01 AVRIL 2011 NEWS - Narbonne - Tel Gezer - Yerevan - Vancouver - Tel El-Dabaa - Karkamis- Lac Michigan - Alexandria -


 - 01 AVRIL

 - FRANCE – Narbonne - En 2010, plusieurs opérations de prospections et de fouilles archéologiques ont permis de renouveler les connaissances sur le port de Narbonne. La capitale de la Province narbonnaise, plaque tournante du commerce antique, est réputée pour son rôle culturel et économique dans la romanisation du sud de la Gaule. Néanmoins, les structures d'échanges restaient peu connues à cause d'importantes modifications de la zone lagunaire. Les recherches menées par une équipe pluridisciplinaire ont montré l'importance des aménagements dans les marécages. Les structures en bois, restées dans ces zones humides ont pu être dégagées. Sur le site de Port-la-Nautique, toute une zone artisanale a été mise en évidence, soulignant la proximité des lieux de productions et d'échanges. Les installations portuaires autour des étangs de Bages/Sigean se dessinent au fil des recherches de terrain. La conférence publique sur   « les ports antiques de Narbonne »   a été donnée par Corinne Sanchez, chercheuse au CNRS (Archéologie des sociétés méditerranéennes, Montpellier Lattes) dernièrement.  


 - ISRAËLTel Gezer - The challenge is excavating a large, rock-hewn water tunnel at Tel Gezer that is believed to have been carved out by Canaanites between 1800 and 1500 B.C.—around the time of Abraham. Tons of debris must be removed from the ancient tunnel before the real work can even begin. Many rock-hewn water systems have been discovered in Israel. These tunnels were built to provide water for the inhabitants of a city during a siege. The water system in Gezer, however, is unique. At Hazor, there is a system that is very similar to this. The great difference is the sizes. The one at Hazor was probably dug in the Iron Age.  is from almost a thousand years earlier.The Gezer system also is unusually large, measuring 12 feet wide by 24 feet tall, Parker noted. It is believed that the ancient people used donkeys to ferry water from the source to the surface. The width allowed two animals, loaded with jugs, to pass side by side. The height of the tunnel perplexes the expedition team, and they hope to find an explanation as they pursue the dig.


 - ARMENIE  Yerevan - Construction of St. Anna spiritual complex has launched on the territory adjacent to St. Mary church in the centre of Yerevan. On April 1, a fragment of the 17th century khachkar, attached to the wall inside the church, was found, as well as a part of a wall of a basilica blown up during 1936’s Stalin-era repressions. The expert did not rule out the possibility of the discovery of more artifacts dating back to 17th century left in the ruins after the devastating earthquake of 1679. However the construction works will continue, as no artifact of real value was found.


 - CANADA – Vancouver -    Vancouver may be celebrating its 125th birthday, but there’s another birthday that could be celebrated in the city dating back 9,000 years. The oldest known residents of Vancouver are the Musqueam First Nations, who also happen to have the only reserve that falls within the city’s boundaries, adjacent to the wealthy enclave known as Southlands. The Musqueam residential area centres around the Musqueam midden, also known as the Great Fraser midden — a mound of shells, animal bones and other refuse indicating human settlement dates back 9,000 years. The ancient deposit, near the mouth of the Fraser River estuary, also contained evidence of a fire pit, cedar weaving and textiles as well as animal and fish bones. It was discovered in the 1970s when the Greater Vancouver Regional District was putting in a sewer line. Archeologists are still discovering new artifacts every summer, Grant says, and it’s been surprising to see just how far the original village site extended, moving from the tidal flat towards higher ground. Archeologists estimate anywhere from 20,000 to 60,000 inhabitants lived there, but after contact in the 1700s — and especially around the turn of the 20th century — the community’s numbers dwindled to an astonishing 97 people. Today, there are approximately 1,300 Musqueam people — a far cry from the thousands who once lived in the area.  Although much has been lost over the years, including the near extinction of their language, the Musqueam are working hard to maintain their culture. Those efforts include ensuring their stories are passed down between the generations.


 - EGYPTE - Tel El-Dabaa - Armed looters broke in to the Tel El-Dabaa antiquities warehouse on Thursday, stealing artifacts and breaking several pieces of the stored collection. Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud, head of the Central Administration of Antiquities of Alexandria and Lower Egypt, said the warehouse was used to store artifacts found at Tel El-Dabaa's archaelogical sites by Dutch and German excavation missions over the last 30 years. They include a collection of ancient Egyptian clay pots and amulets.


 - TURQUIEKarkamış - Excavations will begin this year in the ancient city of Karkamış following the removal by hand of 1,200 landmines from the area, located in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, close to the Syrian border. The city, which dates to 3000 B.C., is thought to be the place where the world’s first written peace treaty, the Treaty of Kades between Ramses II and Hattusili III, was signed. Coins and historical artifacts already found there have not yet been catalogued but have been handed over to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Archaeologists from Italy and Japan are set to begin excavations this year in the ancient town. Karkamış’s history is actually older than that of the ancient Hellenistic city of Zeugma, also on the Euphrates, Yılmaz said. “The town has a rich heritage due to the different cultures that settled there in the period before Christ.


 - USA  Lac Michigan - An organization that documents shipwrecks said it has found the wreck of a 60-foot, single-masted sloop in Lake Michigan that may date back to the 1830s while looking for remnants of a plane that crashed into the lake more than 60 years ago. The wreck was found off southwestern Michigan in water about 250 feet deep between Saugatuck and South Haven- The vessel sits upright and is in relatively good condition, Holland-based Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates said. The sloop's construction and design are consistent with ships built in the 1820s and 1830s. Video of the wreck is expected to be shown April 16 at a social event in Holland. The ship likely was moving goods across the lake when it went down, Rich said, and it could be the oldest shipwreck discovered by Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates. Rich said the group hopes to identify the ship by the summer and begin researching its story. And the group plans to explore the wreck this year.


 - USA   Alexandria - Archaeologists in Alexandria, Va., are finishing the first phase of a project to identify the location of long-forgotten African-American graves. But neighbors disagree about what should happen next. Fifty years ago, the city of Alexandria condemned parts of an African-American neighborhood to create Fort Ward Park in time for the centennial of the Civil War, then started driving trucks over unmarked graves. Now that the sesquicentennial has started, the city has started a project to identify burials in four parts of the park.  Glenn Eugster, who lives in neighboring Marlboro Estates, says the city should spend what's necessary to identify all the graves. "I'd like to talk to the person who decides which bodies are important enough to find and which bodies aren't important enough to find," Eugster says. But bodies could be scattered all over the park, and finding all of them could take years of digging and hundreds of thousands of dollars.  "I think there's an injustice in terms of what the city did, but I'm concerned that spending large sums of money to track down all the graves takes away from getting the larger story out," says Seminary Ridge resident Dave Cavanaugh.