29 MAI 2022 NEWS
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FRANCE – Plouvien - Restoration work can sometimes reveal unsuspected treasures. During the work of safeguarding the Saint-Jean-Blavanant chapel in Plouvien, a village in Finistère, the craftsmen-experts discovered hidden under the lime frescoes probably dating from the 16th century.
TURQUIE – Karahantepe - A monumental Neolithic site near the Syrian-Turkish border, Karahantepe has turned what archaeologists until now believed about the evolution of human sedentism on its head. It, along with the nearby Gobeklitepe Stone Hill site, is considered one of the first permanent settlements. They have brought into question the process of organized human society, suggesting that it was established before the emergence of agriculture, and included some kind of cultic or communal rituals. Karul points out spots where some 11,000 years ago Neolithic humans carved out huge blocks of limestone and somehow brought the heavy pillars to the other side of the mound. After being carved with images of animals and humans, these blocks were placed in concentric circles in what he calls “special buildings.” He said 250 such pillars visible on the surface have been identified, and some 60 pillars have been found in the excavations. Dwellings were also uncovered near the special buildings, and some with miniatures of the “T” shaped pillars, leading Karul to believe that rituals similar to the ones which took place in the communal buildings may have taken place in people’s homes as well.Carbon-14 dating has placed the special buildings and the dwellings as contemporary structures, he said and their relative location to one another indicates that they were built with consideration of each other. In addition, 27 large cisterns have been found at Karahantepe, some with the potential capacity of holding 100 tons of water.
MEXIQUE – Xiol - Archaeologists have uncovered the ruins of an ancient Mayan city filled with palaces, pyramids and plazas on a construction site of what will become an industrial park near Mérida. The site, called Xiol, has features of the Mayan Puuc style of architecture, archaeologists said, which is common in the southern Yucatán peninsula but rare near Mérida. “We think more than 4,000 people lived around here,” said Carlos Peraza, one of the archaeologists who led the excavation of the city, estimated to have been occupied from 600 to 900 AD.“There were people from different social classes … priests, scribes, who lived in these great palaces, and there were also the common people who lived in small buildings,” Peraza said. Researchers also located nearby burial grounds of adults and children, who were interred with obsidian and flint tools, offerings and other belongings. Remains of marine life were also discovered in the area, suggesting the city’s inhabitants complemented their agricultural-based diets by fishing along the nearby coast.
ISLANDE – Oddi - Ongoing excavations of Viking-era, man-made caves near Oddi in South Iceland have revealed an extensive system of interconnected structures that is not only much larger than originally thought, but also much older. Mbl.is reports that excavations, substantiated by tephra layers, show that the caves at Oddi were first dug out in the middle of the 10th century. Oddi was once one of Iceland’s most important cultural and political seats and home to a powerful clan known as the Oddverjar. The current study has been ongoing for two years, with the primary aim of shedding light on the writing culture that was there during the 11th and 12th centuries, when the Oddverjar were at the height of their powers. Sæmundur fróði (Sæmundur the Learned, 1056-1133) was the most famous member of the clan. He studied in France and wrote one of the earliest histories of the Norwegian kings, although that manuscript was lost. Sæmundur’s grandson, Jón Loftsson, was a powerful chieftain who fostered Snorri Sturluson, the renowned historian, poet, and lawspeaker who is thought to have authored or partially authored major medieval works such as the Prose Edda (known as Snorri’s Edda in Icelandic), the most significant extant source on Norse mythology, as well as the Heimskringla, a saga of the Norwegian kings that was likely based on Sæmundur fróði’s lost manuscript. Kristborg says that the cave currently being excavated may possibly be Nautahellir, Bull Cave, which is mentioned in Jarteinabók Þorláks Biskups (Bishop Þorlákur’s Legends of Saints), which dates back to 1210 – 1250. The manuscript relates how Nautahellir collapsed with 12 bulls in it. One was then rescued from the rubble.
CHINE - Houduanwan - Archaeologists have discovered a decarburisation kiln dating back to the Warring States Period (475 B.C. - 221 B.C.) in the Houduanwan cast-iron relics site in Henan Province. The site, in the city of Xinzheng, was an official workshop for casting tools and weapons for the State of Han, which was active during that period. Experts have also detected spherical graphite in the unearthed ironware, which was found to be processed by decarburisation of cast iron and other procedures. More than 20 relics related to the cast-iron handicraft industry and a large number of pottery models, ironware were among the many other items discovered that relate to cast iron. This discovery shows that China mastered ductile iron technology early in the Warring States Period, and pushes forward the history of ductile iron in China at least 200 years. The discovery of the Houduanwan site proves that Chinese iron casting technology had entered a golden age during the Warring States Period as craftsmen had mastered the process.
PEROU – Lima - Archaeologists have unearthed a Spanish colonial-era cemetery comprising 42 human burials in a former hospital built in 1552 in the historic center of Lima. The discovery was made recently in what was once San Andrés Hospital, one of the oldest colonial buildings in the Peruvian capital. “We are in the oldest and best preserved cemetery in the city of Lima, used from 1552 to 1808, where we found 42 remains of bodies buried among men and women between the ages of thirty and fifty. In colonial times, there were no public cemeteries and people, including Spaniards and Creoles, came to the hospital to die when they were sick. There are different causes of death, but the most striking is syphilis in one case. The cemetery covers an area of 150 square meters. Among the objects discovered are tiles and ceramic fragments. According to specialists, the mummies of the Inca emperors Huayna Capac, Pachacutec and Tupac Yupanqui, as well as two of their wives, were buried there. “The mummies were removed from Cuzco where they were venerated. There is evidence that the mummies were buried in the hospital,
ANGLETERRE – Vindolanda - Gravée sur une des pierres du site archéologique de Vindolanda, une inscription vieille de 1 700 ans a laissé pantois les spécialistes de l'épigraphie romaine. Aussi inattendu qu'amusant, le message a été rédigé à proximité directe d'une représentation phallique. « Secvndinvs Cacor », traduit du latin en « Secundinus, l'emmerdeur », peut-on lire à droite du pénis dessiné. La grossièreté vise ledit Secundinus, soldat romain qui a vraisemblablement arpenté cet ancien fort, situé à proximité du mur d'Hadrien.
« Secundinus, l’emm… » : un graffiti romain insultant découvert par les archéologues (msn.com)
VIET NAM - Quang Khe - Archaeologists have found various traces of early humans in a karst mountain cave in Quang Khe Commune in the northern province of Bac Kan. They have excavated Tham Un Cave and found that the cave’s foundation was recently stirred up by cattle raised by locals. As a result, a cultural layer from an earlier time was revealed. Archaeologists found two cultural layers lying directly on top of one another, without any border layer. The earlier cultural layer lies lower and is fairly hard, formed by clay. The dark brown layer contains objects like stone tools together with animals’ teeth and snail shells. The cultural layer on top is a light grey colour and made of crumbled soil. It contains fewer objects. Traces of four fireplaces were found at different positions and depths. Although no tomb was found in the cave, a total of 700 objects were recovered, most of which were stone tools made from pebbles taken out of rivers and streams.“Stone tools in the lower cultural layer have features typical of the Bac Son culture (10,000-8,000BC),” said Assoc Prof Trinh Nang Chung, head of the excavation team.In the higher cultural layer, a well-polished axe was found, the first of its kind to be excavated from the Bac Kan mountains. Various pieces of broken ceramic wares were found too. The core ceramic material was mixed with various kinds of vegetables, formed by hand with decorative patterns of twisting and gentle curves. Archaeologists hypothesised that hunting and gathering fruits and vegetables were important food sources for these early humans. Chung said researchers concluded that the cave was a residential area for many generations. The earlier residents belonged to the Bac Son culture, dating up to 6,000 years ago, while the later residents belonged to the Post New Stone Age – Early Metal Age, dated some 4,000 years ago.