23 JANVIER 2023 NEWS
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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PEROU – Nazca - In a major archaeological discovery, a team of Peruvian and Japanese researchers have discovered 168 new geoglyphs in the ancient Nazca Plain in Peru, near to the enormous glyphs that remain as mysterious as they are famous. Found during 2 years of aerial surveys, their discovery led to the creation of a new archaeological park to protect them. The famous Nazca Lines are enormous depictions of humans and animals carved into the ground of a flat plain by ancient peoples. Their monumental scale was only discovered after flight, when a pair of eyes could be high enough to see the whole two dimensional image. The originals measure hundreds of yards, but the new discoveries are smaller. Jorge Olano, head archaeologist for the Nazca Lines research program, said the new geoglyphs averaged between two and six meters (6.56 to 19.7 feet) in length. They were made by removing the black stone of the plain to uncover its white soil below, and line series of ancient trails. By 2018, the team had identified 190 geoglyphs by collecting images from aerial surveys and drones, which when added together with this latest batch makes for a total of 358 previously-unknown geoglyphs discovered by the Japanese-Peruvian team. Believed to have been carved between 100 BCE and 200 CE, they depict humans, camelids such as llamas, alpacas and guanacos, birds, orcas, felines, and snakes, and at times can look almost childish. Their purpose, as well as their larger cousins which make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is unknown.
POLOGNE – Gdańsk - New dates obtained from traces of a tenth-century Slavic settlement found in the cellars under the Main City Hall in Gdańsk have pushed back the founding of the city to A.D. 930, according to a Science in Poland report. “Radiocarbon dating gave a result between the years 911 and 951, while dendrochronology indicated the year 930,” said Waldemar Ossowski of the Museum of Gdańsk. He explained that previous dates for the founding of the city had been based upon the remains of thirteenth-century buildings and a possible tenth-century rampart found nearby in the 1970s. The wooden structures in the city hall cellars were preserved by a natural wetland, and were probably left in place to add to buildings constructed on the site in the fourteenth century, he added. The wooden structures will be reburied in the waterlogged cellars and secured with geotextiles to protect them, Ossowski concluded.
ALLEMAGNE – Germering. - Archaeologists in Bavaria, Germany, have unearthed a 3,000-year-old wooden wishing well overflowing with more than 100 artifacts dating to the Bronze Age. Unlike modern-day wishing wells, where people toss in coins and make a wish, the items in this well were placed there for "ritual purposes" in what is now the Bavarian town of Germering. The artifacts included more than 70 well-preserved clay vessels, including numerous decorative bowls, cups and pots that were used for special occasions and not "simple everyday crockery. Archaeologists also found more than two dozen bronze robe pins, a bracelet, four amber beads, two metal spirals, a mounted animal tooth and a wooden scoop.
ANGLETERRE – Wintringham - A number of decapitated skeletons have been uncovered by archaeologists at a Roman burial site. The discovery, which included evidence of Roman and Iron Age settlements, was made at Wintringham near St Neots, Cambridgeshire. rchaeologists uncovered an Iron Age settlement composed of 40 roundhouses and a network of trackways and enclosures related to farming activities. The Oxford Archaeology team also discovered Roman coins, brooches, a large lead lid or platter, and numerous pottery vessels. A Roman kiln and a large number of quern and millstones, used to grind grains, were also found. Experts said the decapitated skeletons dated back to the third century AD, with 11 out of the 17 burials having their heads positioned by the feet. The individuals were interred carefully, often buried with pottery and in one case, a pottery vessel was found in place of the head, archaeologists said.
GRECE – Tenea - For centuries, Tenea was a lost city only described in Greek myths and historical texts, such as in the legend of Oedipus, the mythical king of Thebes, or the story of Archias of Corinth, who took colonists from Tenea and founded the city of Syracuse on the Italian island of Sicily. Recent excavations by Korkas and the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, have revealed the extent of the settlement area of the city, in addition to a multitude of new discoveries. Four excavation sectors were investigated, revealing a large public building from the Roman period that measures 156 square metres. The building has elaborate stone masonry and contained a cache of 18 silver and copper coins, in addition to an iron pickaxe, an iron key, a stylus and Roman ceramics. Excavations also uncovered a collection of votive figurines, and a cache of 2100 coins in a building among Roman shops. The coins mainly date from the 5th and 6th century AD. Among them are coins depicting Follis of Cyzicus, Theodosius, Marcian, Leo I, Zeno, Anastasius I Dicorus, Justin I and Justinian I, as well as a copper coin from the 4th century AD. A building measuring 145 square metres was found near the Roman commercial centre, which in the lower layers of the foundations contained ceramics from the Archaic and Classical periods, in addition to 4th century BC Corinthian drachma and half-drachma, a significant number of miniature vases, lamps, and figurines depicting birds, horses and other animals. Near the city necropolis, the team discovered a Roman burial monument with an underground chamber. Within the monument, archaeologists found a 1st century BC coin minted in Corinth, a bronze coin from Athens from the Classical period, a lamp with a representation of the god Ares, a glass incense burner, an urn, a cup and a lamp. The chamber beneath the monument contained the burial of a child, placed in a tomb covered with a ceramic roof. To the east of the monument, an 18 metre long retaining wall was uncovered that was constructed from rectangular processed stones. The wall appears to have been interrupted during Roman times in order to build a large cistern, which was probably the primary water supply for the city during the Roman period.
NEPAL – Tilaurakot - Excavations have been started again this year inside the Tilaurakot Palace. A team of experts from the Department of Archeology has resumed the excavation of the Maurya-era pond in the central part of Tilaurakot. Tilaurakot is believed to be the administrative hub of King Suddhodhan and the place where Siddartha Gautam spent 29 years in the fifth century BC. under this campaign, the Maurya-era pond, which was found during excavations last year, was excavated for further research. The survey revealed a structure with an area of 30 by 30 meters slightly sunken into the ground. Physical examinations showed a wide outer wall around it. Excavations revealed that there was a large pond lined with mud bricks inside the structure. During the excavation in 2015, 26 layers of bricks were found and the layers of bricks were arranged in order, said Bhaskar Gyawali, an officer of the Department of Archeology. Bricks of the pond were found to be some 45 cm in length. Gyawali said that radio carbon dating of this structure revealed that the pond was built during the Mauryan period. The department had started a study last year to identify the wall to the south of the pond. About 12 meters of the wall on the southern side was excavated last year. The remaining 11 meters will be excavated this year. During the excavation, the length of the southern wall was found to be 27 meters. This year’s research has revealed the fact that this pond was built at different periods of time.
FRANCE – Beziers - Les vestiges découverts sur le site « Mazeran 5 » sont datés de plusieurs périodes du Néolithique. Un groupe de creusements de plan circulaire se rattache au Néolithique moyen (4500-3600 av. J.-C.). Il correspond à une petite batterie de silos dont les parties supérieures ont été détruites par l’érosion et les labours. Les vestiges découverts dans ces fosses sont peu nombreux et il est probable que cette zone, dédiée au stockage des céréales, ne se trouvait pas à proximité directe de l’habitat de la communauté paysanne qui a exploité ces terrains il y a 6000 ans. L’un des silos a servi de lieu d’inhumation pour un individu masculin, ce qui est une pratique récurrente à cette époque. Un autre a livré une petite lame de faucille en silex importé du Vaucluse qui a servi à couper des tiges de céréales. Des creusements de taille plus importante et riches en objets archéologiques appartiennent à une phase plus récente du Néolithique (3500-2500 av. J.-C.). Il s’agit de resserres et de grandes caves de stockage dont la surface peut dépasser les 20 m² et dont la profondeur devait être supérieure à 1,5 m. Une petite resserre de 3,5 m² contenait, sur son fond, des bûches calcinées correspondant probablement à une superstructure effondrée, construite en bois et en terre crue. Une grande cave contenait de nombreux blocs de terre crue correspondant à des éléments d’architecture en position secondaire. Le mobilier récolté dans le comblement de ces caves évoque les témoins habituellement découverts en contexte d’habitat : des restes de céramique, de la faune domestique (bovins, caprins) et des éléments de macro-outillage liés au traitement des céréales. L’abondance des meules et molettes témoigne de l’importante activité de mouture réalisée sur le site qui avait une vocation agricole. Vers le changement d’ère « Mazeran 7 » , le terroir déjà amendé depuis la fin de l’âge du Fer est remis en valeur. Des plants de vignes s’y accumulent et un verger y est entretenu (l’étude est en cours pour identifier les essences). La présence d’un premier habitat en matériaux périssables est envisagée (adobes et pains de terre crue en quantité). Dans le courant du Ier s. ap. J.-C. de nouvelles constructions, plus amples et à vocation agricole, sont établies. Elles sont entretenues tout au long des IIe et du IIIe s. et gardent leur vocation utilitaire. Dans la cour centrale de cet établissement, un puits a été mis au jour.Le cuvelage bâti s’enfonce sur une profondeur de près de dix-huit mètres, ménageant un conduit interne d’un peu plus d’un mètre de diamètre. Le fond en cuvette est taillé dans la roche marneuse imperméable. À la base du remplissage ont été découverts les débris de petites lattes de bois associées à des ferrures, évoquant un seau qui a pu servir au puisage. Les nombreux tessons de dolium corroborent notamment la vocation vinicole de l’établissement. Un fond complet de ce type de contenant, noirci par le feu, atteste un réemploi comme structure foyère. Des fragments de meules en basalte d’Orvieto permettent de restituer un moulin à sang (à force animale). Enfin, d’importantes séries d’os de faune interroge sur l’entretien du cheptel dans ce secteur périurbain.