28 JUIN 2017 NEWS: Oldbury on Severn - Akaki - Nîmes - Dublin - Holy Island - Rome - Alexandria -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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SUMMER TERM : JULY 2017
ROYAUME UNI – Oldbury-on-Severn – The secrets of an ancient hillfort in Oldbury-on-Severn are finally being unearthed by a team of archaeologists. Little is known about the Iron Age fort, with mysteries and theories around when it was built and why it was built on the low land rather than, as the name suggests, on a hill. In the past, there have been a few fragmented digs on the site, which have provided some initial date, but nothing has ever been done to this extent. And, despite the dig only having reached the halfway stage, discoveries are already being unearthed, with iron nails, fragments of pottery and animal bones having been found. But one of the main clues that will help date the monument will come from testing soil from the differing layers as the dig continues, particularly once they reach the original top level of the ramparts.
CHYPRE – Akaki - Thanks to a farmer in the Cyprus village of Akaki, about 14 miles from the capital Nicosia, archeologists know a lot more about the island’s history and horse races in ancient Rome. The farmer uncovered a 36-foot by 14-foot mosaic floor piece that researchers believe dates back to the A.D. 4th century, and likely came from the villa of a rich country man. The mosaic shows four chariots with their charioteers and horses, likely a depiction of the horse races in the Roman hippodrome, an open-air stadium for horse racing. There are also inscriptions near the charioteers, which the archeologists working on the site believe could be their names. Dr. Fryni Hadjichristofi, the chief archaeological officer in charge of the site, said there are only nine other mosaics that depict this theme in the Roman world.
FRANCE – Nîmes - Les fouilles du parking de l'Avenue Jean Jaurès sont aujourd'hui terminées et leur bilan est plus qu'excellent. En chiffres, c'est hallucinant! Nîmes recèle des trésors vieux de 2500 ans et promet une valorisation historique de la vie quotidienne locale sous différentes époques où le Musée de la Romanité jouera naturellement un rôle de premier plan. Débutées en 2006 et menées dix mois durant, les fouilles préventives qui devaient servir à sécuriser l'espace du parking sous-terrain de l'axe nîmois qui se prolonge par les Jardins de la Fontaine, source de la création de Nemausus, ont tenu toutes leurs promesses et plus encore. L'Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives, qui était en charge des fouilles, vient de faire connaître son rapport définitif qui est composé de cinq tomes de 24 volumes (8003 pages), de 7200 illustrations et qui a été écrit par une cinquantaine d'auteurs allant de l'archéologue à l'architecte en passant par le numismate, le généticien, le botaniste ou encore l'anthropologue. On comprend mieux cette diversité si l'on se réfère aux trouvailles débusquées... Sur 6500m² de zone fouillée, on parle de 120000 tessons de céramiques, de 10000 objets, de 9000 restes d'os d'animaux dont de l'ours brun qui était visiblement très apprécié, de 8000 faits archéologiques, de 330 ensembles de peintures murales... Les gestes et les personnalités des premiers nîmois sont aujourd'hui mis au grand jour sur une période incroyablement longue de 2500 ans. On y retrouve aussi le plus vieux vignoble connu en Gaule, un graffite de gladiateurs qui combattaient dans nos arènes et bien sûr les trois pièces majeures de ces fouilles, à savoir les mosaïques de Penthée, d'Achille et la statue de Neptune. Occupé tout au long de l'histoire, avec ses hauts et ses bas, le quartier a successivement accueilli des vignes, des forgerons et de sublimes villas romaines avant de tomber en désuétude puis de revenir au goût du jour au Moyen Âge et finalement au 18ème siècle.
IRLANDE – Dublin - For more than 500 years the remains of a young man, no older than 35, lay in a mass grave under what is now Dublin’s College Green. His skeleton and that of four other people were found in August 2014 by archaeologists excavating for the new Luas cross city works. They were found located in what was once Hoggen Green, one of Dublin’s three main medieval commonages. They had all died young. Four were remains of teenagers no older than 17; the fifth was that of a man who was aged between 25 and 35. Their skeletal remains suggest that they were poor with evidence of malnutrition and hard manual labour. Precise radiocarbon dating suggests that all the burials date to the Tudor period between 1485 and 1603.Fortunately for archaeologists the older man’s skull was so well preserved that it was possible to do 3D digital facial reconstruction.
ROYAUME UNI - Holy Island - Many in academic and ecclesiastical circles have long maintained that the close linear arrangement of the Parish Church of St Mary’s with the Priory church is evidence of the original locations of the two Anglo-Saxon churches on the Island. This close linear relation is evidenced at other early Northumbrian monasteries such as Hexham and Jarrow. Until this summer, the assumption has been that the original Anglo-Saxon churches stood down in the shelter a high rocky ridge known as of the Heugh in the area now occupied by the Parish Church and the Priory. But excavations during the last four weeks up on the Heugh suggest a very different configuration. The excavation has revealed the stone foundations of a small rectangular building with a chancel type configuration at the east end. The crude and unmortared walls, very simple window arches and positioning of a possible alter stone all suggest an early date which has led to speculation that this is a church building which could date from the seventh century.
ITALIE – Rome - Digging for Rome’s new subway has unearthed the charred ruins of a 3rd century building and the 1,800-year-old skeleton of a dog that apparently perished in a fire. Archaeologists think the dog was trapped in a blaze that largely consumed the building. Archaeologists on Monday said they made the discovery on May 23 while examining a 10-metre hole near the ancient Aurelian Walls as part of construction work. “A Pompeii-like scene” was how the Culture Ministry described the findings that evoked comparisons to the inhabitants trapped by the 79 A.D. Vesuvius volcanic explosion and preserved for centuries in the ruins of Pompeii. Experts say the Rome ruins might be from an aristocrat’s home or from military barracks. A table leg, frescoed wall fragments and other decorations offer clues to how Romans then lived.
USA – Alexandria - The ship's delicate timbers — which were pulled out of the ground last year at the site of what is now a hotel — are heading to Texas to be preserved. Archaeologists believe that the ship was probably built sometime after 1741 in Massachusetts and that it ended up in the spot where it was unearthed because it was used as landfill in the late 1700s.