26 JUIN 2018: Shahroud - Zhaotong - Yenisei River -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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SUMMER TERM : JULY 2018
IRAN – Shahroud - Probing operations have been launched in the Neolithic site in order to determine the true limits of the historic enclosure of Emadeddin in Shahroud. Referring to the location of the enclosure in the southern border of the city of Shahroud, he said the area was accidentally discovered in 2015 by the owner of a piece of land wherein part of the site was located. The archaeologist further remarked that based on surface evidence the main part of the site belongs to the flint culture in the northeast of the Iranian plateau which dates back to the late 7th millennium up to the end of the 6th millennium BC. He noted that, however, further surface evidence suggests continued settlement in the site until the middle of the 5th millennium BC. The head of the archeology team said that the standard site for the Neolithic culture of northeast of Iran is the flint hills of Bastam, located 14 kilometers north of Emadeddin enclosure, which was widely explored by a Japanese delegation in 1970s, but the results were not published. According to the archaeologist, more than 90% of the newly found site, located near the Shahroud-Mashhad ring road, has been severely damaged due to the creation of vineyards and orchards. Rezvani Nikabadi said: “A remarkable number of hand-made living instruments of the Neolithic period, such as the stone mortar, quern, grindstone and stone axes, have been discovered from among the plowed soil in the site. He attributed the importance of the site to the presence of clear evidence in it of the continued settlement from the late 7th millennium to the middle of the 5th millennium BC, about 2,000 years. He emphasized that destruction of parts of the huge enclosure due to the creation of orchards and the ring road has added to the complexity of probing operations for determining the real limits of the area. According to the archeologist, so far, evidence of Neolithic life has been identified in a depth of 3 meters, and it is believed that more evidence would be found at deeper points elsewhere in the site. Saying that Emadeddin enclosure is the seventh site of the Neolithic period (flint culture) which has been identified in the Shahroud region, he reiterated that the culture is the oldest culture of rural dwelling in the eastern half of the Iranian plateau.
CHINE - Zhaotong - Archaeologists in southwest China's Yunnan Province have discovered 11 stone-chamber tombs from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The tombs were discovered during the latest excavation of the 1,500-square-meters of ruins in Suijiang County of Zhaotong City, according to the city's heritage management office. Yu Tengsong, head with the office, said that most tombs had two chambers, while some had three, five or eight. Made of quality bluestone, each chamber has two doors connecting to other rooms and is engraved with delicate images of figures and flowers. "The discovery, in particular the rare eight-chamber tomb, reflects the booming economy of the northeastern region of Yunnan in the Yuan and Ming dynasties, and will further aid research on the history and social life of the area," Yu said. More than 20 cultural relics including pottery and metalware were unearthed in the tombs.
RUSSIE – Yenisei River - Archaeologists exploring a previously water covered region of southern Siberia discovered mummified remains of a young woman, one who belonged to the Hunnu culture and was probably a noble back in the day. Unearthed from a burial site located on the bank of the Yenisei River, the mummy was dated to be nearly 2,000 years old, according to initial analysis. It is very well-preserved and accompanied with an ancient mirror and commodities related to a funerary ritual. While three decades of reservoir water is more than enough to destroy a body, this one remained pretty well preserved due to the cover of the grave, which kept everything safe from the impact of the water. “The lower part of the body is well-preserved,” Marina Kilunovskaya, the leader of the search, told TASS. “It is not a classical mummy, though. The grave remained tightly sealed under the stone cover all along. The body underwent natural mummification". As a result, they were able to recover soft tissue samples, skin fragments, remains of clothing, and goods that were buried with the woman. “On the mummy are what we believe to be silk clothes, a beaded belt with a jet buckle, apparently with a pattern,” Natalya Solovieva, the deputy director of the institute told the Siberian Times. "Near the head was found a round wooden box covered with birch-bark in which lay a Chinese mirror in a felt case.” They also found a pair of vessels with funerary meals. As one of the two vessels and other ceramic utensils unearthed from the grave were typical of the ancient Hunnu funeral practices, the team posited that the woman was probably a young, highly regarded nomadic Hun. The Hunnu people lived in northern China and southern Siberia at the end of the 3rd century BC. They migrated westwards after the collapse of their empire and mixed with locals. It is believed that the mummy and the accompanying artifacts, which have been removed from the grave for long-term preservation, will provide more insight into the history of this culture and the young noble woman in question.