Article | Multi-millennial human impacts and climate change during the Maya early Anthropocene: implications on hydro-sedimentary dynamics and socio-environmental trajectories (Naachtun, Guatemala)

Source : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107458 

Abstract

During the Maya early Anthropocene (2000 BCE – 1000 CE) in Mesoamerica, socio-environmental interactions contributed to the rise and decline of the ancient Maya civilisation. At the scale of the exploitation territories of the Maya cities, the temporal variations of hydrological and sedimentary dynamics in response to anthropogenic and climate drivers are still poorly known. This constrains diachronic analyses of socio-ecosystems and, more particularly, of water and soil resources in the hinterlands. This manuscript analyses and presents a regional comparison of the dynamics of one of the most transformed hydrosystems and morpho-sedimentary systems by the societies of the Southern Maya Lowlands (SMLs), during the second half of the Holocene. It focuses on the lake basin of the polje named El Infierno bajo and its watershed, which was the main water storage area for the Maya city of Naachtun a large regional capital between 150 and 950 CE –, and which contains many remains of hydraulic and agrarian structures. This integrated palaeolimnological, geoarchaeological and hydrological approach, based on the analyses of morpho-sedimentary archives, LiDAR altimetry data and hydrological data, resulted in the construction of hydro-sedimentary baselines (pre- syn- and post-ancient Maya anthropogenic impacts). Currently, the intermittent lake (civale) of this bajo responds to strong seasonal and interannual hydrological variabilities, under climate control. During the past 5500 years, hydro-sedimentary fluctuations were marked by the alternation of seven main hydrological periods (HP), characterised by high and low lake levels (alternately perennial, intermittent and dry lake) and six main erosion and sediment transfer periods (ESTP), marked by strong and low alluvial and colluvial detrital inputs in the lowlands. Anthropogenic and climate forcings have independently or jointly controlled the hydrologic and sedimentary budgets of the lake basin. Lithofacies, depositional processes, accumulation rates and drivers of the anthropogenic detrital inputs – the so-called “Maya clays” –, are analysed and quantified from ∼1500 BCE to ∼1150 CE. It thus reveals one of the longest periods of occupation and exploitation of natural resources of the SMLs, for over 2500 years during the Preclassic, Classic and Post-classic Maya periods. The hydro-sedimentary dynamics in the bajos of the SMLs Elevated Interior Region (EIR), such as El Infierno, enabled the long-term exploitation of water and soil resources for agrarian purposes, thanks to the construction of hydraulic and agrarian palimpsest landscapes shaped by the socio-ecosystems.

Ouvrage | Dental Cementum in Anthropology

Cet ouvrage collectif coordonné par Stephan Naji, William Rendu et Lionel Gourichon rassemble pour la première fois l’état des connaissances actuelles sur le cément dentaire et le formidable potentiel de la cémentochronologie dans les domaines de l’anthropologie biologique, la médecine légale, l’archéozoologie et la paléodémographie. La première section de l’ouvrage offre une riche documentation sur les mécanismes biologiques de la formation du cément et sur les facteurs internes et externes susceptibles d’influencer sa croissance ; la deuxième propose des protocoles innovants et standardisés pour estimer précisément l’âge et la saison de mort des individus à partir de l’analyse des structures incrémentielles du cément ; la troisième présente plusieurs exemples d’applications en biologie et en archéologie. Une partie de 24 contributions réunies dans ce volume sont le fruit des recherches menées par les membres du projet ANR CemeNTAA dirigé par W. Rendu (IRL ZooSCan) et L. Gourichon (CEPAM) de 2015 à 2018.

Source : https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/dental-cementum-in-anthropology/C9F4118CC040A3EDBC16DA0082BFBFE9

Article | Le Paléolithique ancien des Marches, Italie, 2021

Source : Le Paléolithique ancien des Marches (Italie) (openedition.org)

Dix ans de recherche sur et autour du gisement archéologique du Pléistocène moyen de Valle Giumentina, situé dans le Parc national de la Maiella, reconnu Géoparc UNESCO en 2021, nous ont laissé entrevoir tout le potentiel de la région des Abruzzes mais aussi de celle des Marches qui la jouxte au nord, en matière de conservation non seulement de sites du Paléolithique inférieur et moyen mais aussi d’archives sédimentaires anciennes dilatées.

Article | Géoarchéologie en contexte karstique dans la Maiella (Abruzzes, Italie, 2021)

Source : Géoarchéologie en contexte karstique dans la Maiella (Abruzzes, Italie) (openedition.org)

Un programme de recherches géoarchéologiques dans les grottes et abris du massif de la Maiella, récemment labellisé Geopark UNESCO, a été initié en 2021. Il s’agit d’une part d’identifier des indices du Paléolithique et des séquences sédimentaires du Pléistocène, et d’autre part, de mener les premières analyses non invasives des peintures rupestres du massif (datations, analyses élémentaires au spectromètre de fluorescence des rayons X).

Revue | Thalassotopies. La mer vue de la terre, la terre vue de la mer dans l’Antiquité

Source : https://journals.openedition.org/mondesanciens/

La mer est un élément omniprésent dans le paysage méditerranéen, partagé entre des montagnes et des plaines, des côtes et des îles. La mer Égée constitue un cas caractéristique du monde méditerranéen : 72 % de la péninsule grecque et des îles égéennes se trouvent au voisinage direct de la mer ou à une distance inférieure à 25 km. Cette particularité géographique a souvent été mise en avant afin de prononcer le caractère maritime des  civilisations qui se sont développées dans le pourtour égéen. Or, si le paysage égéen est marqué par son aspect marin, il est aussi habituel de constater que le domaine des hommes reste la terre. Si la mer n’est jamais trop loin, elle reste un territoire non accessible aux humains, et qui nécessite des aptitudes cognitives pour le maîtriser. Diviniser la mer et tourner le dos à la mer coexistent depuis la préhistoire, et ces deux aspects contradictoires sont bien exprimés dans les registres archéologique, textuel ou ethnographique égéen.
Ce numéro des Cahiers « Mondes anciens » aspire à interroger les différentes perceptions – visuelles, cognitives ou imaginaires – du paysage marin par les civilisations protohistoriques et historiques, à décrypter le mode opératoire d’une vie maritime au-delà de la causalité géographique ou encore de la dichotomie mer/terre ou mer/homme. Les présentes contributions proposent une relecture intégrée des écosystèmes marins et des sociétés égéennes, un anthropo-écosystème dans lequel les deux constituants s’entremêlent et se fusionnent.
Les contributions issues de ce numéro ont été présentées lors de la journée d’études « Thalassotopies. La mer vue de la terre, la terre vue de la mer dans l’Antiquité » qui a eu lieu à Paris en avril 2017, avec le soutien de l’Institut d’études avancées de Paris et d’ArScAn (UMR 7041).

Ouvrage | Contacts between South Arabia and the Horn of Africa, from the Bronze Age to Islam. In Honor of Rémy Audouin

Source : http://pum.univ-tlse2.fr/~Contacts-between-South-Arabia-and~.html

N° ISBN : 978-2-8107-0726-3
PRIX : 30.00 €
Format et nombre de pages : 24 × 21 cm – 344 p.

Over the course of a millennium and a half, from the Bronze Age to the advent of Islam, the Red Sea was a threshold between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. From the Nile Valley to the Arabian Desert, influences, wealth, craftsmen, patterns and ideas circulated, accompanying caravans and travelers. Long-distance navigation was accompanied by cabotage from port to port demonstrating the extent to which seas are corridors rather than borders. Following the example of Abraha – a high-ranking military officer from the kingdom of Aksum on the African side of the Red Sea – who in the middle of the 6th century ruled over Yemen and extended his power over the entirety of the Arabian Peninsula, trade flowed in both directions.
The extravagant church that this Christian sovereign erected in his Yemeni capital Ṣanʿāʾ is still the subject of discussion among scholars. This book features the work of archaeologists, philologists and epigraphists, and is a rendition of the 21st Rencontres sabéennes which took place in Toulouse in 2017 and was devoted to the theme of “Relations between South Arabia and East Africa – from the Bronze Age to the advent of Islam”.
These contributions accompany a collection of moving tributes dedicated to the memory of Rémy Audouin (1935-2016) (Hommage à Rémy Audouin, Editions CEFAS 2020), who devoted his life to the archaeology of South Arabia and Ethiopia.

Ouvrage | SETTLING THE WORLD From Prehistory to the Metropolis Era

Auteurs : Arnaud Banos, Frédérique Bertoncello, Anne Bretagnolle, Christophe Coupé, Stefani A. Crabtree, Robin Cura, François Favory, Jean-Luc Fiches, Alain Franc, Pierre Garmy, Julie Gravier, Ryma Hachi, Jean-Marie Hombert, Lahouari Kaddouri, Timothy A. Kohler, Florent Le Néchet, Samuel Leturcq, Thérèse Libourel, Pierre Livet, Elisabeth Lorans, Hélène Mathian, Lucie Nahassia, Laure Nuninger, Marie-Jeanne Ouriachi, Denis Phan, Denise Pumain, Claude Raynaud, Sébastien Rey-Coyrehourcq, Xavier Rodier, Lena Sanders, Laurent Schneider, Clara Schmitt, Cécile Tannier, Sander van der Leeuw, Elisabeth Zadora-Rio
Abstract: 70 000 years ago, Homo sapiens left Africa to colonize the world. 6,000 years ago, he founded the first cities. Today, in the era of city networks, he is creating increasingly wide and complex metropolitan regions. From prehistory to the era of metropolises, man has occupied the earth’s space in an infinite variety of ways, under the influence of a multitude of factors. How did the Bantu populate a space already occupied by the Pygmies in equatorial Africa? How were cities born in the Bronze Age?
How did the pueblo society develop and then disappear in the United States? What were the effects of Romanization on the settlement of southern Gaul? How did the village system emerge around the year 1000 in Europe? This book addresses twelve major changes in global settlement
formalized as “transitions”.
What is a transition? How can it be identified in the empirical field? Archaeologists, historians, linguists, and geographers combine their efforts to construct, analyze, and compare models of settlement transition in world history. Observing the particular, they seek the universal. This book proposes a method for understanding the laws of human settlement in the very long term.

Article | Survival kit for the afterlife or instruction manual for prehistorians? Staging artefact production in Middle Neolithic cemetery Kadruka 23, Upper Nubia, Sudan

Source : https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2021.151 

The burials at the Neolithic cemetery Kadruka 23 in Sudan have yielded adornments and bone and lithic artefacts that occur as distinct stages of the chaîne opératoire. This article reports on a hitherto unrecognised funerary practice that highlights the importance of craftsmanship for Neolithic communities in life and beyond.

Chapitre | Tracing prehistory in highland Yemen: contributions of the Dhamar Survey Project in light of new discoveries in Arabia

Source : https://oi.uchicago.edu/article/sherds-landscapes-studies-ancient-near-east-honor-mcguire-gibson-now-available

Since at least the 1970s, McGuire Gibson recognized the unique potential for archaeological research in highland Yemen to reveal key insights into Arabian prehistory. At that time, southwest Arabia was considered by most to be peripheral to cultural developments in better-known parts of the early ancient Near East. A series of research projects in the region have since shown that Gibson’s early assessment was astute. This chapter briefly reviews the current state of research on the prehistory and paleoecology of highland Yemen, with special attention to the contributions of the Dhamar Survey Project, which was cofounded by McGuire Gibson and Tony Wilkinson. We then situate the evidence for prehistoric highland Yemen in the context of contemporary research questions across Arabia and the wider region.

Article | Holocene East African monsoonal variations recorded in wave-dominated clastic paleo-shorelines of Lake Abhe, Central Afar region (Ethiopia & Djibouti)

Source : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2021.107896

Abstract

In tropical Africa, Late Pleistocene-Holocene climatic fluctuations heavily impacted the continental hydro-systems. The timing and magnitude of ‘African Humid Period’ hydrological dynamics (AHP; ~14.8 to ~5.5 ka BP) are not yet fully understood due to the extreme variability in African geomorphic patterns and the complex network of past air convergence boundary shifts. The investigation of the functioning of specific hydro-sedimentary basins is needed to improve our knowledge on the AHP spatial and chronological patterns over the continent. In this paper we present a revised Holocene lake level curve of Lake Abhe: an endorheic basin situated in the Afar Depression at the northern extremity of the East African Rift System (EARS). Located at the boundary of the Red Sea and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans’ air moisture mass fluxes, the Lake Abhe watershed represents a system sensitive to changes in Northeast African hydro-climate. Based on numerous littoral lacustrine geomorphic features and 53 related radiocarbon ages on stromatolites and nearshore deposits, we have defined the main Holocene lake highstands proposing a detailed paleo-shoreline record. The first rise in water level is dated to ~11.1 ka cal. BP, while the Maximal Holocene Highstand Shoreline (~420 m a.s.l.) was rapidly reached around ~10 ka cal. BP. Evidence of the impact of the 8.2 ka North Atlantic cooling event is recognized with slow lake level regression until ~8.3 ka cal. BP and with an abrupt drop at ~8 ka cal. BP. The resurgence of humid conditions was recorded from ~7.7 ka cal. BP to ~4.6 ka cal. BP. Radiocarbon ages on littoral materials allow us to propose a Holocene subsidence rate of the Abhe basin axial valley. Furthermore, multiphase sill overflow incisions towards the downstream Hanle basin and transient fluvial connectivity with the upstream Ziway-Shala basin, indicate strong geomorphic controls on lake highstand elevations. In summary, Lake Abhe Holocene fluctuations are the result of combined hydro-climatic, tectonic and local geomorphic controls. However, the confrontation with others East African basins allows us to discuss the transport of moisture masses dynamics into the northern EARS during the Holocene.