26 JUIN 2022 NEWS
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ANGLETERRE – Canterbury - The archaeological finds on the outskirts of Canterbury in Kent confirm the presence of people there between 560,000 and 620,000 years ago. It makes it one of the earliest known Palaeolithic sites in northern Europe. The breakthrough, involving controlled digs and radiometric dating, comes a century after stone tools were first uncovered at the location. The research, led by a Cambridge University team, confirms that homo heidelbergensis, an ancestor of Neanderthals, occupied southern Britain when it was still attached to Europe. The university's Dr Alastair Key, who directed the excavations in an ancient riverbed, said: "The diversity of tools is fantastic. We found rare evidence of scraping and piercing implements."
ISRAEL – Rahat - Three years after finding one of the world’s earliest rural mosques in southern Israel, archaeologists have found a second one in the same town. Both mosques were discovered during different stages of salvation excavations in the Bedouin town of Rahat, in the northern Negev, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday. The two mosques are both approximately 1,200 years old, though precise dating is challenging under the circumstances – and the newly unearthed one was built a few hundred meters from the ruins of a strangely magnificent mansion that had apparently belonged to wealthy Byzantine Christians. The newly found mosque is classic in structure, including a square room and a wall facing the “sacred” direction of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca. The structure also contains a niche shaped in a half-circle, called a mihrab, located along the center of the wall and also pointing southward toward Mecca.
CHINE – Laolongtou - On June 18, at the Laolongtou site in Yanyuan County, Sichuan Province, archaeologists have uncovered more than 1,100 tombs dating from the late Shang Dynasty to the early Western Han Dynasty. More than 5,000 relics have been unearthed, including pottery, bronze, iron, gold, silver, stone, jade, glass, bones (including seashells), and so on. The bronze weaving set is the most complete bronze belt machine found in Southwest China, and the bronze tricycle is one of the earliest material models of a tricycle found in China. The bronze chandeliers, which come in various shapes and sizes, first draw attention to the distinctive beliefs and practices of the local community.
COREE – Gimhae - According to a statement released by the University of Vienna, the genomes of eight people who lived some 1,700 years ago in the Gaya confederacy of small city-states in what is now southern South Korea have been analyzed by a team of researchers from the University of Vienna, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, and the National Museum of Korea. One of the sets of remains belonged to a child that had been buried in the Yuha-ri shell mound. The others were recovered from the tomb complex at the Daesung-dong tumuli. The study suggests that the population living in the Gaya confederacy was more diverse than the present-day Korean population. Isolation of the Korean peninsula following the Three Kingdoms period probably led to the mixing of its populations, the researchers explained. The study also revealed that the genetic differences found between the eight individuals were not related to their social status. “We have observed that there is no clear genetic difference between the grave owners and the human sacrifices,” said Pere Gelabert of the University of Vienna.
PEROU – Lima - Scientists have unearthed an Inca-era tomb in the heart of Peru's capital Lima, archaeologists said on Wednesday, a burial dug up under a working-class home and believed to hold noble remains wrapped in cloth alongside ceramics and fine ornaments. Lead archeologist Julio Abanto told Reuters the 500-year-old tomb contains "multiple funerary bundles" tightly wrapped in cloth. He said the entombed were likely elites from the Riricancho society, a culture that once populated present-day Lima before the powerful Inca came to rule a sprawling empire across the length of western South America in the 1400s.
TURQUIE – Ani - Scientists, art historians, archaeologists, architects and students from 17 universities have restarted the excavations on the ruins of the archaeological site of Ani, located in Turkey’s northeastern Kars province, at four different points. The archaeological digs aim to reveal more historical artifacts and remains. Known as "the world city," the "cradle of civilizations,” "1001 churches" or "40-ported city," Ani was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2016. Located on the Turkey-Armenia border, Ani is one of the greatest historical and cultural gems in the country. Once ruled by the Urartu Kingdom, Scythians, Persians, Macedonians and Sassanids respectively, Ani was captured by the Islamic armies in 643. The site was used as a capital by Armenian rulers in the Bagratuni dynasty between 884 and 1045 and was under the rule of Byzantines between 1045 and 1064. On Aug. 16, 1064, Ani was conquered by Alp Arslan, the second sultan of the Seljuk Empire. The site standing on approximately 85 hectares (210 acres) was home to many civilizations and languages throughout history, including Armenian, Greek, Turkish, Arabic, Georgian and Persian, from 970 to 1320. Muslims and Christians lived side by side in Ani for centuries.
ITALIE – Pompéi - Archaeologists uncovered the bones of a pregnant tortoise who took a safety in the rubble of a home wrecked by an earthquake in AD62, only to be smothered by volcanic ash and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The Hermann's tortoise and her egg were discovered during excavations of a part of the historic city that had been leveled by the earthquake and was being reconstructed for the construction of public baths, authorities said Friday. After the volcanic explosion in AD79, Pompeii was destroyed. Archaeologists believe the tortoise, native to southern Europe, found sanctuary in the wreckage of a home that was too seriously damaged by the earthquake to be restored. The fact that the animal still held her egg showed she perished before finding a secure, friendly spot to deposit it, according to Gabriel Zuchtriegel, director of the Pompeii archaeological park. "This allows us to reflect on Pompeii after the earthquake, but before the eruption, when many homes were being rebuilt, the entire city was a building site, and apparently, certain places were so underused that wild animals could roam, enter, and try to lay their eggs," he explained. It is not the first tortoise discovered in Pompeii, and Zuchtriegel stated that organic and agricultural items discovered beyond Pompeii's urban center are an essential subject of ongoing excavations and study. The tortoise's finding adds to "this tapestry of relationships between culture and nature, community and environment that symbolizes the history of ancient Pompeii," he says.
Rép. Tcheque – Pasohlávky - Archaeologists have discovered an almost intact skeleton of a sixth century warrior during a dig near the town of Pasohlávky in south Moravia. The grave of the young man, who was buried with his spear, two dogs and a horse bridle, belongs to one of the largest Germanic Langobard burial sites in the country. The burial site located on the southern bank of the Nové Mlýny reservoir is probably the most significant necropolis from the Migration Period on the territory of the Czech Republic. The exceptionally preserved condition of the newly discovered grave is therefore very unique and it could help archaeologists gain a better understanding of the Langobard population, including their health and eating habits. The Migration Period, which marked a huge cultural and political transformation of Europe, but also the collapse of the original ancient states, provides archaeologists with some of the most challenging questions. The study of the migrating tribes of the era could help shed light on the processes that led to the disappearance of civilizations and the emergence of new cultures. It can also shed light on the possible causes of migration. The current research of Germanic burial sites in Moravia is part of a larger European project called HistoGenes. It analyses the genetics of Central and Eastern European populations from the 5th to the 8th century with the aim of revealing more information about the shaping of early medieval Europe.
ALBANIE – Bushat - Archaeologists believe they are uncovering the lost city of Bassania, an ancient Illyrian settlement mentioned by Livy as lying between two important ancient centers - the Illyrian capital of Shkodër and the Greek city of Lissos. The archaeological site lies on a hilltop near the modern village of Bushat in what is now Albania. The first traces of the city were found in 2018 in the form of defensive walls and two stone structures. The stone structures had always been thought to be natural rock outcrops but were discovered to be a gatehouse and two bastions. The strong, 3 meter (9.8 feet) thick wall is a cyclopean construction with massive stone blocks packed tightly against each other, and earth and pebbles filling in any gaps. The archaeologists explained that this a typical Hellenistic defensive structure. Ancient coins and fragments of ceramic vessels found near the walls were dated between the fourth and first centuries BC, further confirming that the city was part of the Illyrian kingdom. Bassania was an Illyrian city that passed under Roman control during the Illyrian Wars. However, exactly when this happened is not known. Bassania has been described by the Roman historian Livy (59 BC-17AD) in the context of the battles between the last king of Illyria, Gentius, and Roman troops . The city seems to have existed until the beginning of the first century AD, which coincided with the end of the reign of Roman emperor Octavian Augustus The newly discovered site for Bassania competes with an older identification of the ancient city with the village of Pedhanë on the river Mat in Lezhë County.