03 - 04 JANVIER 2011



 - IRAK - Babylone - Archaeologists in Iraq have begun working to protect and restore parts of ancient Babylon for the first time since the 2003 U.S. invasion- The World Monuments Fund, working with Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, has created a conservation proposal to halt any further deterioration of Babylon's mud-brick ruins, In November, the U.S. State Department announced a $2 million grant to start efforts to preserve the site's best-surviving ruins.The aim of these efforts is to prepare the site and other ruins for what Iraqi officials hope will someday be a flood of scientists, scholars and tourists that could contribute to Iraq's economic revival.The work at Babylon is most ambitious, a demonstration of the ancient city's fame and its significance for Iraq's modern political and cultural heritage.



 - SYRIE   Moatarem  - The castle, situated within a rocky mountain in the northwest part of Syria, 20 km south of Idleb City, dates back to the Nabatean Era. The castle was named Petra of Idleb because of its structure that is similar to Petra City in Jordan regarding its location, the engraved rooms and residential caves in cliffs. The castle is 80 m to 100 m high in the mid slope.- The castle consists of two floors: the first floor contains caves of different sizes used to serve as houses and a judicial building which contained a gibbet and a judge's platform of 2 m high - Excavation works revealed a deep funnel-shaped – well of 5 m high x 5 m wide, with a door at the bottom. The door leads to a number of Byzantine graves and an ancient oil press.An engraved staircase of 22 steps leads you to the second floor. To the left of the staircase, there is a rocky stone bench (mastaba) with a fireplace at the entrance. A 60 cm diameter water tank carved in stone of 150 cm deep can be seen to the right side of the staircase. The water was drawn to the tank through a tunnel from a large basin at a carved basin on the top of the castle build to collect rainwater. The castle was built in a military design due to its strategic location to help protect it. It played an important role as military observatory and fort over the years-  A residence of 70 m high lies 300 m to the east of the castle. It can be reached through a stairway leading to a stone gap which constitutes the gate for other residential caves scattered throughout the mountain slopes. 


 - FRANCE - Barbezieux - Dès le début de la semaine prochaine, des sondages archéologiques seront effectués dans le château, et ce , avant les grands travaux pour le pôle culturel.- Après une première édition sur les abords de la bâtisse, c'est au tour du bâti d'être passé au stéthoscope et au bistouri : En effet, le cabinet toulousain Hades qui va procéder aux sondages obligatoires avant tous travaux, va parfois couper un mur d'enceinte soulever un plancher ou examiner les dessous d'un lambris.


 - TURQUIE   Van - ( more) The burial chambers of an Urartian king and his family have been opened for the first time for Anatolia news agency. The graves in the ancient Van castle, an important work of architecture from the Urartian Empire that ruled eastern Anatolia between the ninth and sixth centuries B.C. are normally off limits to visitors, but were revealed to the agency- The burial chamber is in the western part of Van castle and bears workmanship of the highest quality. It is reached through a 24-step staircase- King Argishti I was buried in a rock burial chamber called “Horhor Cave- Van castle, which is 120 meters by 80 meters and was built on a rocky peak along Lake Van, has been the site of recent excavations - Urartian writing on the wall of the burial chamber was very interesting. There are nail holes in spaces between doors opening to the chambers inside. These holes were used to hang torches and gifts- There are four inner chambers and each chamber has four alcoves on the walls. The location of the alcoves and doors and the dimension of the chambers are similar to each other- Religious ceremonies were held in the hall in burial chambers and valuable objects were buried in the adjacent chambers.The burial chambers are described as caves in the 17th-century Ottoman plan and Evliya Çelebi’s travel book. They served as an armory, a food depot and a workshop in the time of the Ottomans- Centered in eastern Anatolia, the Kingdom of Urartu ruled between the ninth and sixth centuries B.C. until its defeat by Media in the early 6th century B.C. The best monuments of Urartu exist in Van as the city was the capital of the kingdom with the name Tushpa.Argishti I was the sixth known king of the ancient kingdom, reigning from 786 B.C. to 764 B.C. As the son and the successor of Menua, he continued a series of conquests initiated by his predecessors. Victorious against the Assyrians, he conquered the northern part of Syria and made Urartu the most powerful state in the post-Hittite Near East.



 - TURQUIE - Van - Burial chambers of Urartian King Argishti and his family in the western wing of the ancient castle in the eastern province of Van was opened for the first time- The Anatolia news agency took photographs and video of the burial chambers which were closed to visitors.Centered around the Lake Van in the eastern Turkey, the Urartian Kingdom ruled from the mid 9th century BC till its defeat by Media in the early 6th century BC. The most splendid monuments of the Urartian Kingdom take place in Van since the city was the capital of the kingdom.Built on a rocky peak, the castle, one of the most significant samples of the Urartian architecture, was brought to daylight during excavations headed by lecturer Altan Cilingiroglu of the Ege University. Argishti I was the sixth known king of the ancient kingdom, reigning from 786 BC to 764 BC. As the son and the successor of Menua, he continued the series of conquests initiated by his predecessors. Victorious against Assyria, he conquered the northern part of Syria and made Urartu the most powerful state in the post-Hittite Near East. His burial chamber in the west wing of the Van Castle is composed of five separate sections. There are Urartian inscriptions on the walls. 



 - INDE - Siridao - The discovery of another cave in Paliem, Siridao, has added to the village's history of subterranean structures. This particular cave could possibly date back to the 6-7th century AD, say archaeologists. Located just 100 m on the western side of the National Highway on the slope of Siridao hill, the cave has been hidden by thick vegetation for several years. "Clearing of bushes a few days back has exposed the structure lying under creepers," a villager said. The structure overlooks the Siridao valley and is hardly noticeable from the busy highway. "It is a small single cell rock-cut cave,V Shivananda Rao, ASI superintending archaeologist said.Explaining further, he said that Goa's topography is dotted with several caves, including Satari and other talukas. Caves found in Goa belong largely to Nath Panthi culture while a couple of them are Buddhist caves, especially Lamgao and Rivona. "It belongs to one of these categories and may date back to 6th or 7th century AD," Rao added. Rao and his staff took measurements and studied other details. "The cave must have been cut from a huge single boulder for worship," he said. Its location, overlooking east, is not the only reason for this conclusion. "It must be of a religious nature but it is difficult to say anything about which religion at this stage," the ASI archaeologist said. While some caves have openings on the hillside, this one is at the surface level on the hill slope. "Its inner walls are partly finished while dressing of walls is incomplete in some parts," he added. The cave may not be associated with megalithic A culture as caves of this era are mostly in chambers below the ground level. According to a study, several caves have been found, among other places, in Sonal, Lamgao, Rivona, Divar, Pilar, Khandepar, Cundaim, Codar and Aquem. In Goa, most caves are carved in laterite, but none have been scoped out in granit. Granite rocks can be found in Dudhsagar valley, Salgini and Verla in the western ghats, both in Sanguem taluka.A cave existing near Siridao beach below Jesus Nazareth chapel is well known. Some say it was caused by the impact of water while others say it was excavated by man. "There was a legend that it connected Chicalim on the other side of the Zuari river under the water," a villager said. Another cave has been found in Chicalim, but most are skeptical about it, saying it is an old wives tale. 



 - SYRIE  Imtan - Six archaeological tombs and antique finds dating back to the Byzantine and Roman eras were unearthed by Sweida's excavation mission at the site of Imtan in South of Syria. - Head of the mission Hussein Zen-Eddein said the tombs and finds uncovered belong to a family cemetery, adding that they contain clay lanterns and bronze bracelets and earrings - Former excavation works at the site uncovered a basalt pillar on which Nabatean words dedicated to a Nabatean god were engraved. In addition, two other phrases (one in Latin and the other in Greek) were engraved on a basalt stone, referring to God Jupiter.