INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
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WINTER TERM : JANUARY 2017
BULGARIE – Plovdiv - Archaeologists working at the site of the Great Basilica in Plovdiv, the largest early Christian church found on the Balkans, have uncovered a fragment of a mediaeval mural believed to depict St Peter. The fragment is estimated to date to the 13th to 14th centuries. It was found in the hitherto unexamined northern nave, not far from the city’s Roman Catholic church close to the intersection of Maria Louisa and Tsar Boris III boulevards. Two pictorial layers were found, each of them thought to be the work of a Constantinople master, featuring very precise and masterly work, Plovdiv Bulgarian-language news website podtepeto.com said. This proves that the church was of great importance in antiquity and in the Middle Ages, archaeologists working at the site said. Near the mural, archaeologists found a donor inscription on which the name Avram vividly stands out. The inscription is in Byzantine Greek, the report said. The mediaeval church is thought to have served a nearby necropolis. It was founded in the 10th to 11th century. The site has sufficient information to enable accurate dating, excavation head Zheni Tankova said. Tankova said that the mediaeval frescoes found at the Episcopal Basilica were extremely rare, and that makes the site even more important and multi-faceted. In the lobby at the main entrance to the house of worship, a number of depictions of beautiful birds were found, including an amazingly beautiful multi-coloured peacock, the report said.
ROYAUME UNI – Rainhill - A medieval well that was once believed to heal eye diseases and wash away sins has been uncovered in Rainhill . After a series of excavation works by Historic England, St Anne’s Well was uncovered at a private farm in the area. A local legend suggested St Anne’s Well was associated with a nearby priory, lost during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Holy wells were an important part of Christianity in the Middle Ages and St Anne’s Well continued to be revered even after the Dissolution, and by the 19th century it was even thought to cure eye diseases. After two days of careful excavation, Oxford Archaeology North uncovered the well and at almost 2m x 2m it’s a substantial size. Three steps lead down to a pool of water where medieval pilgrims submerged themselves, hoping to benefit from its healing properties.
USA – Fargo - Animal figurines and marbles that might have belonged to a child were found in a pile of debris recently excavated from the former site of a famous downtown brothel. North Dakota State University archaeologist Kristen Fellows said she and her colleague Angela Smith, along with their students, unearthed these and other artifacts as they sifted through mounds of dirt dug up by workers building Fargo's new city hall. Fellows said it's not surprising that toys were found at the brothel because they've been found at other brothel digs around the country. "These women who worked at brothels, some of them had kids, and some of the kids would actually live in the brothel with them," she said. "They would be kept out of view during business hours."The group also found medicine bottles, pieces of old shoes, tin cans and a wheel that might have been part of a serving cart. But, so far, they've found nothing illicit such as weapons or drug paraphernalia.
MEXIQUE – La Boveda - The study was conducted by the archaeologist Araceli Rivera, who emphasized that the ritual was the result of the interaction of the first settlers of Mexico with animals which became extinct during the Ice Age period. The expert reported the discovery of a paleontological site between 2014 and 2015. He found a considerable amount of animal remains on the site, such as teeth, molars, long bones, skulls, ribs and vertebrae of mammoths, camels, horses, llamas and prehistoric bisons, among others. The site is located 20 kilometers from another archaeological site, where the experts found teeth of the aforementioned animals 20 years ago. The experts believe that these remains were used in ancient rituals. The remains were found under a rectangular stone that was covering the mouth of a rocky shelter, which is why the site has been named La Boveda (The Vault). According to archaeologist Araceli Rivera and paleontologist Joaquin Arroyo, also INAH researcher, the remains were used for a ritual conducted by ancient people who may have coexisted with these animals.