sábado, 18 de febrero de 2012

Archaeologists discover Jordan’s earliest buildings

Some of the earliest evidence of prehistoric architecture has been discovered in the Jordanian desert, providing archaeologists with a new perspective on how humans lived 20,000 years ago.

Archaeologists working in eastern Jordan have announced the discovery of 20,000-year-old hut structures, the earliest yet found in the Kingdom. The finding suggests that the area was once intensively occupied and that the origins of architecture in the region date back twenty millennia, before the emergence of agriculture.

The research, published 15 February, 2012 in PLoS One by a joint British, Danish, American and Jordanian team, describes huts that hunter-gatherers used as long-term residences and suggests that many behaviours that have been associated with later cultures and communities, such as a growing attachment to a location and a far-reaching social network, existed up to 10,000 years earlier.

Excavations at the site of Kharaneh IV are providing archaeologists with a new perspective on how humans lived 20,000 years ago. Although the area is starkly dry and barren today, during the last Ice Age the deserts of Jordan were in bloom, with rivers, streams, and seasonal lakes and ponds providing a rich environment for hunter-gatherers to settle in.

“What we witness at the site of Kharaneh IV in the Jordanian desert is an enormous concentration of people in one place,” explained Dr Jay Stock from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the article.

“People lived here for considerable periods of time when these huts were built. They exchanged objects with other groups in the region and even buried their dead at the site. These activities precede the settlements associated with the emergence of agriculture, which replaced hunting and gathering later on. At Kharaneh IV we have been able to document similar behaviour a full 10,000 years before agriculture appears on the scene.”

University of Cambridge
Link 2: 20-02-12. Un equipo de arqueólogos descubre las edificaciones de cabañas más antiguas de Jordania.

Rock art dating in the Kimberley

'A review of rock art dating in the Kimberley, Western Australia' Dr Maxime Aubert.
Extract: Journal of Archaeological Science 39 [2012] 573-577.

As Dr Maxime Aubert states, 'The major problem with use of the Kimberley rock art as a source of scientific information about the past is the lack of a robust chronology. At present, there are very few numerical dates available to anchor the rock art sequence'.This paper critically reviews the various approaches used to estimate the age of the rock art in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. They include: (i) the relative superimposition of styles; (ii) the use of diagnostic subject matter (depictions of extinct animals, stone tool technology, introduced European and Asian objects and animals); (iii) the recovery of a 'painted' slab from a dated archaeological unit; (iv) radiocarbon dating of beeswax figures, charcoal pigments, organic matter in overlying mineral deposits and 'accreted paint layers' (oxalate rich crusts and amorphous silica skin)...

To read the paper click here

AAAS-SFU research: Linking human evolution and climate change

AAAS-SFU research: Linking human evolution and climate change: (Simon Fraser University) It's not a take on climate change we often hear about. But Mark Collard, a Simon Fraser University Canada Research Chair and professor of archaeology, will talk about how climate change impacts human evolution at the world’s largest science fair.Collard will give a talk called Environmental drivers of technological evolution in small-scale populations during a seminar called Climate Change and Human Evolution: Problems and Prospects.

Italy. Bronze Age hut found on Lipari

Italian archaeologists on Friday found a Bronze Age hut during construction work in a town square on the southern Italian island of Lipari. Roman-era Hellenistic slabs were also unearthed, archaeologists said.

Huts of the middle Bronze Age superimposed over those of the early Bronze Age on the Castello of Lipari

Lipari, a strategic port throughout history and now a popular holiday resort, is the...

Bronze Age hut found on Lipari

Malaysia. Niah Cave artifacts on way home?

KUCHING: It would take two to three years for artifacts taken from Niah Cave in the 1950s by archaeologists from Nevada University, USA to be returned to the state.

According to Sarawak Museum Department director Ipoi Datan, the process of acquiring all 122 skeletons taken from Niah Cave in Miri was done with cooperation from the National Heritage Department.

“There are several procedures that we need to follow and it will take another two to three years before we will reach something,” Ipoi said when met by reporters after the launching of a photography exhibition at the Sarawak Art Museum yesterday.

It was Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud who brought up the subject when he officiated at the opening of an international seminar on Borneon Archaeology back in 2010. He said the artifacts were an important part of the state’s heritage.

The archaeologists who had taken the artifacts had made some initial reports on their study but none were ever published.

On another matter, Ipoi said the Sarawak Museum Department would come up with an exciting programme this year starting with a burial exhibition of various ethnic groups at Dewan Tun Abdul Razak and the Sarawak Beads Exhibition to be held in Banjarmasin in Kalimantan.

“We will also hold for the second time the Dino Trek exhibition in collaboration with Petroscience at Petroleum Museum in Miri.”

The Museum Department, he added, was assisting in the conservation work of a few traditional longhouses in the state. Source

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