The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 20, 2014


An exceptional archaeological site at Obernai: More than 6,000 years of occupation
An archaeologist of the National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Researches (Inrap) presents a 5th century triangular comb made with deer antler in the 5th century, on October 30, 2013 in Strasbourg, eastern France. AFP PHOTO/FREDERICK FLORIN.
PARIS.- In advance of the construction of an industrial business park by the associated communes of Pays de Sainte Odile, Inrap has just finished a large excavation at Obernai, under the curation of the State (DRAC Alsace). Across more than 7.5 hectares, Neolithic, Gallic, Gallo-Roman and Merovingian societies succeeded each other through time. The excavation of this site sheds new light on the cultural evolution and population movements over nearly 6 millennia, as well as on the territorial organisation of Alsace.

Around 6900 years ago: a Neolithic necropolis
In the south-eastern part of the excavated area, the archaeologists uncovered a funerary sector containing around twenty graves. The oldest of them date from 4900 to 4750 BC. Another sector yielded around fifteen additional Neolithic graves. Most of the deceased were adorned with pendants and bracelets composed of small limestone or mother-of-pearl beads. One of them was wearing two stone ring-disks. Flint tools and pottery are abundant. Based on the decorated pottery, this occupation can be attributed to the end of the Grossgartach culture, the first large entity of the Middle Neolithic, at around 4750 BC. During this period, vast “Danubian” necropoli were replaced by small sepulchral entities. This transitional period is poorly known in Alsace and the Obernai necropolis now provides a solid reference.

2160 years ago: a Gallic farm
To the north of the site, the remains of a Gallic farm were found. It is composed of a 8000 m2 enclosure with an unusual plan; it has two doors built into its corners, one of which is covered with a monumental porch. Inside the enclosure, there are building remains, storage pits and many artefacts from the Final La Tene period (150 to 130 BC). These artefacts (fibulae, glass ornaments, pottery, amphorae, coins, etc.) show the importance of this farm and the wealth of its owner.

The Gallic occupation also extends outside of the large enclosure, beyond its trenches: to the south, the archaeologists uncovered a small contemporary enclosure whose purpose is still unknown, and around fifty meters to the east there is a group of habitat structures (excavated buildings, storage pits).

The discovery of human skull fragments, weapons and a few burials of children and animals, across the entire site, suggests a religious context, and perhaps even the presence of a sanctuary. One pit in particular yielded umbo shields with marks made by strikes.

These data and the location of this establishment at the border between Mediomatrici and Rauraque populations make this site one of the most important for this period in Alsace.

Around 1650 years ago: peoples from the East
Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have studied a Merovingian necropolis composed of eighteen graves orientated west-east, following the ritual of the period. Objects were found in four tombs, including three silver earrings. The richest of the deceased was wearing two small gold pins that were holding a piece of clothing or a veil on her chest. Two pendants, called ‘châtelaines’, were attached to her belt, and various objects were attached to them: a silver mirror, like those used by Alans-Samartian populations (Caucasus); several large beads of coloured glass and amber; and a toiletry kit (tweezers and earscoop). This woman also had a triangular brush made from deer antler and decorated with geometric motifs, and horse heads at its extremities

In addition to the grave goods, the eastern origin of the individuals is shown by the presence of a deformed skull. During the Merovingian period, this practice was first associated with the Huns, the famous ethnic group of central Asia. The intentional deformation required the use of wooden planks or ties that bound the head from a very young age. This practice distinguished the elites and affirmed their social status. Similar graves, which are usually isolated, have been discovered in Northern Gaul, Germany and eastern Europe. They are accompanied by abundant grave goods. They thus appear to be the graves of high dignitaries and their families, of eastern origin, incorporated into the Roman army during the “great migrations”. The Obernai necropolis is one of the few large groups of discovered in France. It is the first evidence of the presence of an eastern community over a long period of time in Alsace at the end of the Roman Empire.




Today's News

November 1, 2013

An exceptional archaeological site at Obernai: More than 6,000 years of occupation

Christie's to sell Fender Stratocaster played by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival

Lawrence Alkin Gallery presents never-before-seen images of Kate Moss at age fourteen

The UK's first major exhibition about Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione opens at The Queen's Gallery

First display of excavated Etruscan tomb opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

Previously unseen photograph of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier is unveiled

Sotheby's London to offer the definitive portrait of Jane Austen by James Andrews

Exciting new primetime television series based on Morphy Auctions debuts in Australia

Sotheby's Paris to offer masterpieces of 20th century decorative arts from the collection of Félix Marcilhac

Gods and heroes take centre stage in Bonhams Greek Sale in London on 26 November

Walkabout: An exhibition of new works by Jay Heikes on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery

The Frist Center presents "American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell"

Visual Grace: Important American Folk Art from the Collection of Ralph O. Esmerian to be offered at Sotheby's

Blanton Museum receives Mellon Foundation grant to train future curators

In iPad era, US debates the value of cursive script

New dolphin species discovered off north Australia

Exhibition of new drawings, paintings and sculptures by Sandra Cinto opens at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

Rare collection of renowned botanic works featured in Ketterer Kunst auction

Artist Kwan Sheung Chi is the first recipient of the Hugo Boss Asia Art Award

Artistic Director Juliana Engberg reveals details for 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site