INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
SPRING TERM : APRIL 2017
ROYAUME UNI – Londres - From restoring artefacts damaged by ISIS to creating replicas for sale in souvenir outlets, 3D technologies are having a profound impact on the museum world. The latest use of the technology comes from the Museum of London, which has enlisted the help of Europac 3D, to unlock the secrets of the 100-year-old London Stone. The name "London Stone" or “Londenstane” was first recorded in around the year 1100, although the date and purpose of the Stone remain a mystery it is often referred to as ‘the protector of London’.The stone is believed to be Roman, but its origin has been subject to urban myths since at least the 16th century. The detailed scan of the stone revealed several carvings, one of which may have been engraved when Jack Cade entered London ahead of a rebellion against King Henry VI; he is believed to have symbolically struck the Stone with his sword to claim lordship of the City. The scan of the stone was able to pick up detailed markings of less than the width of a human hair, exposing a range of markings and textures that the stone had accumulated over the years due to weathering and events in time. The scan was uploaded to Europac 3D’s specialist software to pick defined points on a triangulated surface, and a ‘best fit’ algorithm could then be used to create the full, detailed 3D image of the precious London Stone.The London Stone was resting in Cannon Street, London, before its removal for examination. The stone is believed to be only the upper portion of a once much larger object. The surviving portion is a block of Clipsham limestone is approximately 53 cm wide, 43 cm high, and 30 cm front to back as is believed to have originated in Rutland before being transported to London for building purposes.
BULGARIE – Plovdiv - Restoration work on mosaic flooring from the site of Plovdiv’s Great Basilica archaeological site continued throughout this past winter, to meet a deadline for completion in 2018. The Great Basilica, understood to date from the fourth to the fifth centuries, is the largest early Christian church yet found on the Balkans. The site is near Plovdiv’s 19th century Roman Catholic St Ludwig church. When the task is complete, a total of more than 2000 square metres of mosaic will have been restored by a team headed by Elena Kantareva. The top layer of the mosaic was moved to a studio at the foot of Plovdiv’s Old Town in September 2016, and restorers began the laborious task of returning the authentic sheen to the priceless artifacts. The mosaics are richly decorated with various birds and plants, and after careful restoration and cleaning are more beautiful than ever. The colours of each pebble stand out clearly, and the forms they represent are a true work of art.
CANADA – Percé - C’est l’entreprise Ethnoscop de Québec qui est en charge des fouilles dans le sol marécageux de Percé. Cette entreprise se consacre à la recherche, à la conservation et à la mise en valeur du patrimoine archéologique préhistorique et historique du Québec. Le responsable des recherches à Percé, le chargé de projet Nicolas Fortier, explique que son équipe s’attendait à trouver des choses très intéressantes en creusant à cet endroit de Percé. « Avec l’histoire très riche de la région de Percé, on se doutait bien qu’il y avait du potentiel pour trouver des vestiges enfouis » ici, explique M. Fortier. Les spécialistes n’ont pas trouvé de pièces de monnaie datant de quelques siècles ou encore d’ossements humains. Mais, en revanche, « nous avons trouvé des vestiges qui sont considérés comme archéologiques et d’une certaine importance historique. Historique au niveau du peuple, à savoir comment le village s’est développé, comment il a été aménagé dans les premiers instants de Percé. » Après ces recherches, les archéologues ont trouvé quelques artéfacts qui peuvent dater du milieu du 19e siècle comme des clous forgés, quelques morceaux de céramiques « qui viennent d’Europe en général sauf un ou deux objets qui ont été fabriqués au Québec. Mais en général ce sont des artéfacts anglais, peut-être allemands, mais surtout anglais. Nous avons aussi trouvé des clés, des serrures qui doivent dater du 19esiècle », précise le chargé de projet. Lors de notre passage, des archéologues dégageaient plusieurs rondins de bois très bien alignés et perpendiculaires à la mer. Selon M. Fortier, « ce qui retient le plus l’attention présentement, c’est la présence d’un alignement de rondins et de branches qui servait de trottoir qui reliait une habitation, un bâtiment sur le bord de l’eau, à la rue principale (route 132). » Peu de chose sur le passage de bandes autochtones sur le territoire de Percé. Mais, les archéologues ont trouvé un éclat de pierre. « Pour l’instant, nous avons seulement un éclat (provenant d’un outil servant à tailler quelque chose). On peut supposer que des Amérindiens sont passés et ont taillé quelque chose, mais avec seulement un objet, c’est très difficile de dire quoi au juste », analyse M. Fortier.
USA – Etzanoa - Donald Blakeslee, professor of archaeology at Wichita State University, presented in March at the annual conference of the Society for American Archaeology discussing recent archaeological evidence that shows a thriving ancestral Wichita Indian town of more than 20,000 residents near Arkansas City, Kansas. The discovery began with new translations of old Spanish documents by the Cibola Project at the University of California, Berkley. Members of the team made photocopies of the original documents, re-transcribed them from the Old Spanish and then retranslated them. Earlier historians and archaeologists who had used the documents dealt with misleading errors in transcription and translation, which is why many archaeological discoveries in the area were misinterpreted. “It has been a lot of fun to rewrite the record so thoroughly. By joining the historical written record to the archaeology, we ended up rewriting both fields,” says Blakeslee. “Rather than a cluster of 30 little villages, there was a single town of 20,000 people.” Research of the town, called Etzanoa, has completely revised the understanding of protohistoric settlements in the southern plains. Previous scholars often dismissed the Spanish population estimates as exaggerations, but with the evidence of the archaeological finds it can no longer be dismissed. “One implication is that Old World epidemic diseases had not yet reached this region, but probably did so by around 1650, because there were far fewer Wichitas when the French arrived in 1718,” says Blakeslee. Blakeslee reported archaeology that coincides with eyewitness accounts from five soldiers of Spanish explorer and founder of New Mexico, Juan de Oñate, who were interviewed in Mexico City in 1602. Scattered surface finds match the description of the town as extending about five miles, and the description of the landscape and route of the Spanish army also line up. The biggest piece of confirmation came with the discovery of the site of a battle fought there in 1601. Metal detectors were used to uncover small iron shot from in front of the ravine where natives took shelter and well beyond it where shots eventually fell. Blakeslee began work at the site in 2015 when he invited leaders of the Wichita tribe to visit and spent a week there researching. He’s been able to involve WSU students with the research as well and has taken them to the site each summer since. They plan to be there for four weeks during summer 2017.
Rép. TCHEQUE – Olomouc - Archaeologists from the Palacký University in Olomouc have discovered a unique Neolithic well in Moravia. The discovery, dating back to the Early Stone Age, sheds new light on the early settlement in the region. Experts say the finding is pretty rare, since the Neolithic people still used mainly surface water resources.
INDE – Pedavegi - The desiltation of Pedda Cheruvu which is the main source of water to the village, was taken up under the Neeru-Chettu programme last year. The tank was desilted and filled with water. However, there was no water in it at present. Some village youths went into the dried up tank on Tuesday evening and sat on a stone in the middle of it. As it moved, the enthusiastic youths lifted the stone and found the tunnel under it. The youths and villagers informed the matter to Government Whip Chintamaneni Prabhakar who in turn visited Pedavegi and took a close look at the tunnel. “It is a historic one. The discovery will be informed to the archeology department,” he said. The MLA opined that the tunnel might be of the time of Vengi kings who ruled this area as Vengi as their capital. The stone tunnel surprised most of the people. The villagers believe the tunnel might have served as the way to take water to the fort of Vengi kings. Vengi had a fort with a bailey surrounding it. The Pedda Cheruvu, which is situated outside the fort, was the source of water to it and water would be drawn through this tunnel, the villagers felt. Vengi, known as Pedavegi, was once the capital city of Vengi kingdom. The archeology department took up excavations in the village in 1985-87 and unearthed many sculptures and artefacts.