Monday, August 04, 2014

Archaeology - New Discoveries Summer 2014

PARIS.- An exceptional Gallo-Roman sanctuary is currently being revealed at Pont-Saint-Maxence (Oise). This Inrap excavation has been authorised by the government (Drac Picardie) and is taking place prior to the construction of a shopping centre. The history of Late Antique period Pont-Saint-Maxence is little known, and the discovery of an enormous sanctuary from the mid 2nd century A.D. therefore came as a surprise, particularly as the remarkable statuary discovered on the site has no equal in Roman Gaul.
This sanctuary, contained in an enclosure of 70 x 105 m, possessed two small pavilions at the rear of which only the foundations have been preserved. In the centre, the cella, a substantial masonry platform, was accessible by steps in the front façade. This was the heart of the sanctuary, containing the statue of a divinity. Here, archaeologists have discovered many pieces of balustrades with paired "S" shaped decorative elements, together with fragments of marble veneer.[/url]

 BEIJING (AFP).- Two pairs of 3,300-year-old trousers found in China's far western Xinjiang region may be the world's oldest, state-media reported Friday.
Archeologists in May found animal-fur menswear on the bodies of two mummies, identified as male shamans in their 40s, the state-run China Daily cited scientists as saying.
An international team is working together to repair and preserve the two pairs -- which are the oldest yet discovered with a clear resemblance to modern trousers, the report said.
"They were almost of the same shape as today's trousers," the report quoted Lu Enguo, a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology in Xinjiang, as saying.
Even older apparel resembling trousers have previously been discovered in the region, but they were made according to a more simple design and lacked a piece of fabric covering the crotch, Lu added
. Archaeologists believe nomads living in the area invented trousers for horse riding.
The nomads "at first wore a kind of trousers that only had two legs," said Xu Dongliang, deputy head of the institute, adding that "crotches were sewed on to the legs, and gradually other styles, such as bloomers, appeared". Previously, the oldest pants found with a crotch were just 2,800 years old, the report said.

WASHINGTON (AFP).- 'Game of Thrones' scenario seen in Neandertal ancestors found in the Atapuerca Mountains. The vicious fight for survival and power among disparate kingdoms and clans may have led some ancient people to evolve facial traits more quickly than others, a study said Thursday. New research on 17 skulls from a collection of 430,000-year-old remains found at the base of an underground shaft in Spain suggests that big jaws were the first prominent feature of these pre-Neandertals. Their large mandibles could gnash meat, open wide and be used like a tool or a third hand, helping them adapt to their eating needs in a harsh, cold environment.

 WELLINGTON (AFP).- Natural History Museum in London: Tiny 'living fossil' found in New Zealand waters. A microscopic marine creature believed to have been extinct for four million years has been found alive and well in New Zealand waters, researchers said Thursday.
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SAN SALVADOR (AFP).- Three human skeletons found in El Salvador shed light on pre-Hispanic life . Japanese and Salvadoran archaeologists said Friday they have found three human skeletons in El Salvador from more than 1,600 years ago that could shed new light on

early human settlements in the region.

SANTIAGO (AFP).- A group of students discovered a 7,000-year-old mummy during a trip to northern Chile, local media reported Monday.

TULUM, YUCATAN, MEXICO. Divers of the Tulum Speleological Project exploring a cave in the area called Hoyo Negro (Black Hole), in Tulum, Quintana Roo State, Mexico. A teenage girl who fell into a hole more than 12,000 years ago in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is offering new clues about the origins of the first Native Americans, researchers said Thursday. Named "Naia" by scientists, her skeleton is amo
ng the oldest known and best preserved in the Americas. Her remains were found in 2007, submerged in an underwater cave along with the bones of saber tooth tigers, giant sloths and cave bears, some 135 feet (41 meters) below sea level

JERUSALEM.- An 800 Year Old Lead Seal Stamped by the Monastery of St. Sabas Was Found in Archaeological Excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the Bayit VeGan

Quarter in Jerusalem Archaeologists believe a farmstead discovered during excavations may have been part of the monastery’s property during the Crusader Period

LOS ANGELES. Getty Research Institute acquires rare, early photos of Mayan archeological sites

MEXICO CITY.- Archaeologists find burial of unusual characteristics in the Mexican State of Sinaloa. In the southern parts of Sinaloa, a burial of unusual characteristics was discovered, made up of elements from old Occidental Mexico and rich offerings deposited around bone

remains. As the excavation advanced, never seen before archeological traces surged; informed archeologist Victor Joel Santos Ramírez, director of the project.July 25

SPAIN:  Prehistoric hunting scenes unearthed in Spanish cave...Threat of vandalism puts ancient paintings at risk. A series of hunting scenes dating from 7,000 years ago have been found by archaeologists on the six-metre long wall of a small cave in the region of Vilafranca in Castellón, eastern Spain—but it is being kept a secret for now. A layer of dust and dirt covered ten figures, including bulls, two archers and a goat. The
murals were exposed to harsh weather but the paintings pigments have not seriously deteriorated.
Inés Domingo Sanz, a research professor at the University of Barcelona, and Dídac Román, a research associate (archaeology) at the University of Toulouse II Le Mirail and University of Valencia, discovered the site while undertaking government-sponsored research into another excavation area in the region. Sanz says that “some of the [painting] details are unique [and unlike anything] across the entire Mediterranean Basin”. A planned publication will throw light on the rare archaeological find.
The cave was discovered in November 2013 but its location will only be revealed once security measures are in place, after vandals defaced a 5,000-year-old rock painting in Spain’s southern Jaén province in April.

 FRANCE: Prehistoric painted caves added to Unesco’s World Heritage List
The Chauvet Pont-d’Arc site in southern France is twice as old as the Lascaux complex The world’s oldest decorated cave has entered Unesco’s World Heritage List. The 36,000 year-old cave of Chauvet Pont-d'Arc, in the Ardèche region of southern France, was one of six new sites added to the organisation’s preservation list during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, which began on 15 June and ends tomorrow.
 The cave of Chauvet Pont-d’Arc had been sealed by a rock fall until it was discovered in 1994, ensuring its state of remarkable preservation. It is twice as old as the Lascaux cave complex in the Dordogne, which was previously considered the earliest example of prehistoric rock art.
Of the more than 1,000 drawings lining the walls of Chauvet Pont-d’Arc, 425 depict animals, including species that are unique in Palaeolithic cave art, such as the panther and the owl.
The cave has never been open to the public for conservation reasons. Instead, the Cavern of Pont-d’Arc, a €50m replica that has been under construction nearby since October 2012, is set to admit visitors from April 2015. At 3,500 square metres, the replica covers less than half the area of the original but the drawings will be reproduced to 1:1 scale.

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