24 DECEMBRE 2015 NEWS: Lambayeque - Qinghai - Bosra al-Sham -
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PEROU – Lambayeque - The most important milestones for Peruvian archaeology were registered in the Lambayeque region. Without a doubt, one of them was the discovery of tombs containing remains of Sipan’s Mochica elite members. According to Carlos Aguilar Calderon, head of the Executive Unit 005 Naylamp-Lambayeque, this extraordinary event is a milestone in the Peruvian archeology, and has international implications. The impact was such that it has been felt throughout the world for decades and is still drawing comments. “Things have clearly changed. The Mochica history’s perspective has reached a turning point, cultural tourism has expanded and a number of elements we know have raised, thus generating a significant economy activity in Lambayeque and the country,” he pointed out. Another milestone was the discovery of Sican tombs in 1991 and 1992. “We have to admit investigations have helped understand this society from the approach of precious metal objects, the burial paraphernalia, and their content and meaning in life. Lambayeque’s archaeology was strengthened after these incidents and scientific research of archaeological monuments acquired a connotation that has enhanced its authors and enriched knowledge of pre-Columbian cultures,” he claimed. Other highlights include findings under the Tucume Archaeological Project, a one-of-a-kind proposal that has drawn extraordinary results since 1988, when Thor Heyerdahl, Daniel Sandweiss and Alfredo Narvaez started one of the pioneering and more successful projects on the coast of Peru.
TIBET – Qinghai - A group of fossils discovered on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have been confirmed as pliocene-era bone-crushing hyenas, which date back some four million years, a Chinese archaeologist said Wednesday. The fossilized teeth and lower jaws were discovered in 2012 at an altitude of 4,195 meters in the Zanda basin, southwest of Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China. After years of research by Chinese and U.S. scientists, both sides agreed that the fossils date from the Pliocene Epoch (five to three million years ago), making this discovery the first on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, according to the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. "Pliocene hyenas were dog-like predators. Their bone-crushing teeth were perfect for tearing up prey," said Li Qiang, an IVPP researcher and member of the research team. Apart from the hyenas, canids and Tibetan antelopes also lived on the Zanda basin during the early Pliocene. Research on the fossils has proved that hyenas lived on the plateau, and as far as west Europe, during the early Pliocene. Most of hyena species, distributed mainly across Asia, Europe and Africa, became extinct 700,000 years ago. The African spotted hyena is the only hyena species to survive today.
SYRIE – Bosra al-Sham - UNESCO lists Bosra al-Sham, once the capital of the Roman Empire’s Arabia Province, as a World Heritage Site for its archaeological treasures.The Syrian regime has bombed an ancient city complex in the Daraa province listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in the latest damage to hit the country’s beleaguered archaeological sites during the course of the civil war. “Parts of an ancient citadel in southern Syria, including its uniquely preserved 2nd century Roman theater, were damaged on Tuesday, when Syrian regime helicopters bombed th earchaeological site,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. UNESCO lists Bosra al-Sham, once the capital of the Roman Empire’s Arabia Province, as a World Heritage Site for its archaeological treasures, including the amphitheater and surrounding medieval fort as well as a number of Mosques and ancient Christian ruins. The second century amphitheater, which was probably constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan, was incorporated in to the surrounding Bosra citadel by subsequent medieval rulers. The report said Syrian regime barrel bombs had caused “the collapse of the pillars surrounding the courtyard that looks out onto the archaeological Roman theatre from the West as well as the destruction of the entrance to the courtyard from the South, which connects the first and second levels.” “A deep crater was made in the floor of the courtyard… the barrel bomb also breached the second level of the passageways surrounding the theatre causing a collapse… that blocked [several of the] passageways with large stones.” “Additionally, there are big and dangerous cracks that could lead to collapses in the walls of the western tower and the roof of the celestial courtyard.”