20 NOVEMBRE 2017 NEWS: Kutná Hora - Wabar - Banha - Varsovie - Middenbeemster - Dimitrovgrad -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
WINTER TERM : JANUARY 2018
Rép. TCHEQUE – Kutná Hora - Archaeologists uncovered 30 mass graves containing over 1,500 skeletons this week, according to the Prague Daily Monitor. The graves, located in what is now the Czech Republic, are believed to contain the skeletons of victims of starvation from famine as well as epidemics in Bohemia dating back to the 14th century. "We must realize that such a mass grave represents a sample of a population within a very short period, which is extremely valuable to us. The 30 graves, as far as I know, are the largest set in Europe," Jan Frolik, the Czech archaeologist who led the research, told the Monitor. The bodies were buried densely: each grave contained 50 to 70 people. And the graves measure about 8 feet deep. So as Radio Prague reported, the skeletons in some graves were stacked “26 layers thick.” Archaeologists discovered the mass graves on the grounds of the Sedlec Ossuary, also called the “bone church," in the city of Kutná Hora, about an hour outside Prague. Researchers were excavating the cemetery in order to conduct repair work on the ossuary, which has a floor below ground level. The graves were concentrated on the northern side of the ossuary, with some found on the eastern and western sides as well. he chapel itself contains, among other gruesome wonders, a chandelier composed of nearly every bone in the human body, a giant family crest constructed out of human bones, and two huge chalices made of (you guessed it!) bone. According to Atlas Obscura, the site attracted countless numbers of bodies from the 13th century on, since it was believed to contain "holy soil." The morbid decorations were commissioned in 1870 by a woodcarver who was tasked with finding a way to make use of the astronomically high number of bones that were brought to the ossuary. Frolik told the Monitor that “It may be expected that further mass graves will be found during the research of the interior.”
OMAN – Wabar - Wabar is one of the most important heritage sites in the Governorate of Dhofar. The site was listed on UNESCO's World Cultural and Natural Heritage list in 2000 in the Governorate of Dhofar, under the name of Frankincense Land Sites, with Al Baleed Park archaeological, Samahram Archaeological Park and Frankincense Sanctuary in Wadi Dokka. During 1992-1995, the Sultanate, in cooperation with the University of South Missouri, explored this historic site on top of a limestone hill. Although archaeologists discovered small sites scattered in the area dating back to the Stone Age (5000-4000 BCE), settlement events in the region was there during the Iron Age (325 BC - 625 AD), where some pottery and frankincense tools were found in the castle. They belong to the first century BC to the middle of the Islamic era. Wabar Archaeological Site contains sites dating to the Neolithic and the Iron Age. Wabar was a point of control in freshwater sources in the south of the Empty Quarter and an active commercial centre for the collection and operation of commercial caravans across the Arabian Peninsula. Many archaeological discoveries were found in Wabar, dating back to different periods of time, the most important of which are chess pieces, pottery and stone vessels, glassware, stone lamps, incense burners, tools, flint tools, wooden plates, arrowheads and iron weights. The landmarks of the discovered castle show the existence of places to manage the site and stores while the towers were used for housing. Wabar area has attracted the attention of historians and travellers. Traveller Bertram Thomas described it in his famous journey in 1930 through the desert of the Empty Quarter as an ancient city rich in treasures, referring to the palm gardens and its red citadel and its waters. The region was also mentioned in the writings of Arab historians, such as Al Tabari, Al Thalabi and Al Hamdani, who spoke about the wealth of this region and the flourishing of frankincense and incense.
EGYPTE – Banha - The ruins of an ancient Egyptian temple built for the Egyptian diety, Isis, were discovered on Thursday by workers on a residential project in Banha City, capital of the Qalyubiya Governorate. The workers notified the Ministry of Antiquities who sent a team of archaeologists to the discovery site in Tall Atreeb to continue excavating excavating the temple. Pharaonic inscriptions depicting the ancient Egyptian dieties, Horus and Isis, were displayed on the temple’s walls and pillars. The discovery has the potential to put the area on the map for tourists enthusiastic about Egyptology. Ahmed Kamal, a professor of History at Banha University, said the area was rich in antiquities despite being neglected by the Antiquities Ministry. He accused the Ministry of “deliberate sabotage” for neglecting treasures of one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt, dating back 4,500 years.
POLOGNE – Varsovie - In 2014, scientists led by Michal Witt of the Institute of Human Genetics at the Polish Academy of Sciences were given access to Polish composer Frédéric Chopin’s heart, which had been removed from his body after his death in Paris in 1849 and taken to Warsaw, where it has remained. According to a report in Live Science, the records of Chopin’s original autopsy have been lost, but the researchers briefly examined the organ, and photographed it, in an effort to determine the cause of his death at age 39. The heart, preserved in a liquid thought to be cognac, was “enlarged and floppy.” Witt said the team concluded Chopin’s immediate cause of death was pericarditis, an inflammation of the membrane around the heart, a likely complication of tuberculosis.
CANADA – Middenbeemster - According to a report in bioarchaeologist Andrea Waters-Rist of the University of Western Ontario led a team of researchers who examined 500 skeletons of nineteenth-century dairy farmers who lived in the village of Middenbeemster in The Netherlands. The scientists found obvious bone lesions called osteochondritis dissecans on 13 percent of the farmers’ feet. Most populations have an occurrence of less than one percent. The lesions resemble craters in the bones, at the joints, as if chunks of bone have just been chiseled away, Waters-Rist explained. Wearing wooden clogs, which are poor shock absorbers, were probably to blame. Waters-Rist thinks people may have used the hard shoes, known as klompen, as hammers or to kick objects into place, injuring their feet. Wearing the clogs during hard physical labor could have also caused micro-injuries, she surmised.
BULGARIE – Dimitrovgrad - Archaeologists have discovered a unique statue of the goddess Isis and a marble head of satire in the Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Aphrodite near the Dimitrovgrad village of Kasnakovo. Antiques from today are displayed in the museum in Dimitrovgrad. They are from the second half of the 2nd century. The statue of Isis is 80 cm high and is the only statue of the entire goddess on our land.