26 OCTOBRE 2018: Matariya - Firth - Jebel Hafeet - Genoa - Kythera - Zlatograd -
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EGYPTE – Matariya - Archaeologists have announced the discovery of an ancient booth and seat where Pharaoh Ramses II sat during public events. Ramses, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC. The discovery from excavations in Cairo’s Matariya neighbourhood was announced by Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. Egyptologist Mamdouh el-Damaty stated that “the structure was probably used in celebrations and for public gatherings”.
ROYAUME UNI – Firth - The Antonine Wall, running from the Firth of Forth in the east to the Firth of Clyde in the West, was Rome’s north-western frontier for a generation in the mid-2nd century AD. It was built by the governor Quintus Lollius Urbicus under the orders of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, the successor to Hadrian. The Wall was home to soldiers from around an Empire which stretched from Scotland to the deserts of North Africa. Although not a term in use at the time, nowadays we would regard the Roman Empire as multicultural. Rome was a mosaic of cultural diversity and was home to people from many different countries. Those who became part of the empire continued to worship their own gods and maintain their cultural traditions. Army regiments were organised based on ethnic identity. Regiments posted along the Antonine Wall were filled with soldiers from across the Empire.Tungrians (from modern-day Belgium) and Vardullians (from Spain) were stationed at Castlecary fort. Thracians from Bulgaria manned Mumrills fort. Hamian archers from Syria could be found at the centre of the Wall in Bar Hill fort. The Syrian connection was well known and Lollius Urbicus was originally from Numidia (modern day Algeria). But in the 1990s, the late Dr Vivien Swan identified pottery from various sites on the Antonine Wall of a north African style. One particular form of casserole dish may have been a precursor to the modern tagine. Other dishes were of a brazier style, a type of cooking more popular in north-west Africa than northern Europe. With this evidence, it was argued that potters with first hand knowledge of north African pottery and soldiers who wished to cook in a north African style must have been at the Wall. The north African connection was born. Ancient historians record Antoninus Pius dealing with a war in Mauretania (roughly modern-day Morocco). It has been suggested that soldiers involved in this war returned to Britain with some of the locals, perhaps to replace losses during the war or perhaps as slaves. However, this theory did not receive universal acceptance. Others have claimed that potters working at the Antonine Wall were simply well-travelled and knew how to work in north African styles. A recent discovery has provided fresh evidence for the Antonine Wall’s African connection. When soldiers were discharged from the army they received a document inscribed in bronze, known as a military diploma. The diploma would often reward the recipient with Roman citizenship as reward for their service. Thanks to Professor David Breeze and Dr Paul Holder, we now know of a recently discovered military diploma suggesting that the First Cohort of Baetasians were involved in the war in Mauretania. This regiment was also stationed at Bar Hill and Old Kilpatrick. We cannot confirm with absolute certainty that people from north-western Africa were stationed on the Antonine Wall. But it seems highly likely that there was movement of soldiers between the two provinces. This may be an explanation for the pottery and cooking styles recorded along the Wall. Further research can illuminate this intriguing theory.
U.A.E. - Jebel Hafeet - Situated at the bottom of the Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, the Hafeet Tombs mark an important archaeological site in the UAE. According to Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, the 5000-year-old tombs mark the beginning of the Bronze Age in the UAE. Otherwise known as the ‘Hafeet Period’ (dating from 3,200 BC to 2,700 BC), the fourth millennium funerary landscape cluttered with 500 dome-shaped tombs was registered as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. This recognition was the first in the UAE. The Hafeet Tombs, as part of Al Ain’s historical oases, represent the cradle of the UAE’s Bedouin culture, providing crucial insight in to migration patterns and the move from nomadic culture to the building of settlements dating back to the second millennium. Excavations of the tombs first took place in 1959, where evidence of ceramic vessels and artefacts were found indicating the important value of maritime trade in the region. The domal-beehive structures are composed of stacked natural and edged stones. Some of the tombs are as much as four metres high, with a space inside of about two metres wide. Abduallah Al Kaabi, an archaeologist at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "It is through careful exploration and excavation, that a great number of Bronze objects, soapstone vessels, and beads dating back 5,000 years were found." Human and animal skeletal remains were also found, Al Kaabi continued, adding that the these finds give insight into historic settlement populations in the area, and can be viewed at the Al Ain National Museum.
ITALIE – Genoa - The discovery of a single grain of wheat has pushed back the date of settlement for the Italian city of Genoa some 700 years, indicating humans started farming the area in the second half of the sixth millennium BCE. In a paper published in the journal The Holocene, a team of researchers led by Daniele Arobba from Italy’s Museo Archeologico del Finale reveals a detailed palaeobotanical analysis of seeds, pollen and other plant material unearthed from deep beneath the streets. Settlement grew up around the mouth of the Bisagno River – a watercourse that these days flows underground through a purpose-built tunnel stretching from the central railway station to the sea. All the activity – human and natural – has almost obliterated the environmental record of Genoa’s earliest days. For their latest study, however, the researchers were able to make use a singular artefact: the core of a borehole drilled in in 2006 in the Piazza della Vittoria, in the middle of the city. The bore penetrated to 150 metres beneath the current ground level, well into the bedrock. For Arobba’s team, the important section of the core lay between 16 and 23 metres below ground, which dating techniques indicated had been deposited over a timespan of 1900 years between the end of the seventh and the first of the fifth millennium BCE. The discovery of two wheat remnants, however, perhaps raised the most excitement among Arobba and colleagues. One was a spikelet base probably belonging to a wheat variety identified as “Triticum new glume” and represents its earliest detection in the region. The strain is otherwise well known in parts of France, where it first appears around 5500 BCE and vanishes for good about 4000 years later. The second remnant was a seed from the wheat variety Triticum dicoccum, commonly known as emmer, a grain cultivated widely in early Italy. The seed, and the sediments in which it was found, returned unexpectedly early dates, providing strong evidence that humans were farming the unpredictable lands around the Bisagno River 700 years earlier than thought. “To date,” the researchers conclude, “this represents the oldest evidence of human activity in the urban area of Genoa.”
GRECE – Kythera - New findings came to light following research conducted on the remains of the British ship “Mentor,” that sunk off of Kythera island in 1802 while transporting antiquities from Acropolis and the Parthenon. The underwater search on the “Mentor,” the ship that carried the Parthenon sculptures and other antiquities taken by Lord Elgin’s team, took place between September 7-23. This search focused on finding the stern area of the vessel. No parts of the stern were found, but instead, divers discovered personal items of the crew such as glass vials, buttons, a bronze handle of a drawer, lead beads, ropes from the ship’s fittings and other small items, a Ministry of Culture announcement said. In addition, interesting details about the ship’s construction were discovered after studying the keel of the ship, which is well preserved. The researchers believe that the ship was built in the United States, as evidenced by the construction method.
BULGARIE – Zlatograd - A 3,000 year old ancient fortress was discovered by archaeologists near the South Bulgarian town of Zlatograd. The fortification is from the times of Troy and Mycenae and is one of the first evidence that ancient Thrace was part of the Cretan-Mycenaean culture, believed to have been the first civilization in Europe. Researchers suggest that the town of the legendary Achilles, Hector and Odysseus was located behind the fortress, reports BNT. The archaeological expedition was exploring a Thracian royal residence from the 4th- 5th centuries before the common era, when they came upon a fortress, which was nearly a thousand years older. The walls are made of huge stones weighing more than 5 tonnes. This is the so-called Cyclopian building, with it being built the ancient Troy, Mycenae and Tyrint. Nearly 50 years ago, academician Alexander Foll first speculated that Thrace was part of the renowned Cretan-Mycenaean civilization. Archaeologists now have proof of this. Prof. Nikolai Ovcharov: This is one of the first testimonies of the so-called Mycenae Thrace. A residence dating back to 3,000 - 3,200 years ago. The fortress wall we found, as well as the ceramics, actually indicate it was the period of the Trojan War. Behind the fortress wall, the archaeologists found a royal necropolis, a sanctuary and a fortified castle. Two buildings with representative features and a sanctuary were studied. The area is filled with stone altars, it is supposed that there is a city, which is more than 3,000 years old.