Article | Neolithic shepherds and sheepfold caves in Southern France and adjacent areas: An overview from 40 years of bioarchaeological analyses

Source : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2023.03.004

Résumé : In southern France, the analysis of fossil dung layers from caves and shelters occupied by the first Neolithic farmers has provided a wealth of information about the lives of shepherds and their flocks, and thus on pastoral systems. Since the early 1980s, the development of sedimentological, archaeozoological and archaeobotanical studies has made possible to collect a large amount of data. More recently, the implementation of a whole range of innovative approaches allows a more detailed approach to pastoralism. This paper proposes a synthetic approach of 40 years of bioarchaeological analysis on Neolithic sheepfold caves (grottes-bergeries). Their interpretation focuses on understanding the early agropastoral system: pastoral use of wild and cultivated plant resources (fodder, litter, care and health of livestock), mobility systems, seasonality, practices and appropriation of territory.

Article | Dietary traits of the ungulates from the Middle Pleistocene sequence of Lazaret Cave: palaeoecological and archaeological implications

Source : https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-023-01719-2

Dietary traits in ungulates from Lazaret Cave were analysed for possible changes in ecological niches throughout the marine isotopic stage (MIS) 6 sequence of the site and to investigate the duration of the occupations corresponding to the accumu- lation of ungulate remains by human groups. The analysis revealed changes in dietary diversity throughout the sequence related to the climatic and environmental changes of the MIS 6. These changes affected the availability of vegetal resources, competition among species, and the distribution and movement of the ungulates in the territory. Human groups were also affected by these changes, as the archaeological record of Lazaret Cave in the duration of occupations at the different levels shows. The response of the large mammal communities to persistent climatic instability is reflected in differences between the sites of southern France of the MIS 6, where species show different dietary traits.

Ouvrage | Bassit 2 (Syrie) Fouilles Paul Courbin (1971-1984). Le tell du XVIe siècle av-J-C au VIe siècle ap. J-C.

Source : https://www.brepols.net/products/IS-9782503593227-1

À 50 km au Nord de Lattaquié, le site côtier de Bassit a été étudié sous la direction de Paul Courbin : après l’acropole (1971–1972) (périodes hellénistique et romaine), et la nécropole du Fer (1973–1974), le « tell » a été fouillé de 1972 à 1984. Sont présentés ici une description détaillée de la stratigraphie et de l’architecture du « tell », des ensembles céramiques associés, ainsi que le corpus du mobilier datant du Bronze Récent I et II. Bassit est installé aux marges Nord du royaume d’Ougarit à partir du milieu du XVIe s. av. J.-C. Les importations chypriotes sont nombreuses durant tout le Bronze Récent, mais la céramique égéenne apparaît très rare. Le site est détruit bien avant le passage des « peuples de la mer » (vers 1200). A l’âge du Fer, la fonction constante de Bassit est de contrôler l’accès maritime depuis Chypre et le cabotage littoral. Le commerce de la céramique chypriote domine le Fer I et II, celui des céramiques égéennes et étrusques, puis attiques, le Fer III. À l’époque hellénistique, la production d’amphores et de monnaies confirme l’identification de Posideion avec Bassit. L’époque romaine est également marquée par une importante production de céramique.

Article | Dietary traits of the ungulates from the Middle Pleistocene sequence of Lazaret Cave: palaeoecological and archaeological implications

Source : https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-023-01719-2

Dietary traits in ungulates from Lazaret Cave were analyzed for possible changes in ecological niches throughout the marine isotopic stage (MIS) 6 sequence of the site and to investigate the duration of the occupations corresponding to the accumulation of ungulate remains by human groups. The analysis revealed changes in dietary diversity throughout the sequence related to the climatic and environmental changes of the MIS 6. These changes affected the availability of vegetal resources, competition among species, and the distribution and movement of the ungulates in the territory. Human groups were also affected by these changes, as the archaeological record of Lazaret Cave in the duration of occupations at the different levels shows. The response of the large mammal communities to persistent climatic instability is reflected in differences between the sites of southern France of the MIS 6, where species show different dietary traits.

Article | Enhanced continental weathering (δ 7 Li, εNd) during the rise of East African complex polities: an early large-scale anthropogenic forcing?

Source : https://doi.org/10.5802/crgeos.169

Human-induced environmental disturbances during the Holocene have provided support for the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis (EAH), which proposes that with the advent of agro-pastoralism and associated deforestation, humans have modified CO2 and CH4 concentrations into the atmosphere. However, only limited evidence exists for human driven chemical alteration of the Earth’s Critical Zone (ECZ) in early antiquity. Here, we explore the impact of human activities on both erosion and chemical weathering patterns in the Nile basin during a time interval that includes the rise of the Aksumite Kingdom and Late Antique Egypt (3–1 ka BP). By coupling lithium and neodymium isotopes (δ7Li, εNd) in clay-size fractions of two marine sediment cores from the Nile Deep Sea Fan (NDSF), we reconstruct the variability of sediment provenance and silicate weathering intensity in the Nile basin over the last 9000 years. Our high temporal resolution data show that for the last 3000 years, the Rosetta Nile Deep Sea Fan has been increasingly fed with clays delivered from the Ethiopian basaltic highlands (εNd=∼-1), despite the absence of hydrological intensification and major climatic drivers over that region. Concomitantly, the clay Li isotopic composition shifted towards lower δ7Li values (δ7Li=1 to 2), yielding unprecedented negative values for at least the last 100,000 years. Combined with other archaeological, paleo-pedological and organic chemistry inferences, the Li–Nd isotope proxy records indicate a link between the intensification of continental weathering and intensified land-use and water management during the Pre-Aksumite (3 to 2 ka BP) and Aksumite (2 to 1 ka BP) periods. Therefore, our results provide direct support to the hypothesis of an early and large scale anthropogenic forcing on continental chemical weathering. A comparison with previously published records for Central Africa, Central Europe and China suggests that the impact of the intensification of early agriculture on the ECZ may have operated at a global scale starting around four thousand years ago.

Article | Artificial Intelligence-Based Low-Terahertz Imaging for Archaeological Shards Classification

Source : https://doi.org/10.1109/TAP.2022.3189553

Abstract :
In order to map the migration and introduction of farming into Europe during the seventh and sixth millennia Before Common Era, archeologists have made a connection between the study of pottery and farming migration. We are interested here in the classification of pottery into coiling and spiral types based on their manufacturing techniques. To distinguish between these two techniques, we look for the lines formed by air bubbles embedded in the pottery samples. Current methods make use of bulky systems, such as computerized tomography scanners or synchrotrons. Microwave acquisition and processing offer an interesting alternative, due to the possibility to have compact and portable systems. In this article, we investigate the classification of pottery based on low-terahertz measurements in the D-band. We process the measurements with 3-D fast Fourier transform. The resulting matrix is classified with an artificial neural network, multilayer perceptron, which is optimized with the gray wolf optimizer, a bioinspired algorithm. The first results show that the accuracy reaches up to 99% using all the acquired spatial and frequency measurements. Then, we optimize the millimeter-wave (mm-Wave) measurement system with a critical criterion on accuracy in two different scenarios. In the first scenario, we reduce the spatial acquisition but maintain the wideband operation and the results show that the accuracy is between 85% and 96%. In the second one, we reduce the spatial acquisition and use a single frequency. For this second scenario, we achieve a classification accuracy, which is between 77% and 100%.

Article | Design et économie des armes de chasse magdaléniennes de la grotte Tastet (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), de la Marche (Vienne) et de la grotte Blanchard (Indre)

Source : https://www.prehistoire.org

Résumé : L’équipement cynégétique tient un rôle essentiel dans les économies des chasseurs-cueilleurs largement basées sur l’exploitation des ressources animales, c’est pourquoi l’identification de cet équipement, la restitution de son design et de sa gestion sont riches d’informations sur les dynamiques de ce type de société du Paléolithique à nos jours. L’analyse fonctionnelle détaillée de plusieurs séries de microlithes du Magdalénien moyen (19.5-16 cal ka BP) issues de la grotte Tastet, de la grotte Blanchard et de la grotte de la Marche, et la comparaison avec les données disponibles sur les pointes osseuses, permettent de discuter l’économie de l’armement de chasse et de proposer une restitution du design des projectiles pour les ensembles archéologiques considérés. La comparaison de la fréquence et de la spécificité des stigmates d’impact sur les microlithes montre leur grande homogénéité à l’échelle intra-site, en revanche, à l’échelle inter-sites, il existe des différences d’endommagement significatives pouvant être liées à des montages différents sur les pointes osseuses. Ces données croisées des industries lithiques et osseuses dédiées à la chasse participent à renouveler notre approche des traditions du Magdalénien moyen en affinant notre perception des rythmes complexes de changements techniques parmi les sociétés tardiglaciaires de l’Ouest de la France.

Mots-clés : Magdalénien, Tardiglaciaire, industrie lithique, industrie osseuse, analyse fonctionnelle, technologie des projectiles, ressource animale, techno-économie.

Ouvrage | Stéphane de Byzance. Les Ethniques comme source historique: l’exemple de l’Europe occidentale

Source : https://www.brepols.net/products/IS-9782503593814-1

Le lexique géographique du grammairien byzantin Stéphane de Byzance, les Ethniques, est une oeuvre à l’origine monumentale. Ce lexique contenait de nombreuses mentions d’auteurs disparus, se rapportant à des toponymes du monde antique connu des Grecs et des Romains. À l’intérieur de ce lexique, nous avons choisi d’étudier plus spécialement ceux situés en Europe occidentale (péninsule ibérique, Gaule, Germanie et Bretagne antiques), en lien avec les sites archéologiques connus s’y rapportant. L’ouvrage ayant été abrégé à plusieurs reprises au cours du Moyen Âge, la confrontation de l’ensemble des notices a permis de proposer de nouvelles attributions d’auteurs antiques, leur nom et leur citation ayant très souvent disparu des manuscrits conservés. Par ailleurs l’analyse précise de la transmission de l’oeuvre apporte un éclairage nouveau sur les moments où ce grammairien a été lu et utilisé, du VIe s. jusqu’à sa redécouverte à la fin du XVe s. La structure même du lexique permet de revenir sur la lexicographie antique et médiévale, et d’envisager les apports à la fois des grammairiens et des auteurs antiques (pour la plupart géographes et historiens) qui étaient cités. Enfin, le cadre géographique choisi permet d’explorer les autres textes antiques ainsi que les données archéologiques depuis l’époque grecque archaïque jusqu’à la fin de l’Empire romain. Nous avons inclus dans ce travail une analyse et une traduction de l’Ora maritima d’Aviénus, afin de compléter l’étude de la péninsule ibérique et du Midi de la Gaule.

Article | Tracking westerly wind directions over Europe since the middle Holocene

Source : https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-34952-9

The variability of the northern westerlies has been considered as one of the key elements for modern and past climate evolution. Their multiscale behavior and underlying control mechanisms, however, are incompletely understood, owing to the complex dynamics of Atlantic sea-level pressures. Here, we present a multi-annually resolved record of the westerly drift over the past 6,500 years from northern Italy. In combination with more than 20 other westerly-sensitive records, our results depict the non-stationary westerly-affected regions over mainland Europe on multi-decadal to multi-centennial time scales, showing that the direction of the westerlies has changed with respect to the migrations of the North Atlantic centers of action since the middle Holocene. Our findings suggest the crucial role of the migrations of the North Atlantic dipole in modulating the westerly-affected domain over Europe, possibly modulated by Atlantic Ocean variability.

Ouvrage | Later Greek Epic and the Latin Literary Tradition

Source : https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110791907

The volume offers an innovative and systematic exploration of the diverse ways in which Later Greek Epic interacts with the Latin literary tradition. Taking as a starting point the premise that it is probable for the Greek epic poets of the Late Antiquity to have been familiar with leading works of Latin poetry, either in the original or in translation, the contributions in this book pursue a new form of intertextuality, in which the leading epic poets of the Imperial era (Quintus of Smyrna, Triphiodorus, Nonnus, and the author of the Orphic Argonautica) engage with a range of models in inventive, complex, and often covert ways. Instead of asking, in other words, whether Greek authors used Latin models, we ask how they engaged with them and why they opted for certain choices and not for others. Through sophisticated discussions, it becomes clear that intertexts are usually systems that combine ideology, cultural traditions, and literary aesthetics in an inextricable fashion. The book will prove that Latin literature, far from being distinct from the Greek epic tradition of the imperial era, is an essential, indeed defining, component within a common literary and ideological heritage across the Roman empire.