24 JANVIER 2021 NEWS
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ESPAGNE – Montelirio - A team excavating the megalithic tomb of Montelirio tholos in 2007 through 2010 uncovered a dagger formed from rock crystal that experts say is the ‘most technically sophisticated’ ever to be uncovered in Prehistoric Iberia and would have taken enormous skill to carve. The artifact, which is about 5,000 years old, is nearly 8.5 inches long and was found along with 10 arrowheads, four blades and a core for making weapons, all of which were rock crystal. The weapon’s final resting place is far from crystal mines, which suggests they once belonged to an elite individual who paid a hefty price to have the materials sourced and shaped. ‘They probably represent funerary paraphernalia only accessible to the elite of this time-period,’ reads the study published in the journal Quaternary International.‘The association of the dagger blade to a handle made of ivory, also a non-local raw material that must have been of great value, strongly suggests the high-ranking status of the people making use of such objects.’
ROYAUME UNI – Tormore - The discovery of a cursus monument site at Tormore on the Isle of Arran, which is more than a kilometre long, is helping to reshape Neolithic history in Scotland with such landmarks usually associated with the east coast. Cursus monuments were often defined by long lines of timber posts, forming a long rectangle, and were amongst the most spectacular features in the Neolithic landscape. The posts may have served as a procession route, perhaps to honour the dead. Some were burned to the ground in an almighty display which is believed to have been part of the ceremonies associated with these huge monuments. The site was discovered following an aerial laser scan of the site using Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) technology, which uses laser pulses to measure objects.
RUSSIE – Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov - Elk teeth pendants may have been the jewelry of choice for at least one Stone Age group that lived 8,200 years ago. A Stone Age burial ground on a small Russian island revealed more than 4,300 Eurasian elk teeth pendants found in 84 separate burials. The placement of the pendants in these graves suggests they were attached to coats, dresses, cloaks, belts and headdresses -- although the clothing itself has not survived the passage of time. The island, only about 1.5 miles across, is called Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov, and it's located in Lake Onega, found in Russia's Republic of Karelia. In addition to the elk teeth, there was also a significant dusting of red ocher in the graves, a natural clay pigment used for ornamentation and other purposes. The study published last month in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.
ISRAEL – et-Taiyiba - Archaeologists have unearthed a 1,500-year-old inscribed Christian blessing that begins, "Christ, born of Mary," the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported Wednesday (Jan. 20). The stone inscription, written in Greek, was once part of a lintel (the structure that spans the top of door frames) that decorated the entrance of a church, located in what is now et-Taiyiba (also called Taiba), a village in Israel's northern Jezreel Valley.,The church itself dates to the late fifth century A.D., meaning it may have been built during the Byzantine Empire. In addition to the lintel, archaeologists found that the previously unknown church contained mosaic pavements arranged in a geometric design. The inscription was likely created for the church's opening dedication, according to Leah Di-Segni, a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who translated the text. In full, the inscription reads, "Christ born of Mary. This work of the most God-fearing and pious bishop [Theodo]sius and the miserable Th[omas] was built from the foundation - -. Whoever enters should pray for them." The opening line, "Christ born of Mary," was likely intended to protect the reader of the inscription from evil forces — it's a common phrase used in inscriptions and documents from that time, Di-Segni said. "The inscription greets those who enter and blesses them," Di-Segni said in a statement from the IAA. "It is therefore clear that the building is a church, and not a monastery: Churches greeted believers at their entrance, while monasteries tended not to do this." Theodosius, one of the men referenced in the inscription, was one of the first Christian bishops and the building's founder. Theodosius was a regional archbishop, meaning he had religious authority over the larger metropolis of Bet She'an, which included what is now et-Taiyiba.
NORVEGE – Bodø - November 2019 found Arne Anderson Stamnes, an archaeologist at the NTNU University Museum, methodically wending his way back and forth across the fields just east of the campsite in Bodø municipality. Behind the four-wheeler he's driving, he's towing a ground penetrating radar device. "Our findings included traces of 15 burial mounds, and one of them appears to contain a boat grave. Both the size and design of the burial mounds are typical of the period 650 to 950 CE—that is, what we call the Merovingian Period and Viking Age," says Stamnes. "A lot of the mounds are big. The largest burial mound has an inner dimension of 32 meters and must have been a towering presence in the landscape," he says. In fact, this giant mound is one of the largest burial mounds known in the region. The GPR surveys also revealed 1257 pits of various sizes. It's even harder to say for sure what all these are. Most likely they're a bit of everything—from cooking pits and post holes to nothing special. According to some theories, the area around the earlier Bodin municipality—including the scanned areas—was once the seat of a chiefdom that had sovereignty in the Salten district. n any case, there is little doubt that a powerful family lived here, based on the size and number of the tombs gathered in one burial ground. Eight of the burial mounds are circular in shape, while seven are oblong. Long mounds are often interpreted to be female graves, so judging by the numbers, the burial ground contains an even gender balance. "Five of the round grave monuments have a diameter greater than 17.5 meters, where the largest measures about 32 meters. The long mounds are between 17.7 and 29 meters long," Stamnes says. "Building such large tombs is resource-intensive, so it's plausible that the people buried here had great power and influence, both locally and regionally," he says.
INDE – Ranganatha Betta - The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has unearthed a 2.5 lakh-year-old palaeolithic (old stone age) stone tools production unit at a hillock located in Taminaal village near Badami in the district. A four-member team of the Prehistoric Branch from Nagpur is working at Ranganatha Betta (hill) located between Taminaal and Katharaki village. We have found out about the industry, which is estimated to be about 2.5 lakh-years-old.” The stone tools include burins, choppers, scrapers, hand axe and cleaver in the Ranganatha Hill. These are unique and rare stone tools production industries that were characterized by the high precision in manufacturing that these human groups used in their daily life. The profusion of stone tools discovered from this site indicates the numerical density of prehistoric communities that lived in this region.
PEROU – Huaca de las Abejas - The remains of two children who likely hailed from Incan aristocracy have been discovered in tombs located in the 500-year-old Huaca de las Abejas archaeological site in Peru's Lambayeque region. Escudero also noted that the remains of a llama domesticated by the Incas to provide them with meat and wool was found nearby. Other discoveries include ceramic utensils used by the elite. The complex comprises the remnants of numerous adobe and clay pyramids which, as the media outlet notes, archaeologists believe "formed an administrative and ceremonial centre created around 1,100 AD and absorbed into the Incan Empire around 1,500 AD.