30 DECEMBRE 2014 NEWS: Yurtbaşı - San Luis Obispo - Viminacium - Burnt City -
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TURQUIE - Yurtbaşı - Academics have discovered a new castle dating back 3,000 years to the Iron Age in the eastern province of Van. Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ) History of Art Department Professor Mehmet Top, with the help of village head İrfan Yücel, recently revealed the existence of the castle in the Yurtbaşı neighborhood of Gürpınar district. The castle, located on a high hill overlooking the region around 80 kilometers from the city center, is accessed after a challenging, hour-long climb. The walls of the castle have been ruined through time. Top recently visited the castle to pick up some pieces of pots and pans to conduct further examinations. He said that they had carried out excavations at the Hoşap Castle since 2007 and conducted research on the cultural artifacts around the castle. “We reached the castle in Yurtbaşı neighborhood when Yücel informed us about it,” he said. Top said the structure was known among people of the region as Derbend Castle. “My examinations showed that this castle might be from the early Iron Age. The remains of stones and ceramic pieces on the ground prove that this place was a settlement. Probably it was a tableland settlement. Traces show us that it dates back to the pre-Urartian era, namely the early Iron Age. This age starts in 1200-1300 B.C. and continues through 1800 B.C. We already know that castle architecture began in this era and continued later on.”
USA – San Luis Obispo - Oaks are an important source of food for many wildlife species, and the drought has caused acorn production to be severely reduced, wildlife experts say. Acorns are especially important during the autumn, when grasses and leaves are dry and contain little nutritional value. Acorns were also an important food for humans in prehistoric times. Examinations of Native American skeletons indicate that acorns were instrumental in helping local tribes weather extreme drought conditions. Terry Jones, an archaeology professor at Cal Poly, said dental cavities in Native American remains increased during several extended periods of drought that occurred from 1,100 to 650 years ago, known as the Great Medieval Drought. Archaeologists think that acorns were an important food source during that period, which was longer than and at least as intense as the current drought, because they were a reliable source of complex carbohydrates, a leading cause of cavities in human teeth “Acorns can be stored, so it is understandable that they would rely on stored food when things were dry and wildlife was scarce,” Jones said. Archaeologists know that drought was intense because skeletal projectile point wounds spiked during that time. San Luis Obispo County has three species of oak trees. Inland areas have valley and blue oaks, while the coast live oak can be found closer to the ocean.
SERBIE – Viminacium - Un bas-relief en marbre représentant le mystérieux « Cavalier du Danube » a été mis à jour sur le site archéologique de Viminacium, en Serbie orientale. Ce culte à mystère demeure peu connu mais était très largement répandu tout au long du limes romain, sur les rives du Danube. Viminacium fut, du Ier siècle avant notre ère jusqu’au VIe siècle, la capitale de la province romaine de la Mésie supérieure et l’un des camps militaires romains parmi les plus importants. Le culte du Cavalier du Danube reste une énigme pour les chercheurs. On estime qu’il s’agirait d’un culte à secrets, explique Miomir Korac, directeur du site de Viminacium. Ce culte était largement répandu le long des limites de l’Empire romain, sur les rives du Danube, principalement dans les provinces romaines de la Pannonie inférieure, de la Mésie supérieure et de la Dacie. On admet le plus souvent que le culte est d’origine locale, mais il a été marqué par des influences orientales comme celle de Mithra. Le bas-relief se compose de deux parties : la partie haute n’est pas entièrement conservée, mais elle représente la voute céleste avec un buste des dieux Soleil et Lune. Au centre, on voit l’image d’une déesse inconnue debout, entourée de deux cavaliers. La plaque de marbre est peinte en ocre et rouge, ce qui est très rare et pourrait être très important pour une interprétation de ce culte. Toutes les représentations du Cavalier du Danube découvertes jusqu’à ce jour étaient soit en bronze, soit en plomb, une seule en marbre. La marque au dos du bas-relief peut laisser penser qu’il était accroché au mur d’un bâtiment, très probablement d’un temple. Dans l’enceinte du parc archéologique de Viminacium, on a mis à jour plusieurs vestiges de bâtiments qui pourraient être ceux de temples édifiés en l’honneur de la déesse Fortuna, des nymphes et du Cavalier du Danube.
IRAN – Shahr-e Sookhteh /Burnt City - According to the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization, the unique finding was excavated from the grave of a young woman and her child in the Shahr-e Sookhteh cemetery. Shahr-e Sookhteh is an archaeological site of a sizable Bronze Age urban settlement, associated with the Jiroft culture. It is located in Sistan and Baluchistan Province, the southeastern part of Iran, on the bank of the Helmand River, near the Zahedan-Zabol road. In July, 2014 it was placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. Artifacts recovered from the city demonstrate a peculiar incongruity with nearby civilizations of the time and it has been speculated that Shahr-e-Sookhteh might ultimately provide concrete evidence of a civilization east of prehistoric Persia that was independent of ancient Mesopotamia. Covering an area of 151 hectares, Shahr-e Sookhteh was one of the world’s largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. In the western part of the site is a vast graveyard, measuring 25 hks. It contains between 25,000 to 40,000 ancient graves. Analyzing the findings from the ancient graves has led to making of a rich database about archeological aspects of the city. The settlement appeared around 3200 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 1800 BC. According to Seyyed Sajjadi, head of the Iranian archeologist team working at the site of the Shahr-e Shookhteh, some 58 new graves and skeletons as well as 262 new subjects have been found in latest excavation operations carried out in the city. The official said examining of the remains of the bodies have shown that the average of their age was between 25-35 for the adults, 4-7 for children and 1-3 months for the newborns. Sajjadi said mirrors, colored objects, kohl pots and necklaces were found from the excavated graves. Some paleoanthropologists believe that mothers in the Burnt City had social and financial prominence. The excavations at the Burnt City also suggest that the inhabitants were a race of civilized people who were both farmers and craftsmen.