01 JUIN 2017 NEWS: Delos - Chichester - Da Nang - Xiangshan - Kurdistan -
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GRECE – Delos - The remains of ancient coastal structures and a port, a large number of shipwrecks dating back to various eras and significant smaller finds were found in underwater archaeological excavations conducted by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities at the island of Delos from May 2 until May 20, the Culture and Sports Ministry announced on Monday.“The finds confirm that Delos was an important trading base and an important maritime trade route through the ages, linking the east and west Mediterranean,” a ministry announcement said. Archaeologists carried out an in-depth investigation of the ancient breakwater that protected the island’s central port in antiquity from the strong northwestern winds, which is now underwater because the sea level has risen by two meters since that time. According to the ministry, the breakwater was an “impressively strong structure, roughly 160 meters long and at least 40 meters wide, built on a pile of unshaped rocks, while its upper structure was for the great part constructed of granite blocks of impressive size.” The date of its construction remains unknown and further archaeological and geological research will be needed to discover this, it added. Other finds included the remains of walls and a fallen colonnade, the remains of a later Hellenistic era shipwreck carrying amphorae of oil and wine from Italy and the western Mediterranean, as well as another two shipwrecks from the same era off the southern tip of Delos and at Rineia, in Fylladi Bay. The mission also had the opportunity to photograph and map two more shipwrecks found in previous underwater explorations, at Kato Kerenale and near Fournoi. All the shipwrecks found date to the period between the end of the 2nd century and the 1st century B.E.C. when the island was at the height of its prosperity, before it was sacked by Mithridates and the pirates of Cilicia.
ROYAUME UNI – Chichester - The foundations of a luxurious private bath house once owned by some of the richest citizens of Roman Chichester have been found under a public park in the centre of the city. The outlines of three buildings in Priory Park were detected by ground-penetrating radar last year and confirmed by a small trial trench, but extensive remains have now been found by local volunteers joining professional archaeologists in an excavation. The initial guess that the distinctive rounded end of one of the buildings could mean it was a bath house has been confirmed. The dig has uncovered the remains of the hot room and its hypocaust, the pillared basement that heated it. It would originally have been part of a suite of bathrooms attached to an opulent private house on the edge of the city, away from the noise and smells of the central markets area.
VIET NAM – Da Nang - Pham Van Trieu, head of the archaeological team, said at a report on the excavation on May 30 that it’s once again strongly confirmed that the site is a unique relic of the pre-Sa Huynh Culture. Trieu said items found in the digging, which began from April 15, were similar to items from previous digs in 2001 and 2015. Combined, these reveal the stable development of the Sa Huynh Culture in the area.“Research on ceramic and stone items from previous excavations clearly expose the rare, intact archaeological relic of only one layer of the Sa Huynh Culture,” Trieu said. He said the digging also exposed a vestige of an ancient channel running from the site to the 200m away Co Co River. Trieu, who is from the Vietnam Archaeology Institute, speculated that a marine transgression in the past thousands year in the area submerged the site, and people living in the area had moved up to a higher land.“We excavated an area of 50sq.m, 20m away from the 2015 site and found 19 pits with many stone axes that people had used as production tools for daily life and jewelry,” he said. “The team also recognised chopping boards, knives and grindstone, four-cornered stone axes and multi-function stone tools. The ancient residents used stone axes as major tools and combined chopping board,” he said. Trieu said the institute will invite an expert from Japan to identify which stones were used for axe making. The team also found some stone tools that used rock from Quang Binh province, proving that there were exchanges between people from Dai Viet (Great Viet, or now Vietnam) and people in the Champa Kingdom in the past thousands years. The team said the former residents created a stone table to produce jewelry and ceramics at a workshop near a defunct river. The team concluded that the items found in the site were similar to those excavated at archaeological sites of pre-Sa Huynh Culture in Cham Island, Quang Ngai and Quang Nam. The team suggested that the site, which includes in the 8,000sq.m of the Khue Bac Communal House, must be recognised as a national relic for special protection. The team also blamed construction of a road had claimed 400sq.m of the site, as the city did not have any warning on an archaeological site. Trieu said more excavations will be done in the future in the most precious pre-Sa Huynh Culture site in the central region. He suggested the site will be a big research centre for archaeology of the Sa Huynh Culture. Director of the city’s Culture Department Huynh Van Hung said the city will rapidly propose the site as a city relic before promoting it as a national relic. At the previous excavations, more than 4,500 items, including ceramics, stone axes, coins, mollusc shells were found at the site. Many Cham tower ruins have been found in rural areas of Da Nang, but it’s the first pre-Sa Huynh Culture site unearthed in the city. Khue Bac Communal House, which lies at the foot of the Ngu Hanh Son (Marble) Mountains 15km from the city, was a residential area for people during the Sa Huynh Culture as shown by the stone axes.The National Archeology Institute had signed a five-year co-operation deal with the city’s Heritage Management Centre to search for more valuable ancient vestiges in Da Nang and the central region. Some stone axes and pot-shaped burial urns, which were unearthed from the Khue Bac Communal House’s garden in 2001 and 2015, are now on display at the city’s Museum.
CHINE – Xiangshan - Archaeologists have recently discovered eight horse images in the Xiangshan Mountains in China. The images are carved into the rocks. Among the eight paintings only one is above 1.5 feet long and 20 cm tall. Apart from this one, the other horse images belong to 17 to 36 cm long. The analysis is not yet done to calculate the date of the horse images. But, the majority of the existing rock paintings that are close to the area have confirmed that they must be Neolithic or Paleolithic. So far spots of total twenty-three rock paintings have been discovered since the 1970s in the said Xiangshan Mountains. This number includes the revelations of the new area.
IRAQ – Kurdistan - More than 200 previously unknown remains of villages and an ancient city have been discovered by Poznań archaeologists during a long-term research project in northern Mesopotamia - present day Iraqi Kurdistan. Scientists have concentrated their efforts on the western and eastern banks of the Great Zab in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is the area called Fertile Crescent, where more than 10 thousand years ago man domesticated plants and animals. The license granted to the Poznań scientists covers an area of about 3000 square kilometres - about a quarter of the Opole province area. Three other archaeological teams from Germany, Italy and the USA are working in adjoining areas.