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Skeleton found in rock shelter corresponds with the relatively unknown Janambre Culture

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The Janamabre were an ethnic group of nomadic hunter-gatherers that opposed the colonisation of the northeast of New Spain, Mexico, between the 17th and 18th centuries.

At the time, the Kingdom of New Spain was a territorial entity of the Spanish Empire, which was formed following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521.

The discovery was made after archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) were notified of possible human remains in a rock shelter located in the Huizachal Canyon in Tamaulipas.

The remains belong to a male individual between 35 and 40 years of age, which the researchers have suggested corresponds with the Janambre Culture. The skeleton was found in the middle part of the shelter at a depth of 18cm’s and was buried in a shroud made from a bundle of vegetable fibres and flexible wooden rods.

Also discovered in the burial are three Cameron point arrow heads and numerous carving debris, indicating a lithic industry that took advantage of the natural resources of the region.

According to INAH, the discovery will allow the team to learn more about the physical characteristics of the Janambre, in addition to the material culture of which very little is known archaeologically. This is due to their nomadic lifestyle that used perishable goods on their way through the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain ranges.

Archaeologist and historian, Carlos Vanueth Pérez, said: “the discovery allows us to contrast the archaeological data with the ethnohistorical investigations carried out in the 20th century by scholars such as Gabriel Saldívar, Guy Stresser-Péan and Octavio Herrera, who highlight the importance of the janambres in the dispute over the territory renamed Nuevo Santander (a region of the Viceroyalty of New Spain).”

INAH

Header Image Credit : INAH Tamaulipas Centre

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Archaeology

Clusters of ancient qanats discovered in Diyala

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An archaeological survey has identified three clusters of ancient qanats in the Diyala Province of Iraq.

A qanat, also known as a kārīz, is a system for transporting water from an aquifer or water well over long distances in hot dry climates without losing water to evaporation.

Qanats use a sequence of vertical shafts resembling wells, linked by a gently inclined tunnel that serves as a conduit for channelling water. Qanats efficiently transport substantial volumes of underground water to the surface without requiring pumps.

The water naturally flows downhill by gravity, with the endpoint positioned at a lower level than the origin. When the qanat is still below ground, the water is drawn to the surface via water wells or animal driven Persian wells.

Image Credit : State Board of Antiquities & Heritage

Some Qanats are divided into an underground network of smaller canals known as kariz, functioning similarly to qanats by staying beneath the surface to prevent contamination and evaporation. In certain instances, water from a qanat is stored in a reservoir, usually with nighttime flow reserved for daytime usage.

The technology for qanat’s first emerged in ancient Iran around 3,000-years-ago and slowly spread westward and eastward.

A recent survey within the Diyala Province has discovered three clusters of qanats stretching between the areas of Jalulaa and Kortaba. Initial studies dates the clusters to around AD 1000, a period known as the “Iranian Intermezzo”, when parts of the region were governed by a number of minor Iranian emirates.

The first cluster consists of 25 wells on a linear alignment connected to an adjacent 10 metre deep water channel. The second cluster also has 25 wells and is connected to a 13 km long hand dug channel, while the third cluster consists of 9 wells connected to water canals dug on both sides.

Header Image Credit : State Board of Antiquities & Heritage

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

16,800-year-old Palaeolithic dwelling found in La Garma cave

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Archaeologists have discovered a 16,800-year-old Palaeolithic dwelling in the La Garma cave complex, located in the municipality of Ribamontán al Monte in Spain’s Cantabria province.

The La Garma cave complex is a parietal art-bearing paleoanthropological cave system on the southern side of the La Garma Hill.

The cave complex is noted for one of the best preserved floors from the Palaeolithic period, containing more than 4,000 fossils and more than 500 graphical units.

A project led by Pablo Arias and Roberto Ontañón from the University of Cantabria has recently announced the discovery of a Palaeolithic dwelling within the cave system, described as “one of the best preserved Palaeolithic dwellings in the world.”

The dwelling is an oval space and is delimited by an alignment of stone blocks and stalagmites that supported a fixed structure of sticks and skins leaning against the cave wall. The total area of the space is around 5 square metres that centred on a camp fire.

Archaeologists also found vestiges of various daily activities associated with Magdalenian hunters and gatherers at the dwelling, including evidence of stone manufacturing, bone and antler instruments, and the working of fur.

In total, over 4,614 objects have been documented, such as dear, horse and bison bones, 600 pieces of flint, needles and a protoharpoon, shells of marine mollusks, as well as numerous pendants worn by the cave dwelling inhabitants.

Additionally, the researchers also found a number of decorated bones, including a remarkable pierced aurochs phalanx engraved with a depiction of both the animal itself and a human face—a distinctive artefact unique to the European Palaeolithic era.

Due to the national importance of the discovery, the team used innovative non-intrusive techniques in their study of the dwelling. This includes continuous tomography of the soils, 3D cartography, the molecular and genetic analysis of soils and Palaeolithic objects, mass spectrometry, and hyperspectral imaging.

Header Image Credit : University of Cantabria

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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