21 DECEMBRE 2016 NEWS: Cave of the Skulls - Mancheng - Moenjodaro - Sahtu - Jerusalem - Témiscouata - Xinjiang -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
WINTER TERM : JANUARY 2017
ISRAEL – Cave of the Skulls - New fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls have been found in the Cave of the Skulls by the Dead Sea in Israel, in a salvation excavation by Israeli authorities. The pieces are small and the writing on them is too faded to make out without advanced analysis. At this stage the archaeologists aren't even sure if they're written in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or another language.
CHINE – Mancheng - Excavation work began on November 1 at the tomb, located in a village in Mancheng district in Baoding city. Based on the unearthed items and structure of the tomb, the tomb is believed to have been built in the western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-25 A.D.), experts with the provincial cultural relics institute said, Xinhua news agency reported. The 6.6-metre-long, 6-metre-wide tomb may be a subordinate tomb of the prince Liu Sheng which was unearthed in 1968, where a famous burial suit of jade sewn together with gold wire was found. A total of 49 items, including colourful pottery, jade ware and bronze ware, have been discovered in the newly unearthed tomb, providing valuable material for the study of Han history. Three holes were found in the tomb, believed to have been dug by grave robbers. Experts said some items had probably been stolen from the tomb.
PAKISTAN - Moenjodaro - The ongoing construction activity at Moenjodaro had to be stopped at once on Monday when an excavator hit what later turned out to be part of a wall. The stone structure exposed during the digging work was the top of a wall, apparently of a room, said the officials present at the site. They believed that the room would emerge if deeper digging was carried out. Some onlookers claimed that a portion of the “exposed wall” was damaged by the excavator when its operator tried to continue the digging after completing around 10 feet deep excavation. Some other people present at the site also claimed that ancient objects had surfaced at the depth of about eight feet. The culture department had awarded the contract for the construction of the overhead water tank but it emerged that the contractor started the work without informing the site officers.
CANADA – Sahtu - Researchers are documenting Sahtu Dene caribou fences in the Northwest Territories, marking a physical record of Indigenous history in the area.Tom Andrews, an archeologist with the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife, is documenting a kilometre-long wooden fence believed to have been used about 100 years ago in the Sahtu region. "It's a real smart hunting strategy that's probably been used for thousands of years," Andrews said. Hunters used the fence to corral caribou, making it easier for them to hunt them in large numbers. Andrews believes the kilometre-spanning fence he's examining was used by hunters who sold meat to the Hudson's Bay Company in the late 1800s. A university student is also helping find out more about the fence by studying ring lines in trees found near the fence. They hope to create a dating system from the treeline going back 500 years. Caribou fences are also found in the Yukon, with half a dozen located within Vuntut National Park alone.
ISRAEL – Jerusalem – A bronze penny minted by the Greek tyrant from the Hanukkah story was recently stumbled upon by archaeologists amid the ruins of Jerusalem’s Tower of David during routine cleaning of the site. Orna Cohen, chief conservation officer at the iconic Jerusalem landmark, found the small bronze coin a few weeks ago during routine conservation work after a section of the Hasmonean-era city wall that runs through the citadel’s courtyard suffered minor damage. The head of Antiochus IV Epiphanes appears on the front of the bronze penny, and the reverse has a goddess holding something — perhaps a torch — in her hand. Antiochus IV was a Seleucid monarch remembered in Jewish history for his promotion of Hellenization and suppression of religious observances. While he was battling the rival Ptolemaic kingdom in Egypt for control of the Levant, Jewish zealots rose in revolt against Antiochus and the Hellenized high priest installed in the Jerusalem temple.
CANADA – Lac Témiscouata - La découverte d’un couteau amérindien rougeâtre de plus de 1000 ans au Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata viendrait appuyer l’idée que les Autochtones avaient un réseau commercial très vaste à cette époque, au moins du Grand Nord jusqu’au Bas-Saint-Laurent. L’archéologue Marianne-Marilou Leclerc fait des fouilles dans le parc national du Lac-Témiscouata depuis quatre ans. Alors qu’elle cherchait des artéfacts, en septembre dernier, elle a découvert un intrigant biface de couleur rougeâtre brisé en deux.Cette découverte s’est ajoutée à une autre, également récente, soit celle de déchets de taille de pierres provenant du Labrador. Ces pierres et le fameux couteau, qui pourrait provenir du Grand Nord, à plus de 1000 km de l’endroit où il a été découvert, confirmeraient que des groupes se déplaçaient loin avec leurs matériaux et faisaient des échanges à cette époque. Le site archéologique en question, le Jardin des mémoires, pourrait dater de 1000 à 2000 ans et il est en processus de datation. Cet été, on a également trouvé un foyer intact où se trouvaient des restes de matières organiques, comme de la végétation ou de la nourriture, dont on cherchera à connaître la nature et le moment où elles ont été jetées dans le feu.
CHINE - Xinjiang - Archeologists in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have identified a cluster of caves on a paleolithic site, the first ever found in the region. The ruins in Jeminay County date back at least 40,000 years, and workers excavated them from July to September, said Yu Jianjun, researcher with the regional institute of cultural relics and archaeology, on Sunday. More than 400 objects, including stoneware, pottery and bronze, as well as animal fossils, were unearthed. The findings spanned the Old Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age, Yu said. The stone objects resemble Mousterian style, a culture distinguished by its wide range of stone tools, and often associated with Neanderthals from the middle period of the Old Stone Age in Europe, Central and West Asia, and North Africa. Excavation of the ruins will continue in 2017 and 2018.