03 AOUT 2018: Rusokastro - Golshany - Mehdiabad-Oliya - Arjan - Vangchhia -
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BULGARIE – Rusokastro - A gold coin from the time of Andronicus II and Andronicus III Paleologus (14th century) has been discovered during archaeological excavations at the Rusokastro Fortress site on Bulgaria’s southern Black Sea coast The coin is in halves. It has an image on one side of Mary, the mother of Jesus, with the walls and towers of Constantinople, and on the other Jesus, crowning the two Byzantine emperors. This is the fourth gold coin discovered in recent years at the Rusokastro fortress and the third from the time of the emperors Andronicus II and Andronicus III Paleologos. It was discovered during the examination of the western fortress wall of Rusokastro. A battle tower from the fourth century. that was unknown until now, has been discovered underneath. Rusokastro is the largest mediaeval fortress in southern Bulgaria, similar in size to Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, Cherven and Kaliakra. The walls are more than five metres high. The Rusokastro mediaeval fortress was built at a strategic location, with a complex fortification system, meant as an impregnable defence of the border with Byzantium.
BELARUS – Golshany - A house of a guardsman dating back to the 10th century has been found during archeological digs on the site of an ancient settlement near the village of Golshany, Oshmyany District, Grodno Oblast, BelTA learned from head of the expedition, research staff member of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) Pavel Kenko. The archeological site near Golshany includes an ancient town, a settlement and three groups of burial mounds. Golshany was first mentioned in the Bykhovets Chronicle. “A residential building constructed in the 10th century has been found during the digs this year. It consists of two strings of foundation made up of big stones, a cook stove, a fireplace for cooking food and a structure consisting of big flat stones which purpose is to be determined,” Pavel Kenko said. Such buildings were found in other important archeological sites in the Neman River basin on the territory of modern-day Belarus and Lithuania (Volkovysk, Krevo, Novogrudok, and Vilnius). Among the 10th century items found in the building were belt plates and buckles from Volga Bulgaria, a fragment of a chape of a sword scabbard from Scandinavia, a fragment of a silver dirham from the Arab Caliphate, a plummet for measuring silver, a fragment of a bracelet and a button from Kiev. This set of the artifacts belonged to a guardsman and came from the north (Scandinavia) and the south (Khazaria) reflecting the fashion of those times.
IRAN - Mehdiabad-Oliya - Over 500 ancient tomb chambers have recently been found across the Mehdiabad-Oliya cemetery, which is located in Rigan county, southeastern Kerman province. “A team of archaeologists discovered more than 500 ancient tombs during a magnetic survey to determine their dispersion across an 8-hectare area of land,” ISNA quoted Kourosh Mohammadkhani, the team leader, as saying on Tuesday. The evidences were obtained by Archaeo-Physics research methodology that deals with a powerful sub-surface imaging tool, the report said. Initial scientific studies on earthenware excavated form the tomb chambers suggest they date from Achaemenid and Sassanid eras, Mohammadkhani added. The big and sprawling Kerman province has been a cultural melting pot since antiquity, blending Persians with subcontinental tribe dwellers.
IRAN – Arjan - A team of Iranian archaeologists have recently unearthed parts of an ancient mosque in Arjan, a historical region in the southwestern Khuzestan province. “Layout of a mosque was perceived after initial studies being carried out on aerial photographs… moreover, historical documents implied existence of a mosque in the region,” said archaeologist Ehsan Yaqmaei who heads the excavation, Mehr reported. “In this regard, we dug two trenches which ultimately resulted in discovering courtyard and a portico… by extending the trenches westward, we found several column bases made of stone and Sarooj [a traditional water-resistant mortar used in Iranian architecture],” he explained. Findings suggest that the mosque dates back to the early Islamic era when such structures predominantly enjoyed hypostyle halls by the means of abundant columns, he said, adding “The exact age of the mosque would be determined during next rounds of excavations or whenever an inscription or written document is found.” Early mosques of Iran inherited the Sassanian vaulting tradition to have a place large enough for the congregation to assemble. However, in the course of history, the colonnaded prayer halls were replaced by larger, square-shaped and domed interiors.
INDE – Vangchhia - The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Thursday presented the discoveries they claimed to have found at Vangchhia historical village in Mizoram's Champhai district, after an excavation that began in 2015. The ASI said that they have encountered more than 100 structures at different terraces of various shapes and sizes, including 207 menhirs, which were documented with proper measurement and many more discoveries are being archived. The discovery is considered very significant to throw light on the history of the Mizo community. The excavation at Vangchhia exposed a good number of menhirs, Mizo traditional and megalithic burial structures and one of the most profound discoveries is the water pavilion that comprises multiple circular and square holes. "We have explored fifteen terraces full of structures, but the discovered water pavilion still remains a mystery. The use of a water pavilion would determine that the culture is the same, which later developed into civilization", said Dr Sujeet Nayan, Head of the archaeological team. The archaeologists also found human bones and antiquities from the burial sites at Vangchhia in 2015 and further excavation have unearthed samples such as potsherds dating back to 600 BCE (before common era) and circa 1400 CE to 1750 CE through C14 (radio-carbon)