21 MARS 2020
ONLINE COURSES / COURS A DISTANCE
WINTER TERM : APRIL 2020
GRECE – Kos - Mysterious tablet bearing a Roman emperor’s orders from around 2,000 years ago has long been thought by some scholars to refer to early Christian claims of Jesus’ resurrection from a tomb in the Middle Eastern village of Nazareth. But new research has opened up an entirely different possibility —that the marble slab issued a general demand for law and order after Greek islanders vandalized the tomb of their recently deceased ruler. For the Christian theory to be correct, the document bearing 22 lines of Greek text — known as the Nazareth Inscription — would probably have been written on a piece of Middle Eastern marble. That also would make the tablet the oldest object linked to early Christianity. Instead, a chemical analysis of the marble puts its origins in a quarry on the Greek island of Kos, near Turkey’s southwestern coast, says a team led by Roman historian Kyle Harper of the University of Oklahoma in Norman. That suggests the unnamed emperor’s edict, decreeing that anyone who disturbs tombs and graves or destroys corpses be killed, was a response to a break-in at the grave of a Kos tyrant named Nikias by his former subjects, the researchers report in the April Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. Nikias ruled Kos during the 30s B.C. before being overthrown. News of the people of Kos dragging Nikias’ body from its resting place and scattering his bones apparently spread by word of mouth and created a scandal. Not long after that incident, one Greek poet used the life of Nikias as an example of a reversal of fortune. The researchers propose the tablet was probably issued by the first Roman emperor, Augustus, as a call for law and order in the eastern Mediterranean. The tablet’s message and the style of the inscribed Greek lettering suggest the document dates to between roughly 2,100 and 1,900 years ago.
SLOVAQUIE – Trnava - Decorated ceramics, tools made of antler, and stone tool fragments made by members of the Lengyel culture have been unearthed in western Slovakia by a team led by archaeologist Andrej Žitňan. The artifacts, estimated to be more than 6,000 years old, were excavated near a medieval fortification wall in the town of Trnava. “Its existence until these days is a matter of lucky circumstances because it was preserved in the narrow area between the wall and the filled town ditch,” said Peter Grznár of the local Regional Monument Board. The town is also known for Neolithic figurines called the Trvana Venuses, which have been dated to about 6,700 years ago. Žitňan said the new discovery suggests the Neolithic settlement that once stood on the site was larger than previously thought.
TURQUIE – Perge - A sculpture portraying a woman which has been on display in the Antalya Archeological Museum for nearly 50 years has recently been discovered to belong to Sappho, the first and most important female poet of ancient Greece. The museum maintains that the bust was discovered in the ancient city of Perge, Sappho was born in 630 B.C. and died around 570 B.C. She was widely regarded in ancient times as one of the greatest lyric poets and was given epithets such as “The Tenth Muse” and “The Poetess” . “Unfortunately, we only have 7-8% of her poems left currently, while the rest have been lost. She lived on Lesbos Island. At that time, Lesbos was an island influenced by Anatolian culture. These islands have never developed outside of Anatolian culture.
SYRIE – Tell Abu Hureyra - Il y a des milliers d'années, un des premiers villages se formait à Tell Abu Hureyra, en Syrie. Des fouilles dans les années 70 ont permis d'y découvrir les plus anciennes traces de sédentarisation. Les hommes y domestiquaient les plantes (céréales, légumineuses) et les animaux (gazelles, moutons, chèvres et poissons). Mais ce village aurait été entièrement détruit. Pourquoi ? Maintenant submergé par les eaux du lac artificiel el-Assad, le site n'est plus exploitable. Heureusement, les éléments récoltés lors des fouilles sont de précieux indices. La destruction du village aurait été causé, il y a 12 800 ans, par l'impact d'un corps cosmique avec l'atmosphère, provoquant la chute de météorites de tailles différentes. Ce phénomène aurait fortement augmenté les températures, si bien que les conditions n'étaient plus vivables pour l'homme. En effet, des chercheurs de Californie ont retrouvé, dans les fouilles, du verre fondu dans lequel se trouvaient des minéraux comme la chromite, le quartz, le zircon. Ces matières fondent à de très hautes températures, entre 1410° et 2265° C. Le premier village sédentarisé aurait ainsi été anéanti. Et ce n'aurait pas été le seul ! Plusieurs autres endroits auraient été détruits par des météorites à cette époque, conduisant à des changements climatiques importants lors de la limite avec le Dryas récent, période glaciaire de 12 800 à 11 500 ans avant notre ère. La Terre aurait alors connu une importante diminution de la population humaine et l'extinction de certaines espèces. Ce serait d'ailleurs à ce moment que les mammouths auraient disparu...Source : Nature, mars 2020