03 DECEMBRE 2015 NEWS: Otford - Kovilmedu - Sungai Batu - Kalehöyük -
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ROYAUME UNI – Otford - Archaeologists say a Roman villa in the Kent village of Otford, abandoned in mysterious circumstances during the 4th century, is at least twice the size of the nearby Lullingstone villa, where an early Christian house chapel was discovered along the Darent Valley. Roman bricks, tiles and sections of painted wall plaster were originally found at Otford during a limited 1930s excavation, with archaeologist Ernest Black naming the site in a book about Roman villas in the region published in 1987. The West Kent Archaeological Society proceeded with more investigations this summer after research pointed to the area where the villa was found. Dating evidence from the few coins and pottery found suggests the villa was occupied during the 3rd and 4th centuries. Hypocast tiles and a number of red tesserae made from clipped tile are being examined, although the villa appears to have been systematically demolished. The group has detected no signs of fire, but says the floor where the tiles were removed is covered by about 50mm of silt, which in turn is beneath the main demolition rubble – implying that there may have been a flooding problem from the nearby river. A suite of rooms created as an extension to the east wing appear to have been abandoned at the foundation stage. The west wing lies beneath a hard surface tennis court built during the 1960s, and nearby springs - channelled during the medieval period - hint at the possibility of a bath house in the area. The villa is situated 500m west of Progress villa, a smaller farmstead villa which was similar to Lullingstone. This was built on the lower slopes of the North Downs, beside the ancient route that became the Pilgrim’s Way. Progress was excavated during the 1920s and would appear to date from the 1st or 2nd century AD. A geophysical survey earlier this year by the society was inconclusive, but hinted that the area covered by the buildings was greater than originally thought.
INDE - Kovilmedu - Archaeologist and Tamil professor S. Ravi and students of archaeology have found 5,000-year-old human habitation sites of the banks of River Kousika near Kovilmedu, Coimbatore. A release from Mr. Ravi says that the team has also found pieces of pottery, bones, polishing stones and materials used to smelt iron from the river bed. The team conducted the study in three phases in September-October this year after it got to learn about the river while reading a news on the Avinashi-Athikadavu scheme. Based on the information, the team gathered preliminary details from farmer-leaders interested in implementing the water supply scheme and started on a field work that led them to Narasimhanaickenpalayam. On route it learnt that the river was named after sage Viswamithra, also known as Kousika, and found that there are references to it in Kousthalapuranam. The river starts from Kurudimalai which is a transformation of Guru-rishi-malai. Guru-rishi refers to Viswamithra, Professor Ravi says. In Arunagirinathar’s Thiruppugazh there are references to the river seeing copious flow of water. There are small, old temples associated with tribes, stone structures that Stone Age people prayed and ‘sumai-thangi’ stones where workers kept their goods when in transit. In the release, Prof. Ravi says that there are evidences to show that people who grazed cows frequented pastures along the river bank. Explaining the etymological meaning of Agrahara Samakulam and Sarcar Samakulam, he says that the places once had piles of ash obtained by burning cow dung that shepherds lit fire to before moving to the next pasture. Near the Kalakaleswarar Temple, the team found broken pieces of potteries that suggested that there existed a civilisation. There were designs on the pieces of potteries and there were painted earthenware too, Prof. Ravi says. These suggest to a very high level of sophistication, he adds. The team also found graffiti pot herds, polished stones used for smoothening yarn and iron objects.;These suggest that the people who lived then had cultivated cotton, practised weaving and also smelt iron, he adds.
MALAISIE – Sungai Batu - The Sungai Batu archaeology site, believed to be the oldest settlement in South-East Asia, should be turned into a living cultural gallery. Director of USM’s Centre for Global Archaeological Research Prof Datuk Dr Mokhtar Saidin said said the discovery of an ancient iron smelting foundry was proof there was internatio-nal demand, adding that around the jetty ruins were mounds of rubble containing iron slag and ingots. “A living cultural gallery at the site will ‘revive’ the ancient civilisation in Merbok dating back 535 BC and it will certainly help to boost tourism here. “The people will understand what the town, which dated back some 2,500 years and thrived for centuries, is all about. He said similarly, those who visit the heritage enclave in George Town might want to explore this site and Guar Kepah, said to be Penang’s only prehistoric site in Seberang Prai. Guar Kepah contains ancient shell middens or mounds sitting on sandy ridges. “Besides the ancient shipwrecks, a port with 10 jetties, a ritual site for worship and administration structures near the jetties, we also found something special and unique. “Here, there used to be an iron smelting industry. We found iron ore, furnace, tuyere, iron slag and ingots in more than 10 sites, from 535 BC until 17th Century AD. “The ingots were exported to India, the Middle East, Europe, Korea and Japan. According to Sanskrit language, this region is known as ‘the iron bowl’.
TURQUIE – Kalehöyük - Archaeologists working at the site, in the province of Kırşehir’s Kaman district, have revealed the traces of seven different civilizations over the past 30 years. “The Ottomans are on the top layer. They are followed by the Seljuk, Byzantine, Roman, Phrygian, Hittite and Assyrian civilizations. There is also the Mycenaean culture below these civilizations in the 3,000s as well as other cultures, but we haven’t reached them yet. Cultures are on top of each other here. Kalehöyük is the very center of Central Anatolia,” said Sachihiro Omura, a Japanese professor who has been focusing on Hittite history in the area since 1985.