01 FEVRIER 2019: Topola - Huaizhuang - Cambridgeshire - Java - Beianle - Bristol - Karystos -
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WINTER TERM : JANUARY 2019
BULGARIE – Topola - Archaeological excavations near the village of Topola, allegedly the oldest necropolis in the Balkans, will not start this year, Kavarna Mayor Nina Stavreva told Focus Radio. She explained that at present the municipality was focused on two other historical sites – the Kaliakra Archaeological Reserve and the Prehistoric, Antiquity and Medieval Settlement in the Chirakman area. “The findings last year shed light on an understudied period of the settlement’s history. After all, there is the old town of Bizone, and we have directed funding for archaeology to these two sites,” the mayor said. The site at Topola will also be explored in the near future, being yet another tourist attraction, she said.
CHINE - Huaizhuang - Archaeologists found a stone tablet dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in a village in northern China's Hebei Province, the local cultural relics protection department said Thursday. The tablet, which is believed to be made while Emperor Wanli was in power, has a history of 418 years. The tablet, 310 cm in height, 88 cm in width and 23 cm thick, was found in Huaizhuang Village in Sansi township, Nanhe county. It was well preserved with a clear inscription on it. The inscription has a total of 729 characters that described the social situation at that time and the process of building a temple. The temple mentioned in the inscription was also built during Emperor Wanli's rule, but only a small part of the ancient temple has been preserved so far, said Lan Jianhui, a history expert in the city of Xingtai. The tablet will provide valuable material for research on the religious traditions and on the changes of the administrative division in the region, according to Lan.
ROYAUME UNI – Cambridgeshire - Evidence of the first beer believed to have been brewed in the UK, dating back more than 2,000 years, has been uncovered by road workers. Signs of the iron age brew from about 400BC were identified in fragments of charred residues from the beer-making process found during the £1.5bn upgrade of the A14 in Cambridgeshire. Lara González Carretero, an archaeobotanist with Mola, said the beer residues were found alongside those of bread and porridge. “They look quite similar under a regular microscope, but I was able to do some analysis using a scanning electron microscope [SEM] and there are differences in the insides of the fragments to do with fermentation, which distinguishes them from bread and porridge. “It’s quite unique. We didn’t have any evidence like this in the UK until now. Beer is very old but we didn’t have physical evidence of it.” She said all the fragments contained barley, water and oats. “The thing that actually distinguishes [the fragments] is that bread is made of very fine flour. For beer and porridge they are cracked grains. They are bigger. When I looked under the SEM, you could see the starch granules from the beer grains have differences that show fermentation.” The road project had already yielded a treasure trove of archaeological finds,including whole medieval and Anglo-Saxon villages, 342 burials, dozens of Roman brooches, a bone flute and the remains of a woolly mammoth that could be more than 130,000 years old. A Roman supply depot, rare Roman coins from the third century, an ornate 8th-century comb made of deer antler and 40 pottery kilns have also been uncovered.
INDONESIE – Java - A resident of Trenggalek regency, East Java, has accidentally found several ancient earthenwares from China believed to be historical legacies of the Ming Dynasty. “We are still waiting for further examination by archaeologists,” the regency’s Tourism and Culture Agency head, Joko Irianto, said in Trenggalek as quoted by Antara on Wednesday. He said the earthenware included bowls, small drinking jars, cupu (pill box), coins and other home appliances. The objects are believed to have been brought to Panggul by Chinese traders in the 1400s or during the rule of the Majapahit Kingdom. The assumption was based on the history of the diplomatic ties between the Majapahit and a Chinese kingdom.
CHINE - Beianle - A tomb dating back to the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.) has been found in north China's Hebei Province recently, the local cultural relics protection department said Wednesday. Located in the Beianle Township in the city of Wu'an, the ancient tomb measures 4.9 meters long, 2.25 meters wide and 2.3 meters high. The inner bricks were all fan-shaped, according to the cultural relics protection department of Wu'an. The tomb was accidentally found when villagers of Beianle Village were creating a garden. More than 20 pieces of silverware, bronzeware and pottery were unearthed from the tomb, which will contribute to research on the social history and ceramics of the Han Dynasty. Judging from the characteristics of the tomb and the unearthed items, archaeologists determined that the tomb might be from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), said Jia Mingtian, a department employee. Without epitaph or any other written records, the owner of the tomb has not been identified yet.
ROYAUME UNI – Bristol - Michael Richardson of the University of Bristol found parts of a thirteenth-century manuscript in a series of sixteenth-century French scholarly books held at the Bristol Central Library. The fragments tell the tale of a battle, and contain names from the Arthurian legends, including Arthur, Merlin, Gawain, King Ban, and King Bohors. The pages are thought to have been part of a text known as the Vulgate Cycle, or Lancelot Grail Cycle, which Sir Thomas Malory used as a source for Le Morte D’Arthur. Leah Tether of the University of Bristol said the books were printed in Strasbourg between 1494 and 1502, and are thought to have been bound in England in the early sixteenth century. The older Arthurian parchment fragments were probably in the binder’s workshop, and were likely reused in the process of attaching the pages of the newer book to its covering. At a later date, when the books were rebound, the pasted Arthurian sheets were probably reused as flyleaves.
GRECE – Karystos - Three ancient quarries for the mining of Karystos shale marble were discovered this week, according to an announcement from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. The fantastic discoveries were made during the installation of new wind turbine parks in Karystos, Evia. The ancient quarry of Anatoli in Kafireas, when unearthed, revealed two main faces of rock which had been partially covered with dirt that had accumulated over the years. The principal rock faces used for mining are at different heights, carved into the side of the mountain. Large rectangular blocks were also scattered around the immediate area. While the area was being cleaned by archeologists, two columns were spotted under a layer of fine mining gravel. Half of each column had crumbled away into the stone chips. The Trikorfo quarry is located high up on a rocky hillside, where archeologists have thus far uncovered two small faces of rock which were the setting of mining activities. Some box-shaped carvings were also discovered on the rock below, as well as “mining gravel” which consists of distinctive shapes of rock chips which are only found at mining sites. The second ancient quarry of Trikorfo was found northwest of the first mine. This site is believed to be significantly larger in size than the first, boasting three large “Π” shaped carvings, and tall, sheer faces of rock carved into the hillside. There was additional evidence of mining there as well, with three large rock chip piles in the area. In addition, three half-finished columns were discovered on the ground of the quarry’s main area. There were also other structures uncovered, such as a small circular object which might have been used for collecting water. It was covered with slate slabs, believed to have been used for washing mining tools. The discoveries of the ancient marble quarries of Karystos demonstrates how important the city was in ancient years. There was once intensive quarrying of marble in this region, mostly throughout the Roman period, during the days of Julius Caesar and Augustus. Karystian marble was very popular in Rome, and was used extensively in building monolithic pillars, including those still standing in the Roman Agora in Rome. This same stone can also be seen in pillars in Athens, at Hadrian’s Library in Monastiraki.