26 JUILLET 2018: Maltepe - Yucatan - Barrow Clump - Loughcrew - Tengzhou -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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SUMMER TERM : JULY 2018
BULGARIE – Maltepe - Archaeologists have finished mapping out the extent of a large Roman tomb near the city of Plovdiv and were preparing to begin excavations on the tomb. Located under the Maltepe burial mound, one of the largest of its kind on the Balkan peninsula at 26 metres high, at a depth of five metres, the tomb itself had a square base of seven metres on each side and was about five metres tall, according to the results of tomographic scans. It appears to be similar, if not identical, in size and layout to the tomb of Roman emperor Carinus, buried in the town of Viminacium in present-day Serbia, after his death in battle against Diocletian in 285 CE. The tomb under Maltepe burial mound is believed to date to the same period, the third century CE, judging by the pottery shards and several coins found on the site during excavations last summer. The tomb’s close location to Plovdiv, known as Phillippopolis in ancient times, has led archaeologists to believe that the tomb holds the remains of a local noble, either Thracian or Roman. “One of the most characteristic indicators that the tomb is most likely linked to a Thracian dignitary is its location inside a burial mound,” Kisyov told BNT. Leaving coins and pottery on top of tombs was also part of Thracian burial rituals, he said. The excavations have reached the ceiling of the tomb and archaeologists were looking for a way in, he said. Part of the ceiling appeared to have been damaged by treasure hunters in the past.
MEXIQUE – Yucatan - Deep in the jungle, archaeologist Sergio Grosjean Abimerhi and his team discovered what could be the most important Mayan cave paintings on the Yucatan Peninsula. The paintings cover a rock approximately 15 meters (49 feet) long and 5 meters high inside a cave in eastern Yucatan state, which also holds a small sinkhole of blue water. “These are not the only cave paintings in the Yucatan, but they’re the most important because they have so many elements: birds, mammals, a cross, geometric figures, human forms including a warrior, as well as hands both negative and positive,” Grosjean, head of the Mexican Institute of Ecology, Science and Culture, told EFE. The archaeologist said his team is motivated by this new discovery because it will provide new information about Mayan customs, “though we don’t yet know what these cave paintings mean nor to what period they belong.” He said they have contacted researchers at the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) and other specialists with whom they will meet in the coming days at the site in order to identify the elements. “Right now we’re unable to reveal the exact location, because unfortunately in the Yucatan, the looters and vandals are always a step ahead of us,” he said.
Grosjean, a certified diver, said that to study the meaning of the pictures, the team will take photos and then, “if the authorities allow it,” they will carry out a sustainable project giving visitors access to the site, and with that, they will “create jobs for local residents.”
ROYAUME UNI – Barrow Clump - On the last day of an excavation by soldiers within the military training lands on Salisbury Plain, they found a comrade in arms: the grave of a 6th century Saxon warrior, buried with his spear by his side and his sword in his arms. His bones and possessions, which included a handsome belt buckle, a knife and tweezers, were remarkably well preserved despite his grave lying under a military trackway on which tanks and massive military vehicles have been trundling across the plain. Pattern welded swords, high status objects, are rarely found intact: his was lifted in one piece, complete with traces of its wood and leather scabbard. Barrow Clump has a remarkably long history of human activity. The Bronze Age burial mound built on an even older Neolithic settlement, was reused as an Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
IRLANDE – Loughcrew - The drought conditions have revealed another major archaeological find - what may have been the childhood home of St Oliver Plunkett outside Oldcastle. The martyred saint grew up in Oldcastle on what is now the Loughcrew estate, but the actual site of the house was unknown until now.The recent hot dry weather has exposed the clear outline of a house, with a path leading from it directly to the church in the grounds of the Loughcrew estate. Just over a week ago, the outline of what seems to be a major Neolithic ceremonial centre was spotted in a field adjoining the prehistoric burial site at Newgrange. The current Loughcrew House was built around 1800 and the footprint of the Irish Long House, which was built in the 1670s, is in the gardens. Saint Oliver's family church is also still standing in the gardens. The 1612 civil survey describes the tower house, motte and bailey and ring fort, which are still on the estate. It also mentions the church, a millhouse as well as 60 cabins in the garden, along with what was then the main house.
CHINE - Tengzhou - A total of 136 tombs have been unearthed in a cemetery dating back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 B.C.) in east China''s Shandong Province, local archeological authorities said today. The cemetery is located in Dahan Village of Tengzhou City, according to the provincial cultural heritage and archaeology institute. Liu Yanchang, a researcher from the institute said that the excavation of the cemetery started in October last year. So far, 100 small tombs, 36 large and medium-sized tombs, as well as more than 800 items of ceramic, jade, bone and bronzeware have been found. 'Based on the size of the tombs, distribution and number of burial objects, the large and medium-sized tombs might belong to nobles. Their nationalities haven't been identified yet,' Liu said.
'The tomb owner with the highest social level that we've found, owned a 40-square-meter chamber and had a plenty of objects in his tomb, including five bodies entombed alive with the owner and three large bronze tripods. The identity of the tomb owner is currently hard to tell as the tomb was raided before, Liu said. Archaeologists found the tomb structures, burial customs and shapes and patterns on items unearthed from the tombs featured elements from the culture of ancient Dongyi tribes. Findings in the cemetery can help people understand the formation and development of culture in the region, according to archaeologists.