22 FEVRIER 2016 NEWS: Dorchester - Must Farm - Egypte - Pérou - Hunan -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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SPRING TERM : APRIL 2016
ROYAUME UNI – Dorchester - Skeletal remains believed to be of an executed female author Thomas Hardy used as the real-life inspiration for his novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles are at the centre of a row between developers and archaeologists over whether or not to dig up her prison grave. Martha Brown was hanged outside Dorchester jail, in Dorset, for the murder of her violent husband in 1856, a macabre event at which a 16-year-old Hardy was in the front row. Nearly 40 years later, the experience was at the forefront of the famous writer's mind when he wrote the ending for his best known heroine Tess Durbeyfield in his 1892 book. In it, Tess was a wronged woman who was hanged at Winchester jail for the murder of Alec D'Urbeville, her violent lover who raped her and prevented her from being with her true love. Records show that eight convicts were executed and buried at Dorchester prison until 1878. Because it is a historic location, archaeologists had to be brought in before any redevelopment could begin and they made numerous exploratory trenches. One them uncovered the old burial grounds for the prisoners, with at least one skull and other remains being dug up.;Out of the eight convicts, only one of them was female, so establishing which are the remains of 44-year-old Martha should be straight forward.
ROYAUME UNI – Must Farm - On the site of the third house in the settlement, the team found a wheel sitting on top of a floor board. It's the largest and most complete Bronze Age wheel ever found in England: the edge is still mostly round, the interior is still intact, and the wheel is still attached to its hub. It has a small hole in it, too, from when, in the 20th century. The wheel was made of oak planks, and the site's director, Mark Knight,told the Guardian that it may have been brought inside for repairs. “My hunch is that 3,000 years ago there was a cart parked up on the dry land, with a wheel missing," he said. This wheel came from one of the most impressive and significant Bronze Age sites in the country, dubbed "Britain's Pompeii". Only one wheel that dates back further has ever been found in England, but that wheel is smaller and less well preserved.
VIDEO - http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/video-news/video-first-complete-bronze-age-wheel-discovered-at-british-pompeii-34467769.html?
EGYPTE – Three-thousand-year-old fingerprints have been found on the lid of an Egyptian coffin by researchers. The prints are most likely to have belonged to craftsmen handling it before the varnish dried, according to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.The discovery was made public ahead of a new exhibition on how Egyptian coffin design changed over 4,000 years. The prints were "one of many small details that bring us closer to the ancient craftsmen," a spokeswoman said. Julie Dawson, head of conservation at the museum, said the prints were first identified in 2005 by researchers at the Fitzwilliam but had "not been widely publicised" before now. They were discovered on an inner coffin lid belonging to the priest Nespawershefyt, dating from about 1,000 BC.
PEROU - The Lima Museum of Art, or MALI, has inaugurated an exhibition that delves deeply into "the mythological and archaeological narrative" that framed the Mochica culture, a pre-Columbian society that lived between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., and was one of the most developed and complex in Peru. The director of "Moche and Its Neighbors: Reconstructing Identities," Cecilia Pardo, told EFE that the show seeks to offer "an archaeological study of the mythological images that defined that culture." One element is the hero Ai Apaec (the powerful, the achiever), a man with catlike attributes who goes to sea to fight against frightening creatures, then moves upon the mountains," Pardo said. The expo is made up of 80 ceramic, metal and fabric items associated with Mochica art and on loan from Peru's Larco Museum, the National Museum of Archaeology, and from archaeological remains on the north coast, such as San Jose de Moro and the Huacas of Moche. One of the two galleries is dedicated to Ai Apaec, and Pardo notes his importance because, "for the first time, we can confirm that these seemingly semi-divine characters are in fact real."About the Moche hero, Pardo spoke of his relations with "people at the limits of the world, limits that this complex civilization determined to be at sea and on the mountains, and were "fundamental to their concept" of the universe. Ai Apaec traded in various goods including coca leaf, which he obtained from eastern communities like La Libertad and Cajamarca. The second gallery exhibits the construction of the "collective identity of the Moches, the process of consolidating the Mochica state, and its relations with neighboring populations and the lands along the coast, in the south and on the mountains," Pardo said. The exhibition, open until Aug. 14, is part of the MALI initiative to organize a different pre-Columbian art exhibition every year; in 2017 it will be dedicated to the Nazca culture, the director said.
CHINE – Hunan - Authorities in Hunan Province in Central China are offering a reward to anyone who can decipher the inscription on the back of six ancient gold coins, the Xinhua News Agency reported. According to the report, the ancient coins, which are classified as first-level national cultural relics, were contained in a small white glazed pot, unearthed at a farm in Henan in the 1960s. Since they were sent to the museum in the 1980s, archaeologists have been baffled by the inscription on the coins, the report said. According to Peng Jia, bureau director, the coins were manufactured using the Greek coinage method during Delhi Sultanate period, sometime in the middle of China's Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).Peng said that the coins' front was inscribed with a rare form of Arabic writing, mentioning the name of a King or a monarch title.