker. Such elaborate drinking vessels are normally found further southeast in Kent or the area now covered by northern France, the Netherlands and Germany, where they were probably produced. Although crushed over the centuries by the weight of soil above, this vessel is complete and could be reconstructed. Roman finds also unearthed during the work are considered of equal archaeological value. They pre-date the Anglo-Saxon period and include fine pottery vessels and plates from 2nd-century cremations. The archaeologists also uncovered an early Roman pottery kiln and a complex of late Iron Age and Roman ditches that defined a field system. The site fell out of use in the 7th century, but there was another phase of activity in the 8th century or Middle Saxon period; evidence was uncovered for post-built structures, possibly workshops or livestock pens, and pits relating to industrial activity. The site lies on the western edge of the Middle Saxon settlement around Church End, and which formed the 9th-10th century manor. By 1086 it had become known as Hintona in the Domesday Book.


ROYAUME UNI Galloway Dumfries and Galloway - A “lost” dark age kingdom has been discovered in Dumfries and Galloway after archaeologists finally solved the mystery surrounding the location of the elusive stronghold. The kingdom of Rheged has been found following excavation work by Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway. Previously, it was thought the kingdom was headquartered in Cumbria although no evidence of it was ever found. Archaeologists were first drawn to the site by Pictish carvings in stones at Trusty’s Hill given the unusual southerly location of the markings. Ronan Toolis, who led the excavation, said: “The new archaeological evidence suggests that Galloway may have been the heart of the lost Dark Age kingdom of Rheged, a kingdom that was in the late sixth century pre-eminent amongst the kingdoms of the north.” Excavations have revealed the summit of the hill was fortified with a timber-laced stone rampart. A symbolic entrance way, with two Pictish symbols marked on one side, is believed to have led to the fort where rituals of royal inauguration were conducted. Archaeologists have built up a vivid picture of life at the fort given their findings. The excavation found the remains of a workshop that was producing high status metalwork of gold, silver, bronze and iron. Other activities apparent at Trusty’s Hill included the spinning of wool, preparation of leather and feasting. Diet of this early medieval household was predominantly cattle, oats and barley. Dr Christopher Bowles, co-director of the excavation, added: “This household is likely to have been connected with an international trade network that linked important sites around the Irish Sea with Continental Europe.

TURQUIEN 108546 1 Çatalhöyük - Two plump woman figurines unearthed in the 9,000-year-old Neolithic settlement of Çatalhöyük represent elderly women, not the Anatolian mother goddess Cybele as was earlier believed, according to an expert.These figurines symbolize old women that have high status in the society instead of goddesses,” excavation supervisor Professor Ian Hodder of Stanford University said about the figurines that have distinctive bellies, breasts and hips. Hodder said there were interesting findings in this year’s excavation. In a report on the diggings, Hodder said there were two figurines that have distinctive bellies, breasts and thighs discovered on a grave in close proximity to the east walls.We think that the figurine was placed there intentionally,” Hodder said. This marble figurine was discovered next to an obsidian knife. After a few days, another figurine made of limestone was discovered. The second figurine has a piece of galena that is shiny and reflective and two beads around its head. It also has two tiny holes like it was carried around like a pendant,” Hodder said. Hodder said the places the figurines were discovered were intentionally chosen and were very significant. The places the figurines were discovered and their burial with objects like obsidian and galena is not common. This makes us think that the figurines were buried there to replace the bodies,” he added. Hodder said when the figurines were discovered, the media introduced the figurines as Mother Goddess Cybele. “Researchers Lynn Meskell, Carolyn Nakamura and Lindsay Der have proven that the distinctive bellies, breasts and thighs of the figurines indicate that these figurines symbolized elderly women who had prestige and social status.”