02 AOUT 2018: Astana - Lod - Osovets - Crewkerne - Ngari - Beni Hassan - Alderney -
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KAZAKHSTAN – Astana - Archaeologists have begun excavating a Saka burial mound found 10 kilometres from Astana, in the course of their work discovering seven other graves dating to the much more recent past (to the 15th and 16th centuries), two of which held women’s jewellery. “A female copper ring was found in one of the graves. More like a wedding ring. Another burial featured a bronze earring. Also, there was a silver buckle,” archaeologist Diana Duisekeyeva told Almaty.tv. The funerary practices and positions of the graves indicate that they belonged to Muslim people. Muslim rites hold that a grave should be at a right angle to the Qibla (the direction to the holy Kaaba in Mecca) so that the body, which is placed into its grave lying on its right side, without a coffin, faces the Qibla. “Islam became the state religion on the territory of the central regions of Kazakhstan in the 14th century; naturally, before that period, these Muslim burials could not arise, so they belong to the 15th to 16th centuries,” the head of the research institute explained. The burial mound, however, belongs to an earlier period. It is 4 metres in height and 60 metres in diameter. The mound is covered with a stone shell. Archaeologists think the mound belonged to Saka tribes. Granite slabs for burial are known to have been taken from the banks of Nura River. According to another hypothesis, Saka tribes could live on the territory of the modern day capital. The excavation will continue to search for evidence. “Peoples who lived here, in Saryarka, were riders and mounted soldiers. They guarded the territory and this was their main wealth and dignity. It is also known that local peoples took part even in the battle against Cyrus II. This is written in all textbooks,” Maral Khabdulina, Akishev Research Institute of Archaeology Director, said.
ISRAEL – Lod - Archaeologists have discovered this 1,700-year-old mosaic that once decorated a luxurious Roman residence. The villa where it was laid was built in the city of Lod. In Roman times the city was known as Diospolis (City of Zeus). According to reports, road workers first discovered a mosaic floor in the area by accident in 1996. Now they have made further discoveries of floor that is believed to be from the 4th century AD. The mosaics depict animals such as elephants, lions and giraffes, as well as geometric designs and marine scenes that include fish and ships. Dr Amir Gorzalczany is currently heading the works taking place in the triclinium - a formal dining room. The illustrative mosaic adorns the room's floor while smaller mosaics have also been found in the villa's courtyard. Dr Gorzalczany believes that the newly discovered mosaic may have paved an additional room next to the triclinium which was uncovered in 1996, saying: "If this is the case, then the villa may be much larger than we supposed."
BELARUS – Osovets-2 - An amulet dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C. was found by archeologists on the Krivinsky peatland near Beshenkovichi, Vitebsk Oblast. The archeologists are carrying out digs of the Osovets-2 site dating back to the Middle Neolithic, the Later Neolithic and the Bronze Age. The site is located near the village of Osovets in Beshenkovichi District. It is one of ten archeological sites of the Krivinsky Peat Settlements. “We are studying a cultural layer. We keep finding many things – pottery fragments, flint flakes used to make flake tools, items from bones and flake. Yesterday night we came across a fragment of a zoomorphic amulet in the form of a snake head, presumably a natrix. Today we have discovered a fragment of an amber button and a bone flute. All these finds date back to approximately mid-3rd millennium before Christ, in other words, they were made some 4,500 years ago,” Maksim Chernyavsky said. The Krivinsky Peat Settlements date back to the Neolithic and the Bronze Age. A layer of peat covers unique wooden and bone items, amulets and amber. Belarusian archeologists carry out digs on this place every year and find ancient items here every time.
ROYAUME UNI – Crewkerne - An amateur detectorist has found what is believed to be one of the most significant archaeological finds in Somerset's recent history. Jason Massey discovered a Roman gold signet ring with an engraving of the god Victory in a field near Crewkerne. Experts at the British Museum are yet to assess the ring but it is thought to date from 200 to 300 AD.
VIDEO = https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-45028623
TIBET - Ngari - Cultural artifacts, reportedly found in an archaeological site in Ngari prefecture, Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region showed that there were close exchanges between Tibet and the central regions, and a possible "plateau Silk Road" 2,000 years ago. More than 60 cultural artifacts from 1,800 to 2,000 years ago, have been on display for the first time in Ngari, including silk, golden masks, tea and pottery since Saturday, China Central Television reported (CCTV) on Monday. Ngari prefecture is at the intersection of South Asia and Central Asia on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, giving it an important cultural status, said Lü Hongliang, a professor at Sichuan University's School of History and Culture. The archaeological project explores historic sites in Ngari prefecture, including a site related to the Shangshung Kingdom, which was an ancient kingdom in western and northwestern Tibet. "Conducing archaeological explorations in Tibet will help us know more about the ancient Silk Road. Tea, silk and other cultural artifacts found in the region showed that China'sXinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Tibet bridged ancient trade and cultural exchanges between the South Asian sub-continent, Central Asia and the central areas in China," Zhang Juzhong, a professor at the University of Science and Technology of China's Department for the History of Science and Scientific Archaeology, told the Global Times. A silk product found in Ngari was identified as using the technology from central areas in 206BC-AD220, with Chinese characters woven on it, the CCTV report said. Li Guoqiang, from the CASS' Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies, told the Global Times that the cultural artifacts show that 2,000 years ago, people who lived in Tibet areas had close trade and cultural interaction with central China.
EGYPTE – Beni Hassan - The Egyptian-Australian Archaeological Mission of the University of Macquarie, Australia have rediscovered the tombs of two statesmen from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt at the Beni Hassan antiquities area in Minya, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa al-Waziry announced. The depth of the burial room of the first tomb belonging a statesman called Rimoushenti reaches 17.5 meters, according to Waziry. It further leads to a room with a deep well up to about 3 meters, with a sloping floor. This then ends at an entrance leading to a burial chamber with a rectangular pit for the place of the coffin, said Ayman Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian Antiquities Sector, adding that the coffin was likely transferred by British Egyptologist Percy Newberry back in the 19th Century. Ashmawy also said that the burial room leads to two small rooms where a number of pottery utensils that were used to store food and drinks for the deceased were discovered. The design of the second burial chamber, which belongs to a statesman called Paket closely resembles that of Rimoushenti, according to Director General of Central Egypt Antiquities Gamal al-Semestawy. The mission reached into the upper edge of the entrance of the burial chamber for the main well of the tomb, he added. The burial room is decorated with colorful inscriptions and is in a good state of preservation. A number of pottery vessels were found also in the burial room, Semestawy said. Naguib Kanawaty, head of the Egyptian-Australian mission said that the mission blocked the entrance of the room by rubble, and will resume work there on January 2019.
ROYAUME UNI – Alderney - A "substantial" Roman village has been found preserved beneath sand in the Channel Islands. Excavations on Longis Common in Alderney revealed walls, a stone courtyard, pottery and coins. The site is thought to date back to the 2nd Century BC, which is "considerably earlier" than previous discoveries. Experts say the sand could have buried the island's first main settlement after its occupants moved to where the modern town is now. Archaeologist Dr Philip De Jersey said the new village is connected to Iron Age burial sites in the area which are "much richer" than other burials in the Channel Islands. "It suggests that at least some of the population had some wealth and social status - these were not all impoverished peasants living on the very edge of the Roman Empire," he said. Dr De Jersey said the "enormous" site may spread across 15,000 sq m (3.7 acres), making it the largest settlement found in the Channel Islands and nearby areas of France. In 2011, a building near the new settlement - known locally as the Nunnery - was found to be of Roman origin from the 4th Century AD. It is now thought to be one of the best preserved small Roman forts in Britain. Archaeologists say the new settlement may have been connected to the fort at some point in its history.