29 JANVIER 2018: Saham - Purana Qila - White Rock - Gaza - Yan'an - Yinxu -
INSTITUT SUPERIEUR D'ANTHROPOLOGIE
INSTITUTE OF ANTHROPOLOGY
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WINTER TERM : JANUARY 2018
OMAN – Saham - Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) is progressing with surveying and archaeological excavations in the Wilayat of Saham where the discovery of five archaeological sites was recently announced, a media report said. The sites contain old settlements dating back to the "Umm Al Nar" civilisation, which is estimated to be about 4,500 years old (2500 - 2000 BC), reported Oman News Agency. These sites are one of the oldest and most important archaeological sites in the North of the Sultanate. Their archaeological discovery began in 2010 through the SQU Department of Archaeology. Dr Khalid Daghlis, head of Archaeology Department at SQU said: "The site of Dahwa was first discovered in 2010 by Dr Nasser al-Jahwari with the assistance of a student Waleed al-Muzaini from the Wilayat of Saham. The department conducted archaeological surveys between 2013 and 2015, which included an archaeological survey that revealed the existence of five archaeological sites, including ancient settlements dating back to the culture of Umm Al Nar (2500 - 2000 BC). These sites represent the oldest permanent settlements in the North of the Sultanate.” He pointed out that during the excavation, a building that dates back to the early Bronze Age and to the Um Al Nar period was discovered. As a result, the team decided to excavate in a number of other buildings, taking into account the diversity in the planning of the building and the building area. He added that the eldest settlement on the site dates back to the period of Umm Al Nar and especially to the early stage, i.e., around 2500 BC. The results of the analysis of "radioactive carbon 14" indicate that the settlement continued on site for 5 centuries until the end of the Umm Al Nar era in the period (1900 BC). The archaeological excavations showed that the site was later used during the Wadi Souk period (1900-1300 BC) as cemeteries. Later, they were used in the Iron Age as many cemeteries were discovered, most of them date back to the second Iron Age (1300 - 300 BC). The excavations also unveiled that parts of the site were also reused in the Hellenistic period, as cemeteries were discovered belonging to that period.
INDE – Purana Qila - The final round of excavations at Purana Qila in the heart of New Delhi has unearthed traces of painted grey ware, which is believed by experts to represent the Iron Age culture of the western Gangetic plain and the Ghaggar-Hakra valley, roughly corresponding to the period between 600 BC and 1200 BC. The current round of digging, the fourth and final round, has reached 11 metres below the ground level, and the ASI team expects to reach the final earth layer, a couple of metres deeper, within the next one month. The present citadel at Purana Qila is believed to have been built under Sher Shah Suri, who established the Sur empire before his death in 1545. But according to ASI’s Swarnkar, the excavations — the last one was in 2013-14 — point to traces from the 3rd century BC, the pre-Mauryan period. “Owing to its location by the Yamuna, the Purana Qila has been an important site for trade and industrial activity in all periods, be it the Mauryan, Shunga, Kushana, Rajput or Mughal eras. During the current excavation, we have also found terracota, beads, figurines and coins belonging to these dynasties,” he said. Swarnkar said the site is the only place in Delhi, which has cultural deposits of the last 2,500 years in its various layers, from the pre-Mauryan to the modern era. On the ASI website, the description for Purana Qila says, “Sher Shah Suri seems to have razed to the ground the city of Dinpanah built by Humayun, and on the same site, which was also perhaps the site of Indraprastha, believed to be the capital of the Pandavas, he raised the citadel of Purana-Qal’a with an extensive city-area sprawling around it.” The first two rounds of excavations — in 1954-55 and 1969-72 — by then ASI director, BB Lal, had unearthed traces of PGW under the mound. At the time, Lal had embarked on a mission to excavate various sites mentioned in the Mahabharata text and claimed to have found such traces as a common feature at all those sites. On the basis of PGW, which archaeologically belongs to the 6th-12th century BC, Lal had claimed that Purana Qila is the Pandava kingdom of Indraprastha, estimating 900 BCE as the period of the war recounted in the epic.
USA – White Rock - Semiahmoo First Nation is working with the City of White Rock and its archeological consultants to assess an archeological site discovered at Memorial Park early this week. Contacted by Peace Arch News, the city confirmed “dark, organic sediments with abundant shell, charcoal, and animal bones were discovered on Monday.” Shell middens, found in coastal zones around the world, are heaps of mollusk shells, combined with other human-created debris, which can be very significant for archeologists tracing the history and nature of human habitation in a specific area. A shell midden’s high calcium carbonate content creates a zone of increased alkalinity which counteracts normal soil acidity, helping preserve organic materials such as food remnants, tools, clothing and even human remains.
PALESTINE – Gaza - A Palestinian says he has discovered an ancient burial ground in the backyard of his house in the Gaza Strip. Abdelkarim al-Kafarna said Friday he found a tomb consisting of nine burial holes with bones and some clay pots. Archaeologists in Gaza believe the site is about 2,000 years old, dating back to the Roman era, when the territory was part of the far-flung Roman Empire. But they say further tests are needed to determine the exact age.
CHINE - Yan'an - An archaeological excavation discovered the history of Yan'an city in northeast China's Shaanxi Province can be traced back 4,500 years, 2,300 years earlier than the previous estimate. Yan'an was the heartland of the early revolutionary activities of the Communist Party of China. The provincial cultural heritage bureau said that archaeologists discovered housing and cooking sites and city walls at Lushanmao Site in Baota District of Yan'an City. A large number of cultural items including pottery, stoneware, boneware and jadeware were also unearthed at the site. The site, covering an area of two million square meters, is one of the largest prehistoric settlement sites in China. The earliest documentary record of the city's founding can be traced back to the Qing and Han dynasties around 2,200 years ago, said Du Linyuan, a professor at Yan'an University. Based on features of the unearthed artifacts at the site, the city's establishment can be dated at least 2,300 years earlier, Du added. The ruins of three big buildings were also found in the core area of the site. Du said the buildings were apparently not residence for ordinary people, but probably premitive palace buildings, judging from the materials they used.
CHINE - Yinxu - A large ancient bronze casting ruins, dating back to the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.), was discovered recently in central China's Henan Province. The relics, covering 5,000 square meters, is located at the Yinxu archeological site near Anyang, an ancient capital city in late Shang. The discovery is believed to be important for the study of bronze casting techniques and society at that time. Kong Deming, head of Anyang archaeology institute, said the casting relics mainly produced bronze sacrificial vessels, as well as chariot equipment. A large number of forging tools were unearthed, including 3,000 pieces of pottery mould. In the area of the bronze forging site, 63 tombs were discovered, with over 400 sets of items unearthed, including bronze sacrificial items and weapons. Experts believe that owners of the tombs could be bronze casting craftsmen. Cultural workers are still excavating and studying the relics, and believe that the site could be as large as 10,000 square meters.